As there was an unprecedented demand for free call blocking devices from the National Scams Team this week, Hertfordshire County Council Trading Standards is advising residents of other ways that they can protect themselves from landline telephone scams.
Contact your phone provider, ask if they provide free call blocking services and sign up if they do. If you can’t see the number that’s calling but you have the window on your phone, ask your phone provider to install free caller display.
You can buy telephones with an inbuilt call blocker. Those devices ask a caller to say who they are before you speak to them. You can also buy call blocking devices such as the trueCall one that was being offered this week, these don’t always require buttons to be pressed and may be more suitable for vulnerable residents. These are all available online and from major retailers.
Never buy a call blocking service as a result of a cold call. They promise to stop unwanted calls but don’t work and are expensive. A gentleman in Watford signed up to such a service recently and was charged £185. Trading Standards intervened and obtained a refund for him.
As a last resort, if you have an answerphone, use it to screen your phone calls, even when you are at home. As soon as a genuine caller leaves a message you can pick up as normal .
Hertfordshire County Council Trading Standards has a supply of call blockers that they lend to those most vulnerable to becoming a victim of scams. Please contact them via Citizens Advice if that support is required.