In The News - Press response to
my campaign against phone scams

30 Jun 2004
I'm delighted that the media is responding so widely to my demands for more and better action against the scourge of 'phone scams' - the variety of ways in which my constituents and phone companies are being defrauded through unwanted and unintended calls to 'premium rate lines'. Below are are just a few examples of coverage this week.

You can read my parliamentary speech at http://www.sirgeorgeyoung.org.uk/News/pnewsitem.cfm?newsid=1804.

MPs slam premium-rate 'criminal scams'
MPs have warned that some premium rate phone services are little more than a "criminal scam" designed to rip off innocent people. What's more, they're concerned that premium rate regulator, ICSTIS, might not be up to the task of regulating an industry that continues to allow people to be conned.

'Rogue diallers' hack computers
Internet users are being robbed by a computer virus which makes them repeatedly dial premium-rate phone lines, MPs warned today. Sir George Young (Conservative MP for North West Hampshire) and Derek Wyatt (Labour MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey) have called a debate in parliament tomorrow.
(More at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/06/28/mps_icstis/)

Hi-Tech Swindlers Fleece Internet Users
By Andrew Woodcock, Political Correspondent, PA News, in The Scotsman:

Internet users are being fleeced by hi-tech swindlers who infect their computers with a virus which makes them repeatedly dial expensive premium-rate phone lines, MPs warned today. The so-called “rogue diallers” can rack up large profits from the automatic calls and the first their unsuspecting victims know about it is when grossly inflated phone bills land on their doormats. Conservative MP Sir George Young (North West Hampshire) and Labour’s Derek Wyatt (Sittingbourne & Sheppey) have called a debate in Parliament to highlight the issue and try to get action taken.
(More at http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3126782)

MPs Demand Crackdown on Internet Dialling Scams
By Nick Mead, Political Staff, PA News (in The Scotsman)

MPs today called on the Government, BT and telecommunications regulators to crack down on internet scams which leave customers with huge bills for premium rate phone calls they did not know they were making. Customers have been landed with bills of up to £1,000 after rogue diallers have installed themselves on their computers – making the computer call a premium rate number instead of its regular internet service provider. Some diallers install themselves without the user realising and then call 090 premium rate numbers in the UK or more expensive international premium rate numbers in places such as the West African island state of Sao Tome.

In a debate in Westminster Hall, Conservative MP Sir George Young (NW Hampshire) said that premium rate watchdog, the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Systems (Icstis), was “drowning under the wave of complaints”, with 19,000 cases currently under investigation. With 2,000 calls a day from angry internet users who have been ripped off, the regulator’s helpline was “in meltdown” and many people trying to complain cannot get through, he said.
(More at http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3139699)

'Rogue diallers' hack computers
(Guardian Unlimited)

Internet users are being robbed by a computer virus which makes them repeatedly dial premium-rate phone lines, MPs warned today. Sir George Young (Conservative MP for North West Hampshire) and Derek Wyatt (Labour MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey) have called a debate in parliament tomorrow. "We both have constituents who have been billed for calls they have never made, because a virus has been installed on their computer which dials a premium rate number," they said.

"We have other cases where folk have clicked a pop-up box without being told they would be landed with a sizeable bill for the call. We believe there is a criminal scam going on here, and we are concerned that the regulatory mechanism may be inadequate for the task."
(more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/story/0,3604,1248950,00.html)

Internet phone scam
(Yesterday in Parliament - The Guardian)
MPs urged the government, BT and telecommunications regulators to crack down on internet scams which leave customers with huge bills for premium rate phone calls they did not know they were making. Customers have been landed with bills of up to £1,000 after rogue diallers have installed themselves on their computers - making the computer call a premium rate number instead of its regular internet service provider.

Tory former cabinet minister Sir George Young said premium rate watchdog, the independent committee for the supervision of standards of telephone information systems, was "drowning under the wave of complaints". Communications minister Stephen Timms called on the industry to "clean up its act". He said: "It is a problem we are taking very seriously and the industry needs to take it very seriously as well."
(http://politics.guardian.co.uk/commons/story/0,9061,1250602,00.html)

 
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