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T-Mobile is cracking down on scams and unwanted automated calls with a new free service called Scam Shield.

Scam Shield is the company’s first Un-Carrier initiative since its merger with former competitor Sprint, whose retail stores will officially start operating under the T-Mobile brand nationwide starting August 2.

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“Now that Sprint is part of T-Mobile, we can tackle even bigger problems. Today we are tackling one of the biggest wireless issues: scams and unwanted automated calls, “said Mike Sievert, CEO of T-Mobile in a press release Thursday. “Scam Shield has never been more necessary than it is today. The crooks see COVID-19 as an opportunity to take advantage of the most vulnerable Americans. When we saw this happen, we knew we had to take bold and quick action. With Scam Shield, T-Mobile customers receive fewer fraudulent calls, full stop… all thanks to our advanced network. ”

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Scam Shield will notify customers of suspicious calls by sending a “Scam L likely” alert. Customers can also enable scam blocking, which will prevent calls at the network level so that customers never even see the notification.

The service also offers improved caller ID, which will check whether the call is from a real person or business.

Scam Shield (Photo courtesy of T-Mobile)

In addition, Scam Shield offers T-Mobile PROXY, a second number that can be used to keep the regular number of a customer without scams and unwanted calls at no additional cost, as well as a free number change for any customer who becomes a “Spam” – magnet. ”

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According to the announcement, the features are accessible via the Scam Shield app, which will be available for the entire T-Mobile brand, including Metro by T-Mobile and Sprint customers, from July 24.

T-Mobile postpaid and Metro customers can download Scam Shield from the App Store or Google Play, and can currently use Scam Block by dialing # 662 #.

Sprint iOS customers can download the upgraded Call Screener app from the App Store while Android customers simply open and activate the preinstalled app. In the app, Sprint customers can get their free scam ID and blocking, and activate the free caller ID.

The company also offers a free Be ID Aware service, which provides 12-month ID monitoring and alerting from security software company McAfee. Customers can register for free between July 24 and August 31 on promotions.t-mobile.com or promo.metrobyt-mobile.com using their phone number and the code 2020McAfee.

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Sievert says Scam Shield poses a challenge to competitors Verizon and AT&T, who he says “take advantage of consumer fears” by “charging to protect you from scams and the automated calls their network brings you.”

“It’s wrong, and it has to stop,” added Sievert.

The T-Mobile executive has promised that its recently merged company “will continue to repair the wrongs in this industry”, challenging operators to “withdraw their assets, stop enjoying fear and do the right thing, because everyone needs and deserves to be protected now, more than ever. ”

Verizon Consumer Group CEO Ronan Dunne responded to Sievert’s request in a statement Thursday that the company “continues to lead the way in automated calling on behalf of our customers and the industry.”

“Our continued efforts have contributed to an eight-month drop in unwanted phone calls, and we will continue to move the industry forward,” said Mr. Dunne.

Verizon added that its continued efforts, coupled with the pandemic, have resulted in a 30% drop in spam in the past three months.

Currently, the company offers a free service called call filter, which filters incoming calls, reports numbers as spam, and blocks spam numbers by risk level. However, the company also offers a premium version called Call Filter Plus, which charges customers $ 2.99 per month per line for additional features, including:

  • See caller’s name for unknown numbers
  • Create your personalized block list so that calls from specific spam numbers are automatically forwarded to voicemail.
  • Create a personalized spam list so you can be alerted when specific numbers try to call you in the future.
  • Display the risk level of incoming calls, including potential spam, calling robot or fraud.
  • Use “Spam Search” to search our spam database to see if a number has already been identified as spam.

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Meanwhile, AT&T currently offers a free service called Call Protect, which includes the following features:

  • Automatic fraud blocking, which analyzes and blocks suspected fraudulent calls, whether automated or not.
  • Blocking the risk of spam, which blocks calls or sends them to voicemail if they are identified as “Spam Risk”.
  • Unknown callers, sending anyone not on your contact list directly to voicemail.
  • Personal block list, which creates a personalized block list for unwanted callers.
  • Siri Shortcuts, which allows you to block and report unwanted calls using Siri.
  • Custom call controls, which allow you to configure your calls into categories to accept, block or send directly to voicemail.

The company also offers “Call Protect Plus” for $ 3.99 per month, which includes automatic fraud blocking and personal blocking list, as well as improved caller identification and reverse number lookup.

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According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans have already lost more than $ 80 million due to coronavirus scams this year, which increased 70% from May to June. The country’s Americans have been affected by more than 22 billion calls this year, according to RobocallIndex.com

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