AT&T, T-Mobile To Fight Robocalls by Verifying Legitimate Calls

AT&T, T-Mobile To Fight Robocalls by Verifying Legitimate Calls

The carriers said today that they've "put differences aside to fight unwanted robocalls for customers". As a result, customers will be able to tell on their phone's caller ID whether an incoming call is suspicious or not. If a call is important enough, they'll leave a voicemail. This very system has just been deployed for calls between the AT&T and T-Mobile networks. The two standards cleverly abbreviated SHAKEN and STIR make sure that the caller number you're seeing on your phone is the one the phone call is actually coming from and not a fake one generated by the software used by scammers, call centers or other entities with malicious intent.

Automatic call blocking is now the rule of the land thanks to your very own United States federal government - that means you should be getting fewer robocalls and cold dials from spoofed (faked) numbers. AT&T teamed up with Comcast in March this year to authenticate calls between their networks, while T-Mobile partnered with Comcast in April.

The hope is that other carriers in the U.S. will also join up in the SHAKEN/STIR cross-support, and extend authentication too.

If you are an AT&T or T-Mobile subscriber, you will soon start seeing a "Caller Verified" message whenever you receive an incoming call that is really coming from the number that you see on the caller ID display.

As we've noted in previous articles about the robocall nightmare, SHAKEN/STIR (which stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited) is the standard that the FCC recommends carriers use to digitally verify phone calls. SHAKEN/STIR will verify a call is from the number that appears on your caller ID.

The free version of AT&T's Call Protect service automatically blocks calls that AT&T categorizes as "fraud". Name ID is included for no extra cost in the $15-per-month T-Mobile One Plus add-on and T-Mobile's premium "Magenta Plus" plan but is a separate $4 charge for other customers.

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