T-Mobile working with Apple to bring robocall screening to iPhones

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 17
With the help of Apple, T-Mobile is aiming to bring a new anti-robocall technology to iPhones "in the near future," a report said on Wednesday.

iPhone X call block


The technology, developed in partnership with Comcast, is currently limited to a handful of LG and Samsung phones on T-Mobile and its Metro brand, according to Reuters. Authentic callers are marked as "verified," making it easier to figure out which calls to answer and which to ignore.

T-Mobile is relying on a standard called "Secure Telephony Identity Revisited (STIR) and Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (SHAKEN)." In fact it ultimately had little choice, since U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai told carriers in February that he would intervene if they failed to implement STIR/SHAKEN by the end of 2019. T-Mobile is however the first American carrier to do so.

AT&T should follow suit, since it tested a cross-network STIR/SHAKEN call with Comcast in March.

Robocalls have become epidemic in the U.S., now averaging over 168 million per day by YouMail metrics. Some 40 percent of that is thought to be scams.

Especially troublesome are so-called "neighbor" scams, which masquerade as calls from a person's area code. This makes it difficult or impossible to tell whether a call is from a legitimate friend or business before picking up.

iPhones already have call blocking and ID features as of iOS 10, and there are other countermeasures you can take, but these require downloading third-party apps like Hiya and aren't 100 percent effective -- in large part because of spoofing tactics.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,504member
    In other news,Robocallers plan to implement new technology measures to circumvent STIR/SHAKEN in early 2020.

    I would simply like an option to have all calls go to VM unless the caller is in my contacts. And if no VM is left, that call is deleted and blocked. How hard can that be?
    shewyjeffharrisllsorenstyler82JWSCairnerdjbdragonlongpathrepressthisjony0
  • Reply 2 of 23
    eightzero said:
    In other news,Robocallers plan to implement new technology measures to circumvent STIR/SHAKEN in early 2020.

    I would simply like an option to have all calls go to VM unless the caller is in my contacts. And if no VM is left, that call is deleted and blocked. How hard can that be?
    I want those that call and do not leave a message to be blocked automatically and added to a shared list. 
    mac_dogeightzeroairnerdlongpath
  • Reply 3 of 23
    I don’t think blocking or screening helps the problem of robocalls. Those responses just pushes the problem onto other people.

    Robocalls are popular because they have “no” cost. I use the service from Jolly Roger Telephone to help with this. JR impersonates a real person answering the phone to get a real person on the line on their end. This ties up a real person and makes it actually cost the robocall outfit something because they are paying for a real person at that point. Since signing up for JR, I now relish all the telemarking calls I receive instead of fearing them or getting mad.
    edited April 17 jdgazapplesnorangesairnerdrepressthis
  • Reply 4 of 23
    kruegdudekruegdude Posts: 340member
    I don’t think blocking or screening helps the problem of robocalls. Those responses just pushes the problem onto other people.

    Robocalls are popular because they have “no” cost. I use the service from Jolly Roger Telephone to help with this. JR impersonates a real person answering the phone to get a real person on the line on their end. This ties up a real person and makes it actually cost the robocall outfit something because they are paying for a real person at that point. Since signing up for JR, I now relish all the telemarking calls I receive instead of fearing them or getting mad.
    You may have something there. Although this is rather subjective, I noticed that when I answer a robo call and select the option to talk to someone, let them do their initial intro and then I respond with “oh, I’m not interested” and hang up the calls seem to lessen for a while. Of course that doesn’t stop them. 
  • Reply 5 of 23
    MplsPMplsP Posts: 1,726member
    kruegdude said:
    I don’t think blocking or screening helps the problem of robocalls. Those responses just pushes the problem onto other people.

    Robocalls are popular because they have “no” cost. I use the service from Jolly Roger Telephone to help with this. JR impersonates a real person answering the phone to get a real person on the line on their end. This ties up a real person and makes it actually cost the robocall outfit something because they are paying for a real person at that point. Since signing up for JR, I now relish all the telemarking calls I receive instead of fearing them or getting mad.
    You may have something there. Although this is rather subjective, I noticed that when I answer a robo call and select the option to talk to someone, let them do their initial intro and then I respond with “oh, I’m not interested” and hang up the calls seem to lessen for a while. Of course that doesn’t stop them. 
    Now that would be a great use for AI! What we really need is more security with the caller ID system so it's not so easy to spoof numbers.

