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10 Jul 2012
By Leigh Price
Jul
10
2012

HOW TO: stop unwelcome and nuisance phone calls

How-to-blog-header-orange

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.

By

Posts: 21

417 Comments

  1. David McAulay says:

    My comments are awaiting moderation it says so my previous two comments may not get published, who censors who? Big Brother?? Hope not.

  2. David McAulay says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation (quote). Good luck everyone! It`s coming about. Slowly but they`re working on it! I`m printing all of this. 10 pages .

  3. David McAulay says:

    I`LL BE BACK!

  4. David McAulay says:

    Still awaiting moderation after two more comments.

  5. David McAulay says:

    Why would they have to moderate any of my comments? I haven`t said anything they need to delete or tone down, no-one has been defamed . Waiting, waiting , waiting. What happened to freedom of speech? France will tell you! Nothing! What about Australia?

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi David — comments are moderated to ensure no abuse towards ourselves or other community members, as per our community guidelines. But rest assured, as long as they’re not abusive, we publish most of the comments as we believe in an open and honest environment.

  6. David McAulay says:

    I`ve made two other comments. No sign of them? Next thing you know they`ll shut down this web site…………

  7. Angela Moore says:

    Every day for the past week I have received phone calls purporting to advise that I will receive a reduction in my Telstra bill. These calls probably originate in India or Pakistan, judging by the accents. I know it’s a scam so hang up. If I don’t answer, they keep calling anyway. Is there any way I can stop these calls?

  8. Angela Moore says:

    They’ve just called me again, a few minutes after I told them to stop bothering me and that I knew it was a scam.

    • Mark Rae says:

      Angela, the 1 or 2 second delay after you pcik the phone up is the overseas call give away. I wait until they are about to speak and say “the delay gives you away every time” and they hang up on me.
      Doesn’t stop the calls but it makes me feel better.

      • Geoff says:

        Hey Mark, I wish the 1-2 second delay was a give away but its not, its actually the automatic dialing the call centres use. Even the ones in Australia have delays too.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Oh no Angela, that’s no good at all — make sure you read our tips on protecting yourself from scams! You might also want to check out our Call Guardian phone, which will allow you to screen or block calls using your home phone.

  9. Angela Moore says:

    And again.

  10. Margaret Chapman says:

    seems impossible to Stop, not fair when its my Mother at 93 getting out of her chair for nothing. Im not surprised that I was told disconnecting and having a mobile was the only real lternative. I am suprised however at the callers continueing with this, as its so balantantly unpopular, how could there be any success for them, wouldnt you think it was time to think outside the square ? and I agree with David McAuley. loosen up a bit

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Margaret,

      We have released a solution at the end of last year that might be able to help you out. It’s called Call Guardian and it allows you to filter incoming calls and decide whether to accept or reject them and blocks up to 1,000 numbers while your saved contacts get straight through. We’ll hopefully have information on Telstra Exchange in the next few weeks, but in the meantime you can find out more through our website.

      Thanks, Jamie

  11. Andrew Jay says:

    This really isn’t helpful at all. HOW do we block them?

  12. David McAulay says:

    With you all the way Margaret. By the way thank you Jamie for responding but it still doesn`t fix the problem that more and more people are having. In short MOON, MARS just simple compared to that.

  13. David McAulay says:

    Why in so many areas of life are we left waiting or awaiting.

  14. David McAulay says:

    The Jetsons had it all worked out… how long ago was that?

  15. David McAulay says:

    Don`t make me angry, I might say things that definitely will need moderation.

  16. David McAulay says:

    Jamie(Ed) or whoever is “controlling” us at the moment…
    You obviously have your contacts in telecommunications .
    Do something useful. David.

  17. David McAulay says:

    “Duplicate comment detected”. Why not detect the people who are driving us mad. I`m not going to let up on this until you FIX IT!

  18. David McAulay says:

    Waiting Waiting AGAIN.

  19. David McAulay says:

    Mary had a little lamb. Just to see what needs “moderation”.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi David, Moderation only occurs during business hours. Please stop spamming this forum in the wait to have a comment moderated.

