back to article Authorities swoop on illicit Wolverhampton SPAM FARM

UK data privacy experts have raided an SMS spam farm blamed for spewing out more than 350,000 nuisance messages to mobiles. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) seized hundreds of SIM cards on Thursday, after raiding a SIM farm in offices in Wolverhampton. Initial estimates suggest the impounded kit could have been used …

COMMENTS

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  1. Jason Hindle

    I have this strange urge to go into Daily Mail mode....

    String 'em up!!!!!

    1. Gav

      Re: I have this strange urge to go into Daily Mail mode....

      Hanging is too good for them. I want heads on spikes at the very minimum!

  2. Tony Green

    Perhaps more publicity needed?

    First I've heard of 7726 for spam reporting. Evidently the ICO have kept it quiet so as not to make too much work for themselves.

    Does it work on Virgin?

    1. Graham 24
      Coat

      Re: Perhaps more publicity needed?

      I'd never heard of it either. I think what we need is some way that people could send you messages about things they think you'd be interested in without requiring your permission first.

      1. Billa Bong

        Re: Perhaps more publicity needed?

        I agree, though I knew about it through O2 themselves. When I was getting fed up with the messages I searched to see if there was a "TPS" style thing for spam text and I believe the O2 web site told me to forward the spam to this number. My only complain is that it's still easier to delete than forward the spam and then the number - I'd love an Android SMS app that allows you to "submit as spam" with one action.

        I wonder whether they are able to actually check your claim or just run statistical analysis of submissions, and whether there are penalties for false claims...

        1. VinceH Silver badge

          Re: Perhaps more publicity needed?

          "When I was getting fed up with the messages I searched to see if there was a "TPS" style thing for spam text and I believe the O2 web site told me to forward the spam to this number."

          Similar here, but on Vodafone. The number I use is 87726, though - but I assume it still ends up at the same destination.

          "My only complain is that it's still easier to delete than forward the spam and then the number - I'd love an Android SMS app that allows you to "submit as spam" with one action."

          Agreed.

    2. Jeremy Puddleduck

      Re: Perhaps more publicity needed?

      If you report spam texts to the ICO (here :- https://www.snapsurveys.com/swh/surveylogin.asp?k=138312369469) it tells you to also report it to 7726. So if you never report your spam you'd never know about 7726 I guess. EE certainly never told me about it.

  3. Home

    Unsolicited Calls

    Can we have a similar system for unsolicited calls. Something like dial 1471-9 .

  4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    sizeable fine?

    Will this be sizeable in realworld terms, or the Ofcom "a few weeks' profits" kind of sizeable?

    The fine should be 10x the estimated cost of the time lost by the people they spammed, plus the full cost of the police investigation required to catch them. Also confiscation of all material used in connection with the activity, including the premises.

    1. Billa Bong

      Re: sizeable fine?

      Or if you can't pay, castration (you have to admit it'd be a good deterrent).

      1. AbelSoul

        Re: castration (you have to admit it'd be a good deterrent).

        Providing the spammers aren't eunuchs.

        (or ladies, for that matter)

        1. Billa Bong

          Re: castration (you have to admit it'd be a good deterrent).

          Yep, true. I tend to assume it's only men that commit this sort of thing but it's totally unfounded and I admit it... My point is that wrist slaps get us no where and this country is, IMO which is not so humble, very soft on crime and especially on nuisance.

          1. Psyx
            Joke

            Re: castration (you have to admit it'd be a good deterrent).

            "Yep, true. I tend to assume it's only men that commit this sort of thing"

            Sexist pig!

      2. Immenseness
        Coat

        Re: sizeable fine?

        "Or if you can't pay, castration (you have to admit it'd be a good deterrent)."

        You'd have to sew them back on first (with apolgies to Basil)

      3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

        Re: sizeable fine?

        How about a luxurious jail cell with thick carpeting, many layers of bedding, and beautiful water fountains. This lush environment is also infested with bedbugs, fleas, and mosquitoes. Should the spammer not wish be bitten, he/she may opt-out of future bites from each insect by crushing it. Good luck.

    2. Velv Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: sizeable fine?

      Nothing solves the problem of repeat offenders quite as effectively as execution.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: sizeable fine?

        Nothing solves the problem of repeat offenders quite as effectively as execution.

