COLD calling pests have been slammed for damaging the health of vulnerable people, as new figures reveal how four our of five of us in Plymouth have to put up with them.
Ofcom estimates as many as 217,962 Plymouth people get nuisance calls - about 84 per cent of the city's population.

And now the largest call-blocking pilot ever to be undertaken in the UK has revealed the extent that such calls are having on the people’s health and wellbeing, particularly those more vulnerable members of the community.
During the two-month pilot study over 700 participants, most of whom were elderly, installed a CPR Call Blocker device to manage and block unwanted calls.
Three quarters of those participating in the study found sales and survey calls to be a nuisance, with a quarter actually feeling angered or frightened by them.

The study also revealed that despite being registered on the Telephone Preference Service - the recommended industry practice for avoiding nuisance calls - 80 per cent of those involved were still receiving as many as six unwanted calls per day, with the most frequent relating to PPI claims, personal injury or simply silent calls.
New legislation was unveiled this week that could see those responsible for nuisance calls on the receiving end of hefty fines by industry regulators, but this is unlikely to provide an end to the problem any time soon.

Participants in the study were provided with a CPR Call Blocker, a simple to install device which is pre-programmed to block 200 known nuisance callers identified by The Call Prevention Registry. Once installed, if the user receives a phone call that they consider unwanted or a nuisance, they simply press a button to ‘block the call’, thus preventing the caller from ringing the same house phone number again.
After using the call blocking device for eight weeks, instances of ‘scam’ calls were reduced to less than one per cent and 90 per cent of users said they now felt in total control of their home phone for the first time.

Stress associated with handling nuisance calls was also tackled, with a 79 per cent reduction in anger, fear and annoyance associated with nuisance calls.
Additionally, there was a dramatic 91 per cent increase in those who felt no emotion in regards to calls.

Lee Hare, from CPR Call Blocker, said: “Many scam callers target people over the age of 55 and targeted victims are much more likely to lose their independent living, have stress related issues or mental health problems.
"Recent Ofcom research revealed that over 80 per cent of nuisance calls are seen as annoying, while those after 8pm are seen as most distressing."