Free scam call blockers for vulnerable Lancashire residents

Vulnerable residents in Lancashire could be eligible for a free blocking device to help prevent scam phone calls.

Saturday, 16th October 2021, 12:30 pm
Vulnerable residents in Lancashire could be eligible for a free blocking device to help prevent scam phone calls

Lancashire Police’s Economic Crime Team has teamed up with trueCall for the initiative which sees a device fitted to a home telephone that can block up to 90 per cent of recorded messages, silent calls and numbers not already pre-identified by residents and their families.

Lancashire Police’s Economic Crime Team has said it is currently seeing a rise in courier fraud – this is where people receive a call from someone saying that they are from the police or bank, and asking them to withdraw money from their account and give it to a courier. The call blocker puts a stop to this.

The call blocker devices prevent the scammers from getting through to those they look to trick and defraud. The device can be set up so that the only people who can get through to homes protected by one of the devices are those on a recognised caller list.

Helen Grimshaw, fraud safeguarding officer at Lancashire Police, said: “These are vulnerable people for whom the telephone is their lifeline in terms of daily contact. Most people have had experience of some sort of nuisance call and it’s frustrating in terms of daily life.

“Imagine feeling frightened to answer the phone and now bring in other vulnerabilities and all of a sudden you have someone in a really frightening situation.

“These types of crimes are devastating to people’s lives and the criminals are ruthless in terms of hoping to catch someone off guard and defraud them of their life savings.

“Following the installation of these devices people feel much safer in their homes, and it gives family and those caring for them peace of mind. We are delighted to have been able to safeguard those victims in this way and will try our best to secure more of the devices to give to those who need them most in Lancashire.”

The police or your bank would NEVER ask you to withdraw money or purchase high value items.

In relation to this crime the scammers may ask you to dial 999 or the number on your bank card to check their credentials. They ask you not to hang up before you dial. The criminals remain on the line and it is another criminal who will verify the information.

Residents are urged to make sure they hang up and hear a dial tone on their phone before they make another call.

To find out more about the project or make a referral, email [email protected]

Anyone who believes they have been contacted fraudulently or been a victim of fraud should call 101 and Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

For more fraud prevention advice visit https://www.actionfraud.police.uk