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AT&T is spreading the holiday cheer this season with the delivery of a new network-based service that affords two options to deal with annoying automated calls, commonly referred to as "robocalls."
The first method, automatic fraud blocking, is designed to help reduce the chances of a fraud or spam call ever reaching your device by blocking it at the network level. The second option, meanwhile, will let calls through but alert users on the call screen if the number originates from a suspected spam source.
Those interested in giving AT&T Call Protect a whirl can activate it via their myAT&T account or through the companion app on the App Store or Google Play (enabling the feature through myAT&T simply sends you a text message with a link to download the app). The mobile app also allows for manual call blocking for up to 30 days at a time.
The service is free for eligible (postpaid) wireless customers with Android or iOS smartphones. The telecom adds that it is not currently available to AT&T Enterprise/Corporate customers (where the business is the account owner for the mobile phone).
Worth noting is the fact that spam call warnings will not work when you're outside of an HD Voice coverage area. What's more, automatic call blocking may inadvertently block wanted calls although users can add safe numbers to a whitelist within the app.
AT&T is one of more than 30 major technology and communication companies that joined the FCC-backed Robocall Strike Force over the summer. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said robocalls are the number one complaint they receive from consumers.