How to beat cold callers

Beating those cold callers

Boy on tin can phone listening to curious good news

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The Government has announced it will ban cold calls selling investments or pensions. Many of these unsolicited calls are from crooks. Even those cold callers who aren’t crooks can put pressure on people to agree to unsuitable offers. But the change won’t happen immediately, and even when it does, it will still be impossible to stop calls made from abroad or from those determined to break the law. So you have to protect yourself.


Step 1

If anyone you don’t know phones, texts or emails you offering a financial deal of any sort, just put the phone down, delete the text (after forwarding it to your network operator, see below) or bin the email. No one ever lost money by turning down an unsolicited financial offer. But many have lost a great deal by accepting one! Pass this advice on to anyone you know who you fear may be liable to engage with these people.

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Step 2

If you get a cold call or spam text, report it to the Information Commissioner’s Office: They will not investigate every case. But reporting helps them to build up information for use in future. Spam texts can be forwarded to your network operator on 7726, which spells out SPAM on your keypad! You may need to put 8 (for Vodafone) or 3 (Three) in front. If you suspect an attempted fraud, tell or call 0300 123 2040. They may or may not take any action.


Step 3

You can stop a lot of cold calls – certainly the legitimate ones – by registering your landlineor mobile with the Telephone Preference Service at It’s free and simple to do. Any firm that makes a cold call after you are on the register is breaking the law. You will need an active email address. If you don’t have one, register by calling 0345 070 0707 (charged at standard geographic rates). Then if cold calls still happen, you will know they are illegitimate. Always report them.