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.

New settings page shows options that Android users might soon have to guard against scam calls

New settings page shows options that Android users might soon have to guard against scam calls

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9 Comments

1. Rigeek

Posts: 2; Member since: Mar 26, 2019

My LG V30 has the ability now to block numbers not in contacts, private numbers and the ability to block numbers by area code, or area code & prefix.

2. dumpster666

Posts: 38; Member since: Mar 07, 2019

ios needs this more than android.... ripping off users since ever.

5. Zylam

Posts: 1781; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

And you need professional help... Crying about how other people spend their own money since forever.

3. Leo_MC

Posts: 6296; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

There was an app I have used on a Nokia E51 that call-flooded these numbers; the timing was so precise that it hung up the call before it rang on the other end so it was impossible to stop or charge it. Good for Android users, because any measure against such practices is welcomed.

6. Brewski

Posts: 660; Member since: Jun 05, 2012

What happens if the number is spoofed like so many of them are? Then the real owner of that number just gets millions calls? There needs to be a way to restrict people from calling from a number that is not really their own.

9. Leo_MC

Posts: 6296; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

The first one I think about is myself. My annoyance is far greater than the annoyance of another.

4. gahd3p

Posts: 6; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

Isn't that feature already a part of Android?

7. akita256

Posts: 98; Member since: Jan 26, 2012

I recently purchased a Galaxy S10 Plus after having used an old Galaxy S4 for many years. My biggest disappointment about the S10 Plus is not having a built-in feature that was on the S4 which allowed me to block phone calls using any part of the number. On the S10 Plus, I can only block a specific number...…….one at a time. On the S4, I could block any portion of the phone number at the beginning of the number, at the end of the number, or in the middle of the number. I could just block any number that came from a particular area code if I wanted to do so or from an area code and a prefix (first three digits) of a number. What I find now is that if I block only one particular number that the spam caller just changes the number by one digit and calls again. Then I have to block that particular number. At this rate I would have to continue blocking one number at a time until the end of time. I would love for Phone Arena to contact Samsung and find out why they ended this feature on their phones. It is more important now than ever. I know that there are some apps that can be downloaded that are able to block portions of phone numbers, but it sure was nice having it as a feature on the phone itself.

8. andynaija

Posts: 1243; Member since: Sep 08, 2012

"Block calls from pay phones" Pay phones still exist?

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