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Cold call firms forced to display phone numbers

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25/04/2016
Cold call firms will no longer be able to hide or disguise their phone numbers as part of government plans to crack down on nuisance calls.

From Monday 16 May 2016, direct marketing companies registered in the UK will need to display their phone numbers when making unsolicited phone calls – even if their call centres are based abroad.

The new legislation will make it easier for people to refuse and report unwanted marketing calls.

Baroness Neville Rolfe, minister responsible for data protection, said: “Nuisance calls are incredibly intrusive and can cause significant harm to elderly and vulnerable members of society.

“Government is committed to tackling this problem, which is why we are making it easier for consumers to report companies by forcing them to display their phone numbers.

“We’re sending a clear message to rogue direct marketing companies. Nuisance calls are unacceptable and we will not hesitate to take action against the companies behind them.”

Companies can risk fines of up to £2m from Ofcom and a further £500,000 from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) if they continue to bombard consumers with unwanted calls.

In 2015, the Government made it easier to fine nuisance callers by removing the need for consumers to prove that unwanted marketing calls were causing substantial distress and damage.

Richard Lloyd of campaign group Which? said: “This is another important victory in the fight against nuisance calls. With marketing firms now being forced to display their numbers when making calls, it will make it much easier for people to report them and enforcement action to be taken when companies break the law.”

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