Data protection scamsters stopped in their tracks

Terrible twosome told to stop trying to con businesses

Terrible twosome told to stop trying to con businesses

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has taken action to stop two people mailing out misleading adverts which could con the unwary into shelling out £95 for a bogus data protection registration scheme. The OFT has obtained assurances from two sole traders, Chris Yewdall of Baguley, Manchester and Finbar Fox of Lytham St Anne's, Lancashire, both trading separately under the name Data Protection Agency, that they will no longer issue their misleading advertisements. The OFT considered both advertisements misleading because they gave the impression that they came from official bodies and that the businesses receiving them were under a legal obligation to register with the sender immediately at a cost of £95. They also failed to explain properly which persons were exempt from notification. The action against the two traders follows court injunctions obtained earlier this year against DPARS Ltd of Manchester and Gary McNeish (both also trading as Data Protection Act Registration Service) and Data Protection Agency Services Ltd of Southport (also trading as Data Collection Enforcement Agency) and their director Michael Sullivan to prevent similar misleading advertising for data protection notification services. While most businesses processing personal data are required by law to notify the Information Commissioner, the fee is only £35 and many small businesses that process personal data for limited purposes are not required to notify. Businesses can notify the Information Commissioner directly. John Vickers, director general of Fair Trading, said: "Businesses should be cautious about this type of mailing. If in doubt, contact the Information Commissioner."