Update: The Telephone Preference Service has contacted us with a new number people should use to sign up for their nuisance calls blocking service. Text 'TPS' followed by your phone number to 85095, which is free for all mobile networks. The older number, which we mention below, still works, but you may be charged 15p to use it.
If you're sick of getting unsolicited calls from businesses trying to convince you to pursue a PPI claim, or asking if you've been in an accident that's not your fault, then we have some good news – it's now easier than ever to block these companies from calling you.
A new text-to-register service has been launched by Ofcom, which lets you add your phone number to the 'do not call' database of the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). This makes it illegal for companies to phone you without permission.
Sending the text
All you need to do is send a text message to 78070 (or 85095, which is free for all mobile networks) with the letters 'TPS' followed by your phone number.
You may get a message saying 'Messenger would like to send a message to 78070. This will cause charges on your mobile account'. We contacted the Telephone Preference Service for clarification about this message, and were assured that the service is completely free, though you may be charged 15p for the text. Instead, use 85095, which is free from any mobile network.
After sending the text you'll receive a confirmation, and you should soon start seeing a reduction in nuisance calls. The service can take up to 28 days to register your details, though, so it might not happen instantly.
You can also register with the Telephone Preference Service online, by calling the registration line on 0845 070 0707, or by sending your details to Telephone Preference Service, DMA House, 70 Margaret Street, London, W1W 8SS.
You can also check on the TPS website to see if your number is registered.
What to do if you still get nuisance calls
While the Telephone Preference Service does a good job of limiting nuisance calls, it's not perfect. While it makes it illegal for companies to contact you, it won't do much to stop scammers or businesses that deliberately ignore the law.
Getting a free call-blocking app such as Truecaller is another reliable way to block unwanted calls. You can add phone numbers you want to block manually, or use the large database of known spam callers that Truecaller has collected over the years.
After downloading and installing the app, open it, enter your details and allow Truecaller to access your phone and contacts (don't worry – this is secure). Now click on 'block', then 'Enable blocking'.
If you receive spam text messages you can forward the offending messages to the Telephone Preference Service using the number 7726, which spells out the word 'SPAM' on your phone's keypad.