New feature coming to Android can stop you from getting ripped off

New feature coming to Android can stop you from getting ripped off
Analysts say that 50% of calls received on your mobile phone this year will be spam/scam calls. That means that every time you hear your phone ring, there is a good chance that the call is from someone you don't know, trying to separate you from your money. The FCC has its STIR and SHAKEN framework to help stop the practice used by spammers and scammers to hijack local numbers for their malicious intent. Why do spammers and scammers do this? Because you are more likely to answer a call if it appears as though it is coming from your area. So far though, only T-Mobile has offered a carrier-based service using the FCC's tools. The other carriers have until the end of this year to implement their own versions of the FCC framework.

One senior citizen we know who uses a Jitterbug featurephone, was getting called more than 20 times a day and night from a number in Belarus, a small country in central Europe. Each call would ring for one second, and when the call was answered, a tape in a foreign language would play for a few seconds. The number couldn't be blocked (remember, we are talking about a featurephone). So what was the point of these calls? Well, as the scammers hoped, the recipient of the call was so intent on finding out what these calls were all about that he called back a couple of times. Each time, he was charged $8 for making an international call and only heard a tape in the same foreign language heard with the incoming calls. The scammers get a percentage of the revenue from the international calls made to them. Multiply this by millions of calls made each day to millions of people, and it is a huge criminal enterprise. Luckily for this person, the MVNO he uses (Great Call) removed the charges for the calls, and the victim of this scam ended up having to change his phone number.

Now if you have a smartphone, you can block calls from numbers that are used to scam you. And according to Android Police, a new feature could soon be added to the Google Phone app that would proactively block some calls. A new settings menu has been received by some Android users with four new options that can be toggled on or kept toggled off (by default). When enabled, one setting will block incoming calls from numbers not in your contacts list. Another option will allow you to block calls from those who do not disclose their phone number. The new settings also allow you to block calls made from pay phones, and calls from unidentified callers.

So far, this feature has only been seen on phones running the Android Q beta, although it has not appeared on every handset with the preview installed. If this new settings page does make it to the final version of Android Q, or is made available to older Android builds, it will allow the phone owner to lower the odds of receiving a scam call from the coin flip it now is. With these new options, the owner of an Android phone won't have to wait to receive a scam call before taking much needed action against them.

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