The government has committed to funding 1,500 call blockers for the most vulnerable in society – particularly those suffering with dementia. While this is great news, could more be done to protect the most vulnerable from this modern-day menace?
The Prime Minister announced that £500,000 is to be allocated to a project to install trueCall devices into the homes of elderly and vulnerable people. Working with doctors, trading standards officials and councils, 1,500 most at risk people, particularly those with dementia, will receive a call-blocking device.
Protecting vulnerable people
Many of you will know the irritation that nuisance callers can cause; an irritation which can be especially disturbing and distressing for elderly and vulnerable people, and downright dangerous when those callers are in fact scammers.
The fact of the matter is that scammers are cunning at tricking many people into handing over money and personal details. While anyone can fall victim to a scam, scammers do target older and vulnerable people.
Call-blocking devices can screen calls and either ask callers to enter a security code or direct them to call a friend or relative of the home owner.
But with only 1,500 of these devices being issued to the most at risk, what about everyone else?
After all, I’m sure there will be a number of you who will know a friend, neighbour or relative who could benefit from some sort of safeguard in place to prevent nuisance callers or scammers from calling them.
Well, in addition to the devices, the project funding also includes £200,000 for a public awareness-raising campaign – which again is good, but alone will not be enough to protect people from these calls.
As many of you will know, we’ve been campaigning for a crackdown on nuisance calls and texts. In October last year, we welcomed the government’s decision to hold directors of nuisance-calling firms personally accountable, facing a fine of up to £500,000 if their firm is found to be making them – but we’re still waiting for this to be introduced.
Since the start of our campaign, we’ve seen more and more fines being issued by the regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), with more than ever being issued in the past year alone.
But the new rules targeting company directors should have a much bigger impact and bring an end to the practice of rogue bosses flouting the rules by closing one business only to set another under new credentials to dodge ICO fines.
So while it’s welcoming to see the government funding call-blocking devices to protect the most vulnerable from nuisance callers, we need it to bring in it’s promised action to hold directors personally accountable and cut these calls at source as soon as possible.
What do you think to this announcement from the government? What more do you think is needed to crackdown on nuisance callers?