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T-Mobile is taking a stand against scam calls with the announcement of new features meant to cut down on robocalling. The new features, Scam ID and Scam Block, are meant to safeguard customers from scam calls, which cost Americans millions of dollars each year, the company said in a press statement released Friday. The new features are built directly into T-Mobile’s network technology, meaning that every phone on the T-Mobile network will receive them.
“Every year, three out of four people in the U.S. get at least one scam call — and fraudsters cheat customers out of more than half a billion dollars per year!” T-Mobile CTO Neville Ray said. “It’s insane — so we had to do something to protect our customers!”
The first safeguard, Scam ID, alerts customers automatically when they receive a phone call from a number that’s likely to be a fraudster. The tech works by using a patent-pending technology that analyzes a call in seconds against a global database of numbers associated with scams or frauds. When such a number is identified, T-Mobile’s system automatically tags it and warns receiving customers that it’s likely a scam call. Notably, T-Mobile’s system is capable of analyzing every call made through its own network, the company said.
The second feature, Scam Block, does exactly that — it automatically blocks all calls tagged as likely to be scams. If a T-Mobile customer prefers “never to be bothered by scam calls” again, they can simply turn on the feature and let the network’s safeguards keep scammers from reaching their phones in the first place.
According to the network, T-Mobile is just one part of an industry-wide effort to fight scam and robocalling spearheaded by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. In a recent op-ed piece for The Hill, Pai said that robocalls are indeed “the scourge of civilization,” reiterating what a former senator named Fritz Hollings called the scams.
T-Mobile said that it’s launching the feature on a rolling basis, beginning with ONE customers. New T-Mobile ONE customers will automatically receive Scam ID starting April 5. Postpaid customers can also enable Scam ID on April 5 by dialing #ONI# and pressing the call button. Alternatively, customers can turn on Scam Block by dialing #ONB# — and disable the feature by dialing #OFB#.
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