With spam and scam calls expected to make up half of all calls received on mobile phones in the U.S. in 2019 (just this morning we received four spam calls including one as we were writing this story), Verizon earlier this year launched a free version of its Call Filter tool in the states
. Today, Verizon announced
that it is auto-enrolling eligible Android devices in its free Call Filter service.
So what does this mean to Verizon subscribers sporting an Android-powered device? If they receive a call that has previously been reported as a fraud, the call will be blocked and sent to voicemail. If a Verizon customer gets a call from a number known to be used for spams or scams, the display will read "Potential Spam" instead of the caller's name. Verizon subscribers can activate the call blocking features of Call Filter to prevent these callers from wasting their time. Calls from names and numbers found in the Verizon subscriber's contacts list will be handled normally, and all international calls can be blocked. That's important because many spam calls originate overseas.
"We know our customers are sick and tired of the endless onslaught of robocalls. Let me be clear: I am too. Our team is committed to developing and enhancing the tools that will help bring relief to our customers. This is another major step in that process."-Ronan Dunne, executive vice president, and group CEO, Verizon Consumer Group
While these features are free, for an additional $2.99 per month per line (or $7.99 per month for three or more lines), Call Filter Plus will allow Big Red subscribers to create their own spam and block lists, identify unknown numbers, quantify the risk of each spam or scam call using a "Risk Meter," and more.
The updates will be rolling out to Verizon's Android devices immediately and eligible subscribers can install the app
if they can't wait. Keep in mind that only Android devices are being auto-enrolled in the program and those with an Apple iPhone or iPad will have to download the app from the App Store
. Verizon says that this year it will help its subscribers identify 1.5 billion spam calls.