AT&T automatically blocking spam & fraud calls for new customers

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in iPhone
AT&T is now automatically blocking suspected spam and fraud calls, though only for new customers at the moment.

AT&T Call Protect on iPhone


For existing subscribers the feature will switch on "over the coming months," AT&T said. Either group can toggle the option manually by downloading the AT&T Call Protect app or going through settings in their myAT&T account.

The company is taking advantage of rules the U.S. Federal Communications Commission authorized in June, allowing carriers to block robocalls by default, Engadget noted. They must however inform customers, provide opt-outs, and use "reasonable" data when screening. Optionally, carriers can offer tools for blocking additional phone numbers.

The U.S. robocall situation is widely considered epidemic. Many people are bombarded by multiple calls per day, and frequently by scammers pretending to be with the likes of hotel chains or Social Security. A particular problem is "neighbor" spoofing, in which a remote call is disguised as coming from a local area code -- this can make it difficult to tell if it's from a legitimate friend or business.

This month the FCC proposed further rule extensions that would allow it to more aggressively block and punish international robocalls, including ones made via VoIP platforms like Skype.

Both the U.S. House and Senate have proposed laws that would crack down on robocallers and require carriers to implement call authentication standards like STIR/SHAKEN. In April, T-Mobile revealed that it's working with Apple to bring STIR/SHAKEN to iPhones.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,398member
    I get at minimum two spam calls a day, which I promptly block every time. I have thousands of blocked numbers.
    jahbladeStrangeDays
  • Reply 2 of 18
    indieshackindieshack Posts: 175member
    I usually get the ones that begin: "Don't hang up"... at which point I do just that and block them, though I don't know if the call ID is genuine
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 18
    I get at minimum two spam calls a day, which I promptly block every time. I have thousands of blocked numbers.
    Point is, you shouldn't have to have thousands of blocked numbers.  No one should.  In a perfect world, we wouldn't need to block numbers but this ain't that so no need to go down that dead end road.  In our little imperfect universe, efforts by the carriers can go a long way in alleviating the need for you, me, and everyone else to waste time blocking spam calls.  My hope is they all (carriers) make a concerted effort to make the actions by spammers as difficult as possible.  The cynic in me says that any efforts made to improve the situation will be watered down to useless due to special interest exceptions... exceptions which will be abused by spammers to continue doing what they already do.
    jahblademuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 4 of 18
    maltzmaltz Posts: 145member
    The Call Protect app doesn't work on prepaid plans. I wonder if the automatic blocking will apply.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    I usually get the ones that begin: "Don't hang up"... at which point I do just that and block them, though I don't know if the call ID is genuine
    If you get calls from numbers using your 3 digit exchange code (your first 3 digits after area code), they're typically spoofed numbers trying to appear local.  The good thing for us is phone numbers usually aren't distributed in that manner in a local area.  It would be a bit rare for anyone to receive calls from their same exchange code.  It would be exceedingly rare to receive multiple calls from your exchange code.  

    I wish I had the ability to bulk block my exchange and maybe a digit above and below my exact exchange ( ex. block 555 and also 554 and 556).  That would kill most of the spam I receive. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 6 of 18
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,009member

    long over due. 
    ravnorodom
  • Reply 7 of 18
    cpenzonecpenzone Posts: 90member
    Not true. I have been an AT&T customer for years and I'm getting the spam protections... it's wonderful and should destroy that predatory industry quickly.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    microbemicrobe Posts: 42member
    Fact is, Apple doesn’t give a damn about your annoyance, inconvenience or loss of money by frauds and scams. If they did, long ago they could have given us the ability to block area codes and exchanges, names and name/numb wildcards just like Ooma and Digitone do. But all they care about is our thousand dollar bills.
  • Reply 9 of 18
    davgregdavgreg Posts: 456member
    My practice is to not answer calls from numbers that I do not know or expect a call from. Hit that red button and then block the number.

    Some spam calls are just collecting lists of “good” numbers for sale to spammers and scammers. If you answer and hang up , they still know it is a “good” number.
    cpenzone
  • Reply 10 of 18
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    I don’t answer anything unless it’s someone I know. Blocking numbers is utterly useless because they’re all spoofed.

    The carriers and phone companies could have solved this decades ago but they aren’t interested. It’s marketing and politics to them at this point, which is a subtle step up from “uninterested in cutting call volume”.

