AT&T becomes first carrier to block robocalls by default

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

AT&T announced on Tuesday that it will soon be enabling a feature that blocks robocalls by default.

The Enhanced Caller ID, Reverse number lookup, and custom call control features have asterisks because they are available with AT&T Mobile Security and Call Protect Plus, which requires users to fork over $3.99 a month. 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". Customers will be notified by text message when the service is added.

The free services comes after a June Federal Communications Commission ruling that allows wireless carriers to offer call-blocking to customers unless they decide to opt-out. "AT&T remains committed to working with our government and industry partners in the ongoing battle against unwanted and illegal robocalls".

Dallas-based AT&T will soon become the first US 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.

More news: Apple will launch notchless iPhone in 2020

If you are an AT&T Phone customer with a home line, you also can get help.

The free portion of the service will alert customers that a call is a suspected spam call, and from there consumers can manually block the call or send it to voicemail.

Spam calls are an annoyance for just about everyone with a cell phone. AT&T says it identifies fraud and spam calls "through data analytics and network blocking, as well as reports from customers". 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. The feature can be enabled by downloading the AT&T Call Protect app or enabling it through the myAT&T account settings.

Other carriers offer similar options, though AT&T is so far the only to automatically block calls, CNN reported.

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