  20. Chickie says:

    “Call Guardian” to filter all those unwanted calls and only let your call list get through… how convenient, yay…but wait… at a COST!!! This is something that Telstra should be doing for it’s customers free of charge without the need for extra stuff that the customer has to pay for. We pay for everything….including our right to privacy from telemarketers! The only way anyone can get our new number is if we tell them what that number is…but…wait…oh no… here come the spamming and telemarketing calls… now how on earth did they get our brand new (not even a couple days old) number?? hmmm?? what a mystery that is!!! So, here we now have a ‘solution’ to a problem that we shouldn’t even have!! Something yet again we need to pay for… like caller ID… that should be free…but no…we pay 6.00 per month to see if it’s a recognised number or an overseas or ‘private’ caller… we pay pay pay to not be harrassed?! I now do not answer any calls on my landline or my mobile that is marked ‘private’… I figure if it’s important enough, they’ll leave a voicemail… telemarketers don’t leave voicemail (yay)… 21st century Telstra…get with it… the customer pays the company for a service now go ahead and provide it without the strings!

    • Michele says:

      Exactly right Chickie. We are on the DO NOT CALL register, which makes no difference whatsoever. But for a mere $72/year, we can miraculously make it stop with a new Telstra phone? Come on, Telstra, seriously?!

    • Dianne says:

      Well said Chickie..I totally agree…I am over this so much..i think my next step will be the Ombudsman..

  21. Varis says:

    Yeah, I’m just about over these fellows calling on my landline from wherever. We are getting about 10 calls a day. After trying various tactics I’ve now got a whistle by my phone for whenever I get one of these calls. As an earlier poster said “it doesn’t stop the calls, but it sure makes me feel better”.

    This situation is a joke though, surely there is a simple to implement solution out there.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Varis, There’s actually a simple solution you might be interested in: Telstra Call Guardian phone. It allows you to screen calls and block number More information will be coming soon to Telstra Exchange, but you can read about it on our website in the meantime. Thanks, Jamie.

  22. Mark Rae says:

    Thanks Jamie.
    A URL link would help.
    I’ve looked and can’t find it.

  23. Richard Rule says:

    I’m sure I have responded to a scam from “intelecom” offering 20% off phone and internet. I rang today to reject the offer…”cooling off period”..but not at that phone number. Surprise surprise. They have a Melbourne address.

    What can i do?

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Richard, If you feel you’ve been scammed, please contact your financial institution immediately! You can also report it to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) via their SCAMwatch website. Or, you can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit their website.

  24. Ian Robson says:

    I have a Uniden home phone which allows blocking of calls based on number, private, overseas or unknown.
    When writing to anyone I advise that calls to my landline will not be answered unless a caller ID is sent.
    Works wonders!
    Great for blocking Telstra’s contracted call centres, especially 0862284014, who call daily even though they have been reported to ACMA.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Ian, I suggest you give us a call, as that number is an otbound number that is used to call or customers in relation to late bills reminders :S Thanks, Jamie

    • Dianne says:

      Ian..i also have an Uniden..and have blocked several numbers, now they are coming thru as a Private number, which I understand can’t be blocked…any suggestions?

  25. bruce s says:

    how can i stop a [unknown] caller to stop harassing me , i have about 30 recent/missed calls in the last two weeks. have been to the local Telstra office, they cant help and also went to the police they also cant help.

    • bruce s says:

      these calls are all from the same person, sometimes they talk and i have herd my name mentioned, very annoying.

  26. N says:

    I an sick of getting phone calls from 94150916, 0406895594, 0894920050, 0419198219, 0418214147, 0892209204, 0414910967 & Someone claiming to work for John Hughes Car Dealers. ABOUT a Car for Carli!

    This is abusive Harassment & I am sick of it happening, I’m in Vic & the Car dealer firm is in WA!!!

  27. Dianne says:

    Wow…and I thought I was alone here…just changed phone numbers due to moving into a new area..and have been constantly harassed by the 0839xxxx number.,.i have blocked/did the old “hang on a minute” and then walked away for 10 minutes…only to have another call and they then hang up!! /reported nuisance calls/went on to the do not call register..threaten to call the Federal Police!/ ! I also have an 84 year old elderly mother who is getting stressed out everytime the phone rings…I am totally over it..and yes, why the hell should I have to pay for this inconvenience! Totally not fair considering the amount of money I pay Telstra per year!

  28. Elep says:

    I am absolutely fed up with getting up to five calls a day from just one number. There are others. If not just the annoyance, it is helping to flatten my phone battery so that it doesn’t last through the day.

    Getting on the do not call register does nothing. Not being listed doesn’t stop them.

    My problem appears to be common. WHO IS OVERSEEING THIS SYSTEM? These callers need to be prosecuted for disturbing the peace etc etc. It seems Telstra has to take responsibility. In which case Telstra is a lame duck.

  29. Liz says:

    I have received 23, yes, 23 calls from 07 3606 8000 (i am in Vic) in the past 2 weeks.
    I have answered the phone and when I ask where these people are calling from they hang up.
    They call back, leave no message and when I call back the number rings for some time then an automated message is heard ‘we are calling on behalf of charities’ and that its an unattended line.
    I have asked them nicely to stop calling me many times -- they hang up.
    I asked rudely -- they hung up.
    I asked what the call was about -- they hung up.

