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Verizon will finally make its spam protection tools free for all customers

Previously, it was a $3 add-on.

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Image: Droid Life

Verizon Wireless announced yesterday that it will be rolling out free spam and robocall protection to its subscribers, starting in March.

Originally a $3 add-on to voice plans, the Call Filter service will be free for all Verizon customers with a compatible handset, including iPhones and Android phones. Both AT&T and T-Mobile have provided this service for free, so maybe things are changing at the big V.

More about the service

Spam protection for landlines was rolled-out by Verizon last year, with the carrier saying that its customers have been alerted to nearly 1 billion potentially malicious robocalls through the Caller ID feature.

The incoming caller ID display will put “SPAM?” in front of the number if it meets Verizon’s criteria for spam. Over 300 million numbers have been associated with robocalls, presumably, these have been added to internal blacklists.

Spam is still a huge issue

With nearly half of all calls in the U.S. predicted to be spam by the middle of this year, it’s about time that the cell service providers started to combat this plague. Apparently, even the FCC thinks so too, when they forced most of the voice carrier’s CEOs into talks to fix things.

Now, all carriers must adopt a framework called STIR/SHAKEN by the end of 2019, which provides a way to prove that a call originates from a given number. This should hopefully cut down on spam calls, stopping the spoofing of numbers so they look like they’re coming from a neighbor or even a legal entity like the IRS. T-Mobile has already started the implementation of this framework, although it only supports it on the Galaxy Note 9 currently.

Additionally, Verizon is also throwing its considerable weight behind the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act or TRACED, which would give the FCC much wider powers to penalize robocallers. That might help some enforcement but some worry that it is open to abuse of power.

Happy to see Verizon adding this feature? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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