Vulnerable residents that use health care telephony devices are being scammed into giving their personal information away, with this including bank details, according to the Local Government Association. These devices are used by approximately 1.8 million people around the country and are currently in the process of being switched from analogue to digital, a process that is free.
Councillor Jasbir Jaspal, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Adults and Wellbeing, said: "It seems that criminals are trying to take advantage of the digital switchover to trick vulnerable residents into giving out personal information such as their bank details. As the digital switchover date approaches, it is likely that further cases will arise.
“The digital switchover is free of charge and residents should be aware that councils and their home care alarm providers or contractors will never ask for personal or financial information over the phone.
“Please be vigilant to these sorts of scams, and please report any concerns you may have to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 0808 223 1133.”
Between now and 2025 most telephone providers will be moving their customers from old analogue landlines over to new upgraded landline services using digital technology, meaning services that rely on the old landline system such as home phones and healthcare devices will need to be switched over.
For most consumers and businesses, this change will be straightforward. Many customers are already making the switch when they upgrade to full fibre broadband, while telecoms providers Virgin Media O2 and BT will contact customers before their switchover is due to take place.
If you or someone you know depends on their landline or uses a telecare device connected to a phone line, such as a fall monitor, lifeline or personal alarm, you should notify the provider of this service so that they can advise on how the switch could affect you.
If you have other devices connected to your phone line, such as alarm systems, you may need to upgrade your device to make sure it is compatible. If you are unsure about how a device in your home or business might be affected, it is recommended you contact the equipment supplier or device manufacturer to find out whether it will remain functional on a digital phone line.
Digital landlines cannot carry a power connection, so in the event of a power cut they will not work. If you have a mobile phone this can still be used, but if you’ve no other means of calling the emergency services your telecoms provider will offer a solution to allow calls to be made in an emergency.
For more information, please visit UK transition from analogue to digital landlines.