Free call blockers to support vulnerable residents from scams in East Renfrewshire

We're making residents aware of the availability of free call blockers which block 99% of potential scam calls.

Call blockers

Published: 11 January 2024

The trueCall device plugs in between the landline and wall socket and is designed to screen incoming phone calls.

Since 2012, more than 1,300 units have been installed across the area, blocking over 1.2 million nuisance and scam calls in East Renfrewshire. These units are estimated to have saved vulnerable or elderly households approximately £6.3 million. This is based on independent figures via National Trading Standards, Optimity Statistics and trueCall.

The resident gives Trading Standards a list of 'trusted callers' to connect as normal. All other UK callers receive the following message: 'We don't accept sales, marketing and other cold calls. If you are a friend, family member or other important caller family press 5 now. Otherwise hang up now.' Typically, most cold callers are computer dialled and will be automatically disconnected.

Family calling internationally are given a secure code to enter and other international calls are blocked.

Call blockers are aimed at vulnerable residents with physical or mental conditions with a focus on those living with dementia and are provided on a loan basis for as long as is required.

If you or a family member are receiving high numbers of nuisance or scam calls, apply for a free call blocker or phone 0141 577 8487 or email and discuss the range of bespoke support available. The unit may be installed free of charge dependent on the applicants circumstances.

Councillor Danny Devlin, Convener for Environment and Housing said: 'Call blockers are a fantastic initiative which provide peace of mind for you or your loved one. They are designed to safeguard and shield individuals from suspect calls whilst still allowing calls from family and friends to come through as normal. The Council's key message is prevention is better than cure and call blockers are a great way to beat scams. I'd encourage anyone who has been a victim to scam or nuisance call or know of someone who would benefit from a device to get in touch with the Council for more information.'

A local resident who spoke highly of the work of the team, added: 'My mother, who is living with dementia, was plagued with nuisance and scam calls and was extremely agitated and confused. I can't believe the difference cutting out these calls made to not just my mum but the whole family. The help from the Trading Standards team in providing scam prevention tips and installing the unit allowed my mum to continue to live independently. We can't thank East Renfrewshire Council enough.'

Read our self-help financial harm toolkit guide to avoid scams. It includes a scams risk checklist individuals can complete to protect themselves or someone they care about, as well as useful information on many areas including living with dementia and scams, doorstep crime and email scams.

Residents can say no to uninvited doorstep callers by picking up a 'No cold calling' sticker and displaying it on their door. Stickers are available to pick up in Council buildings at Eastwood HQ or Barrhead and from local libraries.

We're also advising residents to be aware of sophisticated mobile phone scams, scam mail, and internet scams. If you use an online banking app, only use the official app provided by your bank, be wary of clicking on links in a text message or email and never respond to messages asking for personal or financial information. Be wary when sending money to, or receiving money from, someone you don't know and trust, and don't open emails which don't appear to be genuine or attachments from an unknown sender.

Last modified on 17 January 2024