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Google launches new tool to help identify scam calls

Google launches new tool to help identify scam calls


At the moment, the number of calls from piggybacking scammers is out of control, and you might not want to answer the phone. There are many tools available to help you fight scam calls, but Google has just started rolling out its best tool yet.

The Google Phone app already has a directory feature that shows caller ID for numbers that aren't already in your contacts list. In my experience, these aren't personal numbers, but are often associated with businesses or contractors. So what do you do when a random, unidentified number calls you? Use the new Search button.

The idea is very simple: when you get a call from a random, unknown number, you don't answer it because you don't know who it is. In the past, you might have done a Google search to find out who the number is, but the search button saves you that trouble.

As the name suggests, it searches the source of a phone number – no need to carefully copy the number into a Google search. Not only is it easier and faster, but it also ensures you don't accidentally call a number back in the process – meaning you won't accidentally call a spoofed premium rate number.

What you find out will depend on how aggressively the number is calling you, but for most scam calls, you should be able to find out what kind of scam they're trying to pull. That way, not only can you avoid answering the phone, but you can also report the number with peace of mind that it's not just a harmless wrong number.

If there are no obvious results, rest assured that it's probably not a big loss. If it was an important call, they would have left a message on the answering machine, and next time they might contact you by text.

The “Look Up” button was first announced alongside the Pixel June Feature Drop, but according to Android Police, the button doesn't appear to be related to that particular update, which would explain why my Pixel 6 Pro, which I installed the Feature Drop on this morning, doesn't have the “Look Up” button.

Thankfully, it doesn't appear you have to enable this feature yourself. It's rolling out now, so it'll probably just show up in the Phone app one day, without any fanfare or ceremony. Keep an eye on the Google Phone app and check it out when you get the chance.

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