Unwanted communications

Unwanted communications are becoming increasingly common.

You may be contacted by companies trying to sell or promote something, or as part of a scam. This can be an annoyance, but may also cause stress and anxiety.

Some communication may be genuine calls from companies who have legally obtained your information. If you do not wish to be contacted by these companies you should ask them directly to take your information off the list.  

Live marketing calls

Sign up to the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). This is a free service for landline and mobile phone users. By signing up to this register, your number will be blocked from unsolicited sales and marketing calls.

If you receive a call from overseas, but the company they are calling on behalf of is based in the UK, TPS will investigate. For calls received from overseas for companies based outside of the UK, contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Automated marketing calls

If you receive an automated message, you can complain to ICO who will log your complaint.

Silent or abandoned calls

Sometimes you may pick up the phone and no one is there. For information and advice on this issue, contact Ofcom.

Text messages (SMS)

Adding your mobile phone number to the TPS register will prevent unwanted voice call, but not SMS messages.

If you receive unwanted SMS marketing messages, you can send an 'opt-out' request to the company involved. If you are unsure if the message is from a genuine company, contact the ICO so they can log the issue.


Spam emails usually contain marketing information and are sent without specific consent.

Not all marketing emails sent without consent are spam, as some companies obtain your information after you sign up for something. If you find you are signed up to a company’s mailing list, and no longer wish to receive emails from them, ask them to take your information off the list. If you have asked the company to take you off their list and they carry on sending you emails, contact ICO who can log this.