What you need to know
- T-Mobile announced Scam Shield, a free scam detection and blocking service for its customers.
- T-Mobile is also launching a new burner number service for customers.
- Scam Shield will be available for free to all T-Mobile and Sprint customers from July 24.
T-Mobile today announced several new tools aimed at tackling the threat of scam and spam calls. The first is Scam Shield. This is what the carrier calls its scam identification and blocking technology (individually branded Scam ID and Scam Block). T-Mobile will automatically identify calls that are likely to be scams for customers and even offer them the choice to block all such suspect calls from reaching their cell phones.
T-Mobile is also adding Enhanced Caller ID for its customers. It'll be using the STIR/SHAKEN technology the FCC has demanded carriers employ, and it'll be doing it for free. You'll now have a better idea of who's calling you, and T-Mobile pitches it as putting you "back in the driver's seat".
Mike Sievert, CEO at T-Mobile said today:
Now that Sprint is a part of T-Mobile, we can take on even bigger problems, so today, we're taking on one of the biggest pain points in wireless — scams and unwanted robocalls. Scam Shield has never been more needed than it is right now. Scammers see COVID-19 as an opportunity to take advantage of Americans at their most vulnerable. When we saw that happening, we knew we had to take bold, swift action. With Scam Shield, T-Mobile customers get fewer scam calls, period … and it's all because of our advanced network.
T-Mobile will also be rolling out a free second number as well as a free number change. With PROXY number, T-Mobile customers will be able to use the DIGITS app to create and manage a new burner number. It's useful for accessing one-off services on the web without using your own number. Combined with the new free number change, Scam Shield, and Enhanced Caller ID, T-Mobile's taking the battle to scam callers, hard.
Scam Shield will be made available through mobile app stores for T-Mobile customers. For Scam Block, users will be able to dial #662# on their phones to turn it on. If you're a Sprint Customer, it's not quite the same. The update will be coming to the dedicated Call Screener apps on both iOS and Android, but T-mobile says that they'll be able to use the dedicated T-mobile services once they are switched over to the network.
Sievert challenged other carriers to do the same and match T-Mobile's offering, saying:
As an industry, we have to be better. Today, Verizon and AT&T are profiting off consumer fears. They're charging to protect you from the very scams and robocalls their network brings you. It's wrong, and it's got to stop. We can be better, and at T-Mobile, we will continue righting the wrongs of this industry. Today, I'm challenging the Carriers to get off their assets, stop profiting from fear and do the right thing, because everyone needs and deserves protection now, more than ever.