November 19, 2020 — BELLEVUE, Wash. & CHICAGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Scammers get dealt another blow. T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) and UScellular (NYSE: USM) today announced they’re delivering STIR/SHAKEN number verification across networks marking another milestone in the industry’s ongoing fight to protect consumers from scams and unwanted robocalls. Now, when a call comes in from T-Mobile to UScellular’s network (or vice versa), the companies will be able to validate it’s coming from the real phone number displayed in Caller ID, providing customers better ability to make decisions on which calls to answer. Customers using T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile or UScellular have greater peace of mind that calls are not being spoofed.
“Scammers and spammers are constantly evolving. This summer we launched our Un-carrier move, Scam Shield, and we’re not letting up in our fight to stop scammers,” said Abdul Saad, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at T-Mobile. “We already have more cross-network STIR/SHAKEN partnerships than AT&T and Verizon combined. And Scam Shield, free to our customers, is the industry’s most comprehensive solution for fighting scams and robocalls. But this battle takes industry-wide action, and we stand ready to work with everyone to help them adopt STIR/SHAKEN and help keep consumers safe from scammers at this critical time.”
“At UScellular, we have our customers’ backs and are committed to helping them avoid unwanted and deceptive robocalls. Teaming up with T-Mobile allows us to provide our customers stronger protection in the ongoing fight against these unsolicited calls,” said Michael S. Irizarry, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Engineering and Information Services at UScellular. “When wireless providers come together like this, it is a win for consumers and businesses, and we will continue to enhance the tools and solutions we offer to keep our customers safeguarded from scams.”
In summer 2020, T-Mobile launched another Un-carrier move: Scam Shield, an unparalleled set of free solutions to protect customers against scams and unwanted robocalls. With Scam Shield, T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers get automatic and free scam call detection as well as the option for free Caller ID and scam call blocking. According to research this summer from analysts at Global Data, T-Mobile’s network is already 30% better than AT&T and Verizon at identifying scam calls.
T-Mobile leads the industry in implementing the FCC STIR/SHAKEN standards, with eleven cross-network partnerships for number verification. T-Mobile was first to announce readiness for the FCC-recommended STIR/SHAKEN standards in November 2018 and first in the wireless industry to implement STIR/SHAKEN when it launched Number Verified (formally Caller Verified) on the Samsung Galaxy Note9 in January 2019.
And now, T-Mobile offers consumers more than 190 devices that can display either “Number Verified” or “T-Mobile Verified” in Caller ID or, depending on the device, a check mark in the call log. This works on any call coming from a compatible mobile phone at T-Mobile, Metro by T-Mobile or another company that has implemented STIR/SHAKEN with T-Mobile to verify the source of the call.
UScellular has taken additional actions to help solve the frustrating and costly issue of unwanted calls. Through the company’s network blocking solution, highly fraudulent robocalls are blocked before ever reaching customers on UScellular’s VoLTE network, significantly reducing the amount of unwanted calls they receive.
For an extra level of security, UScellular provides free and premium versions of the Call Guardian app for Android and iOS. The free app provides potential spam call identification based on known offenders and allows users to create a personal spam list. The premium version ($3.99 per month) provides added protection and features such as enhanced details for all potentially risky calls, the ability to block individual calls or block all calls for selected risk levels and Caller ID.
The FCC requires STIR/SHAKEN standards be implemented by June 30, 2021 to digitally ensure that a call is in fact from the number displayed on Caller ID. The acronym stands for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN). More calls will be verified over time as more device providers display number verification and as more network providers implement the standards.
For more information on all the ways T-Mobile is protecting customers, including capable handsets, visit https://www.t-mobile.com/resources/call-protection. For more information on how to avoid phone scams and keep yourself and loved ones safe during COVID-19, check out this Q&A with security expert Carrie Kerskie in the T-Mobile Newsroom.
For Metro by T-Mobile customers, more information is available, including capable handsets at https://www.metrobyt-mobile.com/scam-shield.
For more information on how UScellular is protecting customers from unwanted robocalls, please go to https://www.uscellular.com/support/robocall.