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Call blocker programme shields vulnerable Buckinghamshire residents against scammers

| June 6, 2023

Vulnerable residents in Buckinghamshire are being offered a free device which blocks scam phone calls.

In response to the growing menace of phone scams and nuisance calls, Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards is offering the compact trueCall device which screens incoming phone calls and blocks calls from unknown and unsolicited phone numbers.

Each year, a significant number of Buckinghamshire residents fall victim to fraudsters who employ deceptive tactics to steal sensitive data. Among the most prevalent methods used is cold calling, where fraudsters impersonate legitimate representatives of businesses or financial institutions.

Carl Jackson, Deputy Cabinet Member for Homelessness and Regulatory Services at Buckinghamshire Council, said: ‘Year after year, our residents are targeted by fraudsters attempting to steal their personal and financial information. The trueCall device blocks over 95% of nuisance calls, while still allowing calls from friends and family to come through as normal. This provides peace of mind for vulnerable residents who will be effectively shielded from potential scam calls.

To date, Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards has successfully installed 547 trueCall devices. Over the past year alone, these call blockers have prevented over 48,000 scam and nuisance calls. It is estimated the use of these devices has prevented £600k being taken by deception from Buckinghamshire residents.

Alarming statistics shared by the trueCall team reveal that the proportion of nuisance calls identified as scams has surged from 21% to 40% in the past two years. Furthermore, one-third of scam victims fall prey to a second scam within a year, with single older individuals being three times more susceptible than those living with partners. Vulnerable individuals are also targeted with approximately 40% more scam calls compared to the general population.

To apply for a free call blocker device, interested individuals should contact Trading Standards via email at [email protected] or call Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133. The devices are provided on loan for as long as they are needed – ensuring ongoing protection against fraudulent activities.

Any incidents of suspected fraud should be reported to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133.

*Source of information : Press release from Buckinghamshire Council.

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