readers have contacted us to report what they say is a scam trying to cash in on the Data Protection Act.
Readers slammed material they have received from a firm calling itself The Data Collection Enforcement Agency, which is being investigated by Trading Standards officers.
The company charges £95 plus VAT to register firms with the Information Commission. The official fee is just £35.
Businesses are urged to complete a four-page form and send it, with a cheque, to a PO Box in Southport. They are also asked to use their own stamps to send the forms.
The mailshot contains a statement: "You will be obliged to comply with the legally enforceable data protection principles, and develop your own codes of practise [sic].
"Once your cheque reaches us we will register you with the Notification Department, and provide you with helpful documentation for developing your codes of practice, under the legislation set within the 1998 Data Protection Act."
There is no reference to the number of exemptions contained in the Act, and the mailings carry no disclaimer warning that The Data Collection Enforcement Agency is not a government agency.
Southport Trading Standards Officers told vnunet.com [today] Monday that they were investigating the matter.
Recently, a similar firm, Data Protection Registration Services, was slammed for its spam campaign. It was called misleading, selective and "likely to frighten recipients" by the Advertising Standards Authority.
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