They’ve been around for a long time but it seems they are getting worse. If it isn’t a cold caller enquiring about an accident that never happened, it’s fraudsters claiming to be from your internet or phone provider. If it’s not a recorded message about PPI, it’s people wanting to ask you questions in a short survey that inevitably leads to a sales pitch. These nuisance calls interrupt our day; they’re unwanted and most people don’t realise – they are actually illegal if they don’t stop when asked. If you want to make nuisance calls a thing of the past, here is what you need to do.
Prevention is Better than Cure
The main reason you get nuisance calls is because you’ve allowed companies to call you. Every time you sign a contract (for a new energy supplier, mobile phone etc), check the small print. At the end of the contract or document is a series of small boxes to tick. One of these tick boxes is to allow or refuse them to sell your information to “carefully selected third party organisations”. While the wording might sound as though they are trying to help you and themselves, allowing the business to trade your information is a sure way of getting nuisance calls. Refuse every time. They are often not “carefully selected” and the information can be sold to anyone.
Don’t Give Out Personal Information
Some nuisance phone callers will ask you for personal details, especially those who claim to be from one of your service providers. This is common with those who claim to be from TalkTalk Support. If their information about you is wrong (and reports say they usually are), don’t correct them. If they were whom they say they are, then they should already know who you are.
Register with the TPS
The Telephone Preference Service or TPS as it is more commonly known is how the majority of nuisance calls will be eliminated. It ensures that only the people to whom you give your number will have access to it. Call 0845 070 0707 to register any or all of your phone numbers with the service. After 28 days, you should no longer receive spam messages unless you give specific permission for companies to do so by newsletter signup or through granting permission to third party information sales (as explained in the section above). This is easily reversed though. If it’s a phone number, ask for the business contact details. Then either write or phone asking them to remove you from their list of contacts.
Block the Number
The easiest way of preventing these types of nuisance calls is to add the number to the blocked or prohibited list on your phone. Each model is different but it is usually simple to do and explained in the instructions manual. If you no longer have this, a simple internet search will show you how to do it. Once the number is blocked, they can no longer contact you via that number. Be warned though, some spam calls come from multiple numbers – especially those from a call centre, and so this may not stop the nuisance calls.
Dealing with Marketing Texts
IF you no longer want marketing texts there are several ways you can handle this. If it’s from a reputable company, usually texting back STOP will ensure you no longer receive them. However, spammers will take this as a sign that your number is active and carry on. Don’t send STOP but don’t ignore these messages either. Instead, your mobile phone should have a dedicated line for spam messages that customers receive. The number should be 7726 (this spells SPAM for older type push button mobile phones). The more you forward on, the more your mobile phone provider can do about it.