Saturday, 20 July, 2019


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

Robot reaching out AT&T Will Automatically Block ‘Robocalls’ for New Customers 19 BEN STANSALL /GettyLucas Nolan10 Jul 2019
Conrad Doyle | 11 July, 2019, 17:46

Millions of existing AT&T customers also will have it automatically added to their accounts over the coming months. 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.

AT&T's announcement comes after the FCC ruled in June that companies would be allowed to offer those kinds of services to customers automatically. Those customers will be notified by text when the service is active.

Dallas-based AT&T will soon become the first USA carrier to automatically block robocalls for millions of customers after an FCC ruling enabled the company to expand its efforts to fight back against spam callers.

"When consumers complain to us, they don't distinguish between illegal calls, scam calls, telemarketing calls and spoofed calls", FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said in an op-ed for USA Today earlier this year. More than 4.3 billion robocalls, both legal and illegal, were placed last month, according to industry data.

In a statement, Joan Marsh, AT&T's executive vice president of regulatory & state external affairs said the FCC has been a "tremendous partner in the war on robocalls". Digital Phone Call Protect is available by going into your account settings on myAT&T and turning it on.

When AT&T enables the automatic blocking, customers will have to go into the app and opt out if they wish to deactivate the service.

AT&T wireless customers can already download the carrier's Call Protect app and voluntarily opt in to the fraud-blocking feature. Verizon's Call Filter service must also be activated before users can find out if a call is likely coming from a spammer.

Robocall blocking uses algorithms and network scanning to identify unwanted calls, similar to how email providers scan for spam messages. Sprint offers a Premium Caller ID service, but it costs $2.99 extra.

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