How to stop nuisance phone calls and texts

The simple steps you can take to prevent unsolicited calls

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The Independent Online

A Government task force has published a series of recommendations aimed at curbing unsolicited calls and texts - as figures reveal that more than one billion nuisance calls are made very year.

The Nuisance Calls and Texts Task Force on Consent and Lead Generation has suggested 15 ways of tackling the problem. These include calling on businesses to improve their direct marketing practices and urging further action by the regulators.

Its report also recommended actions for the Government, suggesting that leaders should ensure companies are aware of their responsibilities in regards to marketing calls and texts, and consider how future legislation could deal with cold calls.

In the interim there are a number of things you can do right now to prevent nuisance calls and texts.

Currently, the ICO offers the following advice:

To avoid Telesales (live marketing calls)

1. Register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) free of charge. This is the UK's official opt-out register and means that all organisations are legally required not to contact you without your consent.

2. When you provide you phone number to a company, take note of the small print to see what it says about privacy and keep an eye out for those opt-in/opt-out boxes.

3. Tell organisations explicitly that you do not want to be contacted in this way.

If you continue to receive live marketing calls that you believe breach regulations, contact the organisation directly to ask them to resolve the problem. If you receive nuisance calls after registering with the TPS, lodge a complaint with them or contact the ICO.

To avoid automated calls

1. You should only receive these types of calls if you have previously granted the organisation permission to contact you.

2. If you are receiving calls asking you to phone a premium rate number (starting with 090) contact PhonepayPlus.

If you continue to receive automated calls contact the ICO.

To avoid silent calls

1.Contact Ofcom for advice on 020 7981 3040.