Older Australians are particularly vulnerable to the barrage of calls – often more reliant on landlines and more likely to be home during the daytime than younger groups, they may also feel reluctant to hang up on or abruptly fob off a caller collecting charity donations.
"We are hearing from our members that the calls are making them anxious and they are reluctant to answer the phone," says National Seniors Chief Executive Officer Dagmar Parsons.
National Seniors collected stories from older Australians affected by unwanted calls from charities, and found that people are:
avoiding answering their phones
considering disconnecting their landlines
moving in with elderly relatives in order to protect them from unwanted and aggressive unsolicited phone calls seeking donations.
"We found that calls from charities, and the for-profit marketing businesses that represent them, make up the bulk of unwanted calls," says Mr Godfrey.
"Of course charities need to be able to raise funds to survive but when the nature of the fund raising verges on harassment, it's bad for the charities and the community they are set up to serve.
"For-profit marketing companies like Mondail, Insight Charity Fundraising Services and 2evolve are making money from this loophole in the Do Not Call Register – it's time to clean up this mess and give consumers an option to opt out of any call that asks them for money."