Be alert to scams – Telecare users warned

WARNINGS have been issued to residents after a rise in scams related to the nationwide switchover to digital landlines.

East Sussex County Council is calling on people who use telecare services to be alert to unsolicited calls from scammers, or lifeline companies mis-selling products.

Telecare includes a range of technology or digital equipment that supports people to live more safely and independently. For example, Lifeline and personal alarms, fall monitors and motion detectors.

Phone scams to watch out for include a caller saying your current telecare service has stopped trading and you should change provider, or they can offer a better service. Criminals may also use phishing emails or fake websites.

The warning comes after an increase in incidents of scammers taking advantage of the switchover from analogue to digital to try and obtain personal and financial information or sell unnecessary products.

Mark Stainton, East Sussex County Council’s Director of Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Sadly, there are unscrupulous people who will see this change as an opportunity to make money from unsuspecting residents. We would urge people who use telecare and their families and friends to be alert to this.

“The county council and our contractors will never ask for personal or financial information over the phone.  Residents should avoid rushing into a decision if someone tries to sell them equipment or get them to sign contracts as part of the digital switchover and should seek advice from their lifeline provider.”

He added: “We are working to ensure that all county council-subsidised telecare services are updated to be compatible with digital landlines by the end of the year.”

Between now and January 2027 most telephone providers will be moving their customers from old analogue landlines to new digital landlines to give a more reliable, future-proof broadband service.  The switch will affect some older lifeline products and people are encouraged to contact their lifeline provider to ensure services are not affected by these changes.

People who think they may have been scammed should:

People can visit Action Fraud for advice on how to protect themselves against fraud and cybercrime –

People can also protect themselves from phone scams by;

  • Contacting their phone company – many phone companies offer services that can protect you from scammers and other nuisance callers, including caller display, incoming call blocking and anonymous call rejection
  • Buying a phone blocker to block unwanted sales and scam calls
  • Registering with the Telephone Preference Service through its website – This is the UK’s only official ‘do not call’ register for landline and mobile numbers. It allows people and businesses to opt out of unsolicited live sales and marketing calls