Verizon’s new filter blocks spoofed phone numbers that are too close to yours

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With a new technology dubbed Neighborhood Filter, Verizon hopes to reduce unwanted “spoofing” calls from similar area codes to your own.

Spammers employ spoofing to make a phone number look similar to yours so you’re more likely to pick up the phone. Verizon’s new Neighborhood Filter will allow users to direct these calls to voicemail, as well as any other prefix and area code combinations that Verizon believes are questionable.

Customers of Call Filter Free and Call Filter Plus can use the feature via the company’s dedicated Call Filter app. Enrolling in Call Filter Free is free, and it provides basic filtering against feared and persistent spam calls. Call Filter Plus adds more features like access to a database of over 100 million spam numbers, a personal block list, and a spam risk meter for real-time call assessment for an extra $3 per month per line (or $8 per month for three or more lines).

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Go to the Call Filter app on your mobile device to enable the Neighborhood Filter for filtering faked calls. (If you’re using iOS, you’ll need to enable filtering in your Phone settings under Call Blocking and Identification.) Select Management from the app’s main screen’s the lower navigation menu. Select Other Filters from this menu. The Neighborhood Filter should appear here, prompting you to choose a six-digit prefix and area code that is comparable to your phone number. Make sure it’s turned on.

In 2019, Verizon made a free version of its call screening service available. Prior to that, it charged $3 per month for its call filtering capabilities, despite the fact that several of its competitors, such as T-Mobile and AT&T, provided these services for free.

You can choose how you want spam calls to be screened under the Call Filter app’s Spam Filter settings, whether you’re paying for it or not. Blocked calls can be canceled or routed to voicemail, depending on your preference. This menu also allows you to specify how calls should be marked based on their assessed danger level. Both iOS and Android versions of the Call Filter app are available.

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