10 Jul 2012
By Leigh Price

HOW TO: stop unwelcome and nuisance phone calls


Nuisance and prank calls can be a serious annoyance if they continue over a long period. We know that these calls can sometimes be quite distressing, so we’ve set up a dedicated Unwelcome Calls team to help you stop the calls in these situations.

Hang up calls

These are calls where you hear the caller put the receiver down, followed by the busy tone, as soon as you answer the call.

Silence, hoax, obscene or abusive calls

These are calls where the caller holds the line open with silence or speaks in an abusive or obscene manner and does not hang up.

To clear the line on your fixed phone service, replace the receiver and do not pick it up for 5 minutes. This will enable you to call out.

Malicious or life threatening calls

Of course, if you’ve received a malicious call threatening your life, you should immediately contact the police by calling 000.

In other situations, our specialist Unwelcome Calls team can help with a number of situations. Find out more detailed information here.

They’re trained to help with everything from basic advice and practical steps on how to stop calls, to liaising with the police to trace calls when necessary. You can request a callback from our Unwelcome Calls team by completing our online form, or by calling 13 2200 and saying “unwelcome calls”.

If you’re receiving unwanted telemarketing calls, you might also be interested in joining the Do Not Call Register. This is a service run by the Government and will add your mobile or home phone number to a blacklist, meaning that you won’t receive unsolicited marketing calls. It only takes a few minutes to join the Do Not Call Register online.


Posts: 21


  1. Isabel says:

    Another one getting the calls ‘authorised by Telstra’ who already know my name. Yes I can hang up. But why do these people already know my details, Telstra? It is not enough to tell us to report the calls. We’ve done that. But they’re getting our details from somewhere.

    What I find interesting is that Telstra is absolutely silent on this point. If you (Telstra) are NOT providing details and allowing these people to phone your customers, then come out and deny it explicitly. Silence in this instance seems to be an implicit admission and it’s unacceptable.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Isabel,

      The people responsible for these scams obtain their information from a variety of sources. At the top end, scammers work with sophisticated cyber criminal gangs who ‘trade’ this information for a price. At the other end of the scale, they trawl through online phone directories and record details. Scammers have also been known to cold call customers, call them by the wrong name and then ask the customer to repeat the correct information – it can be that simple. Under no circumstances does Telstra unlawfully disclose our customers’ personal information to third parties -- our customers’ privacy is something we take very seriously and we have a range of security measures in place to protect the privacy of our customer’s information.


      • Bob says:

        “Under no circumstances does Telstra unlawfully disclose our customers’ personal information to third parties “. The optimal word here is “unlawfully”. That is your caveat, your get ‘get out of jail free’ card. Everything else you state is white noise. That is the ONLY relevant word used in this sentence, that incidentally you use over and over again.

        Most of your customers would have no idea what their ‘legal’ rights are concerning telecommunications and you being the corporation you are will never tell them what your legal obligations are, and more importantly what they are not (outside of your fine-print). You can and probably do sell their information. You have probably told them so in some fine-print jargonese, but don’t feel ‘morally obligated’ to tell them outright as it is NOT law that you have to do so in plain English, in layman’s terms.

        Customers are suspiciously surmising that there must be a ‘leak’ at telstras end and you with your clever play of words have circumvented telling them what they ACTUALLY want to know, which incidentally is very clear. Are you selling their information? How about a succinct and honest, non-semantic answer to that question. Go on, put it in words that you can’t weasel out of in court.

      • Jamie (Editor) says:

        Hi Bob, We don’t sell the personal information of our customers to advertisers or marketing companies. If you want to find out more, our Privacy Statement clearly outlines how we collect, hold, use and disclose the personal information of our customers. Thanks, Jamie.

  2. Chickie says:

    I have been following this for ages and there doesn’t appear to be a single piece of ‘actual’ help that these so-called Telstra representatives/techs have been able to offer. It’s basically a shrug and put in the too-hard basket. Meanwhile, I have had to fork out an extra $6 per month on my landline for caller ID just so I can avoid picking up yet another scamming mongrel call centre of some sort! When I have been silly enough to pick it up, they hang up most of the time. This is many times per day and it is driving me insane!! My mobile also gets it’s share of this crap but putting them on the reject list seems to keep that within bearable limits. If I didn’t need a landline for cheaper internet (NOT thru telstra), I’d toss it… Come on Telstra, listen to your customers…!!!! We are fed up!! DO something constructive and effectual about this problem!

