Crawley firm slapped with £250k fine after sending millions of nuisance text messages

A Crawley fim has been fined £250k after bombarding customers with millions of nuisance text messages.

Friday, 5th March 2021, 12:59 pm

The ICO – the UK’s independent body set up to uphold information rights – fined Leads Works Ltd after the firm sent more than 2.6 million nuisance text messages to customers without their valid consent.

The messages, sent between 16 May and 26 June 2020, resulted in more than 10,000 complaints, the ICO said.

Andy Curry, ICO Head of Investigations, added: “The number of complaints we’ve had from members of the public who have been affected in this case far exceeds any we’ve seen to date – showing just how annoyed and frustrated people were by these messages.

Texting (stock pic)
Texting (stock pic)

“Leads Works Ltd sought to capitalise on the pandemic by sending a significant number of unwanted text messages relating to, and directly referencing, lockdown when the population was at its most vulnerable.”

Examples of the messages sent include: “In lockdown and want to earn extra cash? Avon is now FULLY ONLINE, FREE to do and paid weekly. Reply with your name for info. 18+ only. Text STOP to opt out.”

The ICO’s investigation found Avon did not send or instigate the text messages.

Leads Works Ltd has also been issued with an enforcement notice by the ICO, ordering it to stop sending unlawful direct marketing messages.