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Phone Guardian

(18 Posts)
kittylester Mon 13-Jan-20 10:18:41

My 80 year old bil has been scammed for the second (fortunately he has not lost any money this time) and I have promised to canvas opinions on various guardian methods for his daughter.

Any help really appreciated!!

Hetty58 Mon 13-Jan-20 10:23:27

Maybe it's time for a Power of Attorney to be set up? His daughter could manage his finances which he may welcome. These scammers really are scum.

kittylester Mon 13-Jan-20 10:32:38

Poa is a step too far at the moment. He is fairly compos mentis - just a bit too polite and naive.

annsixty Mon 13-Jan-20 10:32:40

Sky and BT both have phone guardians.
I had the sky one when we first moved to them but it was a pain for family although I think there may have been a means of excluding them.
I have 2 friends who have it and I must confess to putting off phoning them, however it will deter scammers.

cornergran Mon 13-Jan-20 11:01:41

BT one works but seems complex on first sight. I think I'd go with whatever comes with his land line provider, unless he changes them regularly. There should be a helpline if he gets stuck. A friend couldn't phone her neighbour as her number had been inadvertently blocked - well her neighbour said it was a mistake grin - a call to the BT helpline sorted it in moments. Several of our neighbours use them and feel more secure, they certainly don't get the rubbish calls that we do.

kittylester Mon 13-Jan-20 22:08:50

Thank you all for your input.

grannyticktock Mon 13-Jan-20 22:21:45

You need to set up LPA now, while he has capacity - once he loses this, it's too late. It doesn't come into operation until he loses capacity or is unable to administer his affairs. I have registered LPA for both my daughters, in case it's needed some day.

In the meantime, though, I am not sure ... is it phone scams that he seems most vulnerable to? Perhaps some system that only accepts calls from known numbers would work, but I don't know quite what that would be.

MawB Mon 13-Jan-20 22:24:12

We had Phone Guardian and while on the one hand, it stopped Mr Microsoft from the sub continent , our daughters and our friends got very frustrated with trying to get through. Sometimes saying their name worked and sometimes it didn’t!
So after paw died I took an executive decision to discontinue it and I am now harassed on a daily basis by “Amazon Prime”, Energy saving companies , my bank (ostensibly) and even, yesterday, somebody claiming to be from a BT call blocking service. I was unconvinced.
So, on balance, if the rest of you can put up with the relatively minor inconvenience, I would say it is a good thing. They can get round it, by giving a name such as Fred or Bob and if your BIL knows à Fred or Bob he may inadvertently let them “through”.
My brother, normally a very technically and financially savvy man nearly lost £25k shortly after his wife died and he was just vulnerable. The bank refunded it but it totally destroyed his confidence at a very fragile point in his life.
Go for it.

Buffybee Mon 13-Jan-20 23:59:40

kittylester, I recognize the too polite and naive.
My dear old Dad was persuaded to sign up to something over the phone, gave them his details from his Debit card and then panicked and rang me. I rang the bank with him and they cancelled the DD and spoke to the firm who’d rang, it was British Gas, signed him up to very expensive insurance which he didn’t need.
There were other incidents, where he handed his card details over when someone had talked him into it, so eventually I scratched the last three digits off the back of his card, which are only needed to buy online or over the phone, which he didn’t need to do.
When I took over his finances, he had about three or four insurances for cover he didn’t need.
Just an idea for your friends.

Buffybee Tue 14-Jan-20 00:07:16

We also had cameras installed at both his doors, which were linked to my mobile, as he was being scammed by people calling round offering to do work and gardening, which he didn’t need and charging him a fortune.
The cameras are reasonable cheap and easy to install and I could speak to callers who I didn’t recognize and ask what they wanted.
They soon scarpered!

MawB Tue 14-Jan-20 00:09:39

It doesn’t sound as if your BIL needs protection of the level of POA m Kittylester, but I would definitely recommend something to weed out some of the scammers and Call Guardian did that.

