How to block nuisance calls

We know how frustrating unwanted and nuisance calls can be. This could be anything from marketing and telesales messages to silent and malicious calls, or even spam texts. To help you tackle these on your Virgin Phone and O2 Mobile services, we’ve put together some practical guidance.

Types of nuisance calls

Marketing calls, sales calls or cold calling is when a company or organisation calls you without you asking them to, in order to get something from you.

A scam call can be hard to detect. It’s important to be wary of them. These are when fraudsters will call you and pretend to be someone else. Usually someone of authority or important. This can be your bank, internet provider, government official and even police.

A malicious call is an unwanted call this is designed to cause you stress, anxiety, or distress. This can be anything from unwanted sexual harassment calls, to threatening and abusive language.

A silent call is when you pick up the phone and hear nothing. You also have no way of detecting whether there is anyone at the other end. This usually means (but not always) you’ve been put onto a marketing call database and have been called automatically. This is an unwanted marketing call. It can also make you a target for further nuisance calls in the future, so really needs to be reported so that the scam calls stop.

A text call is when you answer the phone and hear a robotic or automated sounding voice. This is usually, but not always, a company scam with a false claim that your account has been blocked, or you’re entitled to some compensation or have won a prize.

If you receive any of these types of calls, you must change and update your phone security as soon as possible.

How to stop or block nuisance calls on a Virgin Media landline

You can make a complaint and report a nuisance call or message online. If you’re not sure who to contact, go to Ofcom's website to find the right organisation.

Malicious and abusive calls

  • Malicious and abusive calls may be considered a criminal offence under section 43 of the Telecommunications Act 1984.

  • If the caller is making threats to you or your family and you believe those threats to be genuine, call 999 immediately.

  • If you believe the threats are not imminent, call your local police station on 101

Note: The police will liaise with our internal teams to investigate further

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is the only official register to help prevent unsolicited calls from organisations. It will ensure your phone or mobile number is unavailable for anyone who makes this type of call. For more information go to

How do I register my number with TPS?

To register a landline phone number, visit the TPS website and fill out their online form.


  • You may still experience unwanted calls for up to 28 days until the TPS has published the change

  • You will only need to register a number once with the TPS

  • The TPS only operates in the European Union (EU), so organisations based in countries outside the EU may still contact you

  • If you change your home phone number for any reason, you will need to re-register with the TPS

How long does it take to register?

It may take up to 28 days until the TPS has published the change.

Third party marketing is when a company that you’ve previously given permission to be contacted by, has sold your details onto another company. The company who has bought your details will use it for marketing purposes and call you.

It’s worth mentioning that when you’re registered with the TPS, third parties and not allowed to call you, but unfortunately this still happens.

A good idea is to make sure you look out for those tiny tick boxes that usually appear at the end of a web page or form. These usually are asking for your consent of your details to be passed on to third parties.

Make sure to read the small print carefully, but if you don’t want to be contacted, do not tick the box

Always take care when sharing your number. It’s worth making sure you tick the appropriate marketing opt-out and be selective when sharing your number with third parties online. Remember, these measures do not prevent auto-diallers from calling numbers at random.

We offer Anonymous Caller Rejection. This helps reduce the incoming calls from withheld numbers.

To subscribe to Anonymous Caller Rejection, just give our team a call on 150 from a Virgin Media phone or mobile, or 0345 454 1111* from any other phone, and select option 4.

Ex-directory services

If your home phone number is set to ex-directory, it will not be published in the phone directories, helping to prevent companies from having access.

  • If we gave you a phone number when you joined Virgin Media, it is automatically set to ex-directory unless you’ve asked us for a directory listing.

  • If you brought your number to Virgin Media from another provider, your number may be listed and available via phone number search services.

Caller display

Caller Display is a service we offer that identifies who is calling you. You can choose whether to take the call or let it ring. This does not stop the incoming call itself, but it does show the caller’s number (if it’s not withheld).

To subscribe to Caller Display, just give our team a call on 150 from a Virgin Media phone or mobile, or 0345 454 1111* from any other phone, and select option 4.

Withhold your number

Your home phone and mobile are set up to display your number when you call someone else, but there are two ways to withhold your number.

• To temporarily withhold your number, dial 141 before entering the phone number you wish to call. You’ll need to enter 141 each time you want to conceal your number.

• To permanently withhold your number, our Customer Service team can help you set this up. When your number is permanently withheld, you can temporarily reveal your number by adding 1470 before the number you’re dialing.

Anonymous caller rejection

This feature blocks incoming calls from withheld numbers to your home phone. To add this, call our Customer Service team who can help you set this up – (this is a chargeable feature).

Some home phones include a number of features to help prevent unwanted calls. Depending on your handset these could include:

Anonymous call blocking or silencing

This sends a caller with a withheld number to either a busy tone (so they think the phone is engaged), or to the handset’s answering machine without the phone ringing.

Black list scam calls

If there’s a specific number that you want to block, just add it to the Black List. This sends the blacklisted caller to either a busy tone (so they think the phone is engaged), or to the handset’s answering machine without the phone ringing.

Set do not disturb on landline

Set the phone not to ring during certain times of the day or night. All calls will be sent silently to the answering machine unless the caller is in your VIP list (in which case the phone will still ring).

Note: While these handsets may help with reducing unwanted calls, they can’t guarantee to stop them altogether.

How to stop nuisance calls on mobile

For help with nuisance calls on mobile, please head to Help and Support on the O2 site.

How to download call blocking apps

There are so many apps out there that can help you further with controlling who contacts you, giving you more power over those scammers. We’ve listed a couple of popular ones below:

Hiya compares incoming unknown calls and texts to your phone, with their huge database. It helps you to identify which calls and texts might be spam. If it is a scam call or a risk, it’ll be shown next to the call or text when it comes in. Handy! Hiya also protects you phone against any viruses that could be hidden within these nuisance calls or texts.

Hiya is available for both Android on the Google Play Store, or iPhone on Apple's App Store.

True caller has millions of numbers in their database, which is powered by a community of people across the world. As the database is constantly updated by the community, it’s likely it’ll have a match for any number out there – so it can always identify who’s calling.

With True Caller you can also search through their database, to help you see who the scammer is.

True Caller is available for Android on the Google Play Store.

There are many more trustworthy call blocking apps out there to help if you want more help, simply search in the app store.

*Call costs may vary.