Send Business Register scammers to the slammer, says Tory MEP
We've never considered our views closely aligned with those of Tory Euro MPs, but clearly they feel differently. We've been emailed by Conservative MEP HQ about their current crusade - and it happens to be one we wholeheartedly back. Whether it'll make an iota of difference is another matter.
Struan Stevenson MEP, MEP for Scotland, is demanding the EU takes action action against scam business directories that attempts to extort thousands of pounds from businesses. We've warned readers against them over the past year and as recently as last week.
MEPs have said that the EU was not doing enough to take the companies to task, despite the European Parliament's petitions committee receiving more than 400 complaints. Stevenson is calling for action in a debate in the European Parliament, and consequences for the operators of the business registers:
"It is often elderly people who run B&Bs or let holiday cottages who fall foul of this criminal activity. They enter their address into a supposedly free directory and then receive a bill for a thousand Euros. Elderly people are terrified when they receive letters supposedly from legal representatives of these companies.
"This is cross-border criminal activity. These companies give their addresses so we need to track them down, prosecute them and ensure people are protected from them. Whenever victims contact me I tell them to ask the directory to refer all future correspondence to me. They never hear from them again.
"The people need to be in prison."
The European Commission has already said that the practice is illegal, but there are questions over whether there is a need for tighter implementation of the EU's misleading advertising directive. Nooooooooo. What it needs is for somebody to do something about the activity the EU has already said is illegal. Illegal is bad, see. If something is illegal, you stop people doing it - not argue about the rules they ignored in the first place. Jesus.
Good luck to the right honourable gentleman from Scotland.