A lead generation firm that made more than a million unsolicited calls offering to write off people’s debts has been fined £120,000.

South Wales-based Oxygen Ltd, which made the automated marketing calls, played a recorded message to each recipient saying it was a government awareness call offering to write off debt. The calls gave no indication as to who they were from and the recorded message stated: “This is a government awareness call. If you are struggling to pay your debts of £5,000 or more, you can now have up to 70 per cent legally written off for free.” The message continued “That’s right all of your debt written off for free. – Press five now to speak to our specialist team or press nine to opt out.”

After an initial 214 complaints from the public, an ICO investigation discovered the company had made more than one million automated calls, without people’s consent, during April 2015. Oxygen was responsible for the marketing campaign and used another company to make the calls.

Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO, said: “This is a classic example of a company that has ignored the regulations.

“Companies making recorded marketing calls like this need permission, and need to be clear who is making the calls. Oxygen Ltd did neither, and even falsely implied they were part of a government campaign.”

He added: “If they thought they could avoid detection by paying a separate company to make the calls, or by presenting the calls as coming from a mobile phone number, they were mistaken.” “The public complained about these calls, and we have acted.”

“This should be a lesson to all businesses. If you set up a marketing campaign, it falls to you to provide proof of consent for every automated call made, and to identify your business as the company making the calls.”

Source: http://www.credittoday.co.uk/article/18080/online-news/lead-generator-fined-after-offering-to-write-off-personal-debts