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Did BT infringe Proceeds of Crime Act in 2004


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Hi my family were victims of the infamous "rogue dialler" [problem] of 2004.

 

The actual case was investigated by the BBC after they were tipped off as to the organised nature and scale of the fraud.

BBC NEWS | Business | The Great Phone Call Con

 

I've been doing further research and I believe the regulators and UK premium rate industry knew or at least suspected the services BT were billing for were infact fraudulent.

 

I would be interested in hearing from anybody who were victims of the "rogue dialler" [problem].

 

thanks goodwill

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The trouble is, as a participant in the [problem], you bore a responsibility to ensure that your computer did not download the dialler, and a failure to do this left your line vulnerable. Therefore it didn't matter whether it was your PC doing it automatically, or you dialling it personally - it was not a 'crime' in the accepted sense. If you did not avail yourself of protection, either through software or by asking BT to bar permium rated calls, you alone bear the responsibility of the costs incurrent by your phone line, even if someone broke into your house and called the Speaking Clock in Hong Kong for 14 days until you (say) returned from holiday.

 

As a consumer you also have to bear full responsibility for your actions, and if a court held that you did not take the appropriate steps to ensure this did not happen, no action against BT would succeed. If the fees paid to the [problem] number were interecepted before payment, then clearly you would be due a refund of those charges not paid, but the cost of the call itself would not be recoverable, only the premium element.

 

Of course, BB users don't 'dial' anymore so these scams are mostly on the way out.

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Who on earth told you that rubbish?

How deep does your research go into this subject to arrive at such a bizarre conclusion?

 

I would be interested in hearing from anybody who were victims of the "rogue dialler" [problem].
thanks goodwill
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As a consumer you also have to bear full responsibility for your actions, and if a court held that you did not take the appropriate steps to ensure this did not happen, no action against BT would succeed.

no, no, no, it is completely the responsibility of BT to ensure they are not in an agreement with criminals to bill for fraudulent services.

You clearly do not understand the consumer/criminal laws relating to this topic.

The only questions that really matter concerning the Proceeds of Crime Act is:

Were the services fraudulent? If yes then the bill's were not legal.

Did BT suspect or have reason to suspect the services were fraudulent? If yes then BT were guilty of serious criminal offence.

 

BT faces huge refund claim over dialling scams Independent, The (London) - Find Articles

BT faces huge refund claim over dialling scams

 

 

Independent, The (London), Mar 19, 2005 by David Prosser

BT IS FACING a county court judgment in favour of a customer who is disputing the phone giant's refusal to pay refunds to thousands of people who have lost out in "rogue dialler" scams.

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Sorry - this is just ONE speculative action, and you can be sure each will be argued by BT (a case of 'don't shoot the messenger'). I agree that they should not be allowed to profit from scams, but this isn't a perfect world. Anyone who had a rogue dialler was similarly negligent, so the prospect of BT losing this outright would be very slim.

 

You also overlook the fact that BT is not 'in agreement' with anyting other than another telco, whom the [problematic] may have had a relationship with, or further links down the chain. As a communications facilitator, BT cannot choose which networks to do business with - OFCOM saw to that, so on that argument alone, they'd be blameless.

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I have to say I agree it is everyones responsibility to maintain security on their PC and besides its not like BT sold these people the premium number BT just have a relationship with other Telcos to pass costs on in the same way that have a relationship with the end users.

 

At least with the advent of broadband these awful scams are dying away, I never understood people who left their modems plugged in all the time esp as if there was some kind of spike down the phone it could very well kill their PC.

 

I wish anyone involved in trying this the very best of luck in attempting to get their money back but imho you're on a hiding to nothing it doesnt stop me keeping my fingers crossed for you though

 

Good luck

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I wish anyone involved in trying this the very best of luck in attempting to get their money back but imho you're on a hiding to nothing it doesnt stop me keeping my fingers crossed for you though

 

Thankyou, now let me try to at least convince some that they were the victims of a mass targeted premeditated criminal fraud.

In fact there is now clear evidence that BT and Icstis intentionally misled the media and victims as to the true nature and scale of the fraud.

