Via the BBC:  How one man turns annoying cold calls into cash

A man targeted by marketing companies is making money from cold calls with his own higher-rate phone number.

In November 2011 Lee Beaumont paid £10 plus VAT to set up his personal 0871 line – so to call him now costs 10p, from which he receives 7p.


Once he had set up the 0871 line, every time a bank, gas or electricity supplier asked him for his details online, he submitted it as his contact number.

If one could do this in the US, one could make a fortune during campaign season.

Even better:

Because he works from home, Mr Beaumont has been able to increase his revenue by keeping cold callers talking – asking for more details about their services.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum, ,
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. Franklin says:

    Hmmm, great idea. What’s preventing us from setting up a 976 number and doing the same?

  2. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    This man deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. And since Obama isn’t using his…

  3. inhumans99 says:

    Jenos, for all that I know…you are a rocket scientist, however, sometimes you come off as being very childish. Your hatred of Obama is such that you use a post on a guy who set up a glorified 976 number to bash the President, and by extension the Nobel Peace Prize committee, c’mon…seriously dude, what is up with that?

    Also, please do not tell me you were trying to be funny, because I suspect you are the only person on OTB who found your reply to be a source of humor.

    My first reaction to your reply was…huh, what, because I am having a hard time picturing how someone who reads a post about a cold call scheme sees it as a perfect set-up to trash the President.

    Edited to add: I see that a few folks have liked your reply, so I take it back, you are not the only person who found your reply to be worth a chuckle or two.

  4. Neil Hudelson says:


    Heck, I don’t think Jenos and I have ever agreed, but he made me chuckle a bit.

  5. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Neil Hudelson: he made me chuckle a bit.


    Seriously, “a little chuckle” was exactly what I was aiming for there… nothing too heavy, no wincing or guffawing or outrage, just a light poke. Thanks!

  6. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @inhumans99: The one word in your little screed there that was accurate was “childish.” And even that was imprecise — I was going for “juvenile” or “sophomoric.” But I’ll take what I can get.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    It’s just nice to see that there are people who are just as ridiculous, just as irrational, and just as silly as all those people that Bush drove crazy…obviously the current resident of the Oval Office causes just as many people to foam at the mouth and use any occasion available to make a “joke”…

  8. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    This man deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. And since Obama isn’t using his…

    Henry Kissinger’s Nobel is available too.

  9. Rob in CT says:

    Just saw this… I love this guy.

    I wonder how long it will take the companies he’s retaliating against to sue him on some bs pretext. Or maybe that would only happen here?

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Oh, Obama’s is hardly the most offensive. It was just the most recent one that I found totally undeserved.

    Then again, the European Union just got it last year. Guess they had to award it before it would have become a posthumous award, and those are against the rules.

  11. William Wilgus says:

    @Franklin: You can do it with an Area Code 900 number