Published on 26 October 2023 11:20 AM
You may be aware of the upcoming changes to analogue telephones, there's no need to worry, the changes are still a couple of years before this change is finalised. We have however, been made aware of some scams where people will call and offer to help with your change over, or even make sure you don't have to change. These are not real calls and they will be trying to access your personal details and bank details. These callers are criminals so don't be worried about hanging up your phone or seeming rude.
The below information is from Wakefield District Safeguarding Adults Board
The UK’s telephone network is changing. 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. The new network will provide a future proof, more reliable and dependable broadband service that will support the UK for decades to come. This means services that rely on the old landline system such as home phones and healthcare devices will be switched over.
The transition from analogue to digital technologies has created new opportunities for criminals to target adults at risk. For example, criminals may use phishing emails, fake websites, or phone calls to trick residents into providing personal information, such as bank account details or passwords.
This information can then be used to steal money or commit identity theft. There is also the potential for increases in criminality through rogue traders selling equipment, charging for unnecessary work, or trying to pressurise vulnerable members of the community into new contracts related to the digital switchover.
Around 1.8 million people use health care devices nationally, and we are concerned that reports of scams will increase as the 2025 switchover date approaches. Here are some recommendation actions that services which support adults at risk can take to raise awareness, and to prevent and disrupt anyone from using the digital switchover as a means to advance criminal activity.
Be aware of the digital switchover and understand how to report concerns
If you become aware of an adult who they believe has been the victim of fraud or a scam related to the digital switchover, they should treat it as a possible safeguarding concern.
You should ensure they advise adults, their next of kin or power of attorney to contact their bank immediately if their bank account was used in a scam, as banks may be able to take action to help them.
You should also encourage adults to report any scams or fraudulent activity to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via their website.
Report potential scams or fraud to trading standards
If staff hear reports of digital switchover scams/fraud taking place, it is good practice to report directly to Action Fraud either online at https://www.actionfraud.police.uk or call 0300 123 2040. Alternatively you can inform Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Bureau by calling 0800 223113.
Use language which reflects the criminal nature of this issue
It is important to recognise that digital switchover scams or fraud are a crime and should be treated as such. All services should ensure their communications use language which reflect that these scams are crimes and should avoid solely framing the issue as a safeguarding matter. For example, terms such as scammers should be avoided, and perpetrators of these crimes should be labelled as criminals to avoid trivialising the issue.
Further information is available in the Local Government’s Digital switchover hub, including implications for telecare users.