Suspect in 'rogue-dial' Internet con is arrested

A DANISH pornographer whose company is suspected of involvement in swindling 11,000 Britons with a “rogue dialling” fraud has been arrested in Germany.

Morten Sondergaard Pedersen, 38, is accused of supplying technology that switches Internet users’ computers from cheap local lines to premium-rate services costing £90 an hour. His arrest, details of which are broadcast by The Money Programme on BBC Two today, is part of a Europe-wide investigation into a network of web fraudsters.

It comes as British Telecom threatens to sue 800 customers for non-payment of phone bills, all of whom claim that they are victims of “rogue diallers”.

Mr Pedersen is the director of a company based in Majorca, Premium Media Communications, that was responsible for cheating Britons with the scam. His company supplied technology to four other Majorcan telecom companies that have charged British consumers hundreds of thousands of pounds.

More than 11,000 Britons have complained about companies connected to Mr Pedersen to the Independent Committee for the Supervision of Standards of Telephone Information Services, the premium line regulatory authority. The alleged victims claimed that their internet connections were switched from cheap local lines to expensive premium-rate services.

They claim that the connection occurred when they tried to close Internet “pop ups” — unsolicited advertisements for a web service that invited the browser to view pornography.

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