T-Mobile's Scam Shield Is the Carrier's Latest Attempt to Shut Down Phone Spam

Illustration for article titled T-Mobiles Scam Shield Is the Carriers Latest Attempt to Shut Down Phone Spam
Photo: T-Mobile

While no one likes being jerked around on the phone, the amount of spam and robocalls we’re forced to endure is only expected to increase, so today T-Mobile introduced a new collection of tools and apps designed to prevent annoying calls from hitting your phone.

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In a livestream hosted today, T-Mobile detailed its new Scam Shield collection, which includes a number of different methods to help block, reduce, and reroute potential spam.

The first big change T-Mobile is making is giving Enhanced Caller ID to all of its customers (across T-Mobile, Metro, and Sprint) for free. This particular perk looks to be a direct shot at AT&T and Verizon, which both charge for certain premium features available in their caller ID apps.

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Illustration for article titled T-Mobiles Scam Shield Is the Carriers Latest Attempt to Shut Down Phone Spam
Screenshot: T-Mobile

T-Mobile is also enabling free Scam ID and Scam Blocking, which are supposed to help the carrier identify suspicious calls in order to block and prevent spam calls from even showing up on your phone. (If it hasn’t been activated already, T-Mobile and Metro customers can call #662# to turn on Scam Block right now.)

Meanwhile, for people already barraged with constant spam, T-Mobile is introducing two new things to help combat unwanted calls: giving all of its customers a free number change, and creating T-Mobile Proxy, which is a free second phone number that you can use to do things like sign up for accounts on the web where your personal data might not be super-secure. Alternatively, you can use your Proxy number as a second line.

Illustration for article titled T-Mobiles Scam Shield Is the Carriers Latest Attempt to Shut Down Phone Spam
Graphic: T-Mobile
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Proxy numbers have full calling and texting support, and they can exist on the same phone you already use alongside your primary number. You can even share your Proxy number with everyone in your family, turning it into a joint spam folder of sorts. Any time you receive a call, your phone will display which number someone is trying to reach, which should give you a better idea of whether you want to pick up the phone or not. Proxy numbers will be managed within the T-Mobile Digits app, so there’s no need to do things like add in or switch between multiple SIM cards. The one main downside is that you’ll have to memorize another new phone number.

T-Mobile will also be giving its customers a free 12-month subscription to Be ID Aware from McAfee, which will notify users if personal info is leaked or shows up somewhere on there internet.

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Finally, T-Mobile is launching the Scam Shield app, which is a revamped version of its former Name ID app, designed to be a sort of central hub for managing all your privacy and spam-blocking features. Scam Shield will be available for download on the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store starting on July 24.

Sprint customers without access to the standard T-Mobile Caller ID app can download the Sprint Call Screener app starting on July 24 and get the same set of features, including free caller ID and spam-blocking.

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That said, the days of seeing bright yellow Sprint logos are numbered, as T-Mobile also announced that starting on August 2, it will officially unify the T-Mobile and Sprint brands across stores nationwide, which basically means existing Sprint retail locations will become T-Mobile stores.

Senior reporter at Gizmodo, formerly Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag. Was an archery instructor and a penguin trainer before that.

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