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

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 9:08 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.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 111322

Reported Deaths: 3202
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7751171
DeSoto663677
Harrison481181
Jackson431978
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Lee341379
Forrest295177
Jones283182
Washington251497
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Neshoba1806111
Lowndes173962
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Warren152154
Monroe144872
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Pike136455
Lincoln134854
Copiah134636
Marshall132626
Scott123229
Coahoma123136
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Simpson118148
Yazoo117233
Union113925
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Tate112739
Leake112239
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Pearl River108256
Adams104342
Prentiss101619
Wayne98521
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Tallahatchie81825
Winston81521
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Hancock76927
Attala76525
Clarke71448
Clay67221
Jasper66616
Walthall63327
Calhoun60912
Noxubee59516
Smith58116
Claiborne53216
Montgomery52723
Tunica51817
Lawrence49514
Yalobusha48414
Perry48022
Carroll46012
Greene45317
Stone45014
Amite41513
Quitman4136
Humphreys39916
Jefferson Davis39411
Webster36513
Wilkinson32920
Kemper31815
Benton3054
Sharkey27714
Jefferson26310
Franklin2303
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 153016

Reported Deaths: 2633
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22400372
Mobile14282314
Tuscaloosa9983132
Montgomery9691196
Madison899992
Shelby703560
Lee643966
Baldwin637567
Marshall426748
Calhoun410259
Etowah402049
Morgan394532
Houston363132
DeKalb316727
Elmore309552
St. Clair279742
Limestone269227
Walker268092
Talladega255034
Cullman225823
Lauderdale206340
Autauga199928
Franklin199131
Jackson199114
Colbert190627
Russell19023
Dallas185227
Blount183823
Chilton180531
Escambia170928
Covington164729
Coffee16409
Dale162551
Pike130212
Chambers127343
Tallapoosa127286
Clarke126716
Marion104229
Butler99840
Barbour9819
Marengo96721
Winston89913
Geneva8337
Pickens80317
Randolph79514
Lawrence79230
Bibb78913
Hale74529
Cherokee71514
Clay70712
Lowndes69927
Bullock63517
Henry6316
Monroe6279
Washington62112
Crenshaw59030
Perry5796
Wilcox55712
Conecuh55413
Fayette54712
Macon52919
Cleburne5247
Sumter46421
Lamar4575
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
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