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There are few things more annoying than receiving unsolicited text messages on your mobile phone and phone calls to either your mobile or home telephone number. A lot of the time you will wonder where the person calling or texting got the number from, but you may be surprised to learn that sometimes they may have actually got it from you!

Giving them the phone number yourself

mobilizeofficespaceLetting organisations have your personal details is something we all do, but did you know that if you don't read the small print on forms that you complete, you may be unwittingly giving an organisation permission to use your information themselves or pass it on to a third party. Some organisations will state that you are giving them permission to use your information, unless you specifically 'opt out', so the form may require you to tick a box saying you do not want your information to be used in this way. Other organisations will assume the opposite. In other words they will presume you do not want your details to be shared unless you indicate that you are happy for this to happen.

Nuisance calls and how to deal with them

If you are the recipient of calls to your home phone number or mobile number that you do not wish to receive, there are three organisations that should be able to help you. These are OFCOM (the independent regulator for the communications industry), the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) and the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). According to Which? the consumer organisation, the ICO and the TPS have recently seen an increase in complaints about unwanted text messages and phone calls. The TPS offers a service whereby you can register your phone number and this should stop unwanted calls, however this is not always the case and if you continue to receive unwanted calls after registering then you should complain to the ICO as receipt of phone calls once your number is registered with TPS is actually illegal. The last port of call in this sort of situation is to report the problem to OFCOM.

If you want to doubly protect yourself then as well as registering your number with TPS there are other things you can do. These include using caller ID on your phone which will allow you to provide information to the ICO about the company calling, or using a nuisance phone call blocker from a company such as

Unsolicited text messages

The sending of unsolicited text messages, or 'spam' text messages is illegal. It is possible for companies to send the same message to many thousands of people at a relatively low cost in the hope that 'someone will bite'. If you are the recipient of any of these types of messages then you should inform your mobile network provider and also complain to the ICO.

This should have provided you with some useful information on how to deal with those unwanted calls and messages.

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