Stop getting nuisance calls and texts10th September 2020
Stop getting nuisance calls
There are some actions you can take to stop getting nuisance calls that you don’t want.
You shouldn’t get nuisance calls if you didn’t give the caller your number – for example:
- cold calls trying to sell you something you don’t want or need, like double glazing
- recorded or automated messages telling you you’re due compensation, perhaps for a mis-sold insurance policy such as PPI
If you’re getting calls about PPI or accidents
Companies calling you about PPI claims, personal injury claims or other claims can’t call you unless you’ve told them they can.
If they call without your permission, you can report them to the Information Commissioner’s Office.
It’s helpful if you know the number they called from and the date and time they called. If you don’t have all this information, you can give other details of the call – for example, the name of the company that called you.
The Information Commissioner will investigate and can fine the company who called.
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 add you to their list of numbers that don’t want to receive sales and marketing calls. You can also 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 your local Citizens Advice bureau.
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.
If you get nuisance calls after you’ve registered with the Telephone Preference Service, it may be because you gave the caller your number. Tell the individual caller you don’t want to be contacted again, and they should stop calling you.
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.
To try to prevent the problem happening again you should always check any forms that you fill in for tickboxes 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 the boxes if you don’t want to be contacted.
Block nuisance calls
There are products to block some calls (like international calls or withheld numbers) but be careful they don’t also block calls you want. Ask your phone provider if they have a service to block some numbers, or you can install a call blocking device on your phone yourself.
Ofcom has information about the different services your phone provider may have to tackle nuisance calls.
Which? has advice on blocking calls, including reviews of call blocking devices.
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 run a scam, you should report it. Find out how to report a scam.
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. This will let the sender know you’re number is active and they may send you more texts or call you.
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 your mobile network company. You won’t be charged for forwarding a text to 7726.
Reporting nuisance calls or texts also helps regulators track down who’s making them. You’re under no obligation to do this, but it’s quick and easy, and it’ll help more people in the long run.
You’ll need to have your contact details and the company name or registration number to hand.
You can also report nuisance calls or texts to the Information Commissioner’s Office. It’s helpful if you know the number that called you and the date and time of the call. If you don’t have all this information, you can give other details of the call – for example, the name of the company that called you.
The Information Commissioner’s Office will investigate and can take action against whoever has been contacting you.
If you’ve had a nuisance text that’s advertising something, you can also report it to the Advertising Standards Authority.
Stop calls and texts from a charity
If you want to stop calls and texts from a charity, you should register with the Telephone Preference Service.
Charities shouldn’t make fundraising calls to you if you’ve registered with this service. This includes charities registered in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
You can also contact the Fundraising Preference Service if you want to stop getting calls and texts from a charity registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. They’ll tell them to remove your contact details within 28 days. The best way to do this is to register on their website. You can register over the phone if you prefer.
Fundraising Preference Service
Telephone: 0300 3033 517
Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm
Saturday, 9am to midday
Calls to this number can cost up to 10p a minute from a landline, or between 3p and 40p a minute from a mobile (your phone supplier can tell you how much you’ll pay).
You’ll need to have your contact details and the charity name or registration number to hand.
Complaining about calls or texts from a charity
- complain about a charity registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland through the Fundraising Regulator
- complain about a charity registered in Scotland through the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel
You can report nuisance calls or texts to the Information Commissioner’s Office. They can fine companies that break the law.
If you’re getting calls where no one’s there (called silent or abandoned calls), report them to Ofcom.
Contact your local bureau or Advice Direct Scotland’s consumer service for more help.
Advice Direct Scotland’s Consumer Service
Freephone: 0808 164 6000