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5 great tips to stop nuisance phone calls

Published date: October 2019

All of us have received a call we weren’t expecting, and that call may ruin a special moment of your day. Ofcom’s latest estimate is that approximately 3.9 billion nuisance calls are received by UK landlines per year, which means that we get an average of four nuisance calls a week. Ofcom recommends a list of actions to be taken in case you are receiving messages or calls from a person or institution you do not recognize. 

Block these type of calls

In a way to prevent this type of call, you can use products or services which help you block nuisance calls, although you may need to pay to get access to them.

These services will allow you to block types of calls or a selected list of around ten numbers, in this case you need, to ensure that you can block the calls you want to block and nothing else. For more information on call blocking services, you may wish to look at advice by Which?.


To help stop nuisance live marketing calls you can:

Register with the TPS free of charge (you can register mobile number as well as landlines). The TPS is a central register of individuals who have opted out of receiving live marketing calls;
Register with the CPTS if you are a company (the CPTS works in the same way as TPS but for companies and other corporate bodies);
Check privacy statements when you provide your phone number; and
Tell organisations you deal with if you don’t want them to market you by phone. 

Don’t give out your personal details

If you receive this type of call, you should be careful about who you give your personal details, particularly in those cases when the caller asks you to carry out an action that might have financial consequences for you. 

You often must enter your personal details to use certain products or services, but always think about whether you trust the company with your details or not before doing so. Check privacy statements when you give your phone number. If in doubt, opt out!

Make a complaint

If you receive an unwanted call you can take targeted action against those making calls unlawfully. 

Ofcom recommends you make a brief note of the call if you can, including all the information you can get, such as date, time, name of the firm and the number you were called from. However, if you don’t have all the information, you can still make a complaint.

For details on who to complain and how to do it, please visit Ofcom.  

If you receive spam texts

If they’re from a sender you are familiar with, or from a shortcode (a shortcode is usually 5 digits long but can be up to 8), reply ‘STOP’ to the telephone number. This will inform the sender that you no longer wish to receive their text messages. 

In the case that the text messages are from an organisation you are not familiar with or you don’t know the sender, Ofcom recommends you don’t reply. If you respond to this text, you will confirm that your number is active and might result in you receiving more messages or even voice calls.

If you are unhappy about receiving such texts or continue to receive them after asking the sender to stop, you should complain to the ICO. 


You should be aware of scam calls, such as those asking you to send money upfront or buy something up-front before you get the price or offer, asking you to make expensive phone calls to get the prize or offer, or asking for your bank details or other personal information. 

For up-to-date information and advice on the latest scams, you should contact Action Fraud – the UK’s national fraud reporting centre. For more information, please visit their website.


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