Now it's easier to opt out of nuisance calls

If you're really sure you don't want to make a PPI claim...

Closeup portrait, frustrated angry young man, in big nerd glasses, seeing bad news email text on cellphone, isolated white backg

A new scheme aims to put a stop to nuisance calls to your mobile - and all it takes is sending a single text.

Regulator Ofcom has teamed up with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to make it easier for people to opt out of marketing calls. All phone customers have to do is text 'TPS, followed by their email address to the shortcode 78070. They'll then receive a confirmation text.

"Rogue callers operate illegally and against the interests of ordinary people," says John Mitchison, head of the TPS.

"Texting will make it easier for people to register their mobile numbers on the TPS, which is the only official no-call list, and help us stamp out rogue callers once and for all by giving the Information Commissioner more ammunition to prosecute these cases."

It may take up to a month for the calls to dry up, and they won't disappear completely. Generally, says the TPS, registering means a cut of about a third in the number of calls received, and spam texts can't be stopped at all.

The problem is that many operators are based overseas, beyond the power of UK law.

"Nuisance calls are incredibly intrusive and can cause significant distress, particularly to elderly and vulnerable members of society," says Baroness Neville Rolfe, minister responsible for data protection.

"Government is committed to tackling this problem, and we have introduced a series of measures that have already seen record fines handed out to combat these rogue callers."

Earlier this month, the government announced a new initiative to clamp down on cold callers forcing them to display their numbers. Dissatisfied customers can then contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) on 0303 123 1113 to complain.

To try and ensure you receive fewer calls in the first place, Ofcom advises being careful who you give your contact details to, whether it's online, on the phone, or in person.

Pay particular attention to any marketing 'opt-in' and 'opt-out' boxes - which are often buried deep in the small print. If you don't pay attention to them, you could find yourself inadvertently agreeing to be contacted by companies you don't recognise.

Register with the TPS, and if you do still receive calls, complain to the ICO, as above.

Or you could even take a leaf out of the book of Wayne Naylor, who last year sued one cold-calling company for wasting his time. He demanded £60 per call in compensation - and won.

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