Unwanted calls, messages and scams

Sometimes we receive phone calls and messages that we don’t want. They might be sales or marketing calls, silent calls, or calls and messages from scammers.

It’s important to know how to recognise these, as well as knowing how to deal with them. This is especially true of scam calls and messages. We have heard about different types of these recently, some of which relate to the coronavirus (Covid-19). Scammers sometimes call or send messages to people so they can get hold of their personal or financial information, so it’s particularly important to watch out for these.

In this section of our website you can find out more about the different types of unwanted calls and messages that you might receive. We’ll tell you what to look out for, and what to do if you receive one.

You’ll also find details of who to report them to. Depending on the nature of the call or message, that may be Ofcom, your provider, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the Telephone Preference Service (TPS), Action Fraud, or the police. Action Fraud is the reporting centre for fraud and cybercrime in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Reports of fraud and any other financial crime in Scotland should be reported to the police via 101.

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Easy-read guide

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Read our easy-read guide on how to get fewer phone calls you do not want (PDF, 1012.2 KB).