Posted: 10/24/2017

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Scam callers ring consumers’ lines all through the day. From IRS scams to prize promotion schemes, the con artists relentlessly call, trying to trick individuals. We can relate to these types of calls as most of us have been on the receiving end of them. Wouldn’t it be nice to know it’s a scammer on the other end of the line before you pick it up?

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Scam callers ring consumers’ lines all through the day. From IRS scams to prize promotion schemes, the con artists relentlessly call, trying to trick individuals. We can relate to these types of calls as most of us have been on the receiving end of them. Wouldn’t it be nice to know it’s a scammer on the other end of the line before you pick it up? Well T-Mobile and its subsidiary MetroPCS have rolled out automatic scam protection features to do just that. The Scam ID and Scam Block features were developed to help their customers deal with scam calls.

If you are on a T-Mobile or MetroPCS network and your caller ID displays, “Scam Likely”, that is the Scam ID feature at work. Through Scam ID, the network uses technology to analyze the incoming call against a vast global database of known scam numbers. If it matches one of the scam patterned numbers identified in the database, the display will alert the customer that the call is most likely from a scammer.

In addition, if the user wants to block scam calls, they can activate the network’s Scam Block feature. Through this feature, the call is terminated before it reaches the customer. This feature can be turned on or off by the customer at any time by dialing #ONB# or #662#.

Since April 2017, T-Mobile has made these features available to their users. MetroPCS customers now have the same features available to them since July 25, 2017. The features work on all devices on the company’s network.

It is important to keep in mind that scammers change their numbers frequently and also use equipment to spoof legitimate enterprises and agencies. While these features may stop some scammers from contacting consumers, there could be instances where it may fail to stop these calls altogether.

Fighting Phone Scams

If you are confronted with a scam, or contacted by an unexpected sales call, there are things you can do to protect yourself. First, utilize your caller ID and do not pick up calls from people you do not know. If the matter is important, the caller will more than likely leave a message. Review the message to see if it is worth your time and effort to call back. In addition, many smartphones allow the user to block unwanted calls through the device, or you can contact the carrier for information on call blocking.

If you receive a call that is a recorded message—hang up. In general, these types of calls, or robocalls, are illegal unless you have given consent for the company to call you.

Another way to reduce unwanted sales calls is by registering with the National Do Not Call Registry. It’s a free service where you can register your number online at donotcall.gov or by calling (888) 382-1222. Keep in mind this will not stop all unwanted calls. Debt collection, political calls, charities, and telephone survey calls and companies that you have done business with may still contact you.

Scam calls should always be reported. Business Consumer Alliance takes complaints on a variety of scams. Contact us with the caller’s information and we will add it to our database. You can also report the calls to the Federal Trade Commission.

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About Business Consumer Alliance

Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.

Tags: scam, cell phone carrier

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What is this program?

The Consumer Ally program is free for consumers to join. At BCA, we feel it's very important to educate the public on trends like scams, new laws and providing helpful tips to empower the public in making wise purchasing decisions. This program is an elite community of consumers who share our vision for a safe marketplace. We can't be everywhere at once so we depend on feedback from the public to help our efforts.

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