Telecommunications giant AT&T has announced plans to automatically block fraudulent “robocalls” for new phone customers in the coming months.
Engadget reports that AT&T is planning to begin blocking robocalls and issuing spam alerts for suspected fraud phone numbers for new users. AT&T announced the plans shortly after the FCC passed a ruling that allowed phone carriers to block robocalls by default.
The ruling requires that phone carriers use “reasonable” call data to make decisions on what counts as a robocall, inform customers of the automat blocking and provide customers with an opportunity to opt out of the service.
New customers will have this feature enabled by AT&T automatically while existing customers can expect to receive the new automatic blocking feature in the “coming months.” The feature can be enabled by downloading the AT&T Call Protect app or enabling it through the myAT&T account settings.
It’s expected that many phone carriers will implement similar features in the future. While these automated services are currently free, there is nothing preventing phone carriers from increasing subscription prices to account for the new feature. Whether or not the new system will accidentally block legitimate calls also remains to be seen, but as the service becomes more widespread, users can expect to discover more details about the system.