Tired of robocalls? Try these helpful phone features
Verizon has rolled out a new way to battle those seemingly endless robocalls. A free version of the company's Call Filter service was made available today to a first round of Verizon Wireless customers.
In addition, this week, the company began using STIR/SHAKEN caller ID technology as part of its network "interconnections," company spokesman David Weissmann said.
Verizon said it has identified nearly 300 million numbers linked to spam and robocalling when it first detailed the news back in January.
The free Call Filter product offers wireless customers alerts when a call is likely spam, a way to report unsolicited numbers, and the option to automatically block robocalls, based on a preferred level of risk.
STIR/SHAKEN technology also was used on a number of calls to and from Verizon’s wireless network this week, according to a press release from the company. STIR/SHAKEN uses a recently-developed call authentication standard to help identify callers who “spoof” Caller ID information in order to hide their identities or impersonate legitimate customers.
In the coming months, Verizon will begin to deploy STIR/SHAKEN on its interconnections with all major carriers to verify that the phone number displayed on Caller ID is the phone number that actually placed the call.
All "postpaid" wireless customers with a compatible device can enroll in Call Filter, by downloading the free app for either Apple or Android devices, Weissman said.
Customers looking for "enhanced" call protection experience also can download the Call Filter subscription app, for $2.99 a month per line. The subscription feature includes the ability to create a personal robocall block list, access to additional insights with the robocall risk meter and a spam number lookup feature.
Customers of the other three carriers have some options, too.
AT&T subscribers have the option of using AT&T Call Protect. The two, free apps offer automatic fraud blocking and suspected spam warnings. Customers can manually block unwanted calls.
T-Mobile customers have two free ways to fight robocalls and spam calls. Scam ID is an automatic system that identifies spam numbers when your phone rings. There's no app to install or service to turn on. Scam Block is an opt-in way of blocking suspect phone numbers. To turn this on, dial #662# on your T-Mobile handset. To turn it off, dial #632#.
Sprint customers can pay for "Premium Caller ID," at $2.99 a month. The service identifies callers who are not already in your contacts. Some devices provide "enhanced Spam identification features" according to the product description online.
Cell phone users with any service also still can sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry, as an attempt to avoid telemarketing calls.
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