The 2-page handout

The reading

Many people hate nuisance telephone calls. These are the calls we get from companies trying to sell us something that we usually do not want. They are also called 'cold calls'. Britain's government is thinking about taking action to stop these calls. One thing it wants to do is to make sure the company that calls does not hide its telephone number. With most nuisance calls, we cannot see the telephone number of who called us, but that could change. This means people could report companies who make nuisance calls. Another measure the British government is looking at is to fine companies that make nuisance calls. Cold callers could get a fine of up to $720,000 for making nuisance calls.

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Three-quarters of people who own a landline in Britain get cold calls every month. The number of people who get monthly nuisance calls on their mobile phones increased from just over 50 per cent in 2014 to 72 per cent today. One company in Britain made 40 million cold calls in just three months. Britain's minister for data protection said nuisance calls were a problem. She said: "There is no simple solution to the problem of nuisance calls, but making direct marketing companies display their telephone number will help consumers…take action." She added: "Being pestered by marketing calls is annoying at the best of times, and at its worst it can bring real misery for the people on the receiving end."



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