Company making up to 6m calls a day raided by ICO
Have you been receiving regular cold calls from a company offering to consolidate debts or start a claim for PPI compensation? If so, they may well have been made by a firm operating out of an industrial estate that has been found to have been making up to 6 million cold calls every single day.
Based in Hove, east Sussex, the unnamed company – which held more than 90 million mobile and land line numbers – was raided by the Information Commissioner’s Office following ‘hundreds’ of complaints about numbers linked to the firm, many of which were made by vulnerable and elderly people.
Using an automated computer system to run a “complex operation on an astounding scale”, the ICO claimed that the company had “cornered a sizeable portion of the market.”
“Our intelligence has identified this address as being responsible for making millions upon millions of recorded messages,” said the ICO’s David Clancy.
“I have never seen an operation of this size … Those targeted will have included the elderly or people vulnerable for other reasons. We received vast number of complaints from hundreds of people who were frightened by these calls.”
It is also believed that the call centre – which is believed to be linked to an offshore firm registered in the British Virgin Islands – may also have sold customers’ details to other companies.
A recent government crackdown on cold calling means that, from 6th April, just one complaint would be enough to launch legal action. The maximum fine for bosses of such companies is also increasing from £5,000 to £500,000.
As a strong campaigner against cold calling, National Accident Helpline are pleased that this rogue firm has been rooted out, but this case demonstrates the enormous menace this problem poses to society – particularly vulnerable groups.