BBC News – Fines threat for credit text message

Article sourced from BBC News

Firms face raids and fines of up to £500,000 for sending unsolicited text messages about credit or compensation.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said tackling the issue was a “high priority”.

Typical messages claim recipients are entitled to money, promise to write off debts or find a loan, or suggest accident compensation can be claimed. But in many cases, the products they are selling can actually make people financially worse off.

Late-night texts

Sarah Stocks, from Plymouth, said she started to be bombarded by texts after enquiring online about applying for a loan.

“I got [texts] all the time, sometimes four or five a day. You know, you’re lying in bed reading, about to switch off the light, and you get a text at 10.30pm. But when you pick it up it says ‘Do you want a loan for £5,000?’ It is just absolute harassment. I think they have sold my details on to more companies” she said.

Many of these texts can be from legitimate companies, and come after a box is ticked, or terms and conditions are agreed to that allow the company to get in touch. But others are randomly generated, and are against the law if no consent has been given to allow such messages to be sent.

The Consumer Credit Counselling Service charity (CCCS)

The CCCS have stressed just how difficult it can be to pin down who is sending these texts, because many come from unregistered pay-as-you-go SIM cards. But the ICO had made progress and was investigating the possibility that some cases were linked to organised crime.

To avoid receiving spam text messages take note of these handy tips:

  • When shopping online, ensure the trader does not contact you by text
  • Never reply to spam text messages
  • Check the privacy policy when buying online
  • Report spam texts to the mobile network
  • Inform the Information Commissioner of spam text
  • Forward any spam messages to your operator

Posted on May 14, 2012, in Market Industry and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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