Here’s How To Get Your Phone To Alert You When Scammers Call

Photo courtesy of T-Mobile

Let’s be honest—our phones have pretty much evolved (or regressed, maybe) into texting machines. So, when we actually get a phone call, it’s a rare occurrence. While we’re happy to take Mom’s call or FaceTime with a friend, on those occasions when your phone actually rings instead of alerts you to a text, it’s usually a solicitor on the other end. Cue the eye roll when you answer and hear an opening line like “Can you hear me?” or “Let me adjust my headset.”

But, we have some good news for you. (No, this isn’t where we tell you that you really did win that cruise.) Rather, there are some ways to snub the scams and robocalls, with the help of technology and your cell phone provider.

T-Mobile is leading the way on this. The provider rolled out two new features that will basically act as your receptionist and help you screen or block annoying scammers.

Here’s how it works: T-Mobile is using technology to compare the phone number of incoming calls against a global database of known scammers. If a match is found, the network will warn you and the incoming call will say “Scam Likely.” Or, you can block the scammers altogether by enabling Scam Block.

T-Mobile started enabling Scam ID and Scam Block for its customers on a rolling basis in April. To enable the Scam Block on your phone, you can dial #662# and, poof, vanish scammers from your life. You can also dial #787# to check whether Scam Block is on or off on your account

T-Mobile also is rolling out the Scam ID and Scam Block features to MetroPCS customers.

Here’s how you can block solicitors on other networks:

  • If you have AT&T, the network has a “Call Protect” app that will block and screen spam calls. The app is free for eligible customers. Contact customer service to determine whether your plan qualifies.
  • Sprint offers a Premium Caller ID feature for $2.99 a month. It will identify robocalls and spammers, and show their fraud risk level as low, medium or high.
  • Verizon doesn’t have an app or service to block robocalls just yet, but does offer up these tips for how to block anonymous calls.
  • The Wireless Association offers additional tips for stopping robocalls, and has also gathered information about the free apps that will help block these types of calls.

RELATED: Unauthorized Package Delivered To Your Home? It Could Be A Scam

[H/t: Good Housekeeping]

About the Author

Brittany Anas

Hi, I'm Brittany Anas (pronounced like the spice, anise ... see, that wasn't too embarrassing to say, now was it?) My professional writing career started when I was in elementary school and my grandma paid me $1 for each story I wrote for her. I'm a former newspaper reporter, with more than a decade of experience Hula-hooping at planning meetings and covering just about every beat from higher-education to crime to science for the Boulder Daily Camera and The Denver Post. Now, I'm a freelance writer, specializing in travel, health, food and adventure. I've contributed to publications including Men's Journal, Forbes, Women's Health, American Way, TripSavvy, Eat This, Not That!, Apartment Therapy, Denver Life Magazine, 5280, Livability, The Denver Post, Simplemost, USA Today Travel Tips, Make it Better, AAA publications, Reader's Digest, Discover Life and more. Learn More.