2 men who are believed to have been responsible for sending unsolicited text messages about PPI claims have been told that they could face fines of up to £250,000. The 2 men cannot be identified as they have been afforded 28 days to provide a reason why they should not be fined under the Privacy and Electronic Communications Acts. If the case is successfully brought against the pair, it could set a path for the end of nuisance spammy text messages in the UK. If the 2 men fail to successfully justify their actions they will be named and shamed as well as prosecuted.
The court case is the first of its kind and part of a larger crackdown by watchdogs on nuisance marketing texts and pre-recording messages to ransom UK landline and mobile phone users.
In the past 6 months the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has received over 30,000 claims about nuisance text messages. Telephones are not allowed to be used to target people with aggressive sales techniques unless the owner has given permission to do so. These messages can often claim to offer everything from PPI and insurance claim pay-outs to shock tactics pretending that there is already a claim in progress while texting that there is more information about a case.
Simon Entwisle, director of operations at the ICO said: ‘The public have told us that they are increasingly concerned about the illegal marketing texts and calls.’
‘These are often made by rogue companies claiming to offer pay-outs for accidents a person has never had or payment protection insurance (PPI) claims that they are not necessarily entitled to.’
‘While companies can phone people to sell them the latest product or service, the law states that individuals should not receive unsolicited texts or automated marketing calls unless they have given their permission.’
‘We are already working to identify other individuals and companies involved in these unlawful practices.’