Bid to cut off cold callers

Bogus Callers
Bogus Callers

EAST Renfrewshire’s trading standards team is one of the first in Scotland to test call blocking devices which could prevent vulnerable residents being pestered by nuisance calls.

The local authority joins Angus and East Dunbartonshire councils in trialling the True Call Care device, and the CPR call blocker.

The first is capable of limiting incoming calls according to a pre-set trusted caller list, and has been installed in the homes of the area’s most vulnerable residents, while the CPR device is used to reduce nuisance calls, and has been fitted for residents who have been targeted by nuisance callers in the past.

Senior trading standards officer Paul Holland explained: “Cold calling is one of the most annoying aspects of modern life, particularly for our most vulnerable residents. 
“it’s not just a nuisance factor – these calls can cause acute anxiety and financial loss.

“The benefits of using the appropriate equipment to block nuisance calls for residents with dementia are particularly rewarding – we regard the prevention aspect of our job as particularly relevant.”

East Renfrewshire’s trading standards team considers cold calling advice a top priority in the area, and continues to offer No Cold Calling door stickers as part of an ongoing initiative with community police and the Adult Protection Committee.

Steve Fox, ERC’s principal trading standards officer, added advice on dealing with doorstop callers, commenting: “Put the sticker on a prominent position on your door and the cold caller should go away.

“If they still disturb you, draw their attention to the notice, close the door and report the matter on our ring and report number, 0800 013 0076.

“The caller may commit an offence if they fail to observe a request to leave.”

Door stickers are available from council offices, libraries and swimming pools, and can also be ordered on the ERC website.

Recent research carried out over 5,000 households revealed that the most common cold callers were financial companies promoting payday loans, credit cards, investments or pensions – but other offenders included scammers peddling computer viruses or fake lottery wins, as well as requests to call premium rate numbers.

For more information on the scams doing the rounds and how to avoid them, visit www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk – to find out more about avoiding nuisance calls, visit www.ofcom.org.uk.