Call blockers available to residents in Wakefield as Scam calls increase

Thursday 25 February

Call blockers available to residents in Wakefield as Scam calls increase.

A substantial increase in the amount of nuisance and scam calls has been recorded as fraudsters seek to exploit the Coronavirus pandemic. National Trading Standards reports that nuisance/scam calls are up by 250% since first lockdown, with West Yorkshire Trading Standards seeing similar increases across the County. Scam callers are often relentless and can leave their victims feeling anxious and unsafe in their own homes.

To support vulnerable residents in Wakefield, Trading Standards is offering free call blockers – equipment that screens out unwanted calls on landlines and which can make a considerable difference to households targeted by scam and nuisance phone calls. This technology can make a real difference to the quality of life and health and wellbeing of those who are being targeted. 

Consumers are encouraged to be wary of any cold callers particularly where the caller is asking for personal/ banking information, with COVID-19 providing new opportunities for telephone scammers to take advantage of members of the public. One company was found to have made over 680,000 automated scam calls over a four-week period, urging people to purchase face masks and hand sanitiser at a cost of £29.99-£49.99 by falsely claiming that the PPE was a government requirement.

Trading Standards is seeing other COVID-19 related telephone scams on the rise too.  For example, criminals are claiming they can offer the vaccine at a cost and asking for personal information that could be used to steal bank details.

Wakefield residents may be eligible for free call blockers, funded by Wakefield and District Safeguarding Adults Board, if they are receiving high volumes of scam calls and are vulnerable.

If you or a family member would like to be considered for a call blocker please contact Trading Standards with your name, address, contact number, and a brief description of why you (or a family member) is in need of a call blocker. The Trading Standards team is able to install the call blocker for residents who are unable to install it themselves.  Please email: dutyofficer@wyjs.org.uk

If you are a community group and you would like to learn more on how to protect your members from Scams and Fraud, the SAFER project is still offering free workshops!  Email: dutyofficer@wyjs.org.uk More information can also be found here https://www.wyjs.org.uk/trading-standards/safer/

To keep up to date with emerging scams and frauds in local communities, why not subscribe to the Trading Standards Covid 19 Alert – email dutyofficer@wyjs.org.uk . Past copies of the Alert are available at https://www.wyjs.org.uk/trading-standards/covid-19-resources/  you can follow Trading Standards on social media for regular updates!

Twitter: @Wytradstandards Facebook: @SAFER Project