Telemarketing scams and legal issues


There are many laws and legal issues that you need to be aware of when dealing with telemarketing, such as unlawful selling.

Telemarketing scams 

Telemarketing scams are of concern for customers and can take the form of one of the below:

  • fraudulent directory listing services
  • promised lottery prizes or loans
  • advance fee fraud
  • charity fraud

Because of these potential scams, you need to ensure you protect your customers.

Telemarketing laws 

Telemarketing is governed by the Telecommunications (Data Protection and Privacy) Regulations 1999. Under these regulations, you must not call people who have indicated that they do not wish to receive marketing calls. They may indicate this either directly to your business or by registering with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). 

When you request information from a potential customer, you must tell them who you are, why you are requesting the data and inform them if the information is to be stored for future marketing purposes. If you intend to share the information with a third party, you must request the individual's consent to do so.

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) also offers guidance on the best telemarketing practices. 

Read more about the direct marketing legal issues and best practice.

Individuals and organisations who do not wish to be contacted by telesales can register with the TPS or the Corporate Telephone Preference Service (CTPS).

You must also ensure that your telemarketing campaigns do not create 'silent calls' - where the customer cannot hear the messages - which can sometimes happen through automated call centres.

Businesses must also refrain from using answer machine detection equipment - one cause of the silent call problem - more than once a day, unless a call centre agent is on hand to answer the call.

  • Direct Marketing Association Helpline
    020 7291 3300