Saturday, 17 August, 2019

AT&T becomes first mobile service provider to automatically block robocalls

Robot reaching out AT&T Will Automatically Block ‘Robocalls’ for New Customers 19 BEN STANSALL /GettyLucas Nolan10 Jul 2019
Russell Knight | 12 July, 2019, 08:13

AT&T has announced it'll add "automatic fraud blocking and suspected spam-call alerts" to mobile phone lines for no added cost - the first US company to automatically block robocalls, CNN reported.

For any existing AT&T customers interested in using Call Protect now, you can download the service as an app or turn it on through your MyAT&T account.

For customers who are exhausted of these calls and don't want to wait to get access to the new blocking protection, AT&T says downloading the AT&T Call Protect app will offer this same benefit. That allowed AT&T to roll out the service to all customers rather than requiring them to take the time to "opt in" to call blocking, the company said in a statement. New AT&T customers will have the service initiated by default and can opt out. 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.

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AT&T says they have additional robocall-related announcements to make in the near future. The company also added that it "remains committed to working with our government and industry partners in the ongoing battle against unwanted and illegal robocalls". The app allows users to detect suspected spam calls, manage a list of blocked numbers and receive enhanced caller details. Calls that AT&T categorizes as "fraud" won't ring your phone, but calls categorized as "spam" will ring your phone despite coming with a warning. Robocalls have become a major nuisance for Americans, who received 25.3 billion - with a b - spam calls in the first six months of 2019 alone, according to a recent study from spam-monitoring service Hiya. AT&T says it identifies fraud and spam calls "through data analytics and network blocking, as well as reports from customers".

An automatic spam-blocking service that sends robocalls immediately to voicemail will cost $4 a month. Verizon's service works essentially the same way. Sprint offers a Premium Caller ID service, but it costs $2.99 extra.

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