If telecoms and regulators can’t agree on blocking known scam callers and robocalls at the source, can’t our devices at least warn us when a call is coming from a known scam number? T-Mobile has added anti-scam features for its customers in programs that it’s calling Scam ID and Scam Block.
They do exactly what they sound like: They identify calls that have been flagged as originating from numbers that have been flagged as making scam calls, and either flag them as potentially scammy or block them entirely, depending on the user’s preferences.
The first customers to try the new feature will be people with the unlimited T-Mobile One postpaid plan. It has already started rolling out to those customers, and will eventually reach all T-Mobile customers, including prepaid customers with MetroPCS plans. New T-Mobile One customers will receive the service beginning on April 6.
Turning the feature on and off once your account has it is pretty simple, and is the same across software platforms and plans:
T-Mobile postpaid customers can also enable Scam ID for themselves beginning April 5 by dialing #ONI# (#664#) and pressing the call button in their phone’s dialer. To turn on Scam Block, customers can dial #ONB# (#662#) or, to turn it off, dial #OFB# (#632#). To check whether Scam Block is on or off, customers can dial #STS# (#787#).
Just yesterday, we were discussing a plan by the Federal Communications Commission to go ahead with cutting some calls off before they go through. This could cause customers to miss important calls if a scammer spoofs a number of a company they do business with, which is why a two-tiered program like T-Mobile’s could be useful.
“It’s time for the phone companies to start offering free call-blocking solutions to all of their consumers,” Maureen Mahoney, policy analyst.at Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy arm of Consumer reports, said in a statement yesterday. It’s not a full Robocall Strike Force, but one company stepping up to try this is a good start.