Telemarketers Inspire Pop Culture
Since the telephone went mainstream, pesky marketers and salesmen have found ways to infiltrate your lines, disrupt your naps, and interrupt a peaceful dinner. The 90s sitcom Seinfeld episode played into this annoyance when Jerry gets a call from a telemarketer.
In the scene, Jerry responds by saying, “why don’t you give me your home number so I can call you back later.” The man on the other end of the phone says, “well, I’m sorry we’re not allowed to do that.” Jerry replies, “Oh, I guess you don’t want people calling you while you’re at home.” The man on the other end says, “no” to which Jerry replies, “well now you know how I feel.” This moment of the show has been hailed, shared, and reused many times. However, there is a new beast on the streets, and that is the dreaded robocalls.
What Are Robocalls
Robocalls are a series of automated calls with a voice recording on the other end of it. While telemarketers could also be dangerous in terms of committing fraud, robocalls have taken fraud to a new level. Now, these automated calls can spoof numbers of those in your contact lists, repeatedly call even if you block them, spam your text messages, and leave voicemails.
The problem with robocalls has become so bad that the Federal Communications Commission (FTC) stepped in with legislation that allows cell phone carriers to block these types of calls. Yet, another problem is arising from the ashes of Robocallers and that’s the problem of these services will actually be free. Chances are, they won’t be.
Best Paid and Free Cellular Carrier Robo Blockers
All of the major carriers are offering robocaller blocking services, but how do they rank and what does your provider offer? Between Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Spectrum, amongst others, there are some features you might want to consider.
For customers of Spectrum Voice (not mobile), Verizon FiOS and other landline providers work with the service Nomorobo which blocks out and alerts you about robocallers. If you go to the website, the service is free for landlines, and $1.99 per month, per device, for mobile users of the app, regardless of if you’re a service provider. The website touts an impressive one billion blocked robocalls.
Verizon launched their robocaller blocking services called STIR/SHAKEN. On their website, they state these two services will help customers that are harassed by the unwanted robocalls. Verizon will provide a set of services for their wireless customers, one that is free and attached to the Call Filter app. One will be a free service that customers can sign up for through the app while the other is a premium service that costs customers an additional $2.99 a month.
The free version of the app includes spam detection, blocking, and reporting and can identify unknown callers by name. In the premium version of the app users can benefit from all of the free options, plus have the ability to create personal robocall block lists, see the risk meter of robocalls, and have a spam number lookup feature.
AT&T’s Robocalling Service
Similar to Verizon, AT&T has a free and paid robocalling protection service called Call Protect and Call Protect Plus. The free version of Call Protect will detect and block calls from fraudsters and suspected spam callers. In addition, the app will allow AT&T customers to create personal block lists.
Call Protect Plus is an additional $3.99 per month. Their plus service offers everything the free one does, plus it will allow reverse number lookup, provide an enhanced caller ID, and allow custom call controls. These controls will let users control what categories of calls to allow, block, or send to voicemail. The site states these categories include telemarketers, nonprofits, political calls, and more.
T-Mobile’s Robocalling Service
T-Mobile will be merging with Sprint soon enough, so this may or may not change. However, T-Mobile has been offering these types of robocalling services since 2017. They offer three protection solutions for their customers.
The first service is Scam ID. Scam ID is free and allows customers to see when calls come in from likely scammers. Second is Scam Block. Scam Block allows users to block likely scammers before they even reach you. The third is their premium paid service which is Name ID. NameID is $4 per month, per line and is most similar to Verizon and AT&T’s premium services.
Name ID identifies a caller’s name, location, blocks calls and creates various categories of what types of calls should be sent directly to voicemail. The three different services allow customers of T-Mobile to select what fits their needs best.
Sprint’s Robocalling Features
Since Sprint will be merging with T-Mobile, their spam blocking features are likely to change. Sprint, unlike the others, does not have a free spam blocker. However, they provide a premium blocker for $2.99 per line, per month. Their service gauges the level of fraud risk for each robocall, lets customers choose if they’d like to accept a call, send it to voicemail, or ignore it altogether, block numbers, and report numbers to Sprint. The last feature allows Sprint to have a list of risky numbers built into their network.
Mobile Fraud Happens
Fraud can happen to everyone, but there are ways to prevent it and the best way is to block fraudulent numbers and be able to identify what risks there are. If you are a victim of fraud, Secure Forensics and our digital forensic experts can help. For more information and free phone consultation, contact us today at 1-800-288-1407.