  30. Mick T says:

    I had 10 calls from 0386835984 & 0383546901 between 4 & 8pm yesterday saying they were telstra offering my bundle for $80!! They even went to trouble of giving me an ID# I thought I’d play along on the 3rd call until they asked me to give license ad proof of my ID. Then I hung up.
    Later I answered & said--
    “can you hold on a sec, I have to get my wife out of the oven”. Their response…. “oh, ok Ill wait”…………

    • Col says:

      If someone phones saying they are Telstra, ask what is your account number. I get these type of calls all the time. When I ask what my account number is they give Telstra abn number or my phone number. They are after your credit card numbers to rip you off.

      Record the phone conversation and post it on youtube along with the caller id phone number to warn others.

  31. val p says:

    one more person being driven nuts with these unwanted phone calls -- mine are mostly from 038644 8152. had five within three hours today. I’ve got to the point where I always let the answering machine take the call and they invariably hang up upon the end of my recorded message, I think that’s about all you can do about them. surely Telstra can link their number to a subscriber and take some action to make them stop.

  32. Jill B says:

    Oxfam and other charities keep calling me. I have asked them to stop and I am also on the Do Not Call register. I’ve blocked all numbers from charities on my mobile -- but they seem to have so many numbers -- what else can I do. They are driving us nuts. Calls on my home phone as well and when I do answer they hang on for a while and then hang up or I get the “goodbye” message. Pissed off totally !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  33. Col says:

    Been getting phone calls for about 6 weeks from a man with a heavy Indian accent. Contacted the Police on 131 444 and they said contact your service provider which I did. Telstra put a trace system on the phone for a month and recently extended it another 30 days. The phone spammer who has pretended to be Telstra, Microsoft, a small child and many other people and wants me to install a program on my pc to no doubt get at my bank accounts.
    Every time this spammer phones I write down the date and time of the call and every few days I phone Telstra on 1 800 805 996. The calls have been traced to a Perth home phone number. The man was sent a letter saying not to do it again. Apparently he gets 3 warning letters before they will disconnect him from a phone service and blacklist him from connecting to another service provider.
    What gets me is the police who are after such criminals along with Telstra don’t seem to care about disconnecting this criminal. Surely the police should be raiding his house and laying charges. I too am on the do not call register. ACMA simply a waste of time and I am starting to think Telstra is as well. If a phone spammer phone 3 or more times in 5 days they are sent a letter. I get 3 or more around 2pm to 3pm each day from the same crook. I plan to get the Telstra T800 for $37 which has caller id then I’ll post his phone number.

    • Col says:

      Phoned Telstra again and they said they sent a letter not to the person phoning all the time but to his service provider and I doubt very much the service provider will want to lose a customer.

      I am of the opinion nothing will happen. Telstra say they have to wait for the other Telco to get back to them. That letter arrived to the other Telco back on Feb 22 of 2015.

      I am considering going to the tv news media. Maybe then when the tv news media ask what the hell Telstra are doing along with the police then maybe they’ll actually do their jobs.

      When I phone Telstra support it often gets diverted to a support centre in another country and not sure if my complaints are getting to where they need to be at that is head office at Telstra.

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Col, I’m really sorry to hear about the trouble you’ve been having with unwanted calls. It’s not good at all!!

      You seem pretty savvy, but make sure you read our tips on protecting yourself from scams.

      Also, instead of the T800, you might be interested in our Call Guardian phone, which will allow you to screen or block calls using your home phone.

      Goodluck.

      Jamie

      • Col says:

        Thank you for replying. The guardian looks a complicated system where the T800 looks nice and easy and only $37.

        I prefer non wireless phones. Problem with the guardian is that it looks a living nightmare to set up.

        I like the easy life with things that are simple to set up which takes the stress out of life.

        The T800 is what I’ll go for. A few friends have the Panasonic one which blocks calls and is about $58 or there abouts.

        And why do they make black coloured phones all the time these days. The T800 is still in the white colour.

        The guardian is all black. At night when the phone rings its to hard to see where the phone is where in dull light a white phone is easier to see.

        I call this the black curse where everything these days is made to annoy the public. Black remote controllers for the tv set which needs a torch to see the buttons or black coloured keyboards which at night in medium light is to hard to see the keyboard which often has a grey coloured font on a black keyboard. I prefer white keyboards or white anything to do with electronic items that have keypads.

