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

Lloyd Doyle
July 11, 2019

On June 6, the FCC voted in favor of allowing wireless carriers to block robocalls by default, enabling them to stop these scammers and spammers before they reach the customer's phone. Customers will get a text message when the service is added.

Hiya, the company whose algorithms support AT&T's Call Protect, recently issued a robocall report, which shows that robocalls grew to 25.3 billion in the first half of 2019, up 128% compared to the same period previous year and almost reaching the 26.3 billion robocalls Americans received in all of 2019.

Spam calls are an annoyance for just about everyone with a cell phone. As spam services use STIR/SHAKEN in the background, more illegal calls will be caught.

New AT&T Mobility consumer lines will come with the anti-robocall service, and existing AT&T customers also will have it automatically added to their accounts over the coming months. Americans received a staggering 3.4 billion robocalls in a single month. Alternatively, customers can sign into myAT&T and enable fraud call blocking in their account settings.

AT&T wireless customers can already download the carrier's Call Protect app and voluntarily opt in to the fraud-blocking feature.

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. Carriers can enable robocall blocking "as long as their customers are informed and have the opportunity to opt out of the blocking", the FCC said at the time.

Other carriers offer similar options, though AT&T is so far the only to automatically block calls. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said they were working to "stop the scourge of illegal robocalls". Verizon's service works essentially the same way. AT&T says it identifies fraud and spam calls "through data analytics and network blocking, as well as reports from customers".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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