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Author: Age Cymru
Published on 25 February 2015 01:30 PM

Age Cymru has welcomed today’s news that the UK Government is changing the law to make it easier to prosecute companies behind cold calls and nuisance text messages.

Commenting on the announcement, our Campaigns Officer Gerry Keighley - who runs the ‘Scams and swindles’ campaign said:       
 
“Nuisance telephone calls are among their greatest sources of irritation and, sometimes, distress for older people - most are plagued by large numbers of phone calls and other unwanted approaches from marketing companies.

“There is particular concern about so-called silent calls in which firms use a computer to dial several numbers at the same time in the knowledge that they will speak only to the person who answers first.

“The rest are left with a silent call which, at the very least causes annoyance and some vulnerable people can find quite menacing - we believe such selling tactics should be banned.

“Age Cymru welcomes the strengthening of the Information Commissioner’s Office’s powers to sanction companies that contact people against their wishes.

“However, many of the groups who are responsible for scams, particularly against older people, are outside the ICO’s scope - they are basically criminals operating both from within and without the UK.

“We believe that telephony companies should take more responsibility for the safety of their customers and should ensure that vulnerable customers have access to interception devices that go way beyond the ability of the Telephone Preference Service to provide protection.

“Age Cymru also wants older and vulnerable people who cannot afford such devices to have them provided for them for free - whether by the telephone providers or local authorities.

“The impact of serious financial fraud is far more costly in Trading Standards and police time than the cost of such devices which cost around £120, let alone the devastating effect on scam victims, who on average lose £1,200.”

For more information: Call Age Cymru Advice: 08000 223 444