Nuisance calls how do we stop them?

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Shirtz, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. Shirtz

    Shirtz New member

    Jan 22, 2018
    Our Mum has mixed dementia - vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. At the moment Mum lives on her own, both my sister and I stay with her one night a week and we phone her every day ( we both live about eight miles away from Mum, although in different places and neither of us drive). She has some friends who keep an eye out for her and we are always on standby if needed. But we have one big problem...nuisance calls..most of which are about nuisance calls!!! Mum has lost at least a thousand pounds, which is half of everything she owns,from giving these people 150.00 a time to stop nuisance calls. It started with them charging her between ninety and hundred and twenty pounds for a twenty five pound plastic phone blocker box, these I managed to intercept and send back for refunds. Now I find these things on her bank statements, 150 pounds a time and I cannot find the relevant paperwork. We have tried putting notes by the phone to not give her card number over the phone. She maintains she does not do this, although she clearly does. We cannot take her card away as she needs it, she likes to do a bit of shopping which is fine but cash is difficult for her, so she needs her card. Power of attorney is a great idea but we are all pretty strapped for cash and I have heard it costs hundreds. I have tried changing her phone company so we can use talk talks call safe system, which sounds good. However her present phone company will not release her phone number or the line, so more expense. Also, since she does not remember, it is very difficult to get anything like that done as she is likely to deny all knowledge and cancel, plus she doesn’t see there is a problem anyway since she believes she never gives her card details over the phone. These people are despicable and those I have managed to cancel with have been largely indifferent. Any advice would be welcome. Unfortunately mum is very awkward at the moment as she will not have it that she needs us ‘interfering’ in her business!
  2. Bunpoots

    Bunpoots Registered User

    Apr 1, 2016
    If you scratch the three digit number off the back of the card your mum will not be able to buy anything over the phone. But keep a note of the number in case you need it in future.
  3. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    You can get a call blocker service via BT which will block all calls apart from those from designated numbers such as friends/family. Have you contacted the phone service provider for help? Edit - reading this on a train and just noticed your comment about the phone provider not being helpful! You can I think buy phones that will block calls without needing to go via the provider?
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
  5. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    Is there any reason you can't change her phone number and make her ex-directory? (Then giving her new number only to those who need it). Also register her on the appropriate no-marketing calls register.
  6. Saffie

    Saffie Registered User

    Mar 26, 2011
    Near Southampton
    I moved from BT to Talk Talk and the latter arranged the whole thing and I didn’t have to contact BT at all so it seems odd that your present phone company is causing difficulties. Yes, TT have both free Call barring and Call blocking, the latter which should be reassuring for you.

    I, too , would recommend obtaining LPA as soon as possible. It is the person who is initiating the LPA, I.e the donor who pays so it would be your mother’s financial position which would be involved and there are discounts and exemption available if applicable.

    Scratching the security number off is a good idea too.
  7. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017

    Yes scratch off the three numbers on the back of her cards, I have done this for my dad but up until now he has not suffered from nuisance calls. You can make a note of the number yourself if she needs to order anything in the future but don't let her have it.

    We on the other hand are being plagued by them. It is usually a very friendly Indian guy from the telephone preference service and he will offer to block all nuisance calls in a one off special offer. We now do not answer our home phone unless it shows who is calling and apparently half the population do the same because of these calls according to the papers. I have been extremely rude to them and I mean extremely rude but to no avail, they will just use a different number next time.

    You can register with the telephone preference service but many of these calls still get through because they come from abroad, mostly India. We are registered but we had about thirty of these calls last week over two days, same number over and over again. I just ignore them but occasionally I will play along with them for a while before telling them that I have really enjoyed wasting their time and now they can just go do one.

    You should get POA It doesn't cost a lot and if she is willing then just do it although it probably won't help you with this problem.

    Call blocker sounds like a good idea and probably worth it even if you have to pay for it.
  8. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    N Ireland
  9. campervan21

    campervan21 Registered User

    May 4, 2017
    My friend when you ring her number an automated message asks for your name, so when you speak your accepted for call to carry on , if your not on the list you don’t get through , might be useful, sorry if already been mentioned
  10. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    I have a bog standard phone with a do not disturb function. You can effectively put your phone on silence and allow only calls coming from specific programmed in numbers to come through at all times. Works a charm. You still get sales calls but you don't hear them!

    An LPA doesn't cost hundreds, it costs exactly £82 to register, and even that can be reduced or got for free depending on your mother's finances. They can be done online with the help of guidance notes,but if you don't feel confident enough, your local Age UK or Carers Centre usually has someone who can go through the forms with you, and they are not difficult. You can use a solicitor but it's not a legal requirement.
  11. arielsmelody

    arielsmelody Registered User

    Jul 16, 2015
    Are you absolutely sure that your mum is giving the card number out over the phone? I'm wondering if scammers have the details now and are debiting it without going through her. It might be worth trying to talk to the bank to see what they think and if there is anything that could be done. If nothing else, could you persuade your mum that a savings account would be a good idea, and move as much money as you can in there?
  12. Philbo

    Philbo Registered User

    Feb 28, 2017
    We were getting more and more of these (despite registering with the TPS), so when we needed to replace our 2 cordless phones, I did a bit of online research about call-blocking/screening options.

    Someone posting on another forum recommended the BT8610 (twin) handsets (other makes/models are available:D), which features "true-Call". The only requirement is that your line must have calling line identity, which our provider, EE, does for free (other providers are .....:rolleyes:).

    So once you've programmed in all your contacts, any you mark up as VIP will get through to you without any intervention. Any not on the VIP list, the phone rings just once, with the caller getting a message to state their name or company. Then if the caller bothers to do this (not just hang up), the phone rings you and announces who it is. You then get the option to answer, transfer to the answerphone facility, or reject. You can also block any numbers that have tried calling, that you don't want to keep getting disturbed by (though the rascals often use a multitude of different calling IDs).

    So it doesn't totally stop the calls, but with only one ring, I find I ignore the phone unless it rings more than once. Your mum may not even realise someone is calling, unless it's a genuine caller?
    You certainly don't have to have any special "boxes" or pay and subscriptions.

  13. Sirena

    Sirena Registered User

    Feb 27, 2018
    I too was thinking of Truecall, which Phil mentioned.

    But I agree with arielsmelody, I too am wondering if that is not the way (or not the only way) the scammers are taking money.

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