GSMA spam reporting service sees ICO raid SIM farm

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Raid took place earlier this week backed up by intelligence from consumers who reported messages to 7726 number

The Information Commissioners Office says that information from the GSMA’s spam reporting service led to a raid on a SIM farm that had spammed hundreds of thousands of consumers.

Enforcement officers raid business premises in Wolverhampton and seized equipment they say may have been used to send as many as one million nuisance text messages. The officers took computer equipment and paperwork from the address and also searched a residential address as part of their investigation.

ICO enforcement manager Andy Curry said that intelligence which led to the raid was backed up by users reporting messages to the 7726 spam reporting service, a partnership between the GSMA, mobile operators and analytics firm Cloudmark.

“This shows why reporting messages to us and your mobile network operator is so crucial. Without the reports we got through the 7726 system, we wouldn’t have been able to carry out this raid today,” he said.

Cloudmark has previously reported that more than 100 million spam text messages are now being sent in the UK every month, with that figure set to top one billion annually for the first time this year.

The ICO only has the power to raid offices and impose fines, something which it thinks is sufficient deterrent, but says that it would like the threshold at which it can act against offenders lowered.

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