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We all get unwanted cold calls and they can be very annoying and in some cases lead to fraud and loss of money.

Many are harmless and just waste your time and may lead to more unwanted phone calls.

Here are some actions that will help you to avoid cold callers

A.     The Telephone Preference Service

This service is provided by the government and lets you register your phone number. Once registered it is illegal for cold callers to call your number (legally, telemarketers must not to call a TPS subscribed number after 28 days. Registration is free and only takes 2 minutes.  The service was setup because there are so many cold callers from companies about PPI, Accident Claims, Overseas Scams plus Spam SMS and other nuisance calls.

TPS is for the public at their residential address and sole traders but not businesses.  There is also a separate corporate telephone preference service for companies to register their phone numbers to prevent cold callers.

B. The Magic Phone Number

When buying something online or registering online there is usually a form to fill in of your details and quite often this insists on your telephone number even though you know it’s not needed.

This is annoying, plus you wonder what they will do with your phone number. Will they sell it or give it to third parties, resulting in phone calls you don’t want?

As the forms usually check the number is in the correct format, you need a real phone number to input.

You can use 0333 88 88 88 88 (the last 8 doesn’t matter if the form only allows 11 digits).   

When, they call, those cold callers will hear a short recorded message:-

"trueCall38 is handling my calls. I prefer not to be contacted by phone, so please contact me via my email address.  Goodbye!"

Problem solved.

But why do companies ask for your phone number? 
They rarely really need it, and you don't know what they are going to do with it. Interestingly, experts say that asking for a phone number can reduce the number of people who complete an online form by 25%. That’s a big loss.

If you don’t want someone to have your phone number – tell them 0333 88 88 88 88

C.      Check Who Called You  

If you’re getting cold calls and want to know who they are from then this website may have the answer.   You type in the phone number and see who it is. It doesn’t always work, as they don’t have all the numbers  used by cold callers.

The website also lists recent numbers people checked up on and lists some recent scams you should be aware of.

Many cold callers block their ID so you can’t know the number they are calling from, but if you have the type of phone that lets you block callers – then block all calls where the caller ID is withheld.  Or alternatively, a simple remedy to caller withheld is just don’t answer the call. 

There are other websites that also let you do reverse telephone number lookups, such as

So, if you want to know who’s calling you and they wont say – then try one of these websites.

D.     Stop Cold Callers by Threatening Legal Action


Remember, they called you uninvited – there is no need to be polite. These people can be the bane of your life with repeated calls.

Refer them to non-existent legislation that they may be breaking. Anything that doesn’t follow their script is disconcerting to a cold caller and an authoritative voice warning them of law breaking should stop them immediately.

For example,

My number is registered with the telephone preference service. By calling me you are breaking section 117 of the Telecommunications Act 2012. You are personally liable to a fine of up to £5,000 for a first offence or imprisonment for further offences. I suggest you get your bags packed.


This is not true of course – it is just intended to stop the cold caller from pestering you.

E.     General Advice on Dealing With Telephone Cold Callers -


 Some people enjoy being very rude to such callers to get rid of them, some are more polite but end the conversation quickly. However, many keep talking; either not understanding that it’s a bad idea to talk to such callers and a waste of your time or are just too polite to end the conversation.

A more efficient approach is to be direct.

They will try to engage you in conversation “How are you today”? or a similar question.

Do not engage.  If asked your name or to confirm your name – Do not engage.

Ask “What do you want”?

If not answered, then repeat the question until you get an answer or just put the phone down.

Once answered, you have the choice to continue the conversation or end the call.

End the call with “Goodbye and don’t ever call again” and put the phone down.

If you have a more effective approach then do let us email.

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