DIRECTOR OF TELECOMS watchdog Oftel, Don Cruikshank
, marked his last day in office by warning the so-called British Fax Directory
that it risks losing its licence to operate. Oftel has received many thousands of complaints about BFD which automatically trawls thousands of telephone numbers daily to which it sends unsolicited faxes, most of which request replies to premium rate numbers. BFD's associate company, Second Telecom
, operates a similar scam promoting tickets for the soccer World Cup. Those foolish enough to respond find themselves committed to a nine minute premium rate spiel offering help in obtaining tickets - information available free from the Football Association. Oftel has warned both companies that use of such automated searching techniques without the written consent of recipients is a breach of its licence.