What are cold calls?
A cold call can be defined as the solicitation of business from a potential customer who has had no prior contact with the salesperson who is calling. Cold calling can also be referred to as canvassing or prospecting.
Legitimate companies may use this sales technique at an early stage of the selling process; however cold calls are also a tactic that is most often used by scam companies to gather information which can then be sold to both criminals and legitimate businesses.
More than 175,000 complaints were made to the Information Commissioner's Office in 2015 about cold calls and text messages. However as the law currently stands, the Government can only punish firms for making excessive cold calls or nuisance text messages if the Information Commissioner can prove that they are causing “substantial damage or substantial distress”. However from 6th April, the Government will remove this legal requirement which should mean that imposing fines of up to £500,000 should become easier.
This is good news for those who have receive unwanted cold calls from legitimate companies, but for those who are being targeted by scam companies, it is still extremely difficult to find and prosecute the callers.