An item in today's newspaper (April 2017) reports that call blocking devices are to be installed on the landline phones of 1,500 people living at home with dementia to protect them from cold callers, scammers and "silent" phone calls (from call centres block-dialling thousands of people at a time).

The devices require all callers to the person's number to enter a PIN code, otherwise they won't be connected.

This particular news item refers to a UK government initiative linked to a brand called TrueCall (which I know nothing about so cannot comment one way or the other); but I thought I would share it in the hope that the same technology is becoming more widely available - it might be worth asking your telecoms provider if they offer it as a service, or are planning to, for example.

For elders living independently, or at least using their own phones independently, it could provide helpful protection from some of those lowlife swindlers preying on vulnerable people. And not before time.

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Thanks for the information. I feel terrible that so many seniors fall prey to these types of scams. I think any technology that can block these types of calls is wonderful.

Well, in the interests of research I've looked this product up. NB there may be perfectly good competitor products! - but my attention span when it comes to technology is limited and I didn't want to push it.

Anyway. You can buy the gizmo on Amazon, where its customer reviews rate it as follows:

***** 352
**** 42
*** 11
** 16
* 10

I went to the 1* reviews to see what the main problems were - call me a pessimist, but I always like to get my bad news first - and the most recent one is dated 2015, which leads me to suppose that there were gremlins which have been largely sorted out.

These are all on the Amazon UK site, by the way. I'll just check the US one...

... Hm. There are loads of them, some quite highly rated, but not that particular brand.

The trick seems to be in the setting up, and in buying a product that will let you adapt your block list to your own preferences. This might be a case of making sure you take a teenager with you when you go shopping...

Oh please bring that technology here. If I get one more call that I had called a company to order a back brace or knee brace that is free with Medicare, I will be running screaming into the night.

These companies are praying on elders who can't remember if they called this company or not. And at first it made me question my own memory :P

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