Spam calls and texts top many people’s list of pet hates. But things are improving with the launch of a new text service for mobiles. Here’s a Spam Buster on the latest techniques…

How to stop spam calls

Landline: Register your number online with the Telephone Preference Service or call 03450-700707.

It’s then a criminal offence for firms to make unsolicited calls to you. It takes about 28 days to start working.

If you get a call after that, tell them you’re on the TPS and most legit companies scarper.

Mobile: While 85 per cent of people have registered their landlines, only three per cent have registered their mobiles.

Now a new service allows you to register it by free text. Just message to 85095 with ‘TPS’ and your email address, which is needed to verify your identity.

However, the TPS is only a register for reputable EU companies. Firms from outside the EU, and rogue firms from here may still contact you.

And if your number is targeted, the TPS may feel totally ineffective, so see registering as a way to reduce but not stop calls.

There are things some people buy to add on to their phone which require callers to select options before being put through – thus getting rid of nearly all spam calls.

The best of these cost up to £100 so you have to balance just how annoying you find them.

Stop spam texts

If a legit company texts you – they offer to let you text STOP so you won’t get any further texts. However, if it’s a spam text don’t reply, don’t text STOP as it can just indicate to them that your number is real and it may target you more.

Instead, forward the message for free to 7726, which spells "spam", to your provider – if enough people do it the number is investigated and blocked.

You should also always block the number on your mobile too. If you’re still receiving calls/texts after you’ve done the above, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) on 0303-123-1113.

Give it as much info about the call/text as you can, so it might be able to do something to stop it.

I’ve had so many people ask me whether the text they’ve received from a PPI company saying they’re owed £1,000s is legit or not. I’ve even had similar texts myself, and I’m definitely not owed a penny.

These texts are spam – they neither mean you’re owed or aren’t owed PPI.

It’s just a shotgun approach, spraying messages to everyone in the hope of a response. As an aside, if you do want to check if you’re owed PPI, you don’t need to pay anyone.

Free template letters available at will help you do it for free.

Stop door knockers

Put a no cold caller’s sign up. I’ve designed a free one you can download, print and stick on your door at

If they still knock (political parties and charities especially tend to ignore these), just open the door, point at the sign, and politely close the door.

If they persist, in some cases it’s a criminal offence. Make a formal complaint to the company they’re from and to the Trading Standards via

How to stop junk snail mail

Addressed mail: To stop unwanted snail mail coming through the letterbox, join the and after about four months the bulk of letters should have stopped.

Though, unlike the others, it’s a voluntary scheme by a trade association, so those still sending aren’t breaking the law.

For anyone who was annoyed with a leaflet with my face on it during the referendum, well that was nowt to do with me – it was done without my permission.

Unaddressed letters, flyers, and other junk: The Royal Mail has the online door-to-door opt-out system, which means they’ll stop delivering it to you.

You’ll need to print an online form and post it back to Freepost Royal Mail Customer Services - search for door to door on - or phone 0345-774-0740.

It’ll take about six weeks for mail to stop and lasts for about two years. You’ll need to opt-out again after this time.

But not all junk mail is bad, and this will stop all unaddressed mail, including Government leaflets.

Plus some junk mail can contain some top promo deals, so when choosing if to do this, balance hassle against opportunity.