Scheme to prevent phone fraud after Holbrook targeted

Elderly residents most at risk of telephone fraud will be invited to test a new device to protect them from nuisance calls.

Derbyshire County Council has approved funding to carry out a six-month trial of ‘trueCall’ telephone monitors in a bid to stop fraudsters and nuisance callers reaching victims.

The devices fit onto a home phone line and combine a digital answerphone with a call screening service which enables the homeowner to accept or reject certain types of calls.

The news comes as police in Holbrook reported to the parish council that they had received complaints from residents in the area of cold callers at their latest meeting. The con involves a bogus company ringing up residents in the area claiming they can help prevent cold calls. They then tried to charge the victim a fee for the bogus service.

The council will liaise with Derbyshire police to select a small group of most at risk older residents to take part in a £1,000 pilot prevention project.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Councillor Dave Allen said: “It’s sickening that fraudsters use the phone to target older and vulnerable people in their own homes to con them out of their savings and pensions.

“We’re committed to tackling this kind of practice and are keen to investigate new ways to help residents, particularly those who are at most risk, to fight back against fraud.

“Projects like our Trusted Trader scheme to help people find reputable businesses have proved hugely popular.”