Vulnerable residents in Staffordshire who receive regular nuisance calls could soon benefit from a new project to fit a free call blocking device to their home telephone.
With research by Age UK showing that elderly residents are more likely to be a victim of telephone scams, Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards service is urging people to consider the system.
The service has teamed up with Truecall for the project which will launch at the Stafford County Show in the town on 25 and 26 August.
A call blocking device is a small box fitted to a home telephone. They block recorded telephone messages, silent calls and numbers not already pre-identified by the resident or their families. Research shows that in some cases having a device installed can help prevent 90% of scam calls.
Vulnerable residents at risk of such calls can be referred to Trading Standards for a device by voluntary organisations, GPs and social care teams. Devices will be loaned for six-month periods but are also available to buy from the high street and online.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “Nuisance sales calls continue to be a problem for many households particularly vulnerable people and it’s something our Trading Standards team are working hard to stamp out.
“These types of cold calls, whether sales calls or in many cases deliberate scams, can cause a huge amount of stress and anxiety for those caught up in them. Criminals and scammers are also becoming much more sophisticated and professional these days and can sound very convincing.
“Using the call blocker device is one way of cutting out most nuisance calls, which is why we have teamed up with Truecall in this latest project. Having a device installed not only helps protect vulnerable older people from being caught up in a scam but also gives their families piece of mind. If you have vulnerable elderly family members who receive these types of cold calls, I would encourage people to get in touch with our Trading Standards teams and consider getting one installed.”
People can find out more about the project or make a referral by calling 01785277855 or by emailing Simon.Sumner@staffordshire.gov.uk.