Nuisance calls are out of control, says charity

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The Independent Online

Two million nuisance calls and texts are made every day, according to government figures. But those in Wales, Scotland and the north of England are bearing the brunt of the growing problem.

People in these three areas are much more likely to be on the receiving end of messages offering potentially harmful financial products such as payday loans and fee-charging debt management services.

Three out of five people in Wales say they have been pestered by more unsolicited marketing calls and texts than last year, according to debt charity Step Change.

Figures for Scotland and the north of England are similarly high. "Nuisance calls and texts are out of control," warned Peter Tutton of StepChange.

"Consumers have lost control of their personal data and large sections of the population are being subjected to annoying, intrusive and potentially harmful marketing messages.

"A comprehensive package of measures to ensure that consumers have better control over their personal information and that regulators have greater powers and resources, is essential to addressing this problem."

Campaigning Scottish LibDem MP Mike Crockart led a debate against nuisance calls in the House of Commons on Thursday. He said: "It's now down to Government to act. This will be the year they are judged on that action."

He has demanded the Government take action on the way consent for marketing calls and texts is given and used. He also said it should be made easier for the Information Commissioner's Office to take enforcement action on rogue companies, and that the industry should be told to act responsibly and protect vulnerable consumers.

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