The National Trading Standards Scams Team call blocker project is as a result of £500,000 funding from the Department of Culture, Media and Skills. The contract to supply call blocking devices has been awarded to trueCall which is a company the Trading Standards Team at Hartlepool have been call blockers for the past 3 years. In the teams opinion, they are the best on the market which is why Hartlepool Borough Council have purchased about 40 of the devices so far.
The trueCall Secure device has settings which can be accessed for an internet control panel which can be customised to suit the needs of the user. This can be from blocking UK calls, international calls to locking the device down to only allow calls to and from trusted callers who are stored on the device, this setting is generally only needed for those who need protecting the most such as dementia sufferers. We have had excellent results from those that we have had installed, some people commenting that they thought their phones were broken because the amount of calls they received dropped so much. When locking the device down to trusted callers, a list of every single person who is likely to contact the person will need to be obtained so that their details can be stored on the device to allow their calls through.
As with all call blocking technology, the user will need to have caller display added to their account for the device to work properly. This is free from some service providers up to £2.25 from Virgin.
Currently, each authority can claim a maximum of 5 devices on a reactive basis, meaning they must have a person with a diagnosis of dementia who can be referred to us for the application to be made. The recipient of the device has to sign a consent form, due to the fact that the device will be recording the call information being made and received and complete a user survey at the start and after three months. Statistics will be collated from their data which will be used to inform the project of successes etc.
The device is theirs to use for as long as they need it, but remains the property of Hartlepool Borough Council so will need to be returned when they no longer have any use for it.
Trading Standards also have a stock of devices, so if all five allocated to us are given to users we can still issue them to those in need if they have lost money to a scam or have been referred by a social worker as being a person in need of one. The devices are £125 each if a consumer was to buy one.