back to article Manchester biz raided in text message spam clampdown

A clampdown on text spam has led to a police raid on offices in Urmston, Manchester, and the seizure of equipment by the Information Commissioner's Office. The UK data privacy watchdog was given enhanced powers last year to tackle the growing problem of junk SMS messages, including the authority to ask mobile operators for …


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  1. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    Throw the book at them....hanging's too good for them...etc....

    Sick of these txts, especially the ones that wake me up in the small hours of the morning.


    1. Jimbo 6

      Have YOU been injured by a flying book ? Ring our helpline NOW to speak to a claims specialist...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    double post

    Already read this on BBC news.

    1. Oliver Mayes

      Re: double post

      So every news story should only ever be reported once? What about those of us who don't scan all available news sites for new stories?

  3. Bassey


    "We will take action where....companies are profiteering from unlawful activity"

    Why not just take action where companies are undertaking unlawful activity? Why does there have to be profit involved? Am I any less of a victim if the company selling my details on illegally isn't competent enough to make a profit?

    1. Hey Nonny Nonny Mouse

      Re: Why...

      because there's bugger all to confiscate if the company isn't making money?

  4. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Now how about phone spam?

    So why is the ICO totally incapable of taking any action against phone spammers?

    If you're registered with TPS and get phone spam ICO website just says 'report it to TPS' who say 'We can't do anything, but we'll tell the ICO about it in our annual report'.

    Why can't the ICO just pull the plug on the phone offenders? Three complaints and the phone line is suspended for 7 days, 3 more complaints and it's 28 days etc.

    ICO: almost as big a waste of oxygen as the ASA

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Now how about phone spam?

      While they're at it, someone should pass some legislation compelling telco operators to provide, for free, the option to block calls coming from certain countries. I'm thinking specifically of the 20 or so calls I get every week to my landline from scammers in India.

      1. Evan Essence

        Re: Now how about phone spam? (@Loyal Commenter)

        "Certain countries" in my case meaning anything displaying "International" on my phone. As far as I'm concerned, International==Spam, and I simply don't answer. I'd much rather the phone didn't ring in the first place.

        1. Graham Marsden

          Re: Now how about phone spam? (@Evan Essence)

          If someone is using a service like Call1899 it comes up as "International" even though they're calling a UK number from another UK number, so you might be blocking a valid call.

    2. TimTurner

      Re: Now how about phone spam?

      The Information Commissioner's Office has no powers over phone lines. The media are reporting that the ICO has blocked SIM cards, but someone else must have done this, because the regulator does not have any powers to do that.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I got several last year, on the lines of "Our records indicate that you may be entitled to compensation of £3750 for the accident you had". An accident that caused amnesia apparently.

    So I bulk emailed a few hundred 419 scammers with the message "I'm interested. Please phone me on (the number the text spam came from)".

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good!

      "Anonymous Coward" posts aren't really anonymous. I know that was from me, as I can't vote for it.

  6. Robbles

    Have you ever *tried* reporting this crap out to the ICO, to say they are uninterested is a massive understatement. If you still have the will to live after trying to report this stuff over the phone to actually put in a report you will find that the form to make the submission on is in MS Word format only ( not an open format ) and suffice to say "requires" reams of personal information that frankly I don't trust those bastards with.

    All it requires is a quick web form asking for the source number and the message sent - simples non?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How does this work over there?

    I can see how spim works here in the US - find a free web-to-SMS gateway, rape it to send a bazillion spims, find three suckers, profit, lather rinse repeat. Since the cost is borne by the recipients of the spim, ANY suckers are pure profit.

    But I thought over there that the rule was "sender pays" - so how are they sending these spim cheaply enough to make money?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: How does this work over there?

      "But I thought over there that the rule was "sender pays" - so how are they sending these spim cheaply enough to make money?"

      Most phone contracts, including PAYG have a certain number of free SMS per day/week/whatever. That's probably why in the story referenced in the article as happing "last year" involved blocking 20,000 SIMs. Unregistered PAYG SIMs are given away like there's no tomorrow.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: How does this work over there?

      Every new O2 contract has unlimited SMS messages, and the cheapest is about £10 per month. I haven't look, but I guess other operators offer similar deals.

  8. Mark Coley

    Delivery reports

    BBC and ICO are saying not to reply to these spam messages as it says it lets the spammers know they have sent them to a valid number. Do these people not know about delivery reports?

    1. TimTurner

      Re: Delivery reports

      Probably not!

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Pre-recorded auto diallers

    Can the ICO/Whoever deal with the clowns using 0843 numbers who call me at least twice a day offering payment protection insurance refunds. Their trick appears to be to use a different 0843 number every time so even if I report them it makes no difference.

  10. Bgfreeman

    I just forward all these to 7726 (SPAM). Don't know if it does any good, but it makes me feel better.

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