How to stop nuisance calls to mobile

ByDuncan Heaney
Angry man with mobile phone

Unsolicited calls on your mobile can - to be frank - be a pain in the buttocks. In this guide, we’ll look at what steps you can take to make these calls just go away.

It always happens at the most inconvenient time. You're hard at work, driving your car, or settling down to watch the latest episode of Popular Show Of The Moment™… then suddenly RING RING BZZ! Your mobile starts buzzing and screeching away, so you stop what you're doing, answer it and get something along the lines of…

"This is an automated message about your PPI service." Argh!

But hold off that strop, because there are some things you can do to stop it happening as much.

Sign up to the Telephone Preference Service

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a free service that exists to provide people with a respite from unsolicited sales calls. Sign up, and it's illegal for companies to call you up out of the blue to hawk their annoying services.

A lot of people assume that the TPS only applies to home phones, but it actually applies to mobiles too. There are a couple of ways to register.

How to sign up to the Telephone Preference Service:

  • Text 'TPS' and your email address to 78070. Shortly after, you'll get a text message back confirming your number has been added to the TPS database.
  • Call 0345 070 0707 to register your mobile or landline phone numbers.

It can take up to 28 days before your TPS registration comes into effect, but after a month you should see a reduction in calls.

You might still get a few unsolicited calls, of course. Although companies aren't allowed to get in touch anymore, not all will get the message straight away. If one of those calls you, tell them straight off that you're signed up to the TPS - as someone who's worked call centres in the past, I can tell you most will hang up pretty sharpish.

There will also be some cases where companies are allowed to phone you up. For example, market research is still allowed, and you may have given a company permission to get in touch in the past. If that's the case, contact that company and ask them to take you off their marketing list. They're expected to oblige.

Reporting nuisance text messages

If you're signed up to the TPS, you can report unwanted text messages. Provided they're from a company of course - reporting that guy or girl who just won't take the hint  won't be considered helpful, or appreciated.

Mobile phone

Block phone numbers on iPhone

If you keep getting bothered by the same number, there's a simple solution - block it.

This is really easy to do on iPhone. Here's how you can go about it:

1. Press the green phone icon, as if you were making a call.

2. Tap the Recent Calls tab on the bottom of the screen.

3. Find the phone number you want to block, and press the info button - that's the letter 'I' in the circle.

4. At the bottom of this menu is the option to Block this Caller. Press this and accept, and that number won't bother you anymore.

Block numbers on Android

This is a little trickier to explain, as many Android manufacturers, like Samsung, have their own unique interfaces. Here's how you do it on many handsets. If this doesn't work for you, check the settings and you're likely to find the option in there.

1. Press the phone icon

2. Open logs, and find the number you want to block

3. Hold down on the dots in the corner to bring up a menu

4. Add the phone number to the auto-reject list

Get a blocking app

You can also get apps that block calls - for example Truecaller. This service has a database of numbers that are known to be spam callers. It can alert you to numbers that are nuisance calls or block them entirely if that's your preference. Just remember to give it access to your phone and contacts.

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