Cell phone owners across America are getting phone calls with the words “SCAM LIKELY” shown in the Caller ID. As you might expect, it is causing most to avoid answering the call.
No, “SCAM LIKELY” is not an unfortunately-named person, as you’ve probably guessed. The reason is very simple, and for cell phone users, it could become a welcome thing.
Everyone hates getting calls from solicitors, who somehow manage to get your phone number, even when you take measures to keep it out of the hands of marketers. Even worse, however, is the rash of scammers who try to trick unsuspecting people into giving them personal information or money.
The IRS has warned for years of a sophisticated scam involving cell phones. The scammer would call, pretending to be an IRS agent, demanding payment on back taxes. The victim would then be told to buy gift cards and provide the scammer with the numbers.
Other scammers have used a variation of this scheme, pretending to be local law enforcement and demanding payment of a traffic ticket or other fine.
To combat this, T-Mobile is the first cell phone service provider to offer a scam protection program. T-Mobile says the service will “put scammers in their place and answer all your calls worry free.” The service is free, and if some features aren’t already activated on your phone, they are easy to turn on. The company also has additional protection services which can be activated, for a fee.
T-Mobile has identified certain numbers that are tied to scammers, and those numbers will now register as “SPAM LIKELY” (or a similar phrase) on cell phones nationwide.
T-mobile offers “Scam-ID,” “Scam Block,” and “Name ID.”
Scam ID shows you instantly when calls are coming in from known scammers. The protection is built right into the network and will work automatically on all phones that have caller ID. You don’t have to install anything special to have this service and there is no extra charge on your cell phone plan.
Scam Block all calls from known scammers are blocked and won’t even reach your phone period. To turn this feature on, dial #ONB# or #662#.
Name ID takes your scam protection to the next level for an extra cost. For $4 a month, you can identify any caller’s name and location as well as block any personal numbers that may or may not be in your address book.
It is unknown if other cell phone providers will follow suit with T-Mobile.
If you still have questions about the service, check out T-Mobile’s website on their “Call Protection” program, including their “Scam Likely” service, by clicking right here.