Our guide to help you stop unwanted calls

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The tactics used by some telephone cold-callers can sometimes leave you bewildered or pressured into buying things that you neither want nor need, but there are ways to get the upper hand.

Northumberland County Council’s Trading Standards officers can take action and prosecute companies involved in illegal activity.

They have put together the following list of cut-out-and-keep tips to help you reduce the number of calls you receive and how to report unwanted callers.

• If you want to reduce the number of cold calls that you receive, consider registering with the Telephone Preference Service by calling 0845 070 0707 or visiting TPS online. It is a legal requirement that all organisations (including charities, voluntary organisations and political parties) do not make such calls to numbers registered on the TPS unless they have your consent to do so.

• If you receive silent calls or abandoned calls then you can report these to the Independent Regulator OFCOM. Although they cannot take on individual cases they can launch investigations into company practices. Further details can be found on the OFCOM website.

• An additional method of avoiding these calls can be through purchasing a call blocker. These machines are pre-programmed with rogue calling telephone numbers. At the touch of a button the unwanted caller’s number is logged into the unit’s memory, hang up the call and the number is blocked permanently. One such company, which has associations with the Trading Standards Institute, is CPR Call Blocker.

• You could also consider going ex-directory.

Further information on your rights is available by calling Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06 or visiting the Citizens Advice website. Details of all complaints are shared with the Trading Standards Authorities throughout the UK and appropriate action will be considered against businesses that act in ways that are detrimental to consumers.

Sign our petition to Stop Nuisance Robocalls here.