The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has warned the IT sector to beware of misleading adverts offering data protection notification services.
According to the ICO, IT companies are being targeted with business letters offering over-priced registration to the 1998 Data Protection Act.
The letters state firms that fail to register and pay fees of between £95 and £135 could face fines of £500. But the ICO said the statutory fee is only £35.
The ICO said the people sending out the letters are not breaking the law because they are sending the information on to the ICO. But they are creaming off the excess cash before doing so.
"The scammers seem to be targeting IT firms. Many people send cheques automatically. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has taken legal action against these firms for misleading advertising," said an ICO representative.
John Vickers, chairman of the OFT, said: "Firms should contact the Information Commissioner if they are in doubt about their obligations to notify."
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