T-Mobile Launches 'Scam Shield' to Protect Subscribers From Scam Calls and Robocalls

T-Mobile today unveiled its latest "Un-carrier" initiative, Scam Shield, which is designed to block robocalls and scam calls targeting T-Mobile, Metro, and Sprint customers.

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A free service, Scam Shield offers scam identification and blocking for every customer and provides more information about who's calling with enhanced Caller ID. T-Mobile is also offering a free second number so customers can keep their main numbers safe, plus free number changes and free ID monitoring.

T-Mobile competitors Verizon and AT&T have similar services, but charge for some features. Verizon, for example, has a free Call Filter service that IDs spam calls, but charges $2.99 per month for features like caller ID, blocking, and spam look up.

AT&T also has a free service for blocking fraud calls, but charges $3.99 per month for caller ID, reverse number lookup, custom call controls, and more. T-Mobile says that it is challenging other carriers to offer the same free services provided to T-Mobile customers.

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"Today, I'm challenging the Carriers to get off their assets, stop profiting from fear and do the right thing, because everyone needs and deserves protection now, more than ever," said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert.

T-Mobile and Metro customers can activate scam blocking by dialing #662# on their smartphones as of today, with the Scam Shield app launching on July 24. Sprint customers will be able to download an upgraded Call Screener app from the App Store on July 24 to activate free scam ID and blocking along with caller ID.

Along with the new Scam Shield service, T-Mobile also announced that it will be combining operations with Sprint and unifying under the T-Mobile brand in retail stores nationwide.

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Top Rated Comments

Unity451 Avatar
52 months ago
I left the dumpster fire that is AT&T years ago for T-Mobile, and I've never regretted it for a moment.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boss.king Avatar
52 months ago
American carriers are ridiculous. Imagine paying to be able to receive calls, and then also paying to block them. What a joke.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nutmac Avatar
52 months ago
Only Caller ID is free. T-Mobile will sell reverse number lookup, blocking categories (e.g., political surveys), and managing block list at $3.99/line per month. Granted, caller ID is the most valuable feature of the lot, but let's not compare Caller ID to more feature packed paid add-on from AT&T and Verizon.

As for free proxy phone number, only 1 number is provided per plan, and only for customers on Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Plus plans. Older customers will have to pay $9.99/month.

On a related note, it's a letdown that iOS 14 does not advance call blocking feature. iOS 13 identified STIR/SHAKEN verified numbers, but they cannot be filtered. "Silence Unknown Callers" feature should optionally allow verified numbers. Furthermore, nothing like Android's Call Screen feature.

Tried #662# from my iPhone 11 Pro. Got a Please Wait spinner for about 30 seconds then got an error message.
Try turning off Wi-Fi. It sometimes require cellular connection to enable/disable.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
52 months ago
I use the AT&T Call Protect app and can verify that it doesn't work at all and is completely and utterly worthless. It's powered by Hiya, so that is also totally ineffective.

It's actually kind of driving me crazy. I get a 3+ robo calls per day most days. I've actually considered porting my number to a VOIP such as Google Voice to be able to have an automated screening system, and using a data-enabled iPad Mini as my primary comm device instead of an iPhone.

This is an area where I think Apple should step up and try to find a solution. Getting too many spam calls with drive down iPhone sales, so they have a vested interest in this.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
centauratlas Avatar
52 months ago

I left the dumpster fire that is AT&T years ago for T-Mobile, and I've never regretted it for a moment.
I went the other way about 10-11 years ago when T-Mobile wanted me to change plans - to an identical plan that cost the same and had everything identical except "it was compatible with the iPhone". The catch was I was going to have to sign up for a 2 year contract - I was off contract because I'd been with them for more than a decade - for doing nothing except staying with T-Mobile. It was stupid and they tried the "if you do it now, we'll give you a $50 statement credit, but that is only good for this call." It was like I was buying a car.

Since Legere took over and turned things around and stopped stupid stuff like that, I've considered going back. Hopefully they continue well without him because I was happy with them until the above.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deeddawg Avatar
52 months ago

Pay us to protect you from the thing we should be protecting you from in the first place.
Pay? What do you mean? Free service per article.


what are the privacy implications of this? Does TMO get access to contacts? Does TMO log phone calls accepted, etc?
#1 - no - I'm guessing they leverage databases of known robo call sources.

#2 - All carriers have been logging phone calls accepted / declined / initiated for something like forever.

I was on a jury for a murder trial several years ago - part of the evidence was the cell phone company logs of the murderer's phone calls that afternoon. It included which tower his phone was making the call through, as well as which antenna on the tower - with the tower addresses and the antenna direction it was strong evidence of his (phone's) movements that day. ... and that was with a dumb flip-phone.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)