Are you getting nuisance calls or texts on your mobile? You know the kind of thing – offers to help with PPI claims or ‘that accident’ you’ve just had, or perhaps even perfectly legitimate companies trying to sell you stuff you just don’t want. If so, there are a few things you can do to stop them. Read on for details…
Be careful what you’re ticking
To prevent nuisance calls, be careful of any online forms that ask you to fill tick-boxes that say something like “I give permission for third parties to contact me by phone” or “I give you permission to contact me by phone”. Don’t tick them if you don’t want to be contacted!
Register with the Telephone Preference Service
The best way to stop nuisance calls is to register your number with the Telephone Preference Service
. They’ll then add you to their list of numbers that don’t want to receive sales and marketing calls. It’s illegal for a company to call numbers registered with the Telephone Preference Service, so registering should scare companies away and stop them bothering you.
You’ll need your phone number, postcode and an email address to sign up on the Telephone Preference Service website. You can also sign up from your mobile by texting ‘TPS’ and your email address to 85095. Or you can call them to register on 0345 070 0707.
It’s free to register with the Telephone Preference Service. If anyone asks you for money to sign up, it’s a scam - you should report it to the Consumer Service
If you get nuisance calls after you’ve registered with the Telephone Preference Service, it may be because you gave the caller your number. So go ahead and tell the individual caller you don’t want to be contacted again. Hopefully they should stop calling you. If they don’t, see ‘Report a nuisance call or text’ below.
You might also still get calls from companies that don't follow the regulations. You can get advice about companies that ignore the law from the Telephone Preference Service website
Block nuisance calls
You can block numbers using your handset. It varies between handsets, but usually involves going in to your call list an selecting the number you want to block (usually by pressing an info button next to the number - be careful not to call it). Then you should be shown an option to block that number.
There are products to block some calls (like international calls or withheld numbers). You can install these blocking devices yourself, but do some research first and be careful they don't also block calls you want. Which? has reviewed a range of call blocking devices here
What to do if you think it’s a scam call
Scams usually involve people being tricked into giving money. If you think a caller is trying to scam you, report it to Actionfraud
Stop getting nuisance texts
If you’ve given your number to a company in the past they may send you texts. You can tell them to stop sending you texts by replying ‘STOP’ to the text message. Only reply with ‘STOP’ if the sender tells you who they are in the text or they’re identified in the sent-from number.
If you don’t recognise the sender of a nuisance text or it’s from an unknown number, don’t reply. If you do, it lets the sender know you’re number is active and they might hassle you with more texts or calls!
Report a nuisance call or text
Registering with the Telephone Preference Service will stop you getting nuisance calls, but if someone’s still bothering you 28 days after registering, then report them to the Telephone Preference Service.
Registering with the Telephone Preference Service won’t stop you getting nuisance texts. Forward the text to 7726 - this spells ‘SPAM’ on your phone keypad. This will report the sender to iD Mobile, and you won’t be charged for forwarding these texts.
You can also report nuisance calls or texts to the Information Commissioner's Office online
, who can take action against whoever made the call. You’ll need to know the number the nuisance called from, and the date and time they called.