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Haven’t bothered with a smart meter yet? JUPITER ECOLOGY: Blue sky and wacky? By Victoria Bischoff For Money Mail and Rebecca Rutt For Thisismoney. If you’re fed up of being forced to give a phone number when filling in a form online and then being badgered by nuisance cold calls, we’ve found the answer. Often when you buy things online you are required to enter your personal details including a phone number when you check out.
There’s usually a chance to tick the box that says not to pass on your details to third parties, but somehow your number ends up in the hands of cold callers. Instead of putting in your own mobile or landline phone number and potentially opening yourself up to a raft of cold callers, instead simply enter the number 0333 88 88 88 88. This diverts the cold caller to the free call blocking firm Truecall38. I prefer not to be contacted by phone so please contact me via my email address. If you’re not able to put the full number into the website then take off the last 8.
One concern of users is that companies may start blocking the Truecall38 number and they will be forced to go back to putting in their own numbers. But the owners say if this happens, they will publish the names of the companies on a ‘Wall of Shame’ on the website. It’s also worth remembering if you’re using this service, you won’t be called by the company, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your emails for changes to the order – such as if you’ve bought concert tickets and the date or time changes. Truecall38 was set up in March this year and so far it has received 18,000 cold calls. It is owned by parent company Truecall, which sells a range of call blocking products and was first launched in 2008 after Director Steve Smith presented the idea to the BBC’s Dragons’ Den. It says that half a million people in the UK have used Truecall products and the reason for creating Truecall38 was to give everyone the chance to opt out of handing over their phone number for free.
If you are with Orange, O2, T-Mobile or Vodafone you can forward spam texts to 7726. If you’re a Three user, text 37726. Even texting the word ‘stop’ alerts the sender that the phone is active and in use. If you do receive spam texts, you can report them to your network provider or to the ICO. This helps organisations such as Ofcom to investigate. Don’t answer unsolicited emails or return unrecognised calls as again you will be letting the company know your details are ‘live’.
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