Bogus agencies continue to plague businesses

The Information Commissioner is warning Personnel Today readers not to be
mislead by bogus agencies who continue to send notices demanding money to
register under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA).

Personnel Today has highlighted the issue several times, but it seems HR professionals
are still being scammed.

Fake data protection agencies, posing as official government bodies, are
sending out letters requesting up to £135 to register under the DPA.

They often use threatening language and are printed on official-looking
headed notepaper.

However, the statutory fee for notification is actually just £35 a year and
businesses that need to do so should go directly to Information Commissioner’s
Office (ICO).

Information Commissioner, Richard Thomas, said: "The golden rule is
that if you suddenly receive a letter demanding more than £35 to register under
the DPA, it is a scam.

"Our simple message to businesses is to throw the letter in the bin and
not to pay the fee demanded. My office receives more than 2,000 calls per month
from anxious businesses.

"Although I do not have the powers to take action against these
agencies myself, I continue to work with the relevant authorities to explore
possible legal action," he added.

Personnel Today and sister magazine, Occupational Health, were sent ‘urgent’
notices warning that we were not in the records of the ‘Data Protection
Agency’, and were asked to pay £135.

We declined their offer.

For further advice on registering under the Data Protection Act, GO TO www.personneltoday.com/goto/24132

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