If you're already sick of nuisance phone calls, brace yourself: you're set to start getting a lot more - unless you take steps to avoid them.
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Yesterday, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that anybody believing they've been mis-sold payment protection insurance would have to make a claim by 29 August 2019. This is likely to see a hike in spam calls from PPI claims firms trying to squeeze in before the deadline.
Whether or not you plan to make a claim, you don't want these calls, as claims firms often charge massive fees for a job you can perfectly well do yourself. So how can you avoid them?
How to block nuisance calls
The first step is to register - free - with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). It's illegal for any organisation - including political parties and charities - to call numbers registered here. You can also sign up from your mobile by texting 'TPS' and your email address to 85095.
However, the TPS can't stop all calls; overseas organisations are still able to phone you, as are any to whom you've already given permission.
To stop unwanted text to your mobile, you can reply with the message 'STOP', although you should only do this if the sender is named in the text. You can also forward them to the TPS on the number '7726', which spells SPAM on a numeric keypad.
If all else fails, you can buy a call blocker, costing between £40 and £120. They can be very effective, with a trial by Trading Standards finding that the trueCall system blocked 98% of unwanted calls.
And most phone companies offer services allowing you to block some calls: from selected numbers, say, or all international calls.
Finally, if you think a call is actually a scam, you should report it to Actionfraud.