Economy

AT&T is Adding Automatic Fraud Call Blocking to Customers Accounts

AT&T is Adding Automatic Fraud Call Blocking to Customers Accounts

The service will be available on all new lines and added to existing lines in the coming months.

Suspected Spam Alert identifies telemarketers and other suspected spam calls. The feature also allows users to curate a list of individual numbers to block.

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.

The carrier says it will notify its customers by text message when the service has been added.

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AT&T said Tuesday it was able to make this change thanks to a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission last month that lets USA carriers "aggressively block" unwanted robocalls, allowing them to turn on blocking features by default instead of as an opt-in service. Americans received a staggering 3.4 billion robocalls in a single month.

Spam calls can not only be irritating, but often they are illegal scams.

"The FCC has been a tremendous partner in the war on robocalls", Joan Marsh, executive vice president of regulatory and state external affairs for AT&T Communications, said in a statement. The FCC ruling "clarifies that call-blocking tools may be offered by phone service providers on an "opt out" basis", AT&T said. "AT&T remains committed to working with our government and industry partners in the ongoing battle against unwanted and illegal robocalls". Alternatively, customers can sign into myAT&T and enable fraud call blocking in their account settings.

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. If anyone wants to add the feature right away, they can go ahead and install the AT&T Call Protect app or add the feature manually through their accounts to get the benefits. 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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