Do not call: how to stop those unwanted phone calls
If, like me, you Google a number you don't recognise instead of actually answering the phone, then you'd really hate receiving telemarketing calls.
Research by Choice last year found that 89% of people received at least one unsolicited call in a six-month period and 25% of people receive unwanted calls from charities on a weekly basis.
The good news is that there are a number of steps you can take to, at the very least, reduce the number of unsolicited calls you receive.
The first thing you should do is add your number to the Do Not Call Register at donotcall.gov.au. It won't cost you anything and you only need to do it once.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority, which manages the service, says a reduction in calls should be noticeable after 30 days.
It won't stop SMS marketing and doesn't stop all calls. For example, you may still get calls from charities or for surveys.
The next option is to use Google or a reverse lookup service such as reverseau.com or reverseaustralia.com to try and find out who is calling. It won't always work but if you can figure out who has tried to contact you and it is a nuisance call you can block them.
Some Samsung Galaxy phones have an in-built feature to flag suspicious calls, which would definitely come in handy. But you can also try it yourself.
On an Android phone you can select the number from your call log. Press down on your phone and an option will pop up to let you block/report as spam.
On an iPhone you simply select the number from recents and press "i". Scroll down and you'll see the option to "Block this caller".
Another option is to download a caller ID app that can help you identify unwanted callers and spam calls.
One free option, which is rated highly and is available for both iOS and Android, is Truecaller, which filters and blocks spammers and also filters junk SMS automatically.
Another popular app available for Android phones is Hiya, which says it helps millions of users identify incoming calls and texts from unknown numbers, spammers and telemarketers.
You can try a few of these types of apps to see if they help stop unwanted calls.
Needless to say, you should also think twice before giving out your number. It's a good idea to keep it off social media and avoid putting it on any online forms you need to fill in.
If you are getting calls from an organisation you'd prefer to no longer hear from, then the best way to put a stop to the calls is to actually answer the phone and make that clear when you speak to them. Just politely ask them to remove you from their call list.