WIRRAL householders at the end of their tether with nuisance telephone touts could be eligible for a free electronic call blocker.

Council trading standards services have 1,000 of the devices to give away as part of new drive - "Taking Nuisance Calls out of Wirral."

The campaign aims to reduce the number of nuisance calls reaching local people and advise on how to deal with nuisance callers.

To find out if you are eligible to apply for a free call blocker, pick up a leaflet from June 9 from any of Wirral Council’s One Shop Shops or your local library, answer the questions and return it. You will then be sent an application form to fill in and return.

Ofcom research shows four-out-of-five people receive nuisance calls with more than 80 per cent of these seen as "annoying", while calls after 8pm were perceived as "distressing".

The most common types of nuisance call are: PPI (62 per cent). silent (51 per cent), and personal injury (48 per cent).

Meanwhile, residents are being warned to be vigilant against internet scams.

Trading standards recently investigated a case of a woman who signed up online to receive a free face cream sample on a trial basis.

She paid on the internet for postage and packing and then found a further two payments of almost £200 had been taken from her credit card for a regular supply of the cream.

Trading standards urge people to be wary of pop up advertisements which can appear when looking at unrelated websites or unsolicited emails offering a "free trial" in return for a small delivery cost paid by debit or credit card.

Officers say when accepting terms and conditions, people often do not notice that the trial must be cancelled within a very short time frame or it will turn into a monthly subscription for the full price of the product.

Consumers taking up "trial" offers are effectively signing up for recurring payments.

These must be cancelled by the bank or card issuer when asked to do so by an account holder without the need to cancel direct with the company behind the scams.

Anyone who has lost money on a free product trial or would like advice about online shopping can contact Citizens Advice Service on 08454 040 506.