BradfordLass72 Tue 14-Jan-20 05:52:39

You can set up POA at any time. I held POA for a friend of mine who was certainly compos mentis and still is.

I would suiggest you try an answerphone which cuts in when the phone rings.

That allows him and daughter to evaluate any calls and he can return only those from people he knows.

kittylester Tue 14-Jan-20 08:32:35

You are right maw he doesn't need poa yet and I doubt he will agree to it at all (and with his health history he really should have it)

We have an added complication in that he son and daughter dont talk to each other so we are often piggy in the middle!!

Doodle Tue 14-Jan-20 13:12:09

We have call guardian from BT. If you set up the phone with all the people you are happy to receive calls from then their calls come straight through without them having to announce their name. For other callers it asks them to say who they are and then you have to press 1 to accept the call if you want to speak to them. It obviously wouldn’t put off a serious scammer but stops a number of calls getting through to us. You can also update your calls list so for example Specsavers wasn’t one of our accepted callers on our list but after we had a couple of calls from them about appointments I added their number. I think the idea about the video doorbell is good too. My son has one and his records who is coming to the door and allows him to speak to them. Great way of monitoring what’s going on. He also has a camera in their kitchen (to monitor the dog) but if you had such a thing in your BIL’s lounge you could see if someone was in there with him.

fourormore Tue 14-Jan-20 14:29:21

To be honest I have no experience of phone guardian but we bought a 'call interceptor' for about £50 from a 'well-known on-line auction site' and it has saved us literally hundreds of nuisance calls.
Basically, the telephone numbers of 'acceptable callers' are easily entered and 'cleared' on the box, so family etc. can ring us any time and come straight through.
Anyone ringing from an 'uncleared' number has two options.
The interceptor 'answers' the caller, we only hear a small bleep to warn us a call may come through.
The caller is told by the interceptor that we do not accept sales etc. calls (at which nuisance callers hang up!) but if genuine the caller can follow simple instructions and our phone will ring.
When we answer, we take the call, and also decide whether that caller can be cleared for the future.
Any unwanted callers can then be blocked but no unwanted caller has tried as yet! Nuisance and scam callers don't have the time to 'faff about' with interceptors so they hang up and try someone else!
Our phone 'bleeps' regularly but the caller goes no further. If we want to, we then 1471 and get the caller's number. I check the numbers on and more often than not I find they have previous reports.
I can honestly say we have had no nuisance calls of any kind since installing the interceptor.
Good luck Kitty it is so difficult trying to protect our vulnerable people without hurting their feelings but these evil scammers will persist while they get good results. angry

MerylStreep Tue 14-Jan-20 14:42:30

My 'protection' was cheaper than that. It's a £10 whistle I bought about 2yrs ago. I used it for about a week, they soon got the message. Haven't had a nuisance call since.

jaylucy Tue 14-Jan-20 14:54:33

We have Call Guardian that is inbuilt in my landline phone (got it from Argos) If people really want to speak with you, they will go through the system, however much of a nuisance it is!
I wish we had had the same phone when my parents were alive - any missed calls, and my mum used to panic that she had missed something important and my dad used to get very upset about the spam phone calls he had each day, often requesting to speak to my late mother.
If it's doorstop callers that are the problem, either get CCTV cameras installed over the doors or maybe invest in a "Ring" doorbell that has CCTV sent through to your mobile.
Friends and family have my mobile phone number.

fourormore Tue 14-Jan-20 15:51:08

grinMerylStreep I remember using your method many years ago before any form of 'monitoring' was available and I was receiving indecent phone calls.
However, I was warned back then that it was possibly a dangerous thing to do as if I damaged anyone's ears I could be sued for damages. At first I laughed but was told the caller may be innocent and just have a stutter or similar impediment which I suppose was fair comment smile
Worked for you and me though didn't it grin