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Call block device scheme helps residents avoid nuisance misery

People suffering from nuisance sales calls or cold calls are benefiting from blocking devices fitted to their telephones as part of a national programme implemented by the county council in Staffordshire.

Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team is coordinating the project locally, which has seen 10 devices fitted to telephones belonging to vulnerable residents or those with dementia. They are now planning to fit another 10 devices in the coming weeks.

The programme is being run and funded by the National Trading Standards Scams Team with residents being referred by GPs and council social care teams. Devices block recorded messages, silent calls and numbers not already pre-identified by the resident or their families. Devices will be loaned for six-month periods but are available to buy from retailers.

Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards manager Tony Shore said:

Nuisance calls are a growing concern and so we’re pleased to be able to implement this national initiative in Staffordshire. What can be an irritation to many people can cause great distress to some, particularly vulnerable residents. Cold calls and scam calls can also result in people being left out of pocket – sometimes up to thousands of pounds. The call blocker devices not only offer protection to residents, but piece of mind to families. While 20 devices do not seem like a great amount, they will be reducing anxiety and keeping those people safe.”

A similar trial scheme run by the National Trading Standards Scams Team last year resulted in 93 per cent of participants feeling safer in their homes. This scheme will see the special devices installed in 1,500 homes nationally.