Until now, people had to opt out of receiving these calls by registering with the free Telephone Preference Service or withdrawing their consent while on the call.
But new rules which came into force at the weekend mean cold callers will first have to check they have the recipient’s consent before calling – and people being harassed can report them to the Information Commissioner’s Office, which will investigate and take action against those responsible.
Companies that break the rules can be fined up to £500,000.
People will be able to opt in to receiving these calls by consenting to be contacted by claims companies when enquiring about settling a claim, or when seeking claims advice.
What does the Government say?
Minister for Digital Margot James said: “We are one step closer to ending the menace of nuisance calls.
“Our new laws mean people will now have to give consent to receive calls and have the power to choose where they seek compensation for personal injury claims or mis-sold payment protection insurance.
“This is a big boost for the Information Commissioner’s Office and will help them crack down on the cold-call sharks.”