Stopping unwanted phone calls

Hi all - have you been hassled by telemarketers or scam callers and have found a way to make the calls stop?

I’m working on some content on unwanted phone calls and how to stop them and am wondering if any Community members have had success with this.

Did you directly ask the person or company calling you to stop and did this work? Or perhaps you enrolled on the Do Not Call Register - did this make a difference? Or maybe you’ve found another successful method you’d like to share? Thanks!


I am constantly bombarded with unwanted calls to my VOIP mediated landline. I am on the DNC register.

I still get charity calls even if I ask them to stop.

Mostly they are scam calls. The Windows Department, The Visa Card Security Department etc and some offer purporting to sell solar panels whose name fluctuates and is immune to criticism for failing to observe the DNC register, that seems to be some kind of obscure phishing expedition. There is nothing I can do to stop them now.

At some stage when my current cordless phone fails I will replace it with one that allows me to whitelist callers - until then I am stuck with it. I am not throwing out a working system.

Despite claiming to have blocked millions of such calls the authority responsible has done absolutely nothing for me. I know at least some of the calls over the last year are from the same source as they use the same voice recordings and scripts even if the name varies. Clearly the ACMA rules re telcos blocking such calls are a failure.

This issue is not being taken seriously. Perhaps Choice could enquire just what they are doing and why it doesn’t work.


I think the DNC register is a good place to start. But it doesn’t make any difference to the determined cold callers and scammers.

I just simply never answer calls to either my mobile phone or NBN connected phone unless I see or hear who is calling. The former a number in my address list, the latter the answering function on my cordless phone.

For my mobile phone, unanswered calls go through to voicemail where the caller can leave a message or send an SMS instead. Cold callers never do. Scammers may leave a message, but they do not get to talk to me after that.

And I never, ever, return a call until I know who it was.

I find these unknown calls come in waves. I know if I put my phone number out there for some signup service, the cold calls are going to come in. But they will cease after a few days once the callers realise they are wasting their time having my number on their list.


My post of Dec 2018.
Here is an item I posted in April 2017. "I recommend you get a Telstra "Guardian"cordless phone set. I got one in November last year and since then I have not received one scam call.

Calls to numbers on your call list (capacity 2000) go through as normal.

If not on your contact list, caller is asked to identify themselves. If they don’t the call is immediately terminated.(you are not even aware of a call). If they do announce themselves the phone rings and displays caller details as provided by caller. You have the option of accepting call once, always, or blocking number.

We love it!

As at December 2018 the number of scam calls received remains at ZERO. Make that August 2023


That is my experience too and I use much the same methods with success. If I answer by mistake, I do not admit to my identity unless the caller clearly identifies themselves and I recognise that I can expect their call. However at times an agency preserving a higher degree of privacy might also not leave a message, so if you expected a call back from a government agency, lawyer or psychologist, you would need to consider that you might miss it, because they will also not go to voicemail until they are sure of your identity.

Unfortunately the way of managing this forces us into using a less polite phone manner, because it requires us to become suspicious of anyone who would call us without first arranging to become a personal contact. A starting point is protecting ourselves by containing our curiosity so we do not click on every interesting link.


That may be true of local businesses who take some care how they spend resources, it isn’t so of overseas spammer-scammers. They continue calling after dozens, even hundreds of refusals, spray and pray is the only technique they know.


Another aspect surrounds medical services where one can get all manner of incoming calls from seemingly random numbers, landline and mobile alike, arranging the surgeon, hospital, etc, many that do their own things and sometimes through a 3rd party service. The good news is one should have an idea the incomings might be related to the personal situation and more prone to pickup although time between contacts can be months or even by post in the public system.

In cases the calls may be time sensitive for arrangements so miss the call at one’s peril and when they leave messages one can spend considerable time on hold trying to return it.


I am on the DNC register and have an unlisted number. When we first got the unlisted number we still received a fair number of cold calls, after about 12 months the calls dropped quite significantly. Now about the only ones we receive are for those we have registered for contact with, such as the child charity we support, and those dreaded spoofed calls from anywhere in the world (though they are few and far between these days).

We have maintained the same unlisted number through three moves now and the longer we had it the less cold calls we have received. I think initially the number appears in directories and so is harvested by the cold callers, as the number remains unlisted the directory entries disappear and with the added benefit of the DNC culling it means that after a period of time the calls received become rarer than a hen’s teeth.

I also provide a legit but very rarely used number (purchased the SIM for this very purpose) when I need to provide a contact number for registration on sites that I have no wish to be phoned by them or who have privacy policies that allow them to share details with all and sundry. This may contribute to the overall reduction in calls. The cost of the SIM plan is $15 per recharge (ALDI in my case but other providers have similar cheap pay as you go plans) and the recharge lasts 12 months, noting that it is only used as a contact number and is only ever rarely used to confirm that it is a real number for the purpose of registration. I consider the cost to be a far cheaper alternative to the unwanted calls.


