Scam Alert - DMR Financial
Back in September I received a cold call from DMRFS, where the caller asked me about my unclaimed PPI compensation.
Having had a number of these calls I provided the caller false details in order to trigger documents in the post to me. The arrival of these documents confirmed the recipient (who the original caller avoided naming).
DMRFS have been under investigation since mid 2016 by the Claims Management Regulation Service, under Regulation 35 of the CMA. This regulation relates to "complaints or suspicions of unprofessional conduct".
A small company run by Donald M Rees of Llanelli who appear to outsource their call centre operations to another firm (possibly in Cheshire).
When I received the information pack from DMRFS under the name I'd given them, I waited for a short period to separate out events a little and sent DMRFS a SAR in early September 2016. I received no bounces and no response for over two months and so, in order to remind DMRFS that their statutory period for SAR response had expired, sent them an NBA.
DMRFS replied the very same day stating that it had no data relating to me. Which I thought was interesting as they'd already cold called me on my mobile.
Mr Rees claimed that they held no personal data and refused to engage further - referring me to their internal complaints procedure. For a company that small who's sole director is answering the emails I'm not sure that's anything but obstruction.
At first Mr Rees claimed that my phone number was in a list that they'd purchased - an instant PECR 22 and TPS breach.
Then they claimed that the phone number (my phone number) related to a client in the West Midlands - then contradicting themselves by saying that it was not in a list of numbers they'd bought.
Pretty tricky to cold call a number you haven't got associated with a client you don't have, isn't it?
In mid-December I then revealed to DMRFS that I was actually the person they had called - proving the distinct alias as confirmation - the response? "We need more time to investigate the matter".
That was in late December and despite attempts to illicit a response from Mr Rees or DMRFS, no further response was received from them.
Why Does This Matter?
DMR Financial Services Ltd and Don Rees are clearly operating outside of the law. They've already been the subject of complaints and are buying personal data lists for unsolicited marketing.
DMRFS are actually registered with ICO as a registered data controller, yet are flaunting both the Data Protection Act and Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.
The Telephone Preference Service provided by the DMA (who, believe me, are not on the side of the consumer) ensures that each company wishing to make cold calls within the confines of the law, must get an updated TPS list at no more than 30 day intervals.
DMRFS claimed that they acquired my details from a "DMA approved data source" but have - to date - declined to identify that source. No source would be able to legally sell personal data without the recipient again acquiring explicit consent from the data subject (there are reasonable exceptions to this of course) under the current DPA. They have no chance of justifying this behaviour from May 2018.
Although there is a £10k fine attached to breaches of TPS procedure, very few enforcements appear to happen. Due to a postage error in my area I was unable to take my own case in the small claims courts further to illustrate the errors of their ways.
A lucky escape for them in this case but I've passed on the detail to the Ministry of Justice CMR to aid their investigation.