Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Stop getting nuisance calls and texts

This advice applies to England

Stop getting nuisance calls

There are some actions you can take to stop getting nuisance calls that you don’t want.

You shouldn’t get nuisance calls if you didn’t give the caller your number - for example:

  • cold calls trying to sell you something you don’t want or need, like double glazing
  • recorded or automated messages telling you you’re due compensation, perhaps for a mis-sold insurance policy such as PPI

Register with the Telephone Preference Service

The best way to stop nuisance calls is to register your number with the Telephone Preference Service - they’ll add you to their list of numbers that don’t want to receive sales and marketing calls. You can also call them to register on 0345 070 0707.

It’s illegal for a company to call numbers registered with the Telephone Preference Service, so registering should scare companies away and stop them bothering you.

It’s a free service and it’s easy to register. You’ll need your phone number, postcode and an email address to sign up on the Telephone Preference Service website. You can also sign up from your mobile by texting ‘TPS’ and your email address to 85095.

If you get nuisance calls after you’ve registered with the Telephone Preference Service, it may be because you gave the caller your number. Tell the individual caller you don’t want to be contacted again, and they should stop calling you.

You might also still get calls from companies that don't follow the regulations. You can get advice about companies that ignore the law from the Telephone Preference Service website. 

To try to prevent the problem happening again you should always check any forms that you fill in for tickboxes that say something like “I give permission for third parties to contact me by phone” or “I give you permission to contact me by phone”. Don’t tick the boxes if you don’t want to be contacted.

Block nuisance calls 

There are products to block some calls (like international calls or withheld numbers) but be careful they don't also block calls you want. Ask your phone provider if they have a service to block some numbers, or you can install a call blocking device on your phone yourself. 

Ofcom has information about the different services your phone provider may have to tackle nuisance calls.

And Which? has reviewed a range of call blocking devices.

If you think it’s a scam call

Scams usually involve people being tricked into giving money. If you think a caller is trying to run a scam, you should report it to Actionfraud.

Stop getting nuisance texts

If you’ve given your number to a company in the past they may send you texts. You can tell them to stop sending you texts by replying ‘STOP’ to the text message. Only reply with ‘STOP’ if the sender tells you who they are in the text or they’re identified in the sent-from number.

If you don’t recognise the sender of a nuisance text or it’s from an unknown number, don’t reply. This will let the sender know you’re number is active and they may send you more texts or call you.

Report a nuisance call or text

Registering with the Telephone Preference Service will stop you getting nuisance calls, but if someone’s still bothering you 28 days after registering, then report them to the Telephone Preference Service.

Registering with the Telephone Preference Service won’t stop you getting nuisance texts. Forward the text to 7726 - this spells ‘SPAM’ on your phone keypad. This will report the sender to your mobile network company. You won’t be charged for forwarding a text to 7726.

Reporting nuisance calls or texts also helps regulators track down who’s making them. You’re under no obligation to do this, but it's quick and easy, and it’ll help more people in the long run.

You'll need to have your contact details and the charity name or registration number to hand.

Stop calls and texts from a charity

Charities should not cold call you for fundraising if you are registered with the Telephone Preference Service

You can also contact the Fundraising Preference Service if you want to stop getting calls and texts from a charity registered in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. They'll tell them to remove your contact details within 28 days. The best way to do this is to register on their website. You can register over the phone if you prefer.

Fundraising Preference Service

Telephone: 0300 3033 517

Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5.30pm
Saturday, 9am to midday

Calls to this number can cost up to 10p a minute from a landline, or between 3p and 40p a minute from a mobile (your phone supplier can tell you how much you'll pay).

You'll need to have your contact details and the charity name or registration number to hand.

If you want to stop calls and texts from a charity registered in Scotland, you should sign up to the Telephone Preference Service. It is unlawful under the Fundraising Code of Practice for a charity to make fundraising calls to you if you are registered with this service. There is a three-step process for you to complain about a charity if they continue to call you. More information about this is available on the Scottish Fundraising Standards Panel website at

If you’re getting calls where no one's there (called silent or abandoned calls), report them to Ofcom.

You can report any other type of nuisance call or text to the Information Commissioner’s Office. They can fine companies that break the law.

As a charity, we rely on all the support we can get to help millions of people solve their problems each year - either online, face to face, or over the phone. Please donate what you can to help us continue our work.

Did this advice help?
Why wasn't this advice helpful?

Please tell us more about why our advice didn't help.

Did this advice help?

Thank you, your feedback has been submitted.

UAT (Release)