DARREN Millar, AM for Clwyd West has urged his constituents to take a stand against scams and nuisance calls by signing up for free call blockers.

Between 1,800 and 2,000 call blockers are being provided on a first come, first served basis by the National Trading Standards Scams team. Local authorities and care providers are expected to apply on behalf of victims and individual applications from victims or family members will also be available.

Darren, who is a Friends Against Scams Scambassador, said: “These units follow a pilot programme launched in 2017, which saw 99% of scam and nuisance phone calls being blocked.

“Prior to the pilot, 31% of the 214 individual users in the pilot had lost a combined total of £970,042 to scam and nuisance calls (one individual user lost as much as £320,000). After the pilot, only one per cent of users had lost money to scam and nuisance calls. The pilot also improved victims’ emotional wellbeing. By preventing scam and nuisance calls from reaching users in the first place, the units reduced users’ fears about scam and nuisance calls, and reduced their worries about losing money to these calls in the future, leading to the extension of up to 2,000 call blockers is expected to make a considerable difference to those who receive scam and nuisance phone calls. I would urge all my constituents who are bothered by nuisance calls or worried about being scammed to sign up.”

Louise Baxter, Head of the National Trading Standards Scams team, said: “The recent pilot demonstrates these call blockers change lives, so we’re delighted to extend the programme to help even more victims benefit from call blocking technology.” The devices are being provided for free in a scheme funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Consumers can apply for a free call blocking unit via the Friends Against Scams website where they will be required to complete a short survey. Applications can also be made by partners and stakeholders on behalf of an individual via the same mechanism.