A company that facilitated a phone subscription scam received from a UK watchdog a record £600,000 fine.
Veoo supplied companies that signed individuals up to subscription services without their expertise with billing and messaging platforms. Eight firms that had earlier signed agreements with Veoo had been punished.
The scam has been investigated by the Regulator Phone-paid Services Authority (PSA) since 2017. The companies involved charged between £ 2.50 and £ 4.50 a week to unwitting customers for subscriptions to a range of services, including games, videos and adult content.
Consumers reported having no knowledge of signing up, but they will receive a text message that reads something along the lines of: “FreeMsg: U subscribed for £ 4.50 a month to the Comp House contest until you send a stop to 82225.”
The message was thought by most individuals to be spam and overlooked.
The companies asserted to have either “pushed a key” to a laptop or phone in an internet contest or to sign up for the services in reaction to the phone message. The PSA got over 800 service complaints and they were all fined without permission for charging customers.
By facilitating the operation of these services, Veoo generated more than £ 335,000. PSA Chief Executive Joanne Prowse said: “This is an important case that sets a significant market precedent and advances customer interest.
“Our tribunal found clear evidence that Veoo knowingly failed in its due diligence, risk assessment and control procedures, which enabled consumer harm to take place, and that it provided the regulator with false information. “The message is clear: do business responsibly and don’t seek to mislead the regulator or face significant sanctions.”
Article originally featured by BBC.