AT&T starts blocking robocalls automatically, no opt-in required

Daniel Fowler
July 12, 2019

New AT&T customers will have the service initiated by default and can opt out.

It's noteworthy that AT&T already had a service that blocked spam and robocalls, but it was an opt-in service. Notice that the AT&T announcement promised "automatic fraud blocking and suspected spam-call alerts" but not automatic blocking of spam calls.

The free service comes after a June Federal Communications Commission ruling that allows phone service providers to offer call-blocking on an opt-out basis.

AT&T is also not the only carrier to have a service for blocking suspicious calls and spam calls, but while AT&T has now become the first carrier to enable the service by default, other carriers still require the customer to opt-in to the service, and in some cases, pay additional money. Following the new rule, AT&T has now announced that it will enable Call Protect Service by default and block robocalls "in the coming months". Sprint offers a caller ID service, which it says may identify spam calls, for $2.99 per month. The difference now is that Call Protect will be added to AT&T phone lines automatically.

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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. Landline customers can also go to their account settings at myAT&T and turn on the anti-robocall service. "The first change you'll see is some phone calls coming through with a mark assuring the call isn't spoofed: a checkmark and a message like "verified number" or similar", said Nelson in an email to FierceWireless.

Fraud calls, naturally, are those in which AT&T suspects the caller is trying to defraud the user.

The free way is to make a personal block list using the basic version of AT&T's Call Protect service. Both iPhones and Android phones have built-in call-blocking features that work independently from your carrier anyway.

AT&T customers could soon be free of having to deal with annoying spam calls - or at least that's AT&T's plan.

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