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Cold callers in UK must display own numbers

By Hannah Stubbs

Cold callers will soon be forced to display their telephone numbers, the Government will announce.

If companies withhold their identities and persistently break the rules they can expect to face fines from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, the minister responsible for data protection - who is expected to confirm today that the change will kick in on May 16 - said nuisance calls particularly harmed the elderly.

Firms that are registered in the UK, even if their call centres are abroad, will have to provide their phone numbers when making unsolicited calls once the change in legislation comes into force.

The Government said the amendment would also ensure the ICO could take action against callers who carried on deliberately breaking the rules. Companies can risk fines of up to £2m from Ofcom and a further £500,000 from the ICO if they continue to bombard consumers.

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