In 2015, the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) received almost 170,000 complaints about nuisance calls
Cold callers are a nuisance to most of us. But to someone suffering from dementia, they can be a scourge.
This is also the case for many people with mental disabilities, the very elderly and people not used to callers pretending to be helpful but just seeking to defraud them.
Many of the large charity organisations until recently used to exchange caller lists so anyone who was generous to one charity would find themselves bombarded with calls from other charities and many paid over far more money than they should have.
Prime Minister Theresa May said “We want to create a fairer society by cracking down on unscrupulous practices which target the most vulnerable”. She has announced plan to give elderly and vulnerable people hi-tech devices to block these nuisance calls.
The call blocking devices will be installed in the homes of some of the most vulnerable people across the UK who have been identified by doctors, Trading Standards officials and local councils as being at risk from nuisance callers.
These trueCall devices will block all recorded messages, silent calls and calls from numbers not already pre-identified by the home owner – offering particular protection to those with dementia.
The project, which is being co-ordinated by the National Trading Standards Scams Team and supported by local Trading Standards departments, is the latest of a series of government crackdowns on nuisance callers
The chief executive of Dementia UK, Hilda Hayo, said: We welcome this project as some people living with dementia are vulnerable to nuisance callers who offer bogus services and financial schemes. These calls can not only have a negative financial impact but can also lead to psychological effects such as anxiety, depression and a loss of self-esteem. We frequently receive calls to our national helpline from family members who are concerned that their relative with dementia has fallen prey to rogue traders.
The funding for this scheme includes £300,000 to supply call blocking machines with the remaining budget spent on the management of the service and raising public awareness of scam and nuisance calls
The only problem is that the money will run out long before everyone who needs one of the phones gets it. Let’s hope more money can be found.
To report a nuisance go to the Information Commissioners Office online at www.ico.org.uk
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