You’ve probably noticed that the caller ID on your phone gives you a “Scam Likely” message. What does “Scam Likely” mean, why do you see it, and how do you block these calls? Let’s break it down so you can better understand this feature.
What Is “Scam Likely”?
“Scam likely” is a tag that appears for customers of T-Mobile, Metro (formerly MetroPCS), and Sprint (after the merger with T-Mobile) that tags potentially unwanted callers on incoming calls. It’s part of T-Mobile’s “Scam Shield” feature, which aims to prevent fraudulent calls over the network. The company turned on this feature for all subscribers at the time by default so that you won’t see its settings anywhere.
For this purpose, carriers created a unique database of known fraudulent numbers. In addition, T-Mobile Network automatically checks all incoming calls to its customers’ phones. Therefore, these can be the usual signs of fraudulent calls, such as:
- Impersonating a government agency
- Demanding to pay for something with gift cards
- Classic technical support schemes
- Annoying robocalls
Because the fraud ID applies at the network level, you’ll see a “Scam likely” message no matter your device. This works on an iPhone, Android, or even button phone. You don’t need to install any unique apps by default, though you can install the free T-Mobile Scam Shield app for Android or iPhone for more control.
Can I Trust “Scam Likely” Calls?
Unfortunately, any system is imperfect and can fail, so chances are you will see a “Scam likely” message for a legitimate call. However, it is recommended that you exercise extreme caution if you do decide to answer a call with this marking. Nevertheless, almost all calls with this marking are likely to try to scam you. In any case, if you pick up the phone, never give any personal information. If in doubt, you can ignore a call from an unknown number. Usually, the person who needs something will leave a message. Since scammers often use social engineering, you can hang up if the conversation makes you uncomfortable.
How to Block Scam Likely Calls
Although the system warns you that the call is “Scam Likely,” it does not block them by default. If you get too many of these calls and want to block them, T-Mobile also offers a free Scam Blocker feature. The system will automatically block all calls marked “Scam Likely”. To turn on the blocking, follow these steps:
- Open the dialer app on your phone.
- Dial the combination
#662#and press call.
- To ensure the lock is activated, dial
#787#and press the call.
You can disable “Scam Likely” call blocking anytime by dialing
#632# and pressing call.
How to Spot Scam Calls on Other Carriers
Most operators have similar services to combat fraudulent calls. This is due to the STIR/SHAKEN, a set of protocols that allows carriers to fight caller ID spoofing. Thanks to these standards, the operator can display a “Call Verified” message on your phone. This way, he confirms that it has not been spoofed. This feature is now becoming available on more and more devices and carriers as they all work to reduce spam calls.
So, if you’re an AT&T customer, you can download their official software. It’s available for iPhone or Android and contains free spam and fraud blocking features as well as advanced protection that’s available by subscription. And if you use Verizon, a free call filtering service is available as well. To manage this feature, you can also install the Verizon Call Filter app, available for iPhone or Android. Like AT&T, Verizon also offers a paid subscription to improve this. Other carriers likely provide similar services as well. For more information, visit the store, log in to your account management page, or contact your carrier’s customer service number.
How to Block Scam Likely Calls using Android and iPhone
Suppose you are annoyed by a spammer, and your operator does not provide such a service. In this case, you can block the annoying number using the standard tools of the operating system of your device. In addition, there are third-party applications available in the app store that can handle this task. These applications usually have a database of fraudulent numbers and will alert you if an incoming call is potentially unsafe. In addition, these apps allow you to detect and block fraudulent calls, regardless of which carrier you have. The disadvantage of such applications is that they are often paid and require a subscription.
How to Stop Scam Likely Calls on Android
If your phone has the default dialler app from Google, it will alert you to potential spammers by default. If your Android device uses a different dialer app, do the following:
1. Open the dial app and tap the number you want to block.
2. Click on
Details, then select
In addition, you can use a third-party app to filter out spam.
How to Block Scam Calls on iPhone
You can block any number on your iPhone using the built-in blocklist feature. To do this, do the following:
1. Open the Phone app and tap
Recent and press the
"i" icon next to the number you need to block.
2. Scroll down and tap
Block this caller.
There is a more radical method that will solve the problem of unwanted calls. Your iPhone has a feature that allows you to silence all calls from unknown numbers. To do this:
Settings and scroll down to
Silence Unknown Callers.
3. Toggle it to on
It’s important to understand that if you turn this on, all calls from numbers that aren’t in your contacts will be rejected automatically. Most people receive legitimate calls from unknown numbers from time to time, such as a meeting reminder or an important call from someone using a friend’s phone. We recommend using this method only in extreme cases, such as if you receive much spam. Otherwise, you might miss important calls.
How to Stop “Scam Likely” Calls
Protecting your cell phone number is the best way to prevent Scam Likely calls. You need to add your number to the National Call Barring Registry to do this. Unfortunately, this does not stop all calls, but it will filter out annoying telemarketing and other such garbage. You also have to be careful when you’re sharing your number. Nowadays, almost every online ad, account, and other services will ask for your phone number. Plus, in some cases, companies can share your number with affiliates for marketing purposes. So think carefully before sharing your number with anyone online. Instead, you can sign up for a free Google Voice number and use it as an additional method of communication. The plus side of this method is that if you provide this number for all secondary services, you can always disconnect the number and not worry about incoming calls, even if they are spam.