Advice issued to avoid nuisance calls

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Western Isles Citizens Advice Service is launching a campaign to urge Western Isles residents to protect themselves and their loved ones from nuisance phone calls, and to fight back by reporting them.

Research shows that Scots receive more nuisance calls than any other part of Europe, and that 9 out of 10 Scottish households received an unwanted call within a one month period.

Roddy Nicolson, manager of the Western Isles Citizens Advice Bureau, said: “Nuisance calls are far too common today, and affect huge numbers of people both locally and across the country. One of our roles in the CAB is to protect peoples’ rights as consumers, and one of those rights is that you don’t need to put up with calls that you don’t want.

“Nuisance calls include any kind of unwanted sales or marketing call. People find these irritating or even distressing. But our message today is that you really can fight back. There are actions you can take to cut the number of calls considerably, and even stop them altogether.

“The Scottish CAB service has joined forces with Which? to highlight the simple steps you can take to block nuisance calls, but we want to make sure people here in the Western Isles are among the first to take action. Information is also available from Citizens Advice Scotland and #NuisanceCalls.

“Our message is that there are actions you can take to block unwanted calls for good. We urge local people to take these actions themselves, and then to pass the information on to anyone they know who might benefit from it, particularly elderly or isolated people, who may be more vulnerable to nuisance calls. Together we can make sure people in the Western Isles are not bothered by nuisance calls again!”

Cllr Kenny John Macleod, chairman of the Communities and Housing Committee, said: “CNES Trading Standards will be working in partnership with WICAS for the 2017 Nuisance Calls campaign. As well as sharing information on the Facebook, CNES - Consumer and Environmental Services page, there will be also be an exhibition of Nuisance call campaign materials and information in the Stornoway library display area from Monday, September 11 for two weeks.”

TIPS FOR NUISANCE CALLS:

Register with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS) - this is a free service to opt out of receiving unsolicited sales or marketing calls. You can register a landline or mobile number at www.tpsonline.org.uk or call 0345 070 0707.

Mobile users can register by texting ‘TPS’ and their email address to 85095.

Report nuisance calls using the Which? Complaint Tool How to stop nuisance calls

Talk to your phone company – your provider may have a service that can help to reduce nuisance calls.

Report spam text messages - if you get a text from an unknown company send it to your network operator by forwarding the message to 7726.

Remember to opt out of receiving calls - whenever you’re asked to provide your contact details online, make sure you tick the ‘opt out’ boxes for marketing calls.

Go ex-directory - this makes it harder for businesses to obtain your phone number.

Consider a call blocking device - you can buy a device to attach to your phone, or get a phone with one built in.