As a result, almost half the £17.8 million of nuisance call fines issued to companies since 2010 has gone unpaid.
Directors are able to dodge the punishment by withholding payment, liquidating their companies and starting business again under new names.
The Government is now consulting on moves to make company directors personally liable if their firm is found to have made families’ lives a misery with unwanted calls and texts.
The problem is particularly painful for the elderly and other vulnerable people, who can receive dozens of calls a week, and has been made worse by automated dialling technology that helps firms make many thousands of calls per day.
The Government wants to give the data watchdog power to fine directors up to £500,000 – meaning a maximum penalty of £1million for the most extreme case if both boss and company are punished.