Rogue diallers are a problem for dial-up internet users as they change the number from a free or low cost ISP to a higher rate provider, which can lead to huge phone bills if directed through a premium line.
Action taken by the phone companies has limited calls to premium rate numbers, but the software's creators are increasingly turning to 07 and 087 numbers which offer lower returns but are not regulated.
Ofcom has now issued a consultation document outlining proposals to deal with the new threat by regulating diallers as part of its control of premium number services.
"Ofcom's proposals are based on growing evidence of consumer harm arising
from rogue dialler services using 08 numbers, and in particular 087 numbers, in
an attempt to evade the Premium Rate Services regulatory regime," said the
"Ofcom considers that there is a need to address these issues urgently so that consumers are adequately protected from the potential for consumer detriment arising from rogue dialler software on numbers other than 09."
The regulations will not, however, apply to ISPs using such lines as a pay-as-you-go service, nor to calls made from mobile phones. This is being reviewed over the next year and control may be extended here as well.
Ofcom is taking submissions on the document until 5pm on Monday 22 December.
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