AT&T becomes first major wireless company to automatically block spam calls

Article Image

AT&T customers could soon be free of having to deal with annoying spam calls — or at least that's AT&T's plan.On Tuesday, AT&T became the first majo...

Posted: Jul 11, 2019 10:08 AM

AT&T customers could soon be free of having to deal with annoying spam calls — or at least that's AT&T's plan.

On Tuesday, AT&T became the first major US wireless company to automatically block robocalls for its customers. The free service comes after a June Federal Communications Commission ruling that allows phone service providers to offer call-blocking on an opt-out basis. AT&T owns WarnerMedia, the parent company of CNN.

"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 said in a statement. "AT&T remains committed to working with our government and industry partners in the ongoing battle against unwanted and illegal robocalls."

Spam calls are an annoyance for just about everyone with a cell phone. At times, they are illegal scams. They can be difficult to detect because they often come from the receiver's own area code. More than 4.3 billion robocalls, both legal and illegal, were placed last month, according to industry data.

Robocall blocking uses algorithms and network scanning to identify unwanted calls, similar to how email providers scan for spam messages.

AT&T's service will attempt to block fraudulent calls and alert customers when a call may be spam. It will be available on all new lines and added in the coming months to existing customer lines. Those customers will be notified by text when the service is active.

The company already provided call blocking to mobile customers who downloaded the AT&T Call Protect app or opted in via their account settings. Landline customers had also been able to opt in. Now, AT&T customers will only have to opt out via their account settings if they don't wish to have calls blocked.

Other carriers offer similar options, though AT&T is so far the only to automatically block calls. T-Mobile provides automatic scam call alerts, and customers can opt-in to block those calls for free. Verizon's service works essentially the same way. Sprint offers a caller ID service, which it says may identify spam calls, for $2.99 per month.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 371711

Reported Deaths: 29917
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City20376421607
Nassau404792125
Suffolk397051906
Westchester335521374
Rockland13185646
Orange10422444
Erie6123524
Dutchess3924142
Monroe2964216
Onondaga2197139
Albany1882112
Ulster169177
Sullivan138931
Putnam125760
Niagara104665
Oneida103649
Schenectady69329
Broome57444
Rensselaer49228
Saratoga48314
Columbia38934
Madison31610
Warren25528
Steuben24141
Greene23918
Orleans23637
Washington23513
Fulton21018
Ontario2089
St. Lawrence2052
Genesee2024
Tompkins1640
Chemung1371
Chenango1330
Tioga13021
Livingston1197
Wayne1163
Oswego1103
Herkimer1093
Clinton964
Cayuga921
Montgomery914
Cattaraugus890
Wyoming865
Chautauqua854
Delaware814
Jefferson740
Otsego725
Seneca590
Schoharie500
Allegany480
Cortland410
Yates396
Essex370
Franklin230
Lewis200
Schuyler110
Hamilton50
Unassigned00
Utica
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 57°
Oneonta
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 57°
Herkimer
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 57°
Thendara
Overcast
57° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 57°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
Menu 2 Go list of takeout dinners & fish fries
Apply to Go the Distance 2020
23 courses for only $79.99