 

I believe there are two important issues to bare in mind:

 

Standard UK consumer laws.

From HM Customs and Excise.

"Although the 'premium rate' calls originate to Spain, the service is being invoiced from British Telecom therefore standard telecomunication rules apply.

The place of supply of telecomunications services as defined in N741 12.9 is classed as being where the customer belongs. With the supplier and customer belonging in the UK, the supplier must account for VAT at the standard rate of 17.5%."

 

Did the internet services BT were billing for exist?

Can a bill for non-existant "goods and services" be regarded as a legal bill.

Were the services being legally promoted and marketed?

Does a single phone number on a bill constitute proof that a legal agreement to purchase had been entered into?

 

Standard UK criminal laws.

From the City of London police web site.

City of London Police - Economic crime department

"At what point in a fraudulent act is it considered ‘complete’?

If a fraudster causes funds to be moved out of the control of the victim, the fraud is complete, though the funds may have never been in the possession of the fraudster, and the victim secures their recovery immediately".

Did BT have any reason to suspect the services they were billing for were fraudulent?

If they didn't know they were comitting an illegal act.

If they did know or had reason to know, they were committing a criminal act.

.............................................

BT had an agreement with Telecom One to pass the money onto them as soon as the number was dialled.

This agreement has nothing to do with the public. BT could claim the fraud was 'complete' at this point but the fraud would have been committed against BT.

BT has a system inplace to identify and protect them from fraud being committed by companies like Telecom One. It's a system that identifies "Artificially Inflated Traffic". It's written into the agreement that if BT "suspects" an occurance of AIT they can withold payments.

 

This is what I was told by a director of a large UK telecom company

'A spokesman for BT said the company could not refuse to carry calls on its network unless it could be proved that a crime had been committed. "As much as BT would like to act on a mere suspicion of potential wrongdoing, unless we have very concrete evidence it is very difficult to stop calls or withhold money," he said.

 

This is absolute nonsense. BT's interconnect agreement with other carriers allows it to withhold money on any suspicion of wrongdoing. The relevant bit of the interconnect agreement is Annex E, and it can be found here: http://www.btwholesale.com/content/b...ia/nannexe.rtf

 

Personal experience is that, even when they're wrong, it takes upwards of a year to go through the process and extract monies due. Most people don't bother. Had BT used the process above in 2004, the problem would have been nipped in the bud.

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The victims in this BBC program were targeted by "service providers" registered in Majorca all using numbers supplied by Telecom One limited.

All the service providers were registered by a single group of business partners and all share the same addresses and Icstis contact details.

They were responsible for 20% of all dialler related complaints in 2004.

BBC NEWS | Business | The Great Phone Call Con

 

The companies involved and numbers they used.

 

BT

had an agreement with Telecom One to bill for the services.

Telecom One

supplied the 3,500 numbers and agreed to carry the services.

 

 

( PERSONAL INFORMATION OF INDIVIDUALS REMOVED )

 

The "PERSONAL INFORMATION" was Icstis contact details for victims to contact :rolleyes:

 

The other names and addresses were from Spanish Companies House and had been edited to hide the names :rolleyes:

 

 

Icstis recieved numerous thousand of identical complaints from the public concerning the above service providers and numbers.

Some if not all had been under Icstis "investigation" from the 1st Jan 2004 onwards.

BT were still insisting the bills were legal and continued billing into 2005.

Who now believe they were the victim of a "[problem]"?

 

p.s. I contacted Telecom One in 2005 and suggested "considering the high level of complaint" they should return my money. They were only too pleased to.

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buzby could you please explain what you mean.

I particulally interested in the "participant" part.

 

The trouble is, as a participant in the [problem], you bore a responsibility to ensure that your computer did not download the dialler, and a failure to do this left your line vulnerable.

 

thanks

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buzby,

 

Your comments are certainly ill-considered and arguably ill-mannered!

 

 

goodwill,

 

I am not sure that issuing of the originals bills alone would amount to a breach of the Act. But, if BT continued to pursue customers for payment after ICSTIS closed down the lines for fraud then that may well place BT in breach of the Act.

