ALL NEWS

What you can do right now to stop robocalls

Mar 29, 2019, 8:24 AM | Updated: 8:25 am

Many of the unsolicited calls are from scammers pretending to be tax collectors, charities, or salespeople. Short of throwing your phone in the garbage, there’s no way to avoid them altogether. But wireless providers and smartphone developers offer tools to filter out at least some unwanted calls.

Not all robocalls are fake or illegal: Pharmacies and utility companies, for example, use the technique to reach customers. You can ban telemarketers by registering with the federal “Do Not Call” list — but that won’t stop fake telemarketers or scammers, many of whom have ways to get around spam filters. You can report unsolicited calls to authorities.

Apps and spam filters are far from perfect, and telecom companies are hopeful new call tracing technology will improve their efforts.

Smartphones

Verizon’s Call Filter app is free to download on iPhones and Android devices. The company announced Thursday the app will offer some free features — including auto-blocking calls from known fraudsters, showing warning banners for suspicious calls, and a spam reporting tool.

For $2.99 a month per line, the Call Filter app can use a phonebook feature to look up the names of unknown callers, and it can show a “risk meter” for spam calls.

AT&T’s Call Protect has similar free features and add-ons with a $3.99 per month subscription. (iOS and Android)

T-Mobile phones come loaded with Scam ID, which warns customers about suspicious phone numbers. It’s also free to activate Scam Block, which automatically rejects calls from those numbers. An additional app called Name ID offers premium caller identification for $4 per line monthly. (iOS and Android)

Sprint’s Premium Caller ID, which comes pre-installed, looks up unknown numbers and filters and blocks robocalls for $2.99 per line.

Google’s Pixel phones also give you the option to have your voice assistant answer suspicious calls for you. The phone can transcribe the conversation and lets you decide whether to answer.

Home phone features

There’s not much to be done for pre-1990s landlines, according to experts. But options do exist for most modern digital phone systems, which are offered by internet service providers.

Home phone customers with Comcast’s Xfinity, Verizon Fios, AT&T U-Verse and others can sign up for a free service called Nomorobo. It’s a cloud-based platform that automatically screens for suspected robocallers and telemarketers.

Nomorobo was one of two winners in a 2013 competition, put on by the US government, to develop anti-spam technology.

The company has also rolled out a smartphone app that says it can automatically block scammers, telemarketers and spam texts. The company says the iOS app can also block incoming calls from fake numbers that look very similar to your own, thwarting a technique “neighbor spoofing,” a common tactic among pesky robocallers. Subscriptions cost $1.99 per month. (iOS and Android)

Improving filters

The telecom industry is putting high hopes on a new tool called STIR/SHAKEN to improve the accuracy of spam filters. It’s designed to identify and trace calls that use the “spoofing” technique, which allows spammers to mask their identities and make it look like they’re calling from somewhere else — even your own phone number.

STIR/SHAKEN is the result of a major corporate collaboration. Companies will work together to verify calls across the industry, so that a person using an AT&T wireless phone, for example, can be verified when they call a Comcast landline.

AT&T, Comcast and Verizon this month announced the first successful tests of the system. A long list of providers have pledged to implement the technology by the end of the year. (AT&T owns CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia.)

It won’t solve everything. Spam filters and regulators will still rely on consumer complaints to hash out which calls are coming from legitimate sources and which come from bad actors.

But it will go a long way toward gathering information on spoofed calls, which have long frustrated anti-robocall efforts, according to Jim McEachern, a senior technology consultant at telecom industry association ATIS.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

Quishing...

Josuee Sanchez

Beware of “quishing” or QR code phishing says Better Business Bureau

Scammers are using "sqishing" or QR phishing to con people into giving personal their personal information.

19 minutes ago

Voice of Salt Lake Bees Steve Klauke...

BY ALEX CABRERO, KSL TV AND CARTER WILLIAMS, KSL.COM

Steve Klauke, legendary Bees broadcaster, gets memorialized in stadium that cemented a decades-long career

The long-time voice of the Salt Lake Bees, Steve Klauke who died last week, was honored during game at Smith’s Ballpark.

2 hours ago

Mia Bailey is suspected in a double homicide on June 18, 2024.  (Photo courtesy of the Washington C...

JOSH ELLIS KSLTV.com

Suspect in double homicide in Washington City surrenders

Police are looking for a transgender woman suspected in a double homicide in Washington City and ask residents to shelter-in-place.

6 hours ago

Juneteenth Utah...

Emma Keddington

Juneteenth: the past, the present and the future

Juneteenth is "a celebration of freedom, family and the joy of being alive," said museum specialist Kelly Navies.

6 hours ago

A man holds a passport in front of a world map. Expansions of passport services are on their way ac...

Kyle Remund

Salt Lake City to get a passport agency

Currently, Utahns have to travel out of state to reach a passport agency. That is set to change with the announcement of an agency in SLC.

7 hours ago

People outside the Supreme Court, supporting the DACA program. A Utah immigration attorney said Bid...

Aimee Cobabe and Emma Keddington

Utah immigration attorney breaks down Biden’s executive action aimed to help immigrants

Local immigration attorney Carlos Trujillo said these changes will impact thousands of people here in Utah.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

What you can do right now to stop robocalls