Vulnerable people in North East Lincolnshire have a new defence against nuisance callers.
TrueCall can reduce nuisance calls by up to 95%, and in many cases can eliminate them almost completely.
North East Lincolnshire Council’s trading standards team say the units have also stopped two scams where the victims could have lost £8,226.
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.
Seven TrueCall units have been installed in the borough since July 2017, to protect vulnerable residents from telephone scams.
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.
Installation is very simple, users need only a plug socket and a phone with caller display.
A total of 2,057 nuisance calls were received by these units, of which 2,049 were successfully blocked. 44 per-cent of incoming calls intercepted by the devices were found to be nuisance calls.
Those using the units received about 45 nuisance calls per month, with one unit alone getting 135, but saw a vast reduction in cold calls as a result of using TrueCall.
According to OFCOM, the national average for nuisance calls is 18 per month.
As a result of this initial success, more TrueCall units have now been made available by North East Lincolnshire Council.
Cllr David Bolton, portfolio holder for Safer and Stronger Communities at NELC, said: “We’ve used the units at seven homes so far and they’re already saving potential victims from losing thousands of pounds.”
Neil Clark, community protection and compliance team manager, added: “Fraudsters come in all shapes and sizes, and use a variety of techniques for parting innocent victims from their money.
“Nuisance callers are a particular problem, especially for frail 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.”
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 03454 040506.