 

What happened in your family's case? Did you pay the bill?

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Therm: Ill mannered, moi? They are certainly not ill-considered. But then, I wasn't writing for your benefit. Chill out man.

 

Goodwill, the 'participation' refers to that fact that your PC through a failing in its security, made calls to a service that made money from those who did not take precautions. It is already well established that anyone who does not take precautions is just as culpable as if they dialled the caulls themselves... saying "My PC did it" is not a defence.

 

You would not be liable for call costs if someone intercepted your line external to your premises and ran up a bill. If you left your front door open and they used your telephone socket, you would be. This is precisely the situation with the PC, you effectively left the front door open. Whether BT benefited from it is irrewlevant. that's a matter for the regulators and the contract BT has with its suppliers, your issue is far more basic. A judge could reasonably ask;

 

1) If you have no need to call Premium Rated numbers, did you not ask BT to block these call attempts from your line (a free service) if you felt worried that your phone bill could spiral out of control.

2) If not, why not?

3) What measures did you take to prevent your PC being infected with a trojan file that would effectively make premium rated calls on your account?

4) If not, why not?

 

I dislike the idea of ANY telephone number being used to generate income for any third party over and above the connection costs. However, it was not my decision, and I took precaution to ensure it would not happen. Since dialler scams have been running since 1998, I think that's more than enough notice for people to take action to protect themselves. Failure to take such actain means they have a duty of care to themselves, not try and pass the buck on to a suppler that was only indirectly involved.

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goodwill,

 

I am not sure that issuing of the originals bills alone would amount to a breach of the Act. But, if BT continued to pursue customers for payment after ICSTIS closed down the lines for fraud then that may well place BT in breach of the Act.

 

What happened in your family's case? Did you pay the bill?

Hi Thermometer.

It's a long story and I will be brief. I payed the bill bar the part Iwanted to dispute. BT disconnected all out going calls and left a recorded message to their victims service desk.

My wife discovered this when she tried to check on my daughter who has MS. She panicked and paid the bill over the phone.

 

When I discovered this I decided to investigate the scale of the problem.

Some of my findings are on post#8.

I contacted the company BT had their billing agreement with (Telecom One Ltd) and "suggested" they returned the money because of the serious nature and true scale of complaint. They returned it. They didn't appear too happy to go to court.

Immediately after the cheque was cashed I sent my findings to a producer of the BBC The Money Programme. He thanked me for "unlocking" the story.

BBC NEWS | Business | The Great Phone Call Con

 

Here's a piece from Jeffrey Robinson a renowned expert on fraud and money laundering.

Neil Herron: Investigation: This man wants to hit BT with a baseball bat

 

 

Now buzby, really.

It is already well established that anyone who does not take precautions is just as culpable as if they dialled the caulls themselves...
Where are you getting it from? Who "established" it? Who told you this? Did you read it somewhere? Where? BT maybe :) .

 

BT is a private company. BT is solely responsible for their billing platform. It is the responsibility of BT, the service provider/carrier (they have the billing agreement with) and the regulators to ensure the billing practices and "goods or services" they intend billing for comply with existing UK consumer/criminal law.

 

Under existing law the onus of proof that a legal sales agreement and agreement to purchase has been entered into is solely on the supplier.

If BT want to claim on behalf of that supplier that the bills are legal and must be paid the onus is on BT to prove:

The customer agreed to purchase. Was the customer aware of the service?

The customer agreed that price. Did the customer see the price?

The "goods or services" actually existed and were fit for purpose. Did any of the tens of thousands of people who complained actually recieve any "internet service" that remotely complied with UK consumer law?

 

The fact members of the public may not have the most up to date virus protection does not affect their basic consumer rights.

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Why continue to go round in circles? Just answer the questiuons raised!

Did your PC make the calls? Just as you are expected to take control of your children and be responsible for them, how is it you have no responsibility to ensure your PC is similarly well-behaved?

 

If I was a BT Shareholder, I'd be first in line to demand that you paid the bill you ran up, and suggest you take full control of a device that tried to access your phone line without your knowledge. Why should BT have to monitor each and every call you make to be sure it's legitimate and you really wanted to make the call?

