Verizon Rolls Out Automatic Call Blocking on Android Phones

Verizon announced yesterday that customers using Android smartphones will now automatically be enrolled in the carrier’s free Call Filter service, which blocks robocalls and sends them directly to voicemail while also putting a warning label on caller IDs about calls that could potentially be fraudulent or spam.

Customers previously had to download an app and sign up for the service, but Verizon removed that step for customers using Android smartphones. Along with the free version, Verizon will also continue to offer a paid version of the Call Filter service, which costs $3 per month and identifies unknown callers by name, even if they are not in the user’s contact lists.

“We know our customers are sick and tired of the endless onslaught of robocalls,” Verizon EVP Ronan Dunne said in a statement. “Our team is committed to developing and enhancing the tools that will help bring relief to our customers. This is another major step in that process.”

Other carriers have also started unveiling free call blocking services, aimed at preventing illegal robocalls from being connected, following the release of a declaratory ruling from the Federal Communications Commission.

Under the Declaratory Order, which the FCC approved in June, carriers can automatically block calls their systems deem to be robocalls, without notifying customers. The carriers will have to give customers the opportunity to opt-out of the service, and they will also be able to offer customers tools to block calls from anyone not in their phones’ contact lists or not on an approved “white list.”

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