AT&T provides new option to help block spam calls

11 July, 2019, 17:43 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Robocalls

New AT&T customers will have the feature automatically added to their new accounts, while "millions" of current customers will be notified of the addition "over the coming months". The app allows users to detect suspected spam calls, manage a list of blocked numbers and receive enhanced caller details. Under the declaratory ruling, carriers are allowed to make automatic spam call blocking an opt-out feature, meaning it is turned on by default and customers will need to opt out of receiving it rather than being required to opt in.

New AT&T Mobility consumer lines will come with the anti-robocall service. That notwithstanding, the default protections are welcome, long overdue, and come shortly after the FCC ruled last month that carriers can block robocalls by default.

On Tuesday, AT&T became the first major United States wireless company to automatically block robocalls for customers. At times, they are illegal scams. "AT&T remains committed to working with our government and industry partners in the ongoing battle against unwanted and illegal robocalls". Now, AT&T customers will only have to opt out via their account settings if they don't wish to have calls blocked.

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AT&T said suspected spam alerts have already been added to some lines, but the blocking service will also be added to those lines automatically.

However, the company also said customers can add the service themselves before that by downloading an app or enrolling through their account settings - which is also where customers can opt out if they choose. The number of unwanted robocalls skyrocketed 46% from 2017 to 2018, according to caller ID service Hiya.

Other carriers offer similar options, though AT&T is so far the only to automatically block calls. AT&T says it identifies fraud and spam calls "through data analytics and network blocking, as well as reports from customers".

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