    We have a friend who will get telemarketers on the phone and troll them incessantly if he has the time. It's rather entertaining to listen to.

    flyingdp
  • Reply 6 of 23
    aknabiaknabi Posts: 177member
    What I don't understand is at least why not have an option for blocking No Caller ID calls... over 80% of the ones I get are those (at least here in the Netherlands)... You don't even need the carrier... if the iPhone gets a call it'll show as NCID let me turn on a setting to have it never ring. Being an iOS developer I know that's a lunchtime project for a developer (then months of testing :/)
    airnerdjony0
  • Reply 7 of 23
    FolioFolio Posts: 652member
    Long overdue. Like a few other communications methods today, way too much Noise in the SNR, at least in US. You really need multiple numbers if you want privacy and live in a zip code desirable to solicitors
    jeffharris
  • Reply 8 of 23
    I don’t think blocking or screening helps the problem of robocalls. Those responses just pushes the problem onto other people.

    Robocalls are popular because they have “no” cost. I use the service from Jolly Roger Telephone to help with this. JR impersonates a real person answering the phone to get a real person on the line on their end. This ties up a real person and makes it actually cost the robocall outfit something because they are paying for a real person at that point. Since signing up for JR, I now relish all the telemarking calls I receive instead of fearing them or getting mad.
    Oh yeah, that must work great with the Chinese rob calls.
    Those are the majority of the ones I get. The scammers must think I live in Guangzhou or something…

    It's gotten to the point where I just don't answer my phone.
    flyingdp
  • Reply 9 of 23
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 306member
    I have a phone # from a different metro area than what I live in (I moved to a different state and kept old #). 95% of robo-scam calls come from my area code, which I can ignore and send straight to voice-mail, since I do not expect anyone to call me from my own area code that I do not have in my address book. It's a poor man's screening service, but it's better than nothing, since AT&T pre-paid doesn't have anything.
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Just make sure there is legislation that phone call MUST be registered for the business. I do not care what service for robocalls you use, but if you use someone elses phone number for ID which I discovered it was case (I called back those numbers from robcalls and real people responded that did not have anything to do with robocall) then the business should be declared as illegitimate and fined for this. That is simply identity theft as numbers are assigned to paying clients. Use of numbers that are not in service as it is the case as well is questionable as well, but if we get to block any phone numbers not in service then it is okay.

    I am not looking for intelligent conversation with robot that is pretending it is human so I hang up on them right away - robots do not deserve respect as humans so do not be surprised. You are wasting my time with robocalls then you are guilty - not me. All abused phone numbers are also landing on blocked list. If you pretend you are IRS - I will call IRS and report that there is business that runs scam abusing their phone number - have no doubt as one day federal agency might be on your back. Run this business correctly and you may get good commercial result.
    cornchip
  • Reply 11 of 23
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,420member
    eightzero said:
    In other news,Robocallers plan to implement new technology measures to circumvent STIR/SHAKEN in early 2020.

    I would simply like an option to have all calls go to VM unless the caller is in my contacts. And if no VM is left, that call is deleted and blocked. How hard can that be?
    Maybe you can set that up in Shortcuts? 🙄

    Either way I screen all my calls anyway. if it's a caller not in my contacts and they don't leave a message -- DELETE! would be cool if that was taken care of automatically though.
    edited April 17
  • Reply 12 of 23
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,504member
    cornchip said:
    eightzero said:
    In other news,Robocallers plan to implement new technology measures to circumvent STIR/SHAKEN in early 2020.

    I would simply like an option to have all calls go to VM unless the caller is in my contacts. And if no VM is left, that call is deleted and blocked. How hard can that be?
    Maybe you can set that up in Shortcuts? 🙄
    I don't know. Can I? 
  • Reply 13 of 23
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,420member
    eightzero said:
    cornchip said:
    eightzero said:
    In other news,Robocallers plan to implement new technology measures to circumvent STIR/SHAKEN in early 2020.

    I would simply like an option to have all calls go to VM unless the caller is in my contacts. And if no VM is left, that call is deleted and blocked. How hard can that be?
    Maybe you can set that up in Shortcuts? ߙ䦬t;/div>
    I don't know. Can I? 
    I doubt it. was more of a joke. 

