Robocalls are a problem almost everyone in the US can relate to, and the fact that carriers weren't allowed to block suspected spam calls without the explicit opt-in from customers for a long time hasn't exactly improved the issue. An FCC ruling in June changed legislation around that, and AT&T was quick to act on it. The company is now automatically blocking calls it suspects as spam or fraud.
The service will be enabled for new customers right away and will roll out to existing lines "over the coming months." In contrast to AT&T's current Call Protect app, this upcoming blocking method doesn't require you to install anything on your phone and will be provided on an opt-out basis, meaning users of the network should see a significant drop in spam calls going forward without having to take any action themselves.
If you're on AT&T, you should receive a notification once the rollout reaches you. In the meantime, you can still go ahead and install the aforementioned Call Protect app to enjoy the company's blocking measures right away. Grab it via the Play Store widget below.
Automatic Blocking of Fraud Calls Coming to Millions of AT&T Customers
AT&T* will add automatic fraud blocking and suspected spam-call alerts to millions of AT&T consumer lines at no charge.
New AT&T Mobility consumer lines will come with the anti-robocall service. Millions of existing AT&T customers also will have it automatically added to their accounts over the coming months.
This expansion of our AT&T Call Protect service is made possible by a June ruling at the FCC. It clarifies that call-blocking tools may be offered by phone service providers on an “opt out” basis. That means we can automatically provide you the service unless you decline, instead of first asking you to download an app or go to your settings to “opt in.”
“The FCC has been a tremendous partner in the war on robocalls,” said Joan Marsh, executive vice president of regulatory & state external affairs for AT&T Communications. “The Commission’s recent action builds on a years-long effort to enable broader adoption of call-blocking tools and allow providers to better protect their customers and networks. AT&T remains committed to working with our government and industry partners in the ongoing battle against unwanted and illegal robocalls.”
The blocking service also will be added in coming months on lines where we’ve already automatically added suspected spam alerts, but not fraud blocking. You will be notified by text message when the service has been added.
If you are an AT&T Mobility customer and you don’t want to wait, here’s more good news: AT&T Call Protect is available right now for download as an app, or by going into your account settings on myAT&T and turning it on.1
If you are an AT&T Phone customer with a home line, you also can get help. Digital Phone Call Protect is available by going into your account settings on myAT&T and turning it on.
MyAT&T is also the place where you can opt out of the service.
AT&T has been working hard to reduce unwanted robocalls. We will continue the fight through call authentication – verifying that callers are not faking their phone numbers – and many other tools.
Look for more details and announcements in coming months.