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Call blocker devices to protect vulnerable residents from fraud

31st January 2021 @ 6:06am – by Cheshire Police
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Officers in Cheshire have a new tool in their armoury to protect vulnerable residents from telephone scammers.

State-of-the-art call blocker devices have been installed at the homes of victims that are particularly susceptible to this ever growing form of crime.

Funded by the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit (NWROCU), the devices prevent fraudsters from getting through to the homes of vulnerable residents.

Police Constable Jim Day, of Cheshire Constabulary's Economic Crime Unit, said: "Over-the-phone fraudsters are not small-time criminals. They are part of larger organised crime groups who use a range of tactics to try to get as much money as they can from the people they call, and they are very persistent and their lies can be very convincing.

"With us being in the third national lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic creating new ways to scam victims, these criminals have stepped up their already considerable efforts to target money belonging to people at the other end of the phone.

"Fraud has become the crime that UK citizens are most likely to fall victim to, and here in Cheshire we are dealing with more than 100 cases every week.

"At the Economic Crime Unit we are doing everything we can to identify offenders and bring them to justice, as well as to prevent further offences from being committed.

"As part of this, in August we secured sophisticated call blocker devices from the NWROCU and have since been installing them across Cheshire, at the homes of victims that are particularly vulnerable.

"The areas we have installed them in so far are Alsager, Warrington, Alderley Edge, Macclesfield, Crewe, Chester, Ellesmere Port, Nantwich, Poynton and Knutsford.

"Fraudsters target the elderly and people with early onset dementia, though their operations are often so sophisticated and their lies so convincing that residents of any age can fall for them.

"The call blocker devices prevent the scammers from getting through to those they look to trick and defraud."

The only people who can get through to homes that are protected by one of the devices are those on a recognised caller list.

For more information on call blocker devices email faspo@cheshire.pnn.police.uk.

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