Your money: Should you pay to stop phone spam?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – If your phone log is anything like mine, the list of incoming scam calls makes it look like you work for the State Department: Sri Lanka, Lithuania, Russia, Bosnia, Benin, Croatia and Sierra Leone. And if you are anything like me, the thought that may cross your mind is: I would pay anything to make these calls stop.

A man talks on his phone on Wall St. near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 24, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

“Nothing is protecting voice and text, so all the criminals sneak in,” said Aaron Foss, founder of Nomorobo, a scam-blocking service.

Until a foolproof way is found to stop these nuisance calls, here is what you need to know.

Your cell phone carrier’s service

Telecom giants tout the billions of calls they block each year, barely mentioning that the system is far from foolproof.

“About 20% of our calls are scam,” said Greg Castle, vice president of engineering for T-Mobile. “Some get through.”

Still, Castle considers T-Mobile’s track record – with its free ScamID program – a success. A free, additional opt-in product called ScamBlock removes those calls from your view.

AT&T , Sprint , Verizon and other major carriers offer similar services. Most are free, but they usually require you to opt in.

Some carriers sell the highest level of services, like Verizon, which charges $2.99 a month for its Call Filter. Of course, considering how much typical cellphone bills run these days, most people probably think like me: that paying anything extra

Keep reading this article on Reuters Personal Finance.

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