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Cold Calling Law – Everything You Need to Know

14 October 2022

Are you noticing your phone ringing more than usual? Are you being disturbed by nuisance calls in the UK? You are not alone if you’re trying to find out how to stop cold calls and block unwanted numbers getting hold of you. If this has just started happening to you, it can be annoying and frustrating, especially if you are waiting for important calls from your friends, family, or work.

At QuidMarket, we know that nuisance calls can be annoying when they become a regular issue, which is why we provide an online service that means you can apply for loans without having to speak to us. This means we won’t ever call you to offer a loan unexpectedly, even if you have borrowed from us previously. Below you can find out more information about the rules around cold calling and whether cold calling is illegal in the UK.

Can I block numbers on my phone?

When receiving regular nuisance calls, one way to help stop them is to block numbers on your phone. You have the right to do this if you are getting many unwanted calls, so if calls are increasing from numbers that are cold calling you, the sooner you block the calls the better. For those who are getting cold calls offering loans, being vigilant is important as it could be a scam where a third party pretends to be a legitimate lender. If you do receive one of these calls, ask them to take your number off their system and that if you require a loan, you will use their website to do so instead.

You never know when you might need a short term loan, especially when an unexpected bill or emergency occurs that you cannot otherwise settle. Looking online is your best approach when looking to borrow, not through a cold call unexpectedly. It’s important to remember to avoid giving out your personal or bank details over the phone too if you are concerned when receiving a call.

At QuidMarket, we do not cold call customers to offer loans, so if you ever receive calls that claim to be from us doing so, you’ll know it’s a scam and should avoid providing any personal details. If you ever need a loan to cover financial emergencies from us, you can visit our website to complete a short application, and get a decision completely online.

Is Cold Calling Illegal?

Cold calling isn’t illegal, but there are guidelines that make doing so more restrictive. Unsolicited phone calls can be made and there is no law stopping companies from ringing you, even if you don’t want them to. However, new measures were introduced in 2018 by the UK government that meant many types of cold calling, such as offering PPI compensation claim services, would be banned. Previously in 2016, restrictions were introduced that anyone cold calling has to display their number. You also shouldn’t receive calls from recorded or automated messages, and you shouldn’t receive calls from companies you previously didn’t provide your details to.

You should stay vigilant when receiving cold calls, as in some situations it could be a loan shark or scammers contacting you, looking to offer borrowing or intercept your personal details. They usually target the most vulnerable people, so watch out for your friends and family too. Never give out any of your private details over the phone, and be careful when trusting who you are speaking with, even if the call sounds professional. If you do receive any of these calls, you can report them to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). You can also contact Action Fraud and provide details of the calls if you are concerned.

What Time of Day Do Cold Callers Usually Target People?

The time of day you might receive a cold call will vary, with some people even receiving calls throughout the night. You can block and report any number that does this outside of any regular business hours. You shouldn’t need to change your number in situations where calls become more frequent, even at unsociable hours, but you can contact the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and add your number to a ‘do not call’ list. You can do this for both mobile and landline numbers to opt out of unsolicited sales and marketing calls.

Know Your Rights When it Comes to Cold Calling

You have the right to tell cold callers to stop and they have to listen to this. If you have already told a number not to call you, they shouldn’t be calling you again. Once you have said no, it becomes illegal for them to keep calling you, with the restrictions introduced in 2018 meaning companies have to have your prior consent before calling.

Keep this in mind so you know exactly when companies are breaking the law, as those you have previously permitted may still call due to this consent. Many companies provide options to update your marketing preferences online, so you can choose whether you would prefer email contact instead of calls or texts. You can find details from Ofcom regarding phone services that can help reduce unwanted calls if you are looking for other ways to minimise and help spot cold calls.

Why Are Some Cold Calls a Scripted Speech?

Some people receive cold calls that are scripted, and the voice sounds like a robot, if this is the case it will be faster to block the number, rather than try to tell them not to call you again. Robotic voices won’t hear you speaking, so it’s best to just hang up.

What Does the FCA Say About Cold Calling?

The FCA rules say businesses who are performing cold calls should act with integrity and be clear and fair in their communication. Calls shouldn’t be misleading or be made with the intent to manipulate customers at any point. Firms shouldn’t make a cold call unless there are existing permissions to do so from the customer or client, they identify themselves and who they are calling from, state the purpose of the call, and should terminate the call if a customer requests this at any point. Anyone cold calling also should clarify if you want to continue with the call or terminate the communication, rather than pressure you or coerce you into continuing.

Can Companies Get Fined for Cold Calling You?

In the UK, Ofcom has stated they will fine those who are continually harassing people with cold calls, and this could be up to £2 million worth of fines. You can find details from Ofcom about unwanted calls and messages and what you can do, but the best solution is to always report a suspected cold call that shouldn’t have taken place in line with the restrictions. You shouldn’t receive calls without the number popping up on your phone, therefore you can find out who is calling you and log this if you are concerned. Searching for an unknown number online can show you if any company is associated with the number too. If you have spoken to a cold caller claiming to be from a company, you can check the number against the official one from a company’s website too – if you are ever unsure, tell the person you will call them back on the official number.

Cold Calling Concluded

You may still receive cold calls but not from the numbers you have previously blocked. Nuisance calls in the UK can be stopped by letting the company know you don’t want to be bothered again and if they fail to acknowledge this, their preceding calls will be seen as illegal.

Remember, at QuidMarket we will never call you unexpectedly offering a loan. Instead, if you require emergency funds when your savings are low to cover life’s unexpected expenses, we can help you fully online with our quick application process.

To find out more, click to begin an application. You can also visit Money Helper and Citizens Advice for further information relating to cold-calling and your rights.


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