There has been a sharp increase in nuisance calls in recent years. These are defined as calls you receive where you haven't given the caller your number. Examples of this might include cold calls trying to sell you something you don't want or automated calls regarding compensation for a mis-sold service or product.

To reduce the volume of unwanted calls, you can register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) and once this is done, it will be against the law for companies to call you without your permission. This applies to calls from both the UK and overseas. These calls can be reported to The Information Commissioner as the companies cannot call you if you have not given them your permission and they can be fined if they can be traced and identified.

This doesn't stop automated marketing calls as they are not made by a person, or those attempting to scam you. Your telephone provider should give you guidance on these calls and many phones also have the function to block calls from a particular number.

TPS registration can be done online, from your mobile or by calling and it usually takes up to 28 days for the registration process to conclude. Calls received after this time may be because you have previously given your number out and you can then inform the caller that you are now TPS registered and no longer wish to receive their calls.

It is also good practice to make a company aware that you do not wish to receive marketing calls, emails or other contact by indicating this on any forms you might complete, by ticking or unticking a box where you are asked for your consent.

If you believe that a call you have received is a scam then you should report this immediately. This link provides guidance around how to do this.

From nuisance calls to texts, COVID has provided scammers with many opportunities, using false information regarding vaccinations for example. Likewise, currently popular scams purport to be from HMRC or Royal Mail, urging recipients to make a payments relating to income tax or outstanding mail charges.

While some legitimate marketing texts allow opting out  by sending the word 'STOP' in reply, it is not suggested to  do this for a scam text, otherwise you are showing the sender that your number is active which may prompt further unwanted texts or calls.

You can report these texts by forwarding the text to 7726 (which spells 'spam' on your keypad) and this will report the sender to your network provider. This is a free service and enables more efficient tracking of scammers.