Mark Wilson from Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team with Cllr Gill Heath

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Elderly people in Lichfield and Burntwood who receive regular nuisance sales calls could soon benefit from a free call blocking device fitted to their telephones as part of a national scheme.

Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards team is urging people to sign up for the scheme when it opens on 8th July.

The devices block recorded telephone messages, silent calls and numbers not already pre-identified by the resident or their families. 

In a previous scheme, devices were fitted in six Staffordshire households, preventing over 700 nuisance calls and at least one known scam.

Results also showed that residents in the area were receiving one-and-a-half times the national average nuisance calls each month.

Cllr Gill Heath, cabinet member with responsibility for trading standards at Staffordshire County Council, said:

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“Nuisance sales calls are a growing concern for our trading standards team and unfortunately over the past few months with coronavirus we’ve seen an increase in the number of scams.

“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.”

Cllr Gill Heath, Staffordshire County Council

Because of the coronavirus restrictions still in place, engineers are unable to visit people’s homes to install the devices, so people must be able to install the unit themselves.

Residents can apply online from 8th July at www.FriendsAgainstScams.org.uk/callblocker. Devices are being made available on a first come, first served basis.

Ross

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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