 

Sorry - if you have a car, you take responsibilities for your actions whilst behinf the wheel. It's no different for a PC and a keyboard. If you don't take the precautions, you pay the price or suffer the consequence. Bullying unconnected third parties because of your failings (to my mind) smacks of a cop-out, and for all this 'legal sales agreement' stuff, you enter into a binding agreement when you made the call - or the machinery controlled and maintained by you did. Why is that so difficult to comprehend? Should the matter come to court, your culpability would be the first to be explored, and the fact you're blaming everyone else but yourself!

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Why continue to go round in circles? Just answer the questiuons raised!

Did your PC make the calls?

I asked it last night if it had been surfing porn sites behind my back and it wouldn't tell me.

Just as you are expected to take control of your children and be responsible for them, how is it you have no responsibility to ensure your PC is similarly well-behaved?
I guess it's just got into the wrong crowd. But if BT has any suspiscion it's been involved in any criminallity it should report it to the police.

If I was a BT Shareholder, I'd be first in line to demand that you paid the bill you ran up, and suggest you take full control of a device that tried to access your phone line without your knowledge.
I would say go boil your head or see me in court.

Why should BT have to monitor each and every call you make to be sure it's legitimate and you really wanted to make the call?
There's the problem, they should do, it's called operating a billing platform.

Sorry - if you have a car, you take responsibilities for your actions whilst behinf the wheel. It's no different for a PC and a keyboard. If you don't take the precautions, you pay the price or suffer the consequence.

If the honesty of BT's billing platform relies on every computer in the UK having the most upto date virus protection then I suggest the problm lies with BT's billing platform.

Bullying unconnected third parties because of your failings (to my mind) smacks of a cop-out, and for all this 'legal sales agreement' stuff, you enter into a binding agreement when you made the call - or the machinery controlled and maintained by you did.
Bullying? It wasn't me that said give me the money or I'll cut your wires.

Telecom One had a revenue sharing agreement with their Majorcan service providers to carry the services.

Telecom One had a revenue generating agreement with BT to bill those services.

Show me this "binding agreement".

Why is that so difficult to comprehend? Should the matter come to court, your culpability would be the first to be explored, and the fact you're blaming everyone else but yourself!
Yes, why were BT so reluctant to chase the "bad debts" in court. Were they chicken. Why did they decide to sell the "debts" to NCO?

 

Buzby if you google "bad debt surcharge" with "BT" you may discover that Ofcom and the EU commission accept that BT will have problems billing the public for UK premium rate services because they have no agreement with the public concerning the services.

The only agreement that exists (if in fact there ever was one) is between the customer (me) and the "service provider" who is marketing and promoting the service.

Now that would make it rather difficult for BT in court.

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I have to agree with Buzby here, and GW I do not think you are gaining any kind of credence by your rather stupid answers to valid questions. I fail to understand why you feel that you are not liable for the bill. YES, you should be able to then claim against the person or persons responsible, but this is not BTs responsibility, it is your own. Ignorance is no defence to the law, and you clearly have a legal obligation to pay this bill.

 

And I do not understand what kind of "agreement" you are talking about that BT needs with the public. BT have an agreement with the customers to provide phone services in return for fees for those services. What other agreement does it need?

 

GW, do not get me wrong, I sympathise with your position, and yes I do feel you have been wronged. However, I believe there are fundamental flaws in both your position and your attitude with regards to it:

 

- You are picking the fight with the wrong third party.

 

- You have to accept that at least SOME(albeit maybe small) of the responsibility lies with your failure to see that the number had been changed.

 

- I am disappointed with the fact that you post on a public forum, and then proceed to show a complete lack of respect for any point of view that happens to not be the same as yours. Disagreeing is one thing, but you basically seem to hold the opinion that Buzby has no right to hold the view he does.

 

Either way, I wish you luck.

