Is Cold Calling Illegal?
Let’s face facts; we’ve probably all been bothered by so-called ‘cold calls’ in our time, particularly since the emergence of ‘no-win, no-fee’ legislation and the Access to Justice legislation of 1999.
However, a survey by the National Accident Helpline has found that the rate of cold calling has increased markedly in recent years, with as many as one-in-five Brits now fielding unsolicited calls every single day.
Interestingly, pensioners and residents in Yorkshire and the Humber are the most likely to be cold-called, with 66% of people in this region taking unsolicited calls regularly. But is cold calling illegal, and if not, what measures can be taken to protect people from being bothered by such communications?
What does UK Legislation say?
Unless you have been involved in an accident and actually welcome the machinations of cold calls relating to such instances, the chances are that you’ll find unsolicited calls of this type extremely disruptive.
Despite this, however, there’s nothing in UK law or legislation to prohibit cold calls. But this doesn’t mean that cold callers aren’t governed by precise regulations and best practice, while the government is regularly reviewing its management of unsolicited calls and the obvious crossover with pension scams and fraudulent activity.
With this in mind, lawmakers are taking steps to protect individuals who are being targeted by pension-related cold calls, by targeting more unscrupulous operators and imposing fines of up to £500,000 on firms that operate outside of the existing guidelines.
In fact, there’s now a complete ban on cold calling in relation to pensions, except where the caller is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or is a trustee of an occupation or personal pension scheme.
These restrictions should also inform the recipients of cold calls, arming them with key questions that enable them to determine whether individual calls are reputable or in direct contradiction of the current regulations.
What Other Steps Can You Take to Protect Yourself Against Cold Calls?
From an individual perspective, a proactive mindset can enable you to deal effectively with cold calls and avoid this type of unsolicited communication completely.
For example, managing your outstanding pensions and pursuing potential accident claims directly negate the need for you to field cold calls, as you’re taking responsibility for your own circumstances and becoming less reliant on others in the process.
Additionally, you should also take the time to understand your rights in relation to cold calls, particularly in terms of blocking unsolicited communications from third parties.
Put simply, once you’ve received one or more calls from an unsolicited body, you can block this number directly through your smartphone and ensure that it never bothers you again.
Similarly, if you receive an unsolicited call and are unsure as to who it’s from, don’t be afraid to research this on the Internet and seek out more information. There are reputable sites that provide this information, by collating feedback from other recipients and sharing this publicly.