A RISING number of people in Somerset have been scammed out of cash by unscrupulous firms selling dodgy call blocker devices.

A number of people have reported being charged more than £100 for the items, which have a wholesale price of around £5.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesperson said unscrupulous companies have made exaggerated claims about the devices.

The spokesperson said: "We have seen an increase in call-blocking devices being sold by unscrupulous companies making telemarketing calls.

"These companies make exaggerated claims about the devices effectiveness and will sometimes take multiple payments for the device, turning what the buyer thought was a one-off payment into a regular payment.

"The wholesale price of these devices is around £5, yet they are often sold for over £100 in this scam."

The devices are mostly manufactured abroad and sold in the UK under various names. But they only block 20 to 25 per cent of nuisance and scam calls.

Avon and Somerset Police are advising people:

not to buy call blockers on the back of phishing e-mails or cold calls;

to contact your phone provider for information on call blocking options;

if you've been given a call blocker, get a friend or family member to check it;

if you've been a victim of fraud, contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040;

do your research before buying a call blocker;

check out truecall.co.uk - Avon and Somerset Police have a working partnership with True Call and the use of their call blocking devices.