In recent years, the number of calls we receive that can be categorised as spam, nuisance and fraud has increased to a recognisable number. Although in the UK many people try their best to avoid these it is still happening, and we would like to draw your attention to some effective ways to stop receiving these unwanted calls on your phone.
According to law, you should not receive any calls from a caller that you have not given your number but is this the situation in our daily lives? Unfortunately, the answer is no unexpected cold calls trying to sell you a service or a product, or automated message calls. Many of you will recall companies calling you to sell compensation schemes or trying to gain your attention for so-called PPI claims, these are still current, and the main purpose of this article is to point you in the right direction to stop receiving these unwanted nuisance calls.
Reporting to Information Commissioner Office
If you are still a victim of these nuisance calls for PPI claims or personal injury claims, you should be aware that unless you have requested a call yourself from these companies, they cannot call you. We have the Information Commissioner's Office to report these companies since the calls are not permitted by you. Every report to the Information Commissioner Office is being investigated and the disturbing company is being penalized with a fine. If the public acts and reports the callers without permission the amount of fines these companies receive will grow substantially and eventually, they will have to leave this unlawful act.
To report follow the link https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/
Telephone Preference Service Registration
One other method of stopping or at least reducing the nuisance calls would be registering with TPS (Telephone Preference Service) free of charge. TPS is formed to list people's phone numbers that specifically claim they are not permitted to receive such nuisance calls. If you add your number to the list, you will not receive further sales or marketing calls from companies you have not provided your permission to call you. The TPS list is protected by law, and it would be unlawful for a number listed in TPS to receive unwanted calls.
TPS is an effective service but will not stop the calls that are automated, in recent years we started receiving many computer-generated calls from marketing companies, these are hard to prevent, and a high percentage of people receive these calls daily.
Scam calls are also difficult to avoid, this is a more complex issue to deal with and many victims feel ashamed to report such incidents, however, this can happen to everyone, and the victims should report the scammers to the relevant organisations that can investigate and bring them in front of justice. Mainly reporting will help these organisations track down the scammers and stop them, which prevents others from experiencing this dreadful incident.
If you have been a victim of scam by a call you should report it to the police immediately, and provide all the details of the call, caller and any other information related to the scam, including numbers, addresses, and state if you shared any of your passwords, PIN numbers or bank details. If you have paid any money to the scammer, details of the amount and transaction proofs are also very helpful in these cases. Reporting a scam is easy, there is an online form you may fill out to start the process at the Citizens Advice Bureau website.
When the report is received the details of the scam will be shared with Trading Standards for them to gather the necessary information to take legal action against the scammers. This is all how it starts, and the scammer may be obligated to cease operation or prosecuted further. There are also other organisations you can contact as Action Fraud or Financial Conduct Authority if it involves cryptocurrencies, investments, insurance or pensions.
Blocking unwanted calls using phone features
As we detailed all options above to stop nuisance calls and scams this fairly easy and effective method is also another way that can be used to prevent these calls from being received. Blocking the spam calls on your smartphone by pressing the button “BLOCK”, although this functionality in our phones is very useful be careful not to block calls that you may want accidentally or make sure if you contact your provider that they do not block all calls being made from international numbers of withheld (unknown) number. Some unknown calls may be coming from banks, HMRC or even your GP practice.
Ofcom has further information regarding how your service provider may cooperate with you to tackle unwanted calls and support the dramatic drop in the number of nuisance calls received.
There are also devices and options to block calls on home phones, there are good quality cordless phones offering excellent service and coverage. To prevent unwanted calls the Caller ID function needs to be activated with your landline network provider.
How to stop nuisance texts
Calls are not the only way we get disturbed by marketing companies, and these can also be stopped, if you have provided your number to a company in the past and no longer would like to receive texts from the same company, you may reply to the company in text message “STOP” and this should take you out of their text marketing list.
If the text is received from an unknown company replying to the text message may indicate your number is active and this may increase the number of texts received from them, hence it is crucial to identify if the company text is sent from is identifiable from the message received. The active numbers may also start receiving calls from these companies if a response is made, to avoid this first check the message and be sure the sender company is detectable.
Report the calls and text suspicious
If you have registered your number with TPS and still receiving nuisance calls after 28 days of registering the best action to take is to report the calls or texts to TPS.
TPS registration does not stop nuisance texts, but you can forward the texts to number 7726 which corresponds to key letters on your phone for the word “SPAM” This is a free service, and your network provider will not charge for the forwarded text. This is an action we may support the regulators to track down the senders this is an optional action and would help the public further to form a protection for the future.
You only need to provide your contact details and company name to report nuisance texts or calls. If you are reporting to the Information Commissioner Office it would be helpful to hand the number of the caller, the company name of the caller, date and time of the call or text. After reporting Information Commissioner's Office will take further action against the nuisance-making company. For text sent for suspicious advertising, you can report these to also Advertising Standards Authority.
Stopping nuisance calls or text messages from charities
The same conditions are also applicable to charities for nuisance calls and texts sent for fundraising. If you need to stop receiving calls or texts from charities, you should register with TPS.
Charities are also not allowed to contact you for fundraising. This includes charities registered in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is also a service named Fundraising Preference Service to stop getting calls and texts from a charity registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. Fundraising Preference Service informs all charities to remove your contact details from their database to stop calls and texts within 28 days. If you continue receiving calls and texts after registering with the Fundraising Preference Service, you may complain to the Fundraising Regulator.
If the charity contacting you is based in Scotland, you may need to get in touch with the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel to complain.
Silent or abandoned calls
If you are getting silent calls or abandoned calls where it is numerous at times this should be reported to Ofcom, this is also a common way for some advertising companies to automatically make calls on a list to detect active numbers which lead to more scam, spam and nuisance calls and texts, hence it is paramount to report these calls to the Ofcom for further investigation.
If you still need further help we may suggest contacting your local citizen advice bureau or if you are located in Ireland contact Consumerline.