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Mark & Gill
Mark Wilson from Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team with Cllr Gill heath.

Call blocking scheme continues to help vulnerable people in fight against nuisance calls

People who receive regular nuisance sales calls continue to benefit from call blocking devices fitted to their telephones as part of a national scheme.

Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team is coordinating the project locally, and is urging more people with elderly and vulnerable family members to consider the system.

The devices block recorded telephone messages, silent calls and numbers not already pre-identified by the resident or their families. So far, the devices have been fitted in six households, preventing over 700 nuisance calls and at least 1 scam. Results also showed that Staffordshire residents were receiving one and a half times the national average nuisance calls each month.

Residents at risk of such calls can be referred for a device by the Trading Standards team, 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.

Communities leader at Staffordshire County Council Gill Heath said:

“Nuisance sales calls are a growing concern for our Trading Standards team and the Scams that arise from them can cause a huge amount of stress and anxiety for those caught up in them.

“Criminals and scammers are becoming much more sophisticated and professional these days but using the call blocker device is a simple way of cutting out most nuisance calls. This 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 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.”

The project, which is being co-ordinated by the National Trading Standards Scams Team and supported by local Trading Standards departments, is the latest of a series of Government crackdowns on nuisance callers.

A trial scheme run last year resulted in 93 per cent of participants feeling safer in their homes with devices currently being installed in 1,500 homes nationally.

People can find out more or get in touch at https://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/business/tradingstandards/home.aspx or by calling 01785 277855.