        Or Transportation. I hear Mars is looking for volunteers?

        1. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

          Re: sizeable fine?

          Mars needs women.

    3. ElNumbre
      Facepalm

      Re: sizeable fine?

      What'll likely happen is that company declares itself insolvent, then another very similar sounding company operating out of the same premises pops up with a similar MO.

    4. Nuke
      Holmes

      @Phil O'Sophical - Re: sizeable fine?

      Wrote :- "The fine should be 10x the estimated cost of the time lost by the people they spammed, plus the full cost of the police investigation"

      Agreed, an order of magnitude with these financial crimes. At one time, on my daily walk to work through central London, there was a side street with cars on double yellow lines everywhere, the same cars every day. On average, once a week they would all have tickets slapped on them, but they'd still be there next day. Clearly the owners regarded the fines as a reasonable parking charge - in fact the fine was less than the charge at nearby car parks. The fine would have needed to be five times the cost of a car park just to level things on average.

  5. Nifty

    What about voice calls?

    All the family mobiles get about 2 PPI recorded calls, with number withheld, per week.

    How do you forward these?

  6. Scott Broukell
    Coat

    Nuisance Spam ...

    I for one can never get the bloomin stuff out of the tin in one piece.

    1. Semtex451 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Nuisance Spam ...

      I find if you put it in warm water for ten minutes

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've been using the 7726 for years...

    But for the past year or so since Orange changed it so you send the number as a followup text, that second text ALWAYS fails to send. Anyone else have the same problem?

    1. Jeremy Puddleduck

      Re: I've been using the 7726 for years...

      Always works for me I'm afraid.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Time to get medieval

    Nothing solves the problem of repeat offenders quite as effectively as a red-hot poker up their...

    1. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Time to get medieval

      As Icon

  9. ADJB

    Can we apply this to printed bollocks as well as electronic bollocks?

    So the ICO can give a good kick in the profit margins to a company sending out 350k electronic spam messages, how come OFCOM (or somebody else) can't do the same to BT / Virgin / Sky etc for posting about the same amount of unwanted marketing material through my front door. If anything the fine should be larger because at least electronic spam is more environmentally friendly, ask a forest near you. I assume the electronic "marketing material" is no more inaccurate than the printed "marketing material" or if it is they should at least recoup some of the fine when the next Booker prize is given out.

    1. Martin J Hooper
      FAIL

      Re: Can we apply this to printed bollocks as well as electronic bollocks?

      I agree - I am a Virgin subscriber and I still get the spam thorough the post asking so I want to join up...

      1. Shrimpling

        Re: Can we apply this to printed bollocks as well as electronic bollocks?

        At least its available in your area... There is no Virgin Media Cable installed in my town, the nearest is approx 2 or 3 miles away but I still get the flyers.

        1. Tom 35 Silver badge

          Re: Can we apply this to printed bollocks as well as electronic bollocks?

          Different company, same story here. Used to call them and say I want to sign up for the super deluxe with extra bells service. When they finally get to checking and say it's not available in my area I'd tell them I wanted to be compensated for them wasting my time by sending me offers for stuff they can't deliver. That go them to take my name/address off the spam list.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Can we apply this to printed bollocks as well as electronic bollocks?

      You were doing really well until the "ask a forest near you" statement. Paper doesn't come from forests, it comes from the wood of pulp trees grown on tree farms, at least here in the States. Renewable and doesn't touch the old growth stuff which for the most part is unsuitable for making paper.

    3. Marcelo Rodrigues
      Happy

      Re: Can we apply this to printed bollocks as well as electronic bollocks?

      "So the ICO can give a good kick in the profit margins to a company sending out 350k electronic spam messages, how come OFCOM (or somebody else) can't do the same to BT / Virgin / Sky etc for posting about the same amount of unwanted marketing material through my front door."

      The reasoning, I believe, is that electronic SPAM is almost free - as in beer. When a company sends paper, there is a far greater cost - so, they tend to keep it at a minimum.

      It is annoying, sure. But You don't get 500 brochures every day, selling pills to grow your... nevermind.

      OTOH, I remember one convicted spammer - who got his address leaked. He received, I believe, more than a metric ton* of complains from his "customers". That was fun. :D

      * To use an official standard: 238.0952 Jubs

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