Cold calls are not only annoying, but can also lead to many of the rip-offs you tell us about.
Here are some simple ways to deal with nuisance phone calls.
- Ask cold callers to remove your information from their records. They must do this by law. If the same company calls again, complain to the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) on 0303 123 1113, or visit www.ico.gov.uk.
- Find out the caller's number from a landline by dialling 1471 after the call.
- Check with your phone company if your number can be made ex-directory.
- Register for free with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to reduce the number of sales and marketing calls on 0800 398 893 or register online at www.tpsonline.org.uk
- Be careful when signing up to services which box you tick. Decide if you really want your details to be used for marketing, or passed on to other companies.
- Don't give away personal or financial information to cold callers, even if they claim to be from a company you know. If in doubt, look up the number of the company and call them back.
- Don't lose your temper. Be polite but firm. If the caller refuses to go away, hang up. If you are worried about a call tell your friends or family, or get some advice.
- Don't call back phone numbers left on your voicemail, or reply to text messages you don't recognise. The cost of the call could be excessive, or it could be a scam.