Man made £2,000 from charging cold callers who kept phoning him
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A cunning Brit managed to make £2,000 from charging cold callers who kept phoning him, having decided to get his own back after being interrupted so much while relaxing at home.
Here's how he did it:
Lee Beaumont was annoyed after random companies kept calling him as he tried to enjoy Corrie, so he decided to work it to his advantage.
Beaumont, from Leeds, bought a phone number that started with ‘08’, meaning when callers phoned him, he was able to make money from them.
He gave out the 0871 number when he needed to talk to utilities companies, but kept a separate line so that friends and family could phone him without being charged... Missing a job there, mate.
Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 programme You and Yours, Beaumont said: “I was getting annoyed with the PPI calls when I’m trying to watch Coronation Street, for instance, so I’d rather have an 0871 so I can make 10p a minute.
“I thought there must be a way to make money off these phone calls.”
He said it was ‘extremely easy’ to go about it after researching online, having looked into setting up an 0845 or an 0844 number.
“The best one I found was the 0871, as I could make a good chunk of money,” he explained.
Beaumont said he had been receiving 20-30 calls a month, but after introducing the new number only had about 16 – clearly a sign it was working, although he admitted he ‘wanted cold calls’ after realising he could cash in on them.
He added: “Some companies are fine with it.
“Sometimes they won’t call me, and I say fine, you’ve got my e-mail address - e-mail me. And 99 per cent of the time they will use my 0871 number.”
By 2015, he’d made a whopping £2,000 from his premium rate number.
Speaking to Dan Johnson from the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, Beaumont said he’d been making ‘7p a minute on every single cold call’ he’d got.
“I’ve been having cold calls for years – mainly in the evening times,” he said.
“I bought a phone number started ‘08’, originally to stop the cold calls. But, in fact, they carried on calling me on the 08 number, and I started actually making money from it.”
Beaumont told journalist Dan Johnson that he was paying 10p a minute for the call he was using for the interview, and that he’d make 7p from that.
Johnson say 'most people wouldn't go that far', saying you can register your number to try and stop cold callers, and that if they persist, you can complain to the Information Commissioner.
Premium number regulator Phone Pay Plus has also warned against others taking the same approach as Beaumont, telling Radio 4 in 2013: “Premium-rate numbers are not designed to be used in this way and we would strongly discourage any listeners from adopting this idea, as they will be liable under our code for any breaches and subsequent fines that result.”