    This needs regulation and enforcement. Period.
    cpenzone
  • Reply 11 of 18
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,283member
    And screw them for only offering this to limited numbers of customers!
  • Reply 12 of 18
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 532member
    I get at minimum two spam calls a day, which I promptly block every time. I have thousands of blocked numbers.
    Why do you bother?  The numbers are auto-generated.  They’ll just redial you with a different spoofed number.
    tokyojimuPickUrPoison
  • Reply 13 of 18
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,398member
    JWSC said:
    I get at minimum two spam calls a day, which I promptly block every time. I have thousands of blocked numbers.
    Why do you bother?  The numbers are auto-generated.  They’ll just redial you with a different spoofed number.
    Because if I didn’t, I‘d be getting potentially hundreds of spam calls every day. It’s pretty bad.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,562member
    microbe said:
    Fact is, Apple doesn’t give a damn about your annoyance, inconvenience or loss of money by frauds and scams. If they did, long ago they could have given us the ability to block area codes and exchanges, names and name/numb wildcards just like Ooma and Digitone do. But all they care about is our thousand dollar bills.
    What a fucking insane position. You do realize even the evil overlords at Apple HQ use their phones and receive robocalls too, right?
    FileMakerFellercpenzone
  • Reply 15 of 18
    And as a way to pry landline users away from their phones and move them to cell phone plans they'll be sure not to block spam calls to landlines.
    FileMakerFeller
  • Reply 16 of 18
    microbemicrobe Posts: 42member
    microbe said:
    Fact is, Apple doesn’t give a damn about your annoyance, inconvenience or loss of money by frauds and scams. If they did, long ago they could have given us the ability to block area codes and exchanges, names and name/numb wildcards just like Ooma and Digitone do. But all they care about is our thousand dollar bills.
    What a fucking insane position. You do realize even the evil overlords at Apple HQ use their phones and receive robocalls too, right?
    Your response is childish, ridiculous and obviously not well thought out. First, actions speak louder than words and Apples actions have been nonexistent EXCEPT those lying beneath another fact... that they not only don't help us out in this problem, APPLE INTENTIONALLY FORBIDS app writers from providing anything but individual number blocking. Apple PREVENTS iphone owners from using any available call blocking technology except single number blocking at a time, and if you think Apple is unaware of sequential dialers you are crazy. If you think Apple is unaware of the fact sequential dialers intentionally redial the same number within 90 seconds to get through the sleep settings you place too much trust in a company that just doesn’t give a damn, or is somehow makes ng money off of these robodialers.
    edited July 10
  • Reply 17 of 18
    mystigomystigo Posts: 124member
    microbe said:
    microbe said:
    Fact is, Apple doesn’t give a damn about your annoyance, inconvenience or loss of money by frauds and scams. If they did, long ago they could have given us the ability to block area codes and exchanges, names and name/numb wildcards just like Ooma and Digitone do. But all they care about is our thousand dollar bills.
    What a fucking insane position. You do realize even the evil overlords at Apple HQ use their phones and receive robocalls too, right?
    Your response is childish, ridiculous and obviously not well thought out. First, actions speak louder than words and Apples actions have been nonexistent EXCEPT those lying beneath another fact... that they not only don't help us out in this problem, APPLE INTENTIONALLY FORBIDS app writers from providing anything but individual number blocking. Apple PREVENTS iphone owners from using any available call blocking technology except single number blocking at a time, and if you think Apple is unaware of sequential dialers you are crazy. If you think Apple is unaware of the fact sequential dialers intentionally redial the same number within 90 seconds to get through the sleep settings you place too much trust in a company that just doesn’t give a damn, or is somehow makes ng money off of these robodialers.
    There is no way Apple would provide tools like you are asking for. You are just asking for a Whack-a-mole mallet that will do absolutely nothing to solve the problem. If Apple gave you that tool you would spend all your time blocking one exchange after another until you can't receive any calls anymore. You might as well just use "Do not disturb". That's the end game you are asking for. The only reason "Ooma" and "Digitone" are even remotely effective is that they are not Apple and no one cares what they do.
    edited July 10
  • Reply 18 of 18
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 928member
    I received a text from AT&T on 7/8 stating "thanks for activating AT&T mobile security and call protect" with no action from me. Now it makes sense where this originated from. The account is definitely not a new customer with AT&T -- looks like the "coming months" came early.
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