West Lothian Council’s Trading Standards told the council’s Community Safety Board about the range of phone and internet scams developed in the last decade.
Trading Standards’ Ed Machin’s report on ‘Financial Harm’ highlighted what he described as “seriously scary numbers”- fraud costs the British economy £52 billion each year. Local incidents included a couple in their early 60s plagued by nuisance phone calls. The woman has early stage dementia and her husband has to unplug the phone when he leaves the house.
Local Trading Standards teams have been installing call blocker devices which stop all but trusted numbers, as part of a government funded scheme. It is estimated that nationwide it has prevented 171 scams and saved £600,000. It particularly helpful for those suffering dementia as it helps keep people safe and maintains a measure of independence.
Help and advice about call blockers and other ways to keep safe are available through Trading Standards and local police. Advice is also available in community and health centres.