Fend Off Robocalls With T-Mobile Robocall Blocker

Robocalls are defined as phone calls that employ an auto-dialing system that plays a pre-recorded message when the recipient picks up the phone. Because they are so cheap and simple to run, robocalls have become a favorite method for reaching out to targets used by telemarketers and scammers alike. 

Illegal robocalls are proving to be one of the biggest points of issue for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and all network carriers in the U.S. In 2019, experts predicted that nearly half of all mobile calls in 2020 would be robocall spam. It is the consumers who are bearing the brunt of this phenomenon that has gone out of hand. A Truecaller report revealed that in 2019 Americans were scammed out of over $10 billion.

T-Mobile and Robocalls

In January 2019, T-Mobile launched the first cross-network call authentication using STIR/SHAKEN standards in the U.S. The acronym STIR/SHAKEN (sometimes also referred to as SHAKEN/STIR) stands for a suite of protocols and procedures employed by network carriers that verifies the authenticity of the call on a network level. This means that you will either receive a call that will be labeled as “spam likely” or that your network carrier will prevent the call from reaching you in the first place.

If you’re a T-Mobile customer and are feeling exasperated over the bothersome scam and spam calls, find out what your network carrier is doing to deflect such robocalls. 

T-Mobile’s strategy against scammers and spammers consists of four main features:

  1. Scam ID
  2. Scam Blocked
  3. Name ID
  4. Caller Verified

Scam ID

This feature is already included in your plan, and it automatically detects calls from likely scammers.

Scam Blocked

This feature is also already included in your plan. Scam Blocked filters out likely scammers before you get the call. You can use this link to activate the service.

Name ID

You can use this T-Mobile feature to identify, screen, reverse search, and block calls.

Caller Verified 

If you own an eligible Samsung or LG device, you will see “Caller Verified” on your smartphone if T-Mobile deems the call is authentic. This will give you peace of mind that the number has not been spoofed.

If you can’t seem to access the Caller Verified feature even though your device is eligible, simply download the latest software updates—that ought to fix it.

T-Mobile Apps for Robocall Blocking

The table below contains a succinct overview of the main scam protection and mobile security features offered by T-Mobile.

Name

Scam ID/BlockedName ID

Caller Verified

Features

  • Identifies and blocks “scam likely” calls
  • Provides premium call control
  • Labels authentic incoming calls as “Caller Verified”

Cost

  • Free
  • Free with Magenta Plus or T-Mobile ONE Plus
  • $4 per month per line
  • Free

How to get it

  • Included in the service
  • Dial #662# to activate the feature
  • Can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Pay 
  • Available to all T-Mobile and Metro customers with Samsung or LG devices who accepted the latest software update

Are All Robocalls Illegal?

According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, only scam attempts and telemarketing robocalls are illegal—although the latter becomes legal if the company calling you has obtained your written permission to contact you this way for sales and other purposes. 

While scams and telemarketing calls make up a large proportion of all robocalls placed, not all robocalls are harmful and annoying. Some can remind you of an upcoming appointment, while others can ask that you donate to your preferred presidential candidate, for instance. If you’re a small business owner or preside over an organization, using robo dialers to broadcast pre-recorded voice messages to your group is an efficient way of communicating important messages to your audience.

Refer to the table below for a more detailed breakdown of legal vs. illegal phone calls.

Type of Robocall

Legal/Illegal

Public service announcements

Legal

Calls from a political candidate

Legal

Calls from a charity

Legal

Calls from a debt collection agency

Legal

Spam calls

Illegal

Telemarketing calls to which you never agreed in writing

Illegal

Telemarketing calls to which you’ve agreed in writing

Legal

What Robocallers Aren’t Allowed to Do

The callers behind robocalls are legally prohibited from the following:

  • Calling you after you’ve requested they cease the calls
  • Calling you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Calling you if your number is listed in the National Do Not Call Registry (N.B. this rule comes into effect 31 days after you’ve registered your number)
  • Placing telemarketing calls, unless they have your consent in writing

Some companies and organizations can call you even if your number is listed on the Do Not Call Registry. Learn about those exceptions here.

Can You Request a Robocall Payout?

If you’ve been bothered by an illegal robocall, you should report it to the Federal Trade Commission by using this link. To help FTC trace the perpetrators behind the call, you should include the caller ID number, any number you’ve been told to call back, as well as any other relevant information that might help the authorities.

If you know who is behind the call—such as a telemarketing company based in the U.S. that has disregarded the rules and called you without getting your written permission first—you should get in touch with a consumer protection law firm and file a lawsuit against the company behind the robocall(s). 

Sometimes you will not know who is responsible for the call. With the help of DoNotPay, you can now get access to their personal information and use it to bring the wrongdoers to justice.

Get Revenge on Robocalls With DoNotPay

Hiding behind their cloak of anonymity, scammers often get away with their illegal activities. If you agree with us that their time is up, team up with DoNotPay and track down the individuals behind robocalls. Armed with this information, you can take revenge and sue the scammers for up to $3,000!

This is now possible thanks to the Robo Revenge feature, a tool that uses a virtual credit card to generate a pseudo credit card number. This temporary number will appear like a legitimate credit card number to the scammers. All you need to do is wait until they attempt to withdraw money from the virtual credit card, and by doing that, reveal their true identity. 