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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I've not much to add - you don't answer my questions with anything that would question your culpability in the matter. As for feeling it is BTs responsibility to monitor your line usage - I'd call that interference, in much the same way I'm penalised bt firms (including BT) for removing my right to pay them by any reasonable means - they want access to my bank account and charge me more if I refuse.

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utter rubbish buzby.

i asked you where you were getting this rubbish from

it appears the same place as mrshed

 

I have to agree with Buzby here, and GW I do not think you are gaining any kind of credence by your rather stupid answers to valid questions.

An illegal trojan dialler does not represent in any way or form part of a legally binding ageement to purchase in the UK.

If you and buzy can't understand that you should not be giving advice on this forum

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I thought of an analogy I think suits :)

 

To me, it is not dissimilar to if someone does a "hit and run" on your third party only insured car. Was it your fault? No. Is it as a result of an illegal act? Yes. Do you have to pay for the damage? Yes. Not fair, but c'est la vie. But it would be equally unfair to then get the car repaired at a garage, and refuse to pay the bill because the damage was caused by someone else. Do you see my point? There are subtle differences, and it would maybe be nice to see BT give some form of goodwill gesture, but overall I think legally they are right, and I understand them sticking to their guns.

 

And you are welcome, as I say a bit of a crappy situation you are in, and I understand that!

7 years in retail customer service

 

Expertise in letting and rental law for 6 years

 

By trade - I'm an IT engineer working in the housing sector.

 

Please note that any posts made by myself are for information only and should not and must not be taken as correct or factual. If in doubt, consult with a solicitor or other person of equal legal standing.

 

Please click the star if I have helped!!

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Yes your right MrShed and thanks for wishing me luck. May be my response was unneccessary.

I appologise Buzby.

 

No probs - I fully understand your frustration, but I also knew of the issues, and aware of the many attempts to make BT accountable for this. I find this part unfair, as BT had no choice but to offer these services, being a decision made by OFTEL (now OFCOM), and then they stand back and watch folk have their PC's hijacked.

 

Within months of these scams arriving OFCOM should have set up bonds and protections so that people like you who were caught, had some right of redress - but they didn't. Indeed I've heard tell some folk set up similar scams where they got their OWN 090 numbers and got folk to dial the number and leave the phone off the hook, simply to generate revenue. By the time the [problem] was revealed, BT or the Telco organising the revenue split had been paid out before the fraud was detected.

 

If you want support for banning permium rate numbers, I'm there - but in all conscience the 'it wasn't me but my computer' just doesn't work for me! :D

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BBC NEWS | Business | The Great Phone Call Con

The group of Majorcan "service providers" identified on post#8 were using 3,500 Telecom One premium rate numbers. 0909967****

 

Many (if not all) had been under Icstis investigation from 1st Jan 2004 onwards

 

This Guardian article, from Saturday July 3, 2004.

The numbers racket costing you a fortune | The Guardian | Guardian Unlimited

A few days ago, I received my monthly phone bill from cable company NTL. We don't use the net much, and I was shocked to see I was being billed £26 for internet calls instead of the usual £3 or £4. I immediately looked down the list of numbers and noticed two I'd never seen before. They were both 09099 numbers - one call, lasting just under 13 minutes, cost £19.53, and the other, lasting just over a minute, £1.83.

 

I then went to Icstis. I gave them the two 09099 numbers on my bill and they revealed there had been 25 or more complaints about each since the end of May. They were able to disclose the name and address of the people behind one of the numbers - a company based in a European holiday hotspot.

Much as I would like to name and shame these scumbags, Icstis begged me to keep schtum because it is still investigating. Identifying the company could jeopardise the chances of nabbing them. I wasn't impressed to learn that my tormentors lease their line from a leading UK telecommunications firm.

 

I contacted him some time go and was told the European hot spot was Majorca and the number belonged to Telecom One.

If you look on the list in the article none of the Majorcan service providers are mentioned.

Icstis claimed they didn't want them being tipped off.

The one's that were mentioned were under investigation why didn't Icstis mind those one's that were only using a comparitively few numbers being tipped off?

Icstis had already put the Majocan names on it's web site and was advising victims to write to them to ask for refunds.

