Eleven companies have been barred from running premium rate internet dialler services as part of a crackdown on scammers ripping off UK punters.
Another 33 companies also face the chop after premium rate watchdog ICSTIS used emergency powers to tackle the growing problem of rogue diallers, which hijack people's computers and run up huge phone bills.
ICSTIS has dictated that all companies running internet dialler services must be licensed. If not, ICSTIS says it will shut them down.
George Kidd, ICSTIS director, said: "We have only granted permission to those companies that satisfy our stringent requirements, covering key areas such as clear terms and conditions, user consent, information about how to delete diallers, and responsibility for customer refunds. Any company we find running a dialler without our permission will be cut off immediately."
Kidd called on telcos to be more aware of the problem and to issue premium rate numbers only if operators are licensed by ICSTIS.
"They also have a duty to carry out thorough checks on those they give numbers to and to look at the speed at which they pass money on to them. Billing phone companies have the systems to identify suspicious call patterns and should take action before their customers unknowingly run up huge bills," he said. ®
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