Speak to your provider

If you keep getting calls from a withheld number, contact your phone company who should have a dedicated team for handling nuisance calls.

Your phone provider can advise you on what to do next, and may even be able to trace the caller to stop them contacting you again.

They may also be able to help you set up caller display, or block calls from withheld numbers. You can contact them via their website, or by calling their customer service team.

Register with TPS

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) mainly exists to combat unwanted sales calls and registering with them should help you reduce the number of silent calls you receive.

Did you know?

Cold callers use predictive diallers to make high numbers of sales calls.

They create such a high number of calls that when you answer, there is nobody available to take your call and the line is silent.

It is free to register and unwanted calls should stop within 28 days after registration is complete. TPS lets you:

  • Stop unwanted marketing calls

  • Stop unwanted text messages

  • Prevent calls at inconvenient times

  • Allow valid calls to get through

  • Stop calls about products you are not interested in

Find out who is calling

UK companies are required by TPS to display their phone number so it is easier for you to report unwanted calls from the same number.

To check the number of the call:

  • Screen the call using your handset and make a note of the phone number, along with the date and time of the call

  • Dial 1471 if you missed the call and record the phone number and the time the call was made

You can then report the company to the Information Commissioner's Office who will investigate and potentially issue fines for unwanted cold calls.

What is spoofing?

This is where nuisance callers and criminals change their caller ID to hide who they are, or to appear as though calling from a real company.

For example, identity thieves who want to steal your bank details will pretend they are calling from your bank or building society.

If you think you have been contacted by someone trying to commit identity fraud, you should:

  • Not give out your personal details

  • Hang up the phone

  • Wait five minutes, to make sure the fraudulent call has ended

  • Contact the company the caller claimed to work for, to see if the call was genuine

If you think you have been a victim of spoofing, you can contact Action Fraud via their website or by calling 0300 123 2040.

Complain to Ofcom

You can report silent calls or abandoned calls to the telecoms regulator Ofcom so that they can investigate further.

To complain about a silent call:

  • Visit the Ofcom website

  • Enter details about when you received the call

  • Confirm what number it came from

  • Report a recorded message or silence on the line

If Ofcom needs more information about your complaint they may contact you, but in most cases this is unnecessary.

Report intimidating calls

If you believe the calls you are receiving are from an individual who is deliberately trying to intimidate you, you should contact the police.

To find contact details of your local police station or neighbourhood policing team visit the Police.UK website.

Stop spam text messages

If you are receiving spam text messages, there are a number of different ways you can report them and stop them almost instantly.

Read our guide on how to stop spam text messages for more information.