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Managing nuisance calls and texts

Nuisance calls can be very upsetting. They can include persistent sales calls from companies, silent, abusive or harassing calls. You don’t want your mobile phone bombarded with nuisance calls and spam texts advertising products and services you don’t want. Here’s a few tips on how you can keep them to a minimum and even block them altogether.

There are plenty of ways to stop nuisance calls, and they start with you.

  • Be careful who you give your number to. In particular, don’t share your mobile number unless you absolutely have to. This should cut down the number of legitimate but unwanted calls
  • Don’t post your telephone number online on sites like Facebook or Twitter – even on pages you think are private
  • Read companies’ privacy policies and marketing opt-outs carefully. Use them to tell the company not to contact you by phone or text

Don’t encourage the caller by talking back. Never confirm your personal details or mobile number.

While TalkTalk Mobile can’t block particular callers, you may be able to bar numbers with your phone’s ‘blocked list’ feature.

You could also consider letting calls go to voicemail. You can then call back the genuine callers. 


There are three main types of nuisance and spam message and you should deal with each type in a different way.

Spam Texts

These are usually sent to randomly-generated numbers, advertising services like PPI claims, debt write-off and accident claim companies.

How to spot: Spam messages are normally sent from an 11-digit mobile number without the company details displayed as the sender. The message will try and get you to reply or click a link. Don’t – you will only end up getting more.

Premium messages

You should only get chargeable premium messages when you have signed up for them. However, it’s perfectly possible to sign up for chargeable texts without realising it. For example, you might buy a ringtone for your mobile which then signs you up for a weekly premium text message.

How to spot: The message will be from a four, five or six-digit number. You'll be charged for receiving each and every message.

Legitimate marketing messages

These messages should include the name and contact details of the sender. You’ll usually have agreed to receive them, even if you didn’t realise it.

How to spot: The company should identify itself within the text message. Or, you will see its name rather than a number in the “sent-from” details. If the message doesn’t display the company’s name, it's breaking regulations and you should consider it a spam message.


Spam Texts

Never reply – This confirms that your number is active, and you'll be likely to get more.

Make a complaint to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) so they can investigate.

Premium messages

Reply with STOP or STOP ALL – This should stop future messages coming from the company.

If the messages continue, use the Phone-paid Service Authority (PSA) number checker. Enter the number and it'll display the contact details for the company. Give them a call and tell them to stop sending you premium messages. 

Legitimate marketing messages

Reply with the word STOP. But make sure you are 100% certain it is a legitimate marketing message, or you may get even more spam. A sign of a spam message is that it comes from an 11-digit mobile number without the company details displayed as the sender.


You can report spam directly to Vodafone, our network provider, free of charge.

All network operators now use 7726 as the short code to report spam texts and nuisance calls and it’s easy to remember because the numbers on your telephone keypad spell out the word ‘SPAM'.
Vodafone will take action to block numbers that are generating spam on the network, and it will report the offending companies to the regulators.

To report a spam text

Forward the text and the number it came from to 7726.

To report a nuisance call

Text CALL to 7726 and Vodafone will respond by asking for the number calling you.

You may get an automated response thanking you for the report and giving you further instructions if needed. You will not be charged for sending texts to 7726. 


Report to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO)

If you're receiving messages and calls you haven't asked for, or if you feel there's been a breach of your data protection, you can also complain to the ICO.

Telephone: 0303 123 1113

If there's no company information, the Information Commissioner's Office may not be able to follow up your complaint.

If you keep getting calls or texts about accident claims, you can report them to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).