T-Mobile has launched a new update that will verify all incoming calls to customers with a Samsung Galaxy Note9 smartphone, announced the 'Un-carrier'. The caller verification service will prompt the phone’s screen to say “Caller Verified” when an incoming call is considered authentic and has not been intercepted by scammers or fraudulent companies. T-Mobile has made the service free and readily available to all customers, and plans to include Caller Verified on more smartphones later into 2019.
Robocallers are able to intercept calls by illegally ID spoofing, or 'hijacking', a phone number that has a local area code and 3-digit prefix, prompting the recipient to think the number looks familiar. T-Mobile's Caller Verified service implements the STIR (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) standards, which combats illegal call spoofing by using digital certificates. When the same STIR and SHAKEN standards are implemented by other mobile providers, customers can use Call Verified on calls made across networks.
T-Mobile has a history of creating anti-spam and anti-scam technology. In 2017, the company introduced the Scam ID and Scam Block to T-Mobile ONE customers, which would display 'Scam Likely' if an incoming call did not seem legitimate. In 2018, T-Mobile launched the Name ID app, delivering call control, personal number blocking, and reverse number lookup.
According to First Orion, almost 50 per cent of all calls made in the US this year will be scam calls or telemarketers. Americans who are susceptible to scam calls are in danger of losing large amounts of money or revealing personal information to fraudulent callers. In the last 18 months, T-Mobile’s new call protection services have flagged over 8.9bn calls as 'Scam Likely' and blocked more than a billion scam calls.