Your phone rings. You take it out of your pocket, look at the screen, and immediately want to answer. But, before you do, a strange name catches your attention: Scam Likely. The name that you don’t recall saving in your contacts.
Maybe it is an old friend whos phone number you forgot that you saved. Perhaps it is a telemarketer, calling you again with some stupid promotion… Will you answer? What is Scam Likely, and why is that number saved in your contacts?
What Is Scam Likely
To put it as simple as it can be, Scam Likely is your wireless carrier’s way of letting you know: Answer at your own risk. In fact, it is their way of helping you to identify scam calls more efficiently.
Take a look at this short video to find out more about Scam Likely.
Nothing new that scammers are after your money, and their way of getting to your wallet sometimes is very smart. And one of the ways they love to do that is through your phone.
In fact, a company that specialized in spam call blocking service YouMail reports that only in December 2018, 4.7 billion unsolicited calls were picked up, with the average person getting about 14 unwanted calls.
One of the problems encountering in fighting scam calls is that it requires a lot of resources. Detecting a scam call is complex. Determining whether or not an incoming call is a scam requires to analyze massive data in real-time.
What can you do to protect yourself? Luckily, you are not alone, and there are several ways you can limit scam calls.
Wireless Service Providers
Back in 2017, T-Mobile started the fight against unwanted calls. They started with the free protection service as a way to protect customers from robocalls and other types of scams. The service is called Scam ID.
This feature was later extended to MetroPCS users, and in 2018, they developed STIR and SHAKEN standards. These standards help to ensure your calls are coming from real, not faked, or spoofed phone numbers.
STIR or Secure Telephone Identity Revisited is a call-certifying protocol, while SHAKEN is Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using tokens, verifies the caller’s right to use that particular phone number.
In theory, it works like this:
- You get a call.
- T-Mobile checks the database for known scam phone numbers.
- If the number matches the one from the database, the caller ID is flagged as Scam Likely.
- It is not up to you will you answer or not.
Scam ID should be enabled by default, but if for some reason it is not, you can enable it by dialing #664# on your T-Mobile device.
There is a more advanced service called Scam Block, which takes Scam ID one step further and blocks all incoming calls from Scam Likely tag. They will not reach your phone ever, so you don’t have to worry or think will you answer or not.
Unlike Scam ID, which activation should be automatically, Scam Block has to be manually activated. To do so, dial #662# on your device. If you want to turn Scam Block off, dial #632# at any time.
T-Mobile also offers a paid service called Name ID. As the name suggests, this service will identify a caller’s name and location, and you can then choose to block personal numbers even if they are not in your address book.
More Options To Fight Scams
Other wireless carriers offer similar services, but they require you to download an application for it. AT&T provides customers with Call Protect app that blocks scam calls and robocalls. The free version is available both for Android and iOS users.
Call Protect app already blocked more than 300 million calls and labeled over 429 million spam calls. On top of that, AT&T is examining over a billion calls each day for patterns that may indicate robocalls.
And if you are looking for even more protection, Call Protect Plus is a solution for you. For just $3.99 per month, you will get
Enhanced Caller ID, Reverse Number Lookup, and Custom Call Controls.
Sprint and Verizon are also working on their SHAKEN and STIR standards and are offering similar services, but unlike T-Mobile and AT&T, they require a premium fee.
Sprint customers can purchase Premium Caller ID service for $2.99 per month, and for the same amount of money, Verizon users can get their protection from the Caller Name ID app.
Note to mention for Verizon users: you can register with Nomorobo for free. They are a third-party service that identifies known robocalls and telemarketers and stops your Fios Digital Voice home phone from ringing.
However, there is a downside for this deal: Nomorobo will not work with Verizon’s Traditional copper voice service. So you have to decide is it worthed it or not.
Every step you take that will help you prevent scammers calling you is a step forward. Be sure to always check who is calling you before answering. Ask your wireless carriers do they have a service that can help you deal with such situations.
Scammers are always looking for different ways to get money. That is why a lot of people think there is no honest way to get money online. But, I can assure you, there is.
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Until the next time, I wish you all the best!