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Mobile

AT&T makes it harder for spam callers to reach you

The Call Protect feature will become a default for new customers.

ios-13

Save me from robocalls, please.

Angela Lang/CNET

AT&T is now making its Call Protect fraud caller blocking service a default for its new mobile customers.

If you're an existing customer, don't worry: The company says it'll make this feature the default for you, too, in the coming months.

AT&T said Tuesday it was able to make this change thanks to a ruling by the Federal Communications Commission last month that lets US carriers "aggressively block" unwanted robocalls, allowing them to turn on blocking features by default instead of as an opt-in service.

This work comes amid growing a uproar from the federal government and customers over spam calls. The FCC has said that  frustration has made robocalls the No. 1 complaint it receives from consumers, amounting to hundreds of thousands of grievances filed every year. The number of unwanted robocalls skyrocketed 46% from 2017 to 2018, according to caller ID service Hiya.

For any existing AT&T customers interested in using Call Protect now, you can download the service as an app or turn it on through your MyAT&T account. The company has already rolled out a suspected spam caller alert for existing customers, too, and says it plans to add more tools to fight robocalls in the coming months.

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