Verizon is cracking down on obnoxious spam calls that target consumers by using area codes and phone numbers that are similar to their own.
So-called “spoofing” calls will be filtered out by a new tool that is available for free for Verizon customers, the cell service provider said Monday.
The tool will send such calls — as well as other “suspect” area codes and numbers — directly to voicemail, according to the company.
The move comes amid a dramatic surge in robocalls, which are expected to hit a record 51 billion across the US by the end of this year.
If Verizon’s tool blocks a legitimate call, customers can override it by adding the number to their contacts or selecting an “ignore filter” option.
The new tool, called the “neighborhood filter,” is part of Verizon’s larger call filter service.
While basic call filter tools are free, the company also sells a premium service for $2.99 per month that includes features like a personal block list and caller name ID.
The Biden administration has urged phone service providers to take more aggressive steps to stop robocalls — and in March, the Federal Communications Commission levied a record fine of $225 million on two Texas-based telemarketing companies for making close to 1 billion robocalls falsely claiming to sell health insurance plans.