How id they get my number?

There are two types of nuisance calls. Perhaps the most annoying is the call when there is nobody on the other end of the line. These are computer generated calls and the silence that you hear when you answer the call is the computer connecting you to a waiting call handler. Extremely irritating and something that you may feel you can do nothing about. The second type of nuisance call is the one where someone is trying to sell you something that you don’t want. Both are not only irritating but a waste of your time and in the case of the elderly can be extremely stressful as they often panic and feel that something has gone wrong.


How does it happen?

Quite simply every time you fill in a form or make an application and include your contact details you are giving companies your personal details. Many companies will not pass on your details but after a period of time the data protection law expires and companies can sell your details on to others. Hence the cold callers pop up as they see what your records have been in the past and start checking out your availability to make PPI claims, apply for loans and many other things. Your mobile number is not exempt either and after a while you will find that you get calls from other networks trying to poach your services. You can check your rights regarding these nuisance calls in consumer magazines or consumer websites.

What can I do?

There are a number of things you can do to prevent nuisance callers. You can register your number with the Telephone Preference Service which will help prevent marketing calls although it does not guarantee to stop all calls. If you continue to get unwanted calls you can then make a complaint to the TPS and ask them to investigate. Unfortunately they do not have the power to penalise a company for continuing to contact you.

You can also use a third party to intervene on your behalf such as and allow them to prevent unwanted callers from contacting you. You can also take matters into your own hands and purchase equipment that you attach to your phone line. You can use this to block the unwanted number from contacting you after the initial contact. You would be surprised how many nuisance callers are repeat offenders.

Sadly nuisance callers are also clever callers and sometimes you need to use all the options open to you to prevent them contacting you. One thing you should never worry about is terminating a call. The person at the other end of the telephone is only doing his or her job so there is no need to be rude but a polite sorry not interested and ending the call is all it needs. If they persist then just hang up as soon as you hear the voice, or if you can don’t answer the call at all. Most mobiles have a “block” feature on them so block the number from contacting your handset. If you cannot, then call your service provider and ask them to bar the call on your behalf.


Image attributed to: /Stuart Miles


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