  34. Col says:

    Why did my two posts get deleted ?
    I’m getting to the point if Telstra doesn’t disconnect this phone spammer soon then I’ll sue Telstra for not doing their jobs. I’m at my wits end. I’ve had 4 phone calls from this criminal in the last hour. He knows my name. I do not list my phone number anywhere. How did they get it ?

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Col, Your posts weren’t removed. We just don’t moderate over weekends :)

      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.

      Thanks, Jamie

  35. Reg Pollock says:

    Dear Telstra,

    I have just been rung by Adam from Intelico to advise that it is an arm of Telstra and that it can offer discounts for telephone services.

    He was most persistent and would not answer questions but ‘talked over’ such questions.

    I have ‘sent him on his way’ but note that the organisation is known for its approach.

  36. Denis says:

    Hi Jamie
    I have been getting an Indian constantly calling who cant pronounce my name correctly offering cheaper phone service. My service provider is IInet

    I recently moved to Australia and do not use my home line as a contact me number for anything.

    You said you do not “unlawfully disclose” client information
    therefore, the question is…does Telstra “lawfully” disclose information to third parties for financial gain.

    As I cant understand how these Indians got my phone number.

    Cheers
    Denis

    • Jamie (Editor) says:

      Hi Denis, A great question!

      We are required, like all telecommunications companies that provide services in Australia, to assist Australian national security and law enforcement agencies. This assistance may involve disclosing customer information. You can read about these requests in our Transparency Report.

      Thanks,
      Jamie

    • Col says:

      Are you from Perth as well?
      That Indian chap phones me several times a week.

      I phoned Telstra on 1 800 805 996 and asked for a trace to be put on my phone. When the Indian chap phones I then press the recall button and jot down the date and time so when I phone Telstra they do a trace.

      I’m in Perth WA and the Indian chap two phones he uses has been traced to a Perth home phone number.

      I phoned the Police on 131 444 and they said they couldn’t do anything about it which stunned me as this chap pretends to be Telstra, MS and other false identities offering so called to good to be true offers in the hope that you’ll pay by credit card to rip you off.

      When he pretends to be Telstra I say if you are Telstra what is my account number and all he comes up with is the Telstra abn number or my phone number.

      I refused to give him my name. H was phoning saying he was after someone and when I said he had the wrong number he said what my name was which I never gave him.

      He now phones knowing my first name but not my last name. I do not know how he got my phone number in the first place as its not listed in my name so what is going on.

      I’d suspect that info is being leaked out or hackers have hacked Telstra to get peoples phone numbers.

      I’ve been on the do not call register for years and often check to make sure I’m still listed there.

      I say get a T800 phone for $37 which has caller id and when he phones again jot down the phone number.

      Also do what I’ve done and contacted Telstra to put a trace on the phone. If enough people do it then he’ll have his phone line disconnected and blacklisted which means he’ll not be able to get anyone else to install a new line.

      That being said I don’t think Telstra will disconnect anyone even if they are breaking the law.

  37. Ben Douglas says:

    I’ve been getting daily calls for the last couple of weeks from an Indian call centre who cliam to be from the Telstra Technical Department…blah blah blah.

    I’ve tried everything, talk to them and say no, hang up on them, argue with them, call them out, etc., all to no avail..the calls keep coming like the plague.

    I am already on the Do Not Call Register so they obviously get around it…is there anything

    I know of course, from experience, they are scammers and I’m not about to allow them ever again to have access to my computer or pay them money….but enough is enough when they come back for more unmercifully. I am already on the Do Not Call Register so they work around that…but surely some within the Government, Telstra, Federal Police, etc., has both the responsibility and technical prowess and to neutralise this problem. I don’t mean just for me, Australian citizens from all over Australia are getting these calls and many of the elderly and less technical inclined actually fall for it and lose their hard earned wealth.

    Iow, I am asking why the relevant Australian authorities who know this is going on, and the best they can do is leave it up to the citizens to learn about it through the ‘school of hard knocks’….not good enough imho!!!

    • Col says:

      I’m almost of the opinion they get the do not call list of phone numbers to start phoning people or selling it to third parties.

      Try phoning the police on 131 444 and they won’t be interested which astounds me. These people pretending to be Telstra or Microsoft are obviously fleecing people of their hard earned cash and everyone seems to be taking a blind eye to it all.

      Telstra should have reported my complaints to the police as standard practice.

      Once in a blue moon you hear the police in the press raided some house in Perth for this type of activity but that is so rare.

      The Indian caller has been traced to a Perth house but no one seems to want to bring them to justice.

      The government wants this meta data to track people when current technology works fine but no one wants to take any action against these criminals.

      What is the world coming to ?

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