Black Country council makes 'cold call blocking' tech available to all residents for free

A Black Country council has made free call blockers available to all residents to help protect them from phone scams.

Anyone with a landline, who is receiving persistent nuisance calls, can apply for a free call blocker.
Anyone with a landline, who is receiving persistent nuisance calls, can apply for a free call blocker.

Dudley Council's scams unit has seen a number of scams reported in recent weeks, which claim to offer financial support to people with their energy bills.

Anyone with a landline, who is receiving persistent nuisance calls, can apply for a free call blocker.

Traditionally the call blockers have been given to vulnerable residents who are targeted by financial criminals, but the team has now opened it open to anyone concerned about being targeted.

The call blockers are installed for just a few months in people’s homes to allow them to block numbers from suspicious callers by pressing a big red button.

It often dramatically reduces the number of scam calls being received by individuals in the long-term.

The call blocker can then be removed and installed in another home.

The team is also warning people to be wary of energy bill scams which may come through as text messages or emails.

Scammers try to glean people’s personal details and may even try to access or corrupt the device they are using.

Councillor Ian Bevan, cabinet member for public health, said: "The rise in living costs is putting pressures on some households and scammers will be there to take advantage.

"We have a dedicated scams unit within trading standards that will visit anyone who is subject of regular scam communication to raise awareness of scams and investigate scammers where possible.

"This team also installs free call blockers to anyone who is receiving a large number of scam calls, to protect them from receiving future scam calls."

To obtain a free call blocker, Dudley residents can contact trading standards on trading.standards@dudley.gov.uk or call 01384 818871.

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