Caller ID has been helping us screen calls from telemarketers, ex-partners, and overly chatty relatives since the late 1980s.
Nevertheless, spam callers keep finding new ways to get around it.
In fact, it’s gotten so bad that a prevailing opinion these days is to avoid picking up any call that doesn’t come from one of your contacts—and even new phones are coming out with stock features that can send unknown callers directly to voicemail.
But what if you miss an emergency call from someone at your kid’s school, or an important call from your doctor’s new office number?
For unpredictable reasons like these, many people continue to rely on traditional caller ID and its available alternatives to help keep unwanted calls at bay.
Using Your Carrier’s Caller ID
Despite its shortcomings, traditional caller ID is still included in most modern phones and service plans these days.
Meanwhile, lower-tier plans from major providers and smaller or regional providers tend to offer base-level caller ID services that only show the number that’s calling.
In an attempt to address the pitfalls of traditional caller ID, large cell providers are now offering enhanced caller ID services as part of their higher-tiered plans.
These services vary between carriers, but they generally offer a better caller ID database and more features to combat spam. Here’s an overview of what some of the major U.S. carriers offer:
Verizon: Verizon’s Call Filter is a service that identifies incoming callers by name and provides spam warnings. It also lets customers block unwanted calls.
AT&T: AT&T’s ActiveArmor service offers automatic fraud blocking and suspected spam warnings. Customers can also customize call-blocking settings based on their preferences.
T-Mobile: T-Mobile’s Scam Shield includes Scam ID and Scam Block features, which help customers identify and block potential scam calls.
Sprint: Sprint’s Premium Caller…