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How To Stop Those Incredibly Annoying Spam Phone Calls

It's actually pretty simple and you can do it in about five minutes.

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There is literally nothing more annoying in the world than those robot spam phone calls.

It appears the PPI automated phone call brigade have finally found my phone number. #ScumSuckingLeechWhores

"This is an urgent message. You may have been missold insurance." Or "Our records indicate that you have had an accident at some point in the last three years." Sometimes there's an actual human, but usually it's a recorded message.

They are maddening.

FFS if I get one more call about suing for PPI, Had An Accident, late flights or anything else and I'm smashing the house phone up ☎🔨

This is how you stop the phone calls. There's a government-backed website called the Telephone Prefences Service.

TPS / BuzzFeed

Go to it and go to the "register" page. Once you're there, select "residential".

Alternatively you can phone them on 0845 070 0707 or email on tps@dma.org.uk.

Then enter your phone number and your details as they ask for them.

TPS / BuzzFeed

Don't worry, it's legit. Then they'll send you an email and you have to click on a link to complete the registration. That's it.

That puts your name and number on a database. Telemarketers are forbidden by law to make unsolicited calls to numbers on that list.

It takes 28 days for it to go through, and after that, you shouldn't be getting any calls from companies you haven't said can call you.

And that's it! Done.

Sort of. There are one or two more things to think about, but basically, that should be it.

This won't stop calls you've agreed to, and God knows it's easy to forget to tick or untick boxes on websites, so you may have accidentally agreed to a few. If you're still getting calls, you can block specific numbers when you get them.

BuzzFeed

On iPhones, you go to your recent calls, select the number you want, press the "i" icon to the right, and in the menu that comes up select "block caller". On Android, similarly, go to your call log, select the number you want, press the three-dot menu icon, and select "add to reject list". Those numbers won't get through to your phone if they try to ring or text again.

It also won't stop illegal marketers, because they're illegal. You'll just have to report those numbers to the authorities.

Ofcom, the government watchdog which oversees telephone marketing, says:

When you receive a nuisance call, make a brief note of the call if you can, including the date, time, name of the firm (if it's known) and also the number you were called from (even if it doesn't look like a valid phone number). Then make a complaint to the relevant organisation or regulator. But, even if you don't have all the information available, you can still make a complaint.

More details on how to complain here.

Spam text messages are a bit more complicated, because they fall under a different jurisdiction.

Specifically, they count as mail rather than telephone marketing, so the TPS can't stop them. But in theory, you should only get them from companies you've allowed to contact you.

You can block them in the same way as you block calls. Or, if it's from a number or company you recognise, you can text STOP to them in reply. However, if you don't recognise the number, OFCOM recommends that you don't text them, because that can let a spam marketer know that they've reached a real number, so you might get even more calls.

They say: "Instead, report the spam text to your network operator. Simply forward the text to 7726. An easy way to remember '7726' is that they are the numbers on your telephone keypad that spell out the word 'SPAM'." Texts to 7726 are free.

You should also report it to the Information Commissioner's Office, who will investigate.

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