Nuisance Calls

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 2nd November 2015.

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Photo of Lord Taylor of Warwick Lord Taylor of Warwick Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to reduce the number of nuisance phone calls made in order to extract money from businesses and consumers.

Photo of Baroness Neville-Rolfe Baroness Neville-Rolfe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

Tackling the problem of nuisance calls is an important priority which we are tackling on a number of fronts.

In April this year we made it easier for the Information Commissioner’s Office to tackle nuisance calls by lowering the legal threshold for action and enabled OFCOM to issue bigger fines to companies breaking the rules.In the past five years, the average fine has been £85,000 with a recent fine of £200,000 by the Information Commissioner. Until 2011 fines were capped at £5,000.

Consumers and businesses can report fraudulent or scam activities to Action Fraudby calling0300 123 2040, or through their website at:http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

We are seeking the development of more innovativeproducts to help consumers block unwanted calls. As part of budget measures announced in March to help more vulnerable consumers, we have launched a competition fund with Innovate UK to do this:https://sbri.innovateuk.org/competition-display-page/-/asset_publisher/E809e7RZ5ZTz/content/nuisance-calls/1524978

We will also be consulting on making it mandatory for all directmarketing callers to provide their calling line identification (CLI) so that consumers can see who is calling them.

We welcome the work being done by OFCOM and by Which? to help consumers know what steps to take to deal with the receipt of nuisance calls.

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