AT&T To Automatically Block Robocalls

AT&T will soon add automatic blocking of robocalls, which are automated telemarketing calls, to its consumer lines free of charge over the coming months. The telecom and media giant said in a statement that its new Mobility consumer lines will come with the anti-robocall service for fraud blocking and suspected spam-calls. For the existing customers, the service will be automatically added to their accounts in the next few months. The blocking service will also be added on those lines where the company already added suspected spam alerts, but not fraud blocking. Once it is done, the customers will be notified by text message. AT&T said the expansion to its Call Protect service comes after a June ruling at the Federal Communications Commission or FCC, which allows phone service providers to offer call-blocking tools on an "opt out" basis. The company said that with the ruling, it can automatically provide the service unless the customer declines. This is instead of first asking the customer to download an app or go to settings to "opt in." In late June, the Federal Trade Commission or FTC along with the U.S. Department of Justice had said they have blocked over one billion illegal robocalls in a joint operation, named "Operation Call it Quits." The agencies then said they took 94 actions targeting companies nationwide that are responsible for these illegal calls.