Let’s outline the process step by step:

  1. Wait until you receive a scam robocall
  2. Wait for the point in the call when you’re asked to provide your credit card details 
  3. Open the DoNotPay website in your web browser or iOS device
  4. Click on the Robo Revenge option 
  5. Click on Create Your Card to create a temporary 16-digit credit card number tied to the virtual credit card
  6. Give this number to the robocaller
  7. Wait until the scammers attempt a transaction on the virtual credit card
  8. DoNotPay will track down the individuals responsible for the illegal robocall
  9. DoNotPay will share the scammers’ details with you 
  10. With the guidance of DoNotPay, you can file your claim or ask for compensation using the scammers’ info
  11. If you would like us to, we will send the scammers a request for compensation/settlement

Note that Robo Revenge cannot help you sue robocallers operating from overseas, seeing that they fall outside of our federal and state jurisdiction. If the illegal call originates in the U.S., we encourage you to fight back against robocalls and earn some compensation cash for your troubles.

On a related note, DoNotPay can be of use if you need help with paying or lowering your T-Mobile bills.

How to Avoid Having Your Phone Number End Up on a Robocall List

The first line of defense against illegal robocalls is making sure they don’t come across your phone number. That may sound easy enough to do—after all, it’s not like you’re going to willingly hand out your number to random scammers out there, right?

In reality, your phone number may end up on unsolicited calling lists way more easily than you thought possible. It’s helpful to bear in mind the following three rules:

  1. Don’t blindly accept the terms of service
  2. Don’t freely publish your contact information online
  3. Be careful when entering into contests and sweepstakes

Don’t Blindly Accept the Terms of Service

Every time you’re signing up for a new service or creating an online profile, you will be required to read and accept the company’s privacy policy and terms of service. These types of documents certainly don’t make for a fascinating read, but that doesn’t give you the excuse to accept them without knowing what you are agreeing to. 

At the very least, skim through these key documents and scan the parts about how the company intends to use your private data. A company may be stipulating their right to shower you with telemarketing calls. You may be agreeing to it inadvertently if you accept their terms of service/use and privacy policy without reading them.

Don’t Freely Publish Your Contact Information Online

Data aggregators or data brokers specialize in collecting valuable sorts of information that they then sell packaged up to telemarketers and scammers. When you share your private contact details online, such as on your social media profiles, web forums, or personal or work-related websites, you’re drastically increasing the likelihood of ending up on various spam and scam calling lists.

Be Careful When Entering Into Contests and Sweepstakes

While trying out your luck by entering into a contest or sweepstakes might be tempting, you shouldn’t do it unless you’re okay with the terms of the game. Some companies will ask you to provide your personal information, which they may then use to target you with their telemarketing calls. They could also sell this information to other companies for sales and marketing purposes. Before you sign up for that contest, make sure that you’re clear on how the company intends to use your data.

What to Do if You Get a Robocall

Robocalls are so commonplace nowadays that the more you know about how to deal with them, the lesser of a nuisance they will become.

It’s helpful to remember that:

  • You shouldn’t pick up the phone if you don’t recognize the number
  • Hang up if, upon answering, you realize it’s an illegal robocall
  • Be mindful of spoofing. This method is widely used by scammers to fake their called ID number. This means that the number of the incoming call may look like it’s coming from your ZIP code area, even though the caller may be calling from another continent
  • Don’t interact or give out your personal information. You shouldn’t press any keys on the keypad or disclose any of your sensitive personal or financial information
  • Register your number with the Do Not Call Registry. The registration on this list will not expire. Scammers, especially those based overseas, have little regard toward rules and regulations, but enlisting in the Registry can help with legitimate telemarketing companies based in the U.S.

How to Recognize a Scam Robocall

How can you tell if the robocall you just received is a scam attempt? To be able to see right through the con artists’ efforts, the key is in identifying their common themes and patterns.

Most fraudulent callers will:

  • Act as impostors of an official government agency or a famous company like Google or Apple
  • Try to convince you that there has been an unexpected and urgent issue related to you, which can only be solved if you immediately wire funds or divulge your payment information
  • Claim that you’re eligible for new and additional benefits (frequently used by impostors of insurance companies and Social Security Administration) or that you have won a prize
  • Request your payment information over a robocall

Automated messages threatening to take legal action against you are another red flag. Real government agencies will never communicate these types of messages over robocalls. If anything about the robocall strikes you as sketchy, hang up immediately.

How to Block Illegal Robocalls

The reality is that scammers don’t care about the Do Not Call Registry, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or for that matter, any other regulations. What’s more, legal recourse against the wrongdoers can be impossible if the scammers are running their operations from countries with lenient legal frameworks.

Fortunately, the same technological advancements that enable scammers to place their calls also allow us to block such calls. We have listed some of the most efficient techniques to fend off illegal robocalls in the table below.

Method

Features and Benefits

SHAKEN/STIR

  • Stands for a suite of protocols required by the FCC
  • Allows network carriers to verify the validity of the caller and ensure their number isn’t spoofed
  • Detects spam calls and either labels them as such or cuts them off at a network level before they reach the user

Robocall-blocking mobile application (such as Nomorobo, Hiya, and Truecaller)

  • Filters out spam calls
  • Detects the caller ID 

Number-blocking feature on your smartphone

  • Allows the smartphone user to block specific phone numbers on their device

Robocall-blocking device

  • Signifies a type of device (like the CPR V5000) that can be attached on to your traditional landline phone
  • Filters out spam calls and blocks selected calls

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