Didn't they realise this would tip them off? What was the real reason Icstis did not want the Majorcan service providers and Telecom One numbers identified in the press?

Was it because Icstis was cocerned that the media may discover the scale of the fraud this group were involved in?

 

Another thing to notice. The Icstis spokeperson claimed each number had recieved at least 25 complaints that month.

Assuming each number was programmed into similar dialler software, how many complaints would Icstis and BT have recieved for all 3,500 numbers for just that month alone?

 

Just for the record. buzby and Mrshed really dont know what they are talking about. Regarding mis-selling or fraud concerning the use of illegal dialler software (rogue diallers). The victims have the same consumer/ criminal protection has in any other market place where mis-selling or fraud is being committed.

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So did BT infringe the POCA act in 2004.

Was the money "dirty"?

Did they have any reason to believe the money was dirty?

 

High-tech cops probe premium-rate Internet fraud - ZDNet UK

High-tech cops probe premium-rate Internet fraud

 

 

Published: 23 Jun 2004

However, when ICSTIS investigates these complaints, it often finds that the companies concerned appear to be conforming to ICSTIS' standards, according to Suhil Baht, policy advisor at ICSTIS. This has led the regulator to turn to the NHTCU.

"If it's only a few cases, then we can put it down to the husband or kids not admitting to surfing porn, but if 300 customers are saying the same thing about one company, then we can't ignore it," said Baht. "We can't work out what the problem is, so have recently started talking to the Hi-Tech Crime Unit so they can do a criminal investigation."

A spokesperson for the NHTCU confirmed that it is in the "early stages of the investigation". One possible cause being examined is Trojan viruses installing diallers onto the computers of unsuspecting users.

The half a dozen "service providers" involved in my case were using 3,500 numbers. Icstis had recieved many thousands of complaints concerning each one.

Were Icstis misleading the media when they said 300? Or were they trying to protect the Majorcan companies?

Did they report the Majorcan case that represented 20% of all dialler related complaints to the police?

Did Icstis supply the identities of the Majorcan companies to the police?

Did they make them aware of the 3,500 premium rate numbers and the thousands of complaints they were recieving?

Did they tell the police that despite the high level of complaint they were un-aware of the content of the "internet services" or how the services were being promoted and marketed?

 

Well I don't know, basically I am unable to obtain a response from the police.

 

There is something else that left a stink.

 

The Majorcan gang were using 3,500 revenue sharing premium rate numbers supplied by Telecom One ltd.

 

The BBC Money Programme has identified one of the chief suspects in the rogue dialler scandal in an investigation into telecom fraud.

 

He is Danish businessman Morten Sondergaard Pedersen, 38, director of Premium Media Communications (PMC) and Sun Telecom, two firms based at the same address in Majorca.

In 1997 Morten Sondergaard Pedersen was a dircetor of Telecom One.
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The Great Icstis Con

(Icstis are sponsered by the Premium Rate Industry)

 

These are the main Majorcan "service providers":-

 

Premium Media Comunications SL

Cala De Plata SL

Inversion Zarnosa SL

Quizir SL

Amara Amichi 2000 SL

Ibero Latino De Telecomuniccaciones

Mesa Rotation SL

 

that targeted the thousands of victims in this BBC program using 3,500 Telecom One premium rate numbers.

The Great Phone Call Con

BBC NEWS | Business | The Great Phone Call Con

They accounted for 20% of all complaints throughout 2004.

 

This is what Icstis said at the time

High-tech cops probe premium-rate Internet fraud - ZDNet UK

However, when ICSTIS investigates these complaints, it often finds that the companies concerned appear to be conforming to ICSTIS' standards, according to Suhil Baht, policy advisor at ICSTIS.
Ofcom case from 2005.

CW/00833/04/05

ICSTIS complaint regarding failure of Telecom One to comply with Directions | Ofcom

ICSTIS complaint regarding failure of Telecom One to comply with Directions

Complainant: The Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services ("ICSTIS")

Complaint against: Telecom One Ltd ("Telecom One")

Case opened: 17 May 2005

Issue: ICSTIS, the premium rate services regulator, has alleged that Telecom One Limited ("Telecom One") has failed to comply with Directions made by ICSTIS under its Code of Practice and that, as such, Telecom One is in breach of the condition made by Ofcom under section 120 of the Communications Act 2003 ("the Act") for the purpose of regulating the provision, content, promotion and marketing of premium rate services ("the PRS Condition").

