Verizon will start blocking spam calls for free this year

For a lot of us, spam calls and robocalls have gone from being an occasional annoyance to a frequent problem. Some carriers are attempting to do something about that, and today Verizon is hopping on that train. The company announced today that it will soon make its spam and robocall protection tools free for all of its customers to use (as long as they have a phone that supports these features).

The company has been offering these spam and robocalling tools for a while now as a feature called Call Filter (previously, it was Caller Name ID). Of course, like most features Verizon offers, Call Filter is currently only available to customers for an extra $3 per month per line. In March, that functionality will be free to all Verizon customers using iOS and Android smartphones.

To hear Verizon explain it, Call Filter's spam tools do three different things. First, they alert users when an incoming call is potentially spam or a robocall. Those tools also allow users to report a number as spam after receiving a call, so if you pick up the phone only to be greeted by a scammer, you can at least help other people avoid that number in the future. Finally, you can also block specific numbers and set up a spam filter, which will send calls from suspicious numbers to voice mail.

Of those features, it sounds like the spam alerts will probably be most useful to many of Verizon's customers. Obviously, Verizon's system isn't going to work 100% of the time, especially since robocallers and scammers like to spoof their numbers to make them appear local, but the company touts that its tools have blocked almost one billion robocalls over the past year.

Once these features go free, it sounds like Verizon will require subscribers to opt-in to receive spam protection. Verizon said that it will detail the process of signing up for the feature once we get closer to its launch date. We'll keep an eye out for those details as well as more specific information on when these tools will be going free, so stay tuned.