  3. Sue says:

    They are also driving me crazy with as a many as 20 calls in a single day. As per advice from Telstra I have put my number on the no call register but so far this has not helped. I have tried various option, don’t answer, (today this has resulted in a call every 10 minutes) hang up, try to find out what they want from me but usually once you engage in conversation they then hang up.

    I just wish I could find out which company they represent so I could give them a call or maybe 100 to block their incoming lines! They are currently advising of 50.00 reduction on all future Telstra bills, I had asked for confirmation in writing (I know this is not true) hoping this would stop them but no luck, what can we do or what can someone do to help us to stop these calls.

    Interestingly a couple of people I have spoken to are planning on cancelling their fixed line telephones, perhaps this is the bigger plan, so we all move from fixed lines to mobiles and we are forced to accept timed calls at the end of the day, rather than our current standard charge for local calls.

  4. Maggie says:

    The ‘do not call’ register does NOT work. I registered years ago and we get calls every single day from private numbers (so we can’t block them) and they are always Indian telemarketers and when I say we are not interested they just say ‘i will call back’. I have had COUNTLESS arguments with them and I’m so so annoyed that they still call. every single day. Please Telstra, HELP!

  5. Denis says:

    When you shut the caller up they don’t like it…I ask who gave you my number…I am told I am paying Telstra for the line through my provider…I said ok talk to my provider then.

    Then I put the phone down …1 hour later the phone calls start and as soon as you answer they hang up

    Telstra needs to stop this now

  6. Lesley says:

    I get the same “telstra” calls. Started earlier this year, my mother was ill, all through those months when I had so much to deal with they kept calling, she died in April and they are still calling. Today I told the caller he was an idiot and he said he will keep calling me again and again. It sounded threatening so I leave the phone off the hook for hours at a time just so I don’t have to hear the phone ring.

  7. Terri says:

    Yes We too are having serious problems. The Do Not Call Register does not work and we have also been on this for years and update this regularly. My mum who is in a residential facility also had problems and we had to do something about this for her as she didn’t know what was going on. We have had our phone blocked from receiving overseas calls, however LAST night the caller ID showed “overseas” yet again and the caller wanted to discuss my computer -- I hung up -- total scam. We are perplexed as to why this has happened and suspect Telstra is behind these calls. We are now investigating having our landline cancelled. Telstra are supposed to look after it’s paying clients and at this point in time they are not! We feel that Telstra have some other commitment to another source and is being paid for allowing these callers to annoy us. Having outsourced your services overseas Telstra, how can you be so sure that our phone numbers and details are kept confidential? We feel that you can’t! Do something now about these scamming phone calls. we don’t want them and when our phone line is supposed to be blocked from receiving overseas calls and we are receiving them again -- this tells me that YOU Telstra have let us down.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Terrri,

      Under no circumstances does Telstra unlawfully disclose our customers’ personal information to third parties — our customers’ privacy is something we take very seriously and we have a range of security measures in place to protect the privacy of our customer’s information.

      Please get in contact with our Unwelcome calls team, who will be able to advise what the best course of action is. Call 13 2200 and say “unwelcome calls.”

      You may also like to read through our blog on how to protect your personal information, and report any misuse of service through the following form.

      Thanks, Jamie.

      • Terri says:

        Thanks for the reply Jamie. I still feel that having outsourced Telstra services to overseas has created a big monster. The scam calls seriously increased over the years after this occurred. I have been a Telstra customer ever since it was called Telecom. Anyway I have yet again contacted the Unwelcome Calls Team and now have to start doing something else on my phone line. I am reluctant to say here as I am sure the scammers read all your emails on your site. I had requested a private number in previous times and was told I had to pay a certain amount per month for the service. I declined as I feel the problem is Telstra’s fault and why should we pay extra for a service to protect our privacy.It is upsetting to not have full phone service anymore (blocked incoming overseas calls) and hence our freedom of communication, and it is upsetting that to get more privacy on our landline Telstra asks us to pay more money for it. We need the landline for our elderly parents to contact us (too expensive for them to call mobiles) and for specialists etc. What is Telstra going to do for us -- we can only do so much with the advice we have just received and apparently that is the last resort. Do we have to lose the landline in the end??

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