Fed up with being pestered? Aren’t we all. But there are several free ways in which you can stop spam calls and so you can rest easy in your home.
How to stop spam calls in the UK
We all know nuisance calls make us angry. I am at the wrong end of that anger every time I call my parents to ask for money. Seriously though, I found the number of spam calls I received increasing drastically. NO – I do not want £3000 cashback on recycling my windows. NO – I do not want my oven professionally cleaned and a PPI check at the same time. And NO – I have not got a virus on my computer and the only way to clear it is by handing control of my machine over to a man named Clive who has a thick Indian accent.
Although the first couple of calls may be slightly amusing, they can soon turn into frustration. And if you have an elderly or vulnerable relative, it can be a real concern that they can be caught out by some kind of scam.
How to stop spam calls… for free!
The good news is, the majority of home telephone companies offer to block unwanted calls for free.
BT has the imaginatively named BT Call Protect for all their customers. And how much does it cost? Nothing! All you need to do is sign into your account to register using your postcode and phone number. Within about 30 minutes, you should get a confirmation email telling you that you are registered.
From the BT website;
We continually monitor for the worst nuisance call offenders and once we’ve identified them, we will automatically divert them for you.
On top of this, you can stop all international calls, all withheld number calls, all unrecognised number calls and also add any individual numbers – in my parent’s case, my number. All these call types will go straight into junk voicemail.
Dialling 1572 from your home phone allows you to access your junk voicemail and allows you to manage your account. Alternatively, you can access your account and change your settings online after logging in.
For those of you who don’t know, Plusnet is owned by BT, so offer similar services. They offer Plusnet Call Protect. From their website;
This free call feature will block nuisance calls from our pre-selected list. You can also add any number you like to your own personal blacklist. Find out more about it in our call features guide.
TalkTalk has followed suit and introduced a way to block scam calls called CallSafe. Like other companies, they hold a list of potential scam callers.
From the TalkTalk website;
Every time you get a call, CallSafe checks to make sure it’s someone you want to hear from. The caller is then either:
- Approved and put straight through to you.
- Blocked so that your phone doesn’t ring.
- Screened to confirm who they are.
To activate CallSafe:
Simply dial 1 4 7 2 from your TalkTalk landline, then press 1.
You can also switch it on in My Account if you’d prefer:
- Login to My Account.
- Select My Services.
- Choose Manage CallSafe in the drop down menu.
- Your CallSafe status will be shown when you view the page.
- Select Manage under CallSafe Status.
- A new window will open asking if you want to turn CallSafe on. Select Confirm.
Sky offers a service called Sky Talk Shield. Once activated, every call is automatically screened. You can then listen to who is on the other end and decide whether to accept or decline the call. You can then add numbers to a block list. This is a useful tool but doesn’t stop the fact you have to race to the phone to check who it is.
If you want to add Sky Shield, you can sign in to Manage and select activate Sky Talk Shield.
Virgin Media is committed to working with the telecoms industry in the UK to reduce nuisance calls. This is formalised in our commitment to Ofcom’s Nuisance Calls (Technical Measures) Memorandum of Understanding, which you can find here.
This basically means that Virgin don’t offer any services that will stop nuisance calls.
Any other tips on how to stop spam calls?
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a free service. It is the official central opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales or marketing calls. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.
I’m sure most of you have heard of the TPS, but in all honesty, I think it’s a bit of a toothless tiger. The majority of calls I receive are from abroad, which means they are untouchable by the TPS.
A British company needs to break the rules several times before the TPS takes any further action and it relies on the public to report information. It is worth signing up to the TPS register, but don’t expect it to make a massive difference.
The vast majority of phones now have an LCD display. That means you can set-up caller display which shows you who is calling (like mobile phones). Depending on your package, your landline company may charge you a small fee every month for caller display. Plus, many people block their numbers from view, so it won’t always help.
This handy box plugs into your phone. According to trueCall;
trueCall is the complete solution to all types of nuisance phone call – telemarketing, recorded message calls, silent calls, calls from overseas call centres, fax calls, market researchers, offensive or threatening calls, misdials and wrong numbers. It’s about the size of a paperback book and plugs into your phone line at home, checking every call you receive before letting your phone ring.
This is a very highly rated device, as you can see from the Amazon reviews. It’s especially useful if you have elderly relatives as you can monitor the device yourself. It does come with a cost of just over £100, but that’s all as there are no subscription costs.
Which are the ways to stop scam calls?
As a first step, I would opt for one of the free schemes offered by your phone company. In my experience, they work pretty well. If not, the trueCall device is a great option, although it is a little pricey.
Why not take a look at how to find a better broadband and phone deal?
If you have any other ideas on how to stop cold calls, I would love to hear from you.
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