The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has announced that two people who sent out millions of spam text messages will be fined more than £250,000.
The as yet unnamed pair, who worked for the same company, sent out texts pushing compensation for mis-sold payment protection insurance or accidents that have never happened.
This is the first time the ICO has issued a monetary penalty notice.
The pair now have 28 days to prove they were complying with the law or else face fines totalling more than £250,000.
A further eight companies are also under investigation for spam texting and could face similar penalties. The ICO says that 30,000 spam calls or texts have been reported in the last six months alone.
Simon Entwistle, director of operations at the ICO, said: “This is an important step that shows those who blatantly break the law will be in line for a sizeable six figure penalty from the ICO.”
The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations bar sending marketing texts or making automated calls unless the recipient has given specific permission to receive them.
Earlier this year the Consumer Credit Counselling Service started a campaign to stop spam texts, urging people to tweet with the hashtag #debttext whenever they received one. You can read more about the campaign in Help us to stop spam texts.
If you receive a spam text, you should report them to your network provider. Many have a special number you can forward them on to.
You can also complain directly to the Information Commissioner on the helpline on 0303 123 1113 or email email@example.com.