Relevant instrument: Section 120 of the Communications Act 2003

Under the PRS Condition made by Ofcom under Section 120 of the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom requires that Communication Providers comply with Directions given by ICSTIS. ICSTIS is responsible for regulating the content, promotion and overall operation of premium rate services in the UK . ICSTIS does this through its Code of Practice ("the ICSTIS Code").

ICSTIS issued Directions to Telecom One in respect of four service providers on 11 January 2005 , 3 February 2005 , 9 February 2005 and 14 February 2005 . Directions in respect of three service providers were invoked under ICSTIS's emergency procedure. ICSTIS alleges that Telecom One provided inadequate, incomplete or late responses to its Directions. ICSTIS submitted correspondence between it and Telecom One as supporting evidence.

Given the substantive supporting evidence submitted by ICSTIS in respect of its complaint, Ofcom considers it is appropriate for it to investigate these matters further.

 

Case closed: 16 September 2005

Ofcom's investigation has found that Telecom One did provide late responses to the Directions that had been issued by ICSTIS. However, all of these Directions have now been complied with, and the premium rate services that were being operated on Telecom One's network have been ceased. In addition, Ofcom's found no evidence of any material consumer detriment as a result of the delay by Telecom One in responding to the ICSTIS Directions. For these reasons, Ofcom has closed its investigation.

Email from Icstis :

Thank you for your email of the 5 October 2006 inquiring about Ofcom case reference CW/00833/04/05.

 

This Ofcom case arose following ICSTIS’ referral to them of network operator Telecom One. The service providers, to whom this Ofcom case refers, are: Massalia Telecom, Adventive Media and World Travel. The fourth referral mentions various service providers of dialler services, including:

 

o Premium Media

o Cala De Plata

o Inversion Zarnosa

o Quizir

o Amara Amichi

o Ibero, and

o Mesa Rotation

"However, when ICSTIS investigates these complaints, it often finds that the companies concerned appear to be conforming to ICSTIS' standards"

anyone recognise any names?

The Great Phone Call Con

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Am I correct in thinking that ICSTIS powers in these matters relate to the network providers (Telecom One in this case) and not the Service Providers?

 

I appreciate that there is often an historic or even 'nepotistic' link between network providers and service providers but proving any fault lies with the network provider can be difficult.

 

Maybe more powers need to be given to allow the service provders to be brought to task (though this may be difficult for overseas-based companies)

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Am I correct in thinking that ICSTIS powers in these matters relate to the network providers (Telecom One in this case) and not the Service Providers?
Not quite. Icstis has only ever regulated the "service provider" for the content and promotion of the service.

In this case that would have been the Majorcan companies.

They are also responsible for ensuring any dialler used to market that service is compliant with their code.(but this was only re-introduced in Aug 2004)

 

Telecom One would have been considered a "carrier" and regulated by Ofcom.

It may be the case today that Icstis may consider Telecom One to also have been responsible for supplying the "service" (I'm not sure).

 

Icstis Powers to investigate and regulate.

 

Well, despite what they claimed in the media at the time it appears they had little or no powers.

The DTI (I think) refused Icstis the power to obtain the identities of the service providers that had agreements with the UK Telecom companies.

Hence the above Ofcom case.

 

So why did the DTI decide the Industry should be policed by a regulator with so few powers?

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I think you are right of course, ICSTIS can oversee the Service Providers. But I think the argument the service providers have, is that they then issue premium rate numbers to other companies (content providers) whom they cannot really control.

 

I think ICSTIS have control over the service provider but not the content provider. So, a content provider may be the one responsible for the dialler software but ICSTIS can only fine the service provider for mis-use of the premium rate number.

 

I have no doubt that in some cases that the service provider and content provider are effectively the same. Do you have any evidence that is the case here?

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