Just las month, the FCC ruled that carriers should automatically have call blocking features for their users to help get rid of those pesky robocalls and spam calls. Now AT&T has announced that they will be implementing this and will automatically add fraud blocking features and suspected spam call alerts to their customers at no additional cost. If you’re a new subscriber, it will already be turned on automatically. If you’re an existing subscriber, it will be added to your account over the next few months.
The AT&T Call Protect Service has been available for some time now but it always has been an opt-in service. But now that the FCC has ruled that carriers can be offered these call blocking services on an opt-out basis, it will automatically provide the service to users. You don’t need to download a separate app or turn it on in your settings. And if for some reason you don’t want to avail of this, you can just decline and opt out of the service.
For those AT&T consumer lines that already have suspected spam alerts, the fraud blocking service will be added in the next few months. But if you can’t wait for that and you’re already an AT&T Mobility customer, you can download AT&T Call Protect as an app or you can go to your settings on your myAT&T and turn it on. Customers with a home line can also get Digital Phone Call Protect by going into your settings.
Robocalls are still a huge problem right now in the US and so carriers are doing everything they can to fight it. One of the tools that AT&T says they’re using is call authentication which should verify that callers are not masking their numbers and using “authentic” ones to hide behind. They mentioned “many other tools” but did not specify what are those.
We can expect other carriers to make their own announcements regarding their own call protect features in light of the FCC ruling. The regulatory body is set to rule on a proposal by Chair Ajit Pai to ban caller ID spoofing for SMS and international robocalls.