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Nuisance Calls – How to stop them:
Are you receiving unwanted nuisance and scam calls on your landline or mobile phone. It seems that a day doesn’t go by without receiving a number of these calls such as, “We have been informed you have been involved in a car accident”, Microsoft support saying they have identified a security issue on your computer and scam calls purporting to be from BT about a non existent broadband or router problem and they need to have remote access to your computer to resolve the issue or a threatening recorded announcement saying, “If an outstanding payment is not made you will be arrested and prosecuted”.

Although it’s not possible to stop all unwanted and nuisance calls, there are a number of options available to help reduce them. The first option to consider, if you have not already done so is to register with the Telephone Preference Scheme (TPS), which is the UK’s only official ‘Do Not Call register’ for landline and mobile numbers, enabling people to opt out of live sales and marketing calls. It is free to register your landline or mobile number which can be done online at www.tpsonline.org.uk , by phone on 0345 070 0707 or text TPS and your email address to 85095 from your mobile.

It is a legal requirement that marketing companies do not call any numbers registered with the TPS and any company that does can be fined. Registering with TPS will not stop automated computer calls as the law only applies to people and not computers. It is illegal to make marketing calls to numbers that have been registered for more than 28 days unless consent has been given to call. You can register a complaint about a live unsolicited marketing call in which you engaged in a live conversation with the caller, who tried to sell you or market their product or service. Complaints can be registered on the TPS website and they will contact the company to investigate the complaint.

If you have a BT landline their ‘Call Protect’ service can help prevent unwanted calls by automatically blocking and diverting known nuisance callers from a BT Black List to a junk voice mail, as well as customers having the ability to block individual callers.

Most of the other major phone providers such as Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk also provide various call blocking products and services. Which ever phone company you are with, If you are having problems with nuisance calls contact customer service to seek help and advice.

Just be aware that scammers have the ability to spoof genuine numbers, so they can appear to be from a trusted source such as your bank or building society and in blocking these spoofed numbers you will also block any genuine calls from these numbers.

With nuisance and scam calls to mobile phones, both iPhone and Android have the ability to block callers. With the iPhone for instance, you can scroll down the recent call list, select the information icon on the right and select block and then confirm. For other makes and handsets refer to the mobile user guide for instructions on call blocking.

There are also a number of call blocking apps available for mobile phones on the Apple Store and Google Play, though when you read the various reviews they seem to have varied levels of  success in stopping unwanted calls.

Dedicated call blockers are available such as the TrueCall Secure Plus unit, which lets calls from friends and family straight through, but blocks unwelcome callers and asks unrecognised callers to identify themselves before they are put through. The TrueCall device has proved to be very successful in reducing the number of unwanted and nuisance calls, with the company working in partnership with the police and National Trading Standards Team who have supplied a number of these devices to households who receive unwanted, scam and nuisance calls due to their particular circumstances. The same TrueCall technology has also been incorporated in a number of BT phones such as the premium series, providing full control of which calls are blocked.

As you can see, there are a number of different options and services available which hopefully will help to reduce the the number of unwanted and scam calls being received.