500 elderly residents in Bedfordshire to get specialist telephones to prevent scam callers

They look just like normal phones - but have an inbuilt scam calling blocker

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 4:38 pm

Some 500 elderly residents in the county are having specialist telephones fitted in their homes which prevent scam callers from getting through.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) has provided Age UK with £20,000 to buy the specialist devices which have an inbuilt scam calling blocker. These devices prevent known incoming scam numbers from being able to connect to the client’s home telephone number.

Karen Perry, chief executive officer for Age UK Bedfordshire, said: “These devices look exactly the same as a normal telephone and just simply plug into the telephone socket in the home in the usual way.

Elderly residents are being given phones with an inbuilt scam calling blocker

“They will protect older people from receiving calls from those who would seek to appear to be a bank or credit card company or other company that an older person may believe is a dedicated caller.

"In turn, this will help to prevent the older person from being duped into paying money over the telephone, or giving important personal details to the scam caller who will then use that information to steal money or another criminal act.”

Age UK teamed with Safer Streets and the Bobby Scheme through the OPCC, who will be distributing and fitting 500 phones to elderly residents across Bedfordshire.

Chief executive of the OPCC, Clare Kelly, said: “When I pitched this idea to Age UK I was so pleased they were open to working with us as they have exactly the right skill set and knowledge to ensure the correct item was purchased and delivered in a suitable and safe way for our elderly residents."

Eligibility is simple – any older person who is deemed vulnerable or has been a victim of a scam of any description can receive one of the scam blocking telephones.

Referral to Age UK Bedfordshire can be made by calling 01234 360510 or emailing [email protected] and asking about the Scam Blocking Telephones.