If unsolicited phone calls are driving you batty, T-Mobile and Verizon are rolling out new technology that might be too good to resist.
The mobile phone service providers each are introducing their own technology designed to keep robocalls and scam solicitations at bay — for free.
T-Mobile’s Caller Verified feature subjects incoming calls to a verification process. If the technology determines that a call is authentic — not intercepted by scammers or spammers — customers will see the words “Caller Verified” on the incoming call screen.
According to T-Mobile:
“Caller Verified is T-Mobile’s implementation of the STIR and SHAKEN standards. These standards combat illegal caller ID spoofing, which occurs when scammers temporarily hijack a phone number to match the area code and 3-digit prefix of the person they are targeting, making the incoming call look familiar.”
Caller Verified is free, and is available now for all T-Mobile customers with the Galaxy Note9. It will be available for more smartphones as the year progresses.
Not to be outdone, Verizon has announced that in March, it will begin offering its spam alerting and call blocking features for free.
These features will be available to all customers with smartphones — including iPhone and Android devices — that support the features. Verizon says more information about how to sign up for the features will be released as their launch nears.
Other major wireless carriers that offer anti-robocall features
T-Mobile and Verizon aren’t the only wireless carriers that offer services designed to screen or block unwanted calls.
The feature identifies callers who are not already in your contacts, and on some devices it also provides enhanced spam identification features, Sprint says. Premium Caller ID is not free, though, and currently costs $2.99 per month.
Sprint customers can also block specific phone numbers through their My Sprint account.
AT&T offers AT&T Call Protect. The company says this service detects and blocks calls from likely fraudsters and identifies calls from telemarketers and suspected spam calls — among other features. The “Basic” version is free, but the “Plus” version costs $3.99 a month.
Other ways to end robocalls
There are plenty of things you can do to block or reduce robocalls, no matter which wireless carrier you use.
One of the best ways to limit these calls is to take a few minutes out of your day to file a simple request, as we have reported previously:
“Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry. It’s free, your number is never taken off the list, and it will at least stop law-abiding solicitors. It’s for both cellphones and landlines. Just be aware that some organizations — including charities, political groups, debt collectors and surveys — still can call you.”
The federal government maintains the Do Not Call Registry, however, so you’ll have to wait until the partial government shutdown ends to sign up for it.
In the meantime, for more tips on ending unwanted calls, check out “7 Ways to Quickly Stop Robocalls in Their Tracks.”
How do you fend off robocalls? Share your tips in comments below or on our Facebook page.