Cold calls are not only annoying but they can have a severe impact on those at their receiving end.
In 2015 the government set up a cross-party review after the death of Bristol poppy seller Olive Cooke, 92, who was on the hit list of 99 charities, including 70 organisations who bought and shared her details.
But there are also steps you can take personally to prevent yourself being inundated by calls.The government pledged a crackdown and today it was revealed a company behind almost 100 million nuisance calls was fined a record £400,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office.
Below is a list of top tips from consumer groups on what to do:
Register for free with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS)
The most effective way to block nuisance calls is to register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and is typically number one on most advice lists.
TPS will add your number to a list of people who don’t want to receive sales and marketing calls.
In order to sign up you’ll need your phone number, postcode and email.As it is illegal for a company to call a company registered with TPS this should go a long way towards stopping them bothering you.
If you get a call after registering it might well be because you handed over your number and don’t remember doing it.
Citizens’ Advice recommends telling them you don’t want to be contacted and that should get you removed from the list.
Block nuisance calls
While being registered with TPS will stop reputable firms calling you, it won’t stop every call.
It won’t stop automated messages or spam calls from outside the EU.
They will need as much information as possible – like name, date, and what the message is selling – to help you out.You can complain about automated messages to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on 0303 123 1113.
Stopping calls from outside the EU is more tricky. Money Saving Expert advises giving them a polite no, however, you could ask your call provider to block international calls for a fee.
Use a call-blocking device
You can use a call-blocking device such as CPR Call Blocker or TrueCall which plug directly into your phone and allow you to screen the calls you receive.
Check forms to keep your name on call lists
If you keep getting calls it might be because you’re inadvertently giving companies permission to call you.
For instance, some forms will carry tick boxes saying something like ‘I give you permission to contact me by phone’.
It goes without saying that ticking this box will up the level of nuisance calls you receive.
Which? suggests making sure your number is not in any directories.
If you have already ticked a few boxes you wish you hadn’t you can call those companies to ask to be removed from the list.
If you are still getting bothered you can report the offenders to TPS who will contact the company for you and pass on complaints to the ICO, which can then take action.
If you think you’re being targeted by scammers you can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
If you’re getting calls when there’s no one there – known as silent calls – you can report these to Ofcom on 0300 123 3000.
Original article from Metro.co.uk