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BW Telecom Tricked Users Into Large Losses

A US company has been fined $75,000 after 900 people complained to a UK watchdog about the company sending pornographic spam that launched a premium rate dialer.

The UK’s Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services (ICSTIS) received the complaints about BW Telecom Web users who believed they had been tricked into launching the dialer.

The emails contained pornographic images and if users clicked on a link in the email, their phone line would automatically be connected at a premium rate of $1.50 per minute. BW Telecom did not inform users about the premium rate dialer, and one victim complained of receiving a phone bill for $200.

Closing the browser or moving to another site wasn’t enough to end the phone call. To end the call, users had to completely disconnect from the Internet. The site was also set up with a dummy ‘X’, so users attempting to close the site would actually launch it.

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