In an effort to combat spam calls, MetroPCS has announced that its subscribers now have Scam ID and Scam Block features starting on July 25th. These features were initially rolled out to T-Mobile subscribers last spring and upon seeing its success, MetroPCS is now offering the same technologies for its own subscribers. The Scam ID service works by showing a "Scam Likely" alert along with the phone number of the suspected scammer. Afterward, the subscriber has the choice to either accept or reject the call. There is no need for the subscribers to download an application or pay a fee to get this feature, as it is automatically activated for all MetroPCS customers. Meanwhile, the Scam Block feature blocks all suspected scam calls before it even reaches the subscriber. Unlike Scam ID, the subscriber needs to activate this feature before the carrier starts blocking calls by dialing #662# on their devices. If the subscriber wants to turn off the said feature, they could do so by dialing #632# instead.
Scam calls are a major concern of wireless carriers and regulatory agencies in the United States. On T-Mobile's network alone, there are 500,000 fraudulent calls per hour have been identified by the carrier during the late afternoon hours of a regular weekday. In addition, many of the robocalls come from one-time use numbers, making it difficult for the carriers to block scammers. From this figure, the carrier estimates that its customers saved $130 million from potential losses since the carrier started alerting its subscribers about potential scams. Despite the feature's success in protecting its users, there are still some scammers who have succeeded in getting money from unsuspecting individuals, with each successful scam costing victims an average of $274.
T-Mobile, the parent company of MetroPCS, has been successful in reducing the damages brought by robocalls, but subscribers should stay vigilant against potential scammers. It is important to note that to make this feature work, the carrier compares the phone call data to an international database of known numbers used by scammers. While the said listing is updated in real time, it is possible that a new number used by evil-intentioned individuals may slip through the carrier's scrutiny and contact an unsuspecting customer.