A claims spam company from Blackburn has been fined £250,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) after making over 17.5 million nuisance calls.
Check Point Claims had harassed people illegally with automated calls encouraging them to claim compensation for job-related hearing loss.
The ICO launched its investigation after receiving 248 complaints.
Head of Enforcement Stephen Eckersley said: “Nuisance calls are bad enough, but picking up the phone to a recorded message can be the most frustrating and intrusive thing of all. That’s why the law is so strict – it’s there to protect consumers and in practice it’s very difficult to make a legal automated marketing call.”
Eckersley added: “If you get one, report it. If you’re making one, beware. We will take action.”
Automated calls are only permitted if the companies have received prior permission from those receiving the calls, and the companies are also obliged to identify themselves within the message. Check Point Claims did neither.
It did, however, instigate 17,565,690 automated marketing calls between March and September 2015, of which 6,388,122 were connected.
The company has since gone into liquidation, as with many of these pop-up spammers. The ICO acknowledged that this creates a challenge in recovering the fine, but it is reportedly "committed to making the most of the UK's insolvency regime to pursue money owed".
Eckersley added: “We will do everything within our power to recover fines on behalf of taxpayers and those millions of people who have been hounded by unwanted calls. Even companies that have stopped trading or try to get themselves struck off cannot escape because we will use all means available to chase the debt.” ®