Technology

T-Mobile joins the war on robocalls with Scam Shield mobile app

As the FCC continues to pass regulations to fight robocallers, carriers are ramping up efforts on their ends. Several have already fully implemented the SHAKEN/STIR authentication network into their infrastructures. Many are also beginning to incorporate authentication into their mobile software packages. T-Mobile is the most recent with its upcoming Scam Shield app.
T-Mobile is upping its game in the fight against robocalls. On Thursday, the “Uncarrier” announced a new app called Scam Shield. The software combines Scam ID, Scam Block, and Caller ID into one app. These features have been provided all along, but now it is easier to monitor them with a single app.

Scam Block preemptively stops suspicious calls from ringing. The app will track how many calls were blocked for later review. Scam ID or Scam Reporting lets users report numbers that they are confident are scammers, which improves call blocking for everyone.

Caller ID has always been available with T-Mobile, but it has been enhanced and is now included free with service. Enhancements let users know if an incoming number has been verified by the SHAKIN/STIR framework for call authentication. It also allows users to quickly favorite incoming numbers, so they never get blocked.

The new protections also include a free “proxy” number. This is a phone number you can give out without worrying about your real line getting on a calling list. Customers with family plans can share the proxy.

Scam Shield allows subscribers to change their phone numbers for free once per year per line. For most people, this is more than enough considering the hassles involved with changing your number but is still a nice perk.

The app and the services are free to subscribers. All they have to do is download Scam Shield and dial #662# to activate it. However, the software does not roll out until July 24.

There is a premium Scam Shield package as well. It allows subscribers to manage their blocked list, send calls to voicemail, reverse number lookup, and set voicemails to go out via text message. It also lets customers create categories based on call types that will automatically be forwarded to voicemail. Scam Shield Premium is $4 per month per line and also rolls out July 24.

T-Mobile is somewhat late to the game with Scam Shield. AT&T has had its Call Protect app and services up and running for several years now. Call Protect also provides some of the features in T-Mobile’s premium plan for free, like managing blocked calls and sending calls to voicemail. However, creating categories and reverse number lookup are convenient services that AT&T does not currently provide.