How to block unwanted calls and texts

No one should have to put up with unwanted calls or texts. Here are some ways to avoid them.

Types of calls and texts

Unwanted calls or texts could be from sales and marketing companies trying to sell goods or services, or unsolicited text messages (spam) inviting you to urgently call a premium rate and text services.

They could also simply be calls from a number you no longer want to be able to contact you.

> Find out more about how to avoid and prevent spam calls, emails and texts

If you receive malicious calls:

  1. keep calm – malicious calls are often made by people trying to get a reaction. Staying calm often stops them
  2. DO NOT give any information about yourself, especially bank details. You should only give people you know and trust personal information, including your name and phone number
  3. DO NOT give out your mobile number. When you answer just say "Hello" rather than giving your name and number
  4. if the call is malicious, and direct threats have been made against you or your family, you should report it the police

How can I block calls and texts on my device?

Most handsets allow you to block certain numbers from being able to call or text you. When activated, callers will be diverted to your voicemail. Setting this up is easy, free, and varies depending on the handset you have.

To block calls:

  • open your phone dialler and go to Settings (or sometimes More)
  • look for a call blocking section where you can manage a list of numbers
  • you may also be able to do this from your call log – select the number or contact and look for a block option

To block texts:

  • open your phone’s messaging app and go to more/settings
  • look for a block option and choose a number
  • you can also open a message, go to more/settings and look for a block option

Need to know

Apps such as WhatsApp or Facebook messenger work independently, and you’ll need to set up a block from within those apps to prevent contact.

I'm still having issues, what can I do?

Which? are currently running the ‘Calling time on nuisance calls and texts’ campaign. Every complaint reported helps with the fight to stop nuisance calls and texts.

> Report a nuisance call or text using the Which? Scam Sharer

Some people make calls to cause anxiety, upset or annoyance. You don’t have to put up with it and should report them to the police straight away. The police might then be able to trace where the calls are coming from. They’ll contact your supplier if they need to do that.

Register your landline or mobile number with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). This free service allows you to register your preference not to receive any unsolicited telesales calls

Need to know

Be careful which box you tick – sometimes when you fill in forms, either online or in person, companies will ask if it’s OK for them or other companies to get in touch with you.

Read this section carefully as sometimes there's a box for you to check, but sometimes you might need to uncheck a box.

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