By J.D. Miles

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CARROLLTON (CBS11) – A lot of us get calls from loved ones this time of year, But some North Texas families are being tormented by unwanted calls from solicitors and scammers.

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For years, countless elderly and trusting individuals have been losing money to opportunists who take advantage of them over the phone. 

But a Carrollton inventor’s new device could be the long awaited solution.

It’s a tiny box attached to a landline phone and it’s made a big difference in the home of Veronica Shanklin.

“It’s actually working great because my solution before that was to unplug the phone,” said the DeSoto resident.

Shanklin said she has endured at times 80 calls a day from solicitors trying to get more money out of her elderly mother after they recently conned her out of $3,000.

TeleCalm device (CBS11)

TeleCalm device (CBS11)

“It’s almost like stalking because they’re so relentless and don’t give up,” said Shanklin.

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Shanklin recently installed a device on her home phone called TeleCalm.

It was patented by a Carrollton businessman because he was having the same problem with telemarketers targeting his elderly mother.

“It filters incoming and outgoing calls based on the caregiver,” said Tavis Schriefer, TeleCalm creator.

The device acts as a buffer to allow only pre-approved numbers to go through on landline phones.

The unwanted calls are diverted a list sent to a cell phone app.

Most of the calls the Shanklin family has been getting promises a bogus sweepstakes jackpot but requires a small fee to be paid upfront.

The Telecalm device is free, but it comes with a monthly service charge.

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