Google Phone App Adds Spam Call Warnings

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Robocalls and telemarketers are the No. 1 source of consumer complaints at the Federal Communications Commission, but an update to Google's Phone app wants to combat these nuisance calls.

Google is rolling out spam protection to Nexus and Android One devices, which warns users about potentially unwanted calls.

Those with Caller ID turned on (in the latest version of the app) will see notifications—"Suspected spam caller" or "Spam"—appear during certain incoming calls. You can then answer the call or block and report the number. Accidentally pick up an unmarked cold call? Record the phone number as spam by tapping "block/report spam."

Google's move comes just as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler launched a campaign urging phone carriers to offer call-blocking services to customers. Wheeler this week sent letters to the CEOs of major wireless and wireline companies, as well as intermediary firms that connect robocallers, requesting faster development and deployment of technical standards to make blocking more effective.

AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson has since agreed to chair a new Robocalling Strike Force, which the company says will "accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions to abate the proliferation of robocalls and to make recommendations to the FCC on the role government can play in this battle."

For more, check out Keeping Spam Away From Your Business.

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