    Also - I'm not sure what the tech behind it is, but occasionally even local numbers get flagged as "SCAM LIKELY". Not that I was going to pick up anyway.
    edited April 17
  • Reply 14 of 23
    gc_ukgc_uk Posts: 21member
    If only there was a way to access the details for an incoming call you could have apps that use crowd sourcing to identify spam calls, like Android has. 
  • Reply 15 of 23
    bluefire1bluefire1 Posts: 922member
    Hiya works wonderfully for me, and even if it's not 100% effective, its huge, constantly updating database lets me know whenever a robocall comes ringing.
  • Reply 16 of 23
    None of this tech would even be necessary if phone companies let me insert some sort of customizable audio captcha for people who try to call me. Just yesterday I tried to confirm an appointment with a phone company technician and I was forced to answer a captcha before I could confirm it on my web browser, requiring multiple tries on the captcha to get it right. That made me very angry (both the multiple tries and the captcha in the first place). And at the same time these same companies won't let me implement a captcha to protect myself. They are so worried about robots that they force me to enter a captcha to install a new service(!) but they won't let me implement one to protect myself from robocalls. These companies are self-serving, not customer-serving. One day some innovative company will come around and give people what they want and then it's game over for the existing phone companies.
    cornchip
  • Reply 17 of 23
    hentaiboyhentaiboy Posts: 1,030member
    Is STIR/SHAKEN a word play from the Bond Martini?
  • Reply 18 of 23
    GeorgeBMacGeorgeBMac Posts: 5,269member
    aknabi said:
    What I don't understand is at least why not have an option for blocking No Caller ID calls... over 80% of the ones I get are those (at least here in the Netherlands)... You don't even need the carrier... if the iPhone gets a call it'll show as NCID let me turn on a setting to have it never ring. Being an iOS developer I know that's a lunchtime project for a developer (then months of testing :/)
    I don't think it is necessary or wise to "block" them.   There are multiple reasons for making calls without caller id -- say a healthcare worker or contractor having to get in touch with a client while out in the field and only having a cell phone available -- but they don't want to broadcast that cell phone number.|

    Instead, those calls could be made to have a different ring -- or none at all -- and just go straight to voicemail.
    Or, Apple could also do the same even if caller id is on, but it is not in your list of contacts -- either give it a different ring or none at all.

    This solution does not sound to be rocket science and should have been available years ago.
  • Reply 19 of 23
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 671member
    aknabi said:
    What I don't understand is at least why not have an option for blocking No Caller ID calls... over 80% of the ones I get are those (at least here in the Netherlands)... You don't even need the carrier... if the iPhone gets a call it'll show as NCID let me turn on a setting to have it never ring. Being an iOS developer I know that's a lunchtime project for a developer (then months of testing :/)
    This is the biggest issue for me.  The fact I can't switch to block anyone that is actively blocking their caller ID is beyond absurd.  "Anonymous" should also be able to be blocked. 


  • Reply 20 of 23
    airnerdairnerd Posts: 671member
    aknabi said:
    What I don't understand is at least why not have an option for blocking No Caller ID calls... over 80% of the ones I get are those (at least here in the Netherlands)... You don't even need the carrier... if the iPhone gets a call it'll show as NCID let me turn on a setting to have it never ring. Being an iOS developer I know that's a lunchtime project for a developer (then months of testing :/)
    I don't think it is necessary or wise to "block" them.   There are multiple reasons for making calls without caller id -- say a healthcare worker or contractor having to get in touch with a client while out in the field and only having a cell phone available -- but they don't want to broadcast that cell phone number.|

    Instead, those calls could be made to have a different ring -- or none at all -- and just go straight to voicemail.
    Or, Apple could also do the same even if caller id is on, but it is not in your list of contacts -- either give it a different ring or none at all.

    This solution does not sound to be rocket science and should have been available years ago.
    Someone correct me, but I believe the functionality for a blocked number is for it to not ring but go straight to voicemail.  At the very bottom of your voicemail mailbox there is a "Blocked" section where you can see the voicemails from numbers that have been blocked.  I check that every so often to make sure I didn't inadvertently block a real number, because I am very quick to block a number if it isn't in my contacts and leaves a dreaded :03 voicemessage.  
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