People receiving fewer nuisance calls, but more work to do

04 May 2020

Home phone and mobile customers are receiving fewer nuisance calls than they were three years ago, according to latest research from Ofcom.

The findings are included in an update to a joint action plan, published as part of our work with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to tackle nuisance calls and messages.

Tracking nuisance calls

In January 2020, two in five customers said they had received a nuisance call on their home phone – down from three in five in May 2017. The proportion of people who had received a nuisance call on their mobile phone also fell, from 47% to 37% during the same period.

Complaints about nuisance calls

The ICO received around 37,000 fewer complaints about nuisance calls and messages than it did five years ago, a fall of around 22%. Similarly, we received half the amount of complaints about silent and abandoned calls in 2019 than in 2015, when complaints were at their peak.

More work to do

Nuisance calls are an unwanted interruption to our daily lives. They can also cause anxiety and distress, or result in people being scammed. So, while it’s encouraging that progress is being made, there is still much more to do to make sure people are protected from harm.

Today’s action plan summarises our ongoing work to tackle the problem, including blocking nuisance calls at source, as well as the coordinated effort by the banking and telecoms industries to tackle scams, led by Stop Scams UK. The update also sets out the ICO’s and Ofcom’s joint priorities for the coming year.

Covid-19 scams

The ICO and Ofcom are also aware of reports of scams related to Covid-19 and are working to help protect customers against these.

We’ve published advice on how to recognise and deal with scam calls and texts related to Covid-19. Further advice on how to protect yourself against unwanted calls and messages, is also available.