I have the same phone number since Google Voice launched when I was in college, more than ten years ago. I moved (let me think) seven times ever since, and not a single person I know yet has been calling me from the Bryan-College Station area. So when spammers copy my area code in a lame attempt to get involved, I only answer the phone if I feel like wasting my time and messing with some criminals.

I’ve been waiting for literally years for someone to offer me an easy way to block all numbers starting with 979, and I didn’t think Verizon would be the one to deliver it. But here we are: Verzion’s updated call filtering app allows users to block all incoming numbers with a prefix and following three digits that match the user’s number. It is an increasingly common tactic by spammers who fake numbers, trying to appear like someone in your area or even on your shared phone plan.

This is a free upgrade to the carrier’s system and does not require the addition of $ 3 per month for additional functionality, although such users can add up to five additional prefix filters to the list. If necessary, you can allow individual numbers to pass through the filters.

Hey Google, AT&T, T-Mobile, and any other telecom company that allows billions of spam calls per year via inaction – copy this feature immediately. I get 20-30 spam calls a week, versus maybe two from real people I know. Filtering the first three numbers alone would reduce by half, if not more, the number of annoying spam calls I get.

Verizon Call Filter is a free service for all Verizon subscribers, available on Android via the app in Google Play. The latest update for both Android and iOS was last month; it is unclear whether the new filter function is still active.

Verizon Call Filter
Verizon Call Filter