Cold calling bosses to be hit with £500,000 fines
The bosses of businesses that cold call customers could face fines of up to half a million pounds, under a new government crackdown.
From Spring 2017 a change in the law will make directors personally liable for any breach of regulations.
Under the current system, misbehaving firms can simply declare bankruptcy, dodge the fine and pop up under a new name.
Make no bones about it, this is a massive victory for consumers.
Unscrupulous bosses should no longer be able to hide behind their companies and side-step the rules.
Brits are bombarded by a massive 8 billion cold calls every year – often from companies promising help to reclaim mis-sold PPI or with accident claims.
Action from the government is long overdue.
Now the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can slap penalties of up to £1m on company directors and their businesses for breaches of their Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations.
To date, the ICO has levied fines totalling £3.7m to companies at fault for spam calls and texts.
Matt Hancock, the Digital and culture minister, said: "Nuisance callers are a blight on society, causing significant distress to elderly and vulnerable people.
"We have been clear that we will not stand for this continued harassment and this latest amendment to the law will strike another blow to those businesses and company bosses responsible."
5 quick tips to beat cold callers
- Contact your phone provider and ask to be made ex-directory
- Ask the cold caller to remove your information from their records
- Dial 1471 after the call to find out a spam caller’s number and report them to the ICO
- Never give away any personal details
- Never call back phone numbers left on your voicemail or reply to texts you don’t recognise
There’s plenty more tips on how to beat cold callers in our guide.
And we can’t get over DJ Jim Gellatly’s brilliant response to scammers who called him pretending to be from Microsoft.
Listen to it here.
Have you been targeted by cold callers? Share your experience in the comments section.