How to avoid nuisance phone calls

What is a nuisance telephone call?

The word 'nuisance' means different things to different people. The term 'nuisance call' can be used to capture a wide range of types of calls from silent calls to 'live' marketing calls, harassment calls to financial scams. By their very definition, nuisance calls are a problem for consumers. For some they are a mere irritation, but for others, they can cause significant harm or distress and can even cause people to feel intimidated when answering their phone.

How do I avoid them?

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) holds a list of registered numbers that have opted out of receiving unsolicited marketing calls. Any company wishing to make such calls must screen their calling lists against the TPS register and remove any opted out numbers. People can register their number by calling the TPS on 0345 070 0707 or via the TPS website here

• Check privacy statements when you provide your phone number
• Tell organisations you deal with if you would rather they did not market you by phone

Who do I complain to?

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is responsible for enforcement for live calls, including recorded calls and spam text messages. You can contact the ICO via their website here or call their helpline on 0303 1231113.

What else do I need to know?

There is a current scam where criminals cold call people pretending to be from the Telephone Preference Service and ask you for money or personal details. The TPS is always free and they will never contact you requesting payments or credit card details.

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