AT&T officially launched its new Call Protect service, aiming to protect its customers from automated phone calls commonly known as "robocalls."
Call Protect comes five months after the FCC required wireless companies to offer such services to block robocalls. AT&T chief Randall Stephenson vowed to take action and lead the strike force against robocalls and AT&T now delivers on that pledge.
AT&T Call Protect: How It Works
AT&T's Call Protect complimentary service offers two options to block robocalls. The first one involves automatically blocking suspicious phone numbers at the network level, preventing them from contacting users entirely. Suspicious phone numbers are those thought to engage in fraud and/or spam calls. The second option, meanwhile, allows users to get a Suspected Spam Warning on the incoming call screen, provided they're in areas where HD Voice is supported.
How To Use AT&T Call Protect
AT&T customers who want to take advantage of the new Call Protect service can enable the feature via their myAT&T account or by downloading the AT&T Call Protect app from Apple's App Store or Google Play.
With the app, users can check out call details, get spam warnings, block specific numbers and toggle Automatic Fraud Blocking on and off. The Call Protect service works with Android and iOS smartphones compatible with HD voice.
AT&T warns users that Call Protect automatic blocking may also block some phone calls that should not be blocked. This means that users may have to manually whitelist some phone numbers if they want their calls to get through.
Aside from wireless companies' dedicated services to fight robocalls as part of the "Robocall Strike Force," other measures are also in place in the United States. For instance, companies must ask for permission before calling and allow people to opt out by adding their number to the FTC's Do Not Call list.
"AT&T Call Protect offers more control over nuisance calls," says AT&T. "This free service provides network-based automatic fraud call blocking and suspected spam call warnings, as well as manual temporary call blocking through the optional AT&T Call Protect app."
While the app is available for free, AT&T points out that users may incur data costs for download and usage.
Spam call warnings will not work internationally or outside of HD Voice coverage areas, but fraud calls will still be automatically blocked, along with manually blocked numbers. Users can also manually block international numbers.
AT&T customers can cancel this service anytime via their myAT&T account, the AT&T Call Protect app, or by contacting AT&T Support at 611 on a wireless phone or at 1-800-331-0500. For more information, head over to the carrier's Call Protect support page.