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Update: why nuisance call bosses should be hit with big fines

We’ve been making progress in our fight against nuisance calls. And now we’re demanding the government impose tough sanctions against directors of nuisance call companies.

Update: 10/09/2018

From today, new measures mean that cold calls offering to settle personal injury claims will be banned if the recipient has not ‘opted in’ to receive them.

These changes should improve matters for those pestered by constant nuisance calls and will also hit cold-calling PPI (payment protection insurance) claims management companies.

Read more about the statement confirmed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

Tough penalities

Nuisance calls are still plaguing the vast majority of people in the UK, with 73% of people we spoke to saying they’d received an unsolicited marketing or sales call in the last month alone.

More than eight in ten people people said they felt cold calls were an intrusive interruption to their daily life.

Almost half of the people we spoke to said they felt intimidated and another two in five said they felt distressed by the unsolicited phone calls.

And it’s even discouraging us from answering the phone: almost eight in ten people said they were discouraged from picking up phone calls from unknown numbers altogether.

What if that call had been from family members, friends or other genuine sources?

Enough is enough. That’s why today we’re calling for bosses of nuisance call companies to be hit with big personal fines for not rectifying the situation.

As the government’s consultation closes, we’re repeating our call for our lawmakers must step up and start slapping big fines on bosses of nuisance call firms.

We started our campaign on nuisance calls after thousands of you shared stories of being hounded by nuisance callers, giving us the drive to take on this menace by calling for action from the government.

And thanks to your unwavering involvement – more than 510,000 of you have signed our petition to end nuisance calls –the government committed to start fining nuisance call company bosses in 2016.

That commitment said company directors could be fined up £500k if their firms engaged in nuisance calls.

Flouting the law

But the government is yet to grant the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) this power, despite saying it would be in place from late 2017. So we need to keep up the pressure.

It’s time for the government to enforce their own rules across the board to offending bosses, as they’ve promised to do – it’s time for them to act.

Do cold calls disrupt your life? Do you avoid answering the phone because of them? Is the proposal to fine company bosses a good idea?

Comments
Member

Whilst any initiative is welcome, the recent much vaunted announcement will only scratch the surface of the problem. We probably get 2 calls a day on average and 99% of them do not give a company name. I quite often check out the numbers on who-called.co.uk and whilst only a fraction of calls are logged on such sites, it can be astonishing to see how many people have looked up and commented on particular numbers. The evidence of the activities of these people is in the comments on these sites and I simply can’t understand why these numbers cant be traced back to the people using them – particularly UK numbers.

Personally, I rarely block numbers because repeat calls are very much in the minority.

Member

Bieldman ,they could , one way being via the seller of the block numbers but that requires much resources in this country that HMG will not allow its departments to do as it costs in time and money . As the USA can just print more money they do have the resources and if the scam is big enough they trace it back . As I have said previously don’t go by UK numbers as the scammers now spoof them all, even local ones to con you into believing its a UK call. If you mean REAL UK numbers from real UK firms then they can easily trace them —and quickly , gone are the days of communicating with the telephone exchange and getting it traced -exchange to exchange, that went out with Strowger mechanical relays . All done at a keyboard now.

Member

Bottom line is that we appear to be powerless to do anything to stop this scourge and just have to live with these low lifes phoning to try and scam us day in and day out. I just tried out the link on Which to report a scam call and it was frankly useless. It ended by saying it should be reported to Action Fraud instead. I clicked on the link which didn’t work. I accessed Action Fraud via the search engine and was forced down a route of a complicated registration process and then a lengthy process of reporting with all sorts of questions such as whether or not I wanted to be contacted by victim support! It took me well over half an hour. It was only when I was browsing their site after that by chance I came across a link for reporting phishing scams and this included an option for the first contact being made by phone – this was despite the fact that elsewhere on the site they specifically defined phishing as an email scam. I’ll maybe try that with the next scam call but I doubt it will have any effect. TalkTalk do nothing even when I report people have got my account details from them. The sad thing is that the lack of willingness of the powers that be to address this scourge means people now simply accept these calls as a way of life. I’ll have to just accept it too if nobody is prepared to address the issue.

Member
John Dally says:
4 October 2018

Just had another Microsoft ‘your computer has been hacked call’ but from an overseas number despite the caller saying they were calling from Microsoft Campus, Reading. When I asked for a number to call back they hung up. Unless there is technology created to stop cold calling via international numbers of VOIP then it will just continue.

Member
DerekP says:
4 October 2018

Unfortunately, to stop cold calling, the technology will have to become very clever before it can predict what callers are going to say before they’ve said it.

Member
Michael Bernard Budinger says:
5 October 2018

We do get unwanted calls, years ago my wife was scammed, she told me about this helpful call she had just had from our bank, just as I was about to leave the house.
I told her it was a scam,and immediately contacted the bank, the bank cancelled all her cards right away, only paid out her standing orders, and debits, for a few weeks to draw cash she had to go into the bank her self to obtain cash. No money was taken.
Problem is ever since we keep getting a spate of scam phone calls, normally with an Indian accent, all have the wrong info, and we slam the phone down, These calls can come day or night, and when they do not get any joy, they then pester us with silent calls.
The result of this I once swore at her Doctor, telling her to **** off. I did apologise later,and explained I thought she was one of those scammers.
I think with all the modern technology that they could stop these swines causing us great annoyance.

Member

Its a bit serious Michael when you mistake your wife’s doctor for an Indian scammer , no person should be put into that stressed frame of mind, anxiety builds up ,tension etc. You must take some type of action even if it is to buy a call-blocker as I have seen people all tensed up like that and it can cause major personal problems . Dont let them get you down those low lives wouldn’t know the meaning of the word Moral , and dont feel sympathetic saying, they are very poor etc you have to be a very poor version of a human being to sink that low. Dont suffer hit back block them its worth the money in your case .

Member
Aubert says:
15 October 2018

The DVLA gave all our details to Horizon Parking. We parked in a supermarket park and Horizon parking collects number plates details which they then send to the DVLA. Horizon pay DVLA £2.50 and for this low fee they get all the drivers’ details. We did not commit any parking offences, but DVLA is quite free with our personal data and we wonder if the DVLA is covered by GPDR regulations. Horizon have sold our details to insurance companies and other bodies and we have since been plagued with phone calls from insurance, double glazing, kitichen and accident claim companies.

Member

Aubert, can you write to your MP and ask if this was intended by government? Copy the reply here so we can see it.

Ask the ICO as well if there’s anything they can do.