Pilot scheme cuts nuisance telephone calls for pensioners

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Older and vulnerable residents in Derbyshire will be protected from telephone fraud after it was discovered more than 80 per cent of calls they received were nuisance calls.

Derbyshire Council liaised with police to choose seven residents to take part in a pilot scheme which monitored their calls.

Between February and August they received 1,566 calls – and 1,300 were unsolicited or cold calls blocked by the device.

The council has now approved £5,000 to expand the project to residents with a referral from its adult care or community safety teams or the police.

Coun Dave Allen, cabinet member for health and communities, said: “I was absolutely amazed to see the findings of this pilot scheme which show the extent of this problem which targets older and vulnerable people in their own homes.

“We’re committed to tackling this kind of practice and are keen to investigate new ways to help residents to protect their savings and pensions and fight back against fraud.”

Call blocking devices fit on to a home phone line and feature a call screening service which enables the homeowner to accept or reject certain types of calls.

They can also stop certain kinds of call being received altogether such as anonymous or silent calls and calls from automated diallers – the kind favoured by telemarketers and scammers.

Calls from friends, family and other recognised numbers can be pre-programmed and allowed through to be answered as normal. And some blockers can feature a recorded message.