Annoyed at constantly warding off telemarketers? Want to stop spam SMS and emails? Prevent uninvited calls, emails and text messages with these simple steps.

How to stop cold calls?

Protect yourself from telemarketers, real estate agents, and scam artists over the phone:

  • Block unwanted phone numbers through your phone settings. Each mobile model with have a specific way to block calls, so check your phone settings for call barring options.
  • Avoid sales & marketing mailing lists by not giving your details to stores or companies who request the information. Just because you bought a jacket or pair of shoes from a store, there is no reason you should share your contact details with them. If there is a checkbox on a form, check carefully if it’s telling you to opt IN to or OUT of a mailing list (and, electronically, watch out for ones ticked by default – untick!) – and do opt out or refuse to opt in unless it’s a brand you’re really interested in.
  • Avoid answering calls from numbers which aren’t saved on your contact list.
  • Protect your information: Don’t disclose any personal or financial information during a call – or suggest another friend to contact.
  • Don’t ask telemarketers to call you back or ask questions about the product. It will show interest in buying the product and they will keep calling you back.
  • Request cold callers to take you off of their sales list, but don’t be rude as they might not then follow through with your request.

[Related: Don’t be duped by financial scams]

In the UAE – you don’t have to deal with constant calls from property brokers. The Dubai Land Department has issued fines up to AED 50,000 for real estate companies who ignore warnings from customers who don’t want to be disturbed by telemarketing calls or emails.

How to avoid junk email?

The internet can be a scary place if you aren’t careful. Here are some quick tips to limit the junk flooding your inbox.

  • Mark junk mail as spam – don’t open it. You can usually tell by the subject line what contains marketing terms or unknown email addresses. Mark it as spam so your email account knows in the future.
  • Don’t open strange attachments: If the email has a strange title, is from an unknown sender and has an attachment, do not open it or download the attachment.
  • Disconnect your internet temporarily and then open the email if you’re unsure but want to check. This will keep your computer safe from bugs and viruses that could be unleashed by the email.
  • Create an alternative email account for registration or sign-up purposes with companies or online websites.
  • Don’t reply back to spam email; instead delete or, better still, permanently block the email address.
  • It’s not really your bank: Avoid any scams, never give out any of your personal or financial information in an email. Your bank will never ask you for sensitive information via email.

[Related: Don’t become a victim of online shopping traps]

How to block spam SMS?

Below are the commands you can use to block spam SMS for Du and Etisalat users. [Related: Useful mobile commands for UAE customers]

Etisalat – blocking spam SMS

Description Command
Unsubscribe SMS from one sender SMS ‘b sendercode’ to 7726
Unsubscribe from SMS from Etisalat SMS ‘b Etisalat’ to 7726
Unsubscribe from all promotional SMS SMS ‘b all’ to 7726

[Compare Etisalat mobile plans in the UAE| Compare Du mobile plans in the UAE]

Du – blocking spam SMS

Description Command
Restrict Spam SMS SMS ‘B Sender ID’ or ‘B short code (number of the sender)’ to 7726
Unsubscribe from promotional SMS from Du Blank SMS to 5293