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Payday loans company fined for mass spam texting – Credit Today

Payday loans company, First Financial, has been charged with a £175,000 penalty by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for sending millions of unlawful spam texts.

The investigation by the ICO was launched after 4,031 complaints were made against messages sent from numbers found belonging to First Financial.

In accordance with the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR), which governs electronic marketing, organisations are required to obtain an individual’s permission before sending marketing messages by text.

Some of the messages in question claimed to be from the recipient’s friends, reading: “Hi Mate hows u? I’m still out in town, just got £850 in my account from these guys www.firstpaydayloanuk.co.uk.”

Messages such as this resulted in separate regulatory actions from the Advertising Standards Authority.

Simon Entwisle, ICO director of operations, said: “People are fed up with this menace and they are not willing to be bombarded with nuisance calls and text messages at all times of the day trying to get them to sign up to high interest loans.”

The spam-texts were sent through un-registered SIM cards, commonly used to avoid detection.

Each message had similar content and referred the recipients to a website used by First Financial.

The penalty followed the prosecution of the company’s former sole director, Hamed Shabani, in October 2013 after he failed to notify the ICO of First Financial’s processing of personal information.

Despite trying to claim he had no affiliation with the company, Shabani was fined £1,180.66.

Entwisle added: “The fact that this individual tried to distance himself from the unlawful activities of his company shows the kind of individuals we’re dealing with here.

“We are currently speaking with the government to get the legal bar lowered, allowing us to take action at a much earlier stage.”

See more here:
Payday loans company fined for mass spam texting – Credit Today

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