Elderly and vulnerable residents fed up with unwanted phone calls are reminded that technology is available to sift out potential con callers.
West Sussex Trading Standards have prevented 99.7% of 15,572 nuisance and scam calls after the first call blocker devices were installed last year.
Eighty devices have so far been installed since February 2016 with a further 20 ready to loan to qualifying residents.
Following their installation, one call blocker recipient said: “As my brother and I live abroad, I wanted to thank you (Trading Standards) for everything you’re doing to support my parents in their home.”
Another resident added: “Thanks very much for fitting the call blocking system for my mum, it has given her peace of mind.”
Residents are urged to be cautious of suspicious calls from phone scammers posing as trusted authoritative figures requesting personal data or financial information.
West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, Debbie Kennard, said: “I can’t stress enough how invaluable call blockers have proved to be in protecting our residents this past year, the number of reported suspect calls is alarming.
“Not only do they prevent our most vulnerable residents from high-end scams worth thousands of pounds, but the call blockers’ sheer presence takes away their worry when answering the phone.”
To be considered for one of the limited remaining number of call blockers, West Sussex residents must be able to prove they receive unwanted calls on a regular basis and have care or support needs.
Relatives, carers and friends can also apply on behalf of people who meet the criteria.
To apply for a call blocker, contact Trading Standards online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/callblocker or phone Citizens Advice on 03454 04 05 06.
Trading Standards is promoting the opportunity as part of Scams Awareness Month this July.
For information on scams advice and to find out about upcoming community events, visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/sam17