Surrey County Council Campaign to Protect Vulnerable Residents Against Telephone Scammers

Surrey County Council Campaign to Protect Vulnerable Residents Against Telephone Scammers
Surrey County Council

Snow room for telephone scammers this Christmas!

Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards is cracking down on telephone scammers this festive season by encouraging people with vulnerable family or friends in Surrey or Buckinghamshire to support them in applying for a free* trueCall device, to prevent telephone scammers and nuisance callers getting through.

73% of all UK adults have been targeted by fraudsters, intent on stealing personal and financial information. Scams and fraud have a devastating effect on an individual’s physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. They come in a diverse range of forms, but the most common is for fraudsters to cold call.

In Summer 2022, 41 million people in the UK received a suspicious phone call or text message. Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards estimate that 48,000 scam or nuisance calls were blocked by the trueCall devices in the two boroughs, installed in the year Aug 22 – Aug 23, saving residents a total of £1,824,971.

Councillor Kevin Deanus, Cabinet Member for Fire and Rescue and Resilience said, “Christmas is a great time for getting together with wider friends and family. Having conversations with the more vulnerable about cold callers could identify individuals with a need for these devices in their homes. A great gift for any vulnerable person in Surrey, they are provided free of charge to those in need, so do please encourage people in Surrey to contact us if they believe they could benefit.

“Our Trading Standards team helps to protect the vulnerable from telephone scammers year-round by providing these easy to plug in home devices. Once fitted, they enable all known contacts to dial straight through, with anyone else being screened on the various settings available.

“Additionally, on December 6th this year, we are hosting a free webinar that anyone can join with the theme ‘Snow Room for Scammers this Christmas’. It’s from 2 – 3pm via the Eventbrite weblink. Speakers from Trading Standards will raise awareness of the latest scams and provide practical advice on how to protect yourself and others from unscrupulous fraudsters and they’ll have a guest speaker from trueCall, to talk about how call blockers can help to protect against telephone scams.

“Everyone is welcome to sign up for our regular Trading Standards Email newsletter, full of information on how to avoid scams and up to date product recalls.”

Feedback from users of the trueCall devices:

Mr J of Camberley“Since having this device installed, my phone has been free of any nasty calls. Thank you.”

Mrs L of Addlestone“The trueCall device has made such a difference to my elderly mother (98) and my disabled sister (70) as they can now answer the phone with confidence. As their carer I have peace of mind knowing that nobody can get through who they don’t know. They were victims of a scam and the phone is now one thing I do not have to worry about. Thank you.”

Mr W of Walton-On-Thames“This trueCall device is one of the best pieces of equipment we have ever had. We are most grateful for this device and it has solved the problem with nuisance callers – virtually overnight!”

Mr B of Dorking“Having trueCall has transformed my life. I know that if the phone rings it is almost certainly a trusted caller. The recorded display shows what a lot of calls are blocked, many from overseas and probably scams.”

Available For Free For Vulnerable In Surrey

*trueCall devices are provided free of charge with no ongoing costs to vulnerable people in Surrey.

If you have been scammed contact:

The police: If you feel threatened or if you are in immediate danger, call 999. If it’s not an emergency, call 101

Your bank:  If you’ve noticed any unusual activity with your bank account, call the centralised number 159 or the phone number on the back of your bank card

Action Fraud: Report any kind of fraud by giving them a call or reporting it online via their website

Victim Support: Provides 24/7 free and confidential support to victims and witnesses of crime in England and Wales & Victim & Witness Care Unit in Surrey

Citizens Advice: Contact Citizens Advice for information and advice about how to avoid scams and fraud. Their consumer services also provides information and advice on consumer issues by telephone and online

Samaritans: You can call their helpline on 116 123 if you feel low or anxious and need someone to talk to

Press Release Issue by Surrey County Council 21st November 2023