The DNC register doesn’t exclude businesses you deal with, political parties or members, or charities.

I get a lot of calls in my VOIP phone that go straight through to answering. If they cant leave a message, they dont get a call back. More often than not, they hang up. Including the charities I deal with. They get my regular direct debits, im not interested in their special limited numbers tickets, so ive just stopped answering the phone.

Sadly, I’ve blocked dozens of the Australia Post/Chinese Consulate scam calls on my mobile. The most recent ones coming from Thailand apparently. All computer generated really. Computer runs random numbers, tries to call, fails, tries another number until it gets a connection and someone answers or it goes to voice message. Block block block.

But no, haven’t found a way to stop them completely


My NBN has no provision for a landline so it went bye bye. We rely on mobiles only. This has an obvious effect on the number of spam/scam calls. They have reduced.
I don’t answer the mobile unless I know who it is or the number looks like a “reasonable” number. Whatever that is.
Callers can leave a message if the call is genuine.
For those numbers I do no answer (no private numbers are answered), I look up Reverse Australia, often it gives me a caller name or a comment as to what the caller was, ie business or spam.


You should have added email accounts that have or are being spammed as my old account was hacked. I deleted my email and opened another. Regarding fake calls i either tell people to not call again some do not attempt again or leave a fake number. I wish to keep my number. I can’t say if anything is successful.

Yes but there reasons why you may not answer one of these ‘important calls’. You may not be home at the time a call comes in to your landline. You may be driving when a call comes in to your mobile.
I have yet to experience an organization that insists on a phone call rather than send an email or SMS. Or leave a voice message.
But then, so far, I have little interaction with Gov departments who may be stuck in last century as far as comms goes.

I have although the voicemail sometimes sounds more like a scammer than the majority of scammers. And then ‘my call is very important’ but not nearly important enough for them to provide a direct number. Enjoying the time on hold to the call centre listening to whatever they are playing over and over on the day is something we all need to aspire to, right? A few companies are finally implementing call back options to their credit, but they remain comparatively rare.

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I no longer have a landline and have resorted to silencing calls to my mobile and diverting to voice mail if they are not in my contacts list. Legitimate callers will usually leave a message. The DNC register seemed to be useful until the spammers started robo-dialling


syncreticBusted BS

“At some stage when my current cordless phone fails I will replace it with one that allows me to whitelist callers - until then I am stuck with it. I am not throwing out a working system.”

Save your money. I have terrific Panasonic phone system on which I can block unwanted numbers but, these days, the overseas shonks come in on a different caller ID every time that they call.

So, they have some technology that creates a new caller ID on each new call. Thus, blocking one number does nothing because the next time that that shonky caller will ring, it will appear to be from a different number.

Once upon a time, most of the shonky calls showed on my phone as “Private Caller” which always caused a minor problem when my brother rang from an Optus phone service that does not have caller ID. So I never knew whether it was a shonk or my brother. These days, however, all. of the shonky calls appear as being from a legitimate phone number, complete with area code.

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That is a blacklist system that relies on knowing which numbers are forbidden, if the ID changes it fails.

I am talking about a whitelist system that works on which numbers are permitted, it is immune to using a different ID unless they pick one on the list which is rather unlikely.


This whole situation is due to the deeply flawed global telephone system that assumes the caller’s number is genuine, making it easy for scam callers to get through and trick people, as well as avoid prosecution.
In my view there needs to be a timeline for addressing this flaw, which I suppose is a legacy of the old analogue telephone network.


Hello Liam.
I use a home phone that can display the call number and record a message if no one answers the call.
I don’t pick up unless I recognise the number.
If the person doesn’t leave a message, then it can’t have been sincere or important.
If they do leave a message then I might pick up before they finish.
That seems to work for me.
I have been doing it for years.
Any unrecognised numbers, I check with or


I have both mobile and landline services. My principals are similar to others:

Mobile and Voicemail:

If the displayed number is NOT in each phone’s Address Books, I let it go to voicemail. If no message is left I put it into my address books “watch list” with the date of the first call. If it rings again, same thing ‘don’t answer and let it go to voicemail’. IF NO MESSAGE AFTER 2ND CALL I NOTE IT AS A POTENITAL SCAM in my address book and black ban the number - so no calls.

My voice message starts with the greeting/apology and indicates if no message is left they will be screenout next time they ring.

Sometimes I might answer a call, particularly if it happens at the same time of day over a number of days. I don’t say “hello”. I wait. If there is no response in a second or two, I announce myself as “Detectives Office, Parramatta Police”. They usually hang up … quickly. They don’t ring back.