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Thousands of nuisance phone calls blocked by trueCall

11:16 am, Monday, 1st March 2021 - 3 years ago

General

Older and vulnerable people in North East Lincolnshire are benefiting from a system fighting against nuisance callers.

TrueCall, aimed to protect older and vulnerable people from nuisance and scam phone calls, can reduce calls by up to 99 per cent.

Since the call blockers started being installed in 2017, 9,546 phone calls have been blocked and it is estimated that 11 scams have been prevented.

Installation is very simple, users need only a plug socket and a phone with caller display.

The device checks a caller’s identity and filters out nuisance and unrecognised numbers. Cold callers are then played a message warning them to hang up.

Trusted callers, such as friends and family members, are still able to get through, leaving only unwanted calls in the cold.

Data gathered by the units is logged and can be accessed by a trained operative who remotely monitors call data, including where the call came from.

Prior to the system, residents were receiving 32 nuisance and scam calls per month – almost twice the national average – 36 per cent of all calls received were nuisance or scam calls.

It is estimated that over the five-year life of these units, they will have blocked 24,054 nuisance calls (of which 4,839 will have been scam phone calls), prevented 29 scams, saved vulnerable households £53,156 and led to a reduction of £48,103 in NHS and health & social care costs.

Councillor Ron Shepherd, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities, said: “Fraudsters use a variety of techniques for parting innocent victims with their money.

“Nuisance callers are a particular problem, especially for older and vulnerable people, who many scammers see as easy targets.

“Thousands of pounds are lost every year to telephone scams, something we are keen to stamp out.”

Steve Smith, managing director of trueCall said: “The opportunities for scammers are much greater as people are less familiar with new procedures associated with vital services, such as Covid testing and Covid vaccinations. Scammers exploit this uncertainty and manipulate individuals by charging fees for false home testing kits or deceiving people into paying for non-existent vaccines.

“We’re proud that our call blocking devices are playing such a significant role to protect households by asking unrecognised callers to identify themselves before calls are put through.”

If you or someone you know could benefit from a trueCall unit or if you require advice and guidance on nuisance calls, contact Citizens’ Advice on 0800 144 8848.

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