Almost 13 million UK residents have hung up on cold callers, according to new figures from the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

The telemarketing industry faces an uphill struggle as the number of people who hung up on cold callers rose by 44 per cent in the past year alone.

Meanwhile, the number of businesses that have signed up to the TPS to limit telemarketers has soared 81 per cent to nearly 800,000.

The figures are seen as a legitimate threat to the £4 billion-a-year telemarketing industry, with the pool of names to call shrinking fast.

Meanwhile, experts are predicting that transatlantic telemarketers are set to hone in on the UK after becoming frustrated with the Do Not Call facility introduced in the US three years ago.

“We as an organisation are very concerned. It brings the entire industry into disrepute,” Robert Dirskovsky, senior manager at the Direct Marketing Association UK, told the Guardian.

‘Silent calls’ and ‘premium rate number scams’ are examples of the new breed of unsolicited telemarketing calls.

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