How to seriously make money from cold callers

They have to pay one man in Britain every time they call him. Discover his secret.
Written by Mark Halper, Contributor
Table turner. Legendary Lee Beaumont tricks cold callers into paying him.

Lee Beaumont is a hero to anyone who has ever received an annoying phone call from a cold-calling salesperson. Chances are excellent that's you.

It's certainly me, so I will hoist Lee on my shoulders and parade him around in a victory lap. I'm in awe of what he's done.

The businessman from Leeds, England got so fed up with all those solicitations from insurance hawkers, solar panel peddlers, credit card pushers and the like that he didn't get mad, he got even. More than even.

In November, 2011, according to the BBC, Lee simply set up a premium phone line in his house. A premium phone line is one that costs the caller - you often dial them yourselves when you call a service number and you get charged by the minute for "help." In the U.K., they can typically start with "0845" or "0871."

He then began giving out this number as part of his personal information during online transactions with utilities, banks and other institutions that everyone always suspects of giving our contact details to cold callers.

Sure enough, that number landed in the world's call calling centers.  Now, whenever they call Lee, they end up paying 10 pence (15 U.S. cents) per minute, of which 7 pence (about 11 cents) goes to Lee, who ironically loves to keep them talking!

It only cost Lee £10 to set up the line in the first place, and he's racked up about £300 from calls that, what do you know, have decreased in frequency.

Not a bad little side line. I have to confess that it trumps my own technique, which regular readers will know entails offering to sell information or souvenirs to the caller. In any case, my method is in jest (although I await the day someone calls my bluff and actually orders 100 Angry Fan buttons. Or better yet, that someone actually gives me a wad for my zip code). Lee is the real deal.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Legend of Lee Beaumont.

Photo of Lee Beaumont is from Twitter

More weapons for your battle against cold callers and data abusers:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards