The fight against robocalls just got real


Better watch out .

Image: t-mobile

You know what feels better than hanging up on a robocall? Never getting the call in the first place.

Starting April 5, T-Mobile ONE patrons will have the opportunity to enable a new feature that the company claims can avoid spam calls before they ever reach a phone.

It’s a one-two punch called Scam Block and Scam ID, which T-Mobile claims will eventually be available to everyone on its network. Here’s how it works on the consumer end: If enabled, Scam ID will alert patrons that an incoming call is likely some kind of scam. The person are able to then choose to answer the phone or decline the call. If Scam Block is turned on, the call will never even go across to the customer’s phone.

No resounding , no nothing.

Things are a little more complicated on the carrier side.

“[ Every] period someone calls a T-Mobile patron, as soon as that call reaches the T-Mobile network, patent-pending engineering analyzes it in milliseconds against an advanced world database of tens of thousands of known scammer numbers, ” a T-Mobile press release reads. “The database is kept up-to-date in near real-time by analyzing every call that comes into the network with behavioral heuristics and intelligent scam pattern detection.”

If a match is seen poof the call is terminated.

Pretty neat, right?

Remember when humans used to build phone calls?

Image: William Thomas Cain/ Getty

Automated robocalls are a big problem. According to the FCC, customers last year received 2.4 billion robocalls per month. That’s a lot of wasted period, and, of course, money.

“Fraudsters bombard customers telephones at all hours of the working day with spoofed robocalls, ” reads a FCC fact sheet in the field of combating robocalls, “which in some cases seduce customers into defrauds( e.g ., when a caller claimed responsibility for collecting fund owed to the Internal Revenue Service) or lead to identity theft.”

Even crazier, the LA Times hips us to robocalls that trick customers into saying the word “yes.” That’s it. Nonetheless, fraudsters can then employ that audio clip to permit bogus charges or sign you up for unwanted services. How do the automated calls accomplish this? By pretending to be a real person and asking if you can hear them.

Fingers intersected this new T-Mobile service will have some success in at least slowing down the spate of robocalls reaching unsuspecting people around the country. Realistically, nonetheless, we know that no answer is a cure-all and imagine that scammers will eventually find a way around Scam Block. Even so, it’s a start.

As an added bit of protection, allow us here at Mashable to present our own bit of common sense phone-security advice: Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t distinguish. If the caller doesn’t leave a message, well, then could it have really been that important in the first place? As for dedicating out personal information over the phone? Just don’t.

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