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AT&T feature blocks fraud calls 'at the network level'

Worried about fraud and spam calls? AT&T's new feature claims it can automatically flag them -- or even block them outright.

Spam, scams and fraud are nothing new in the world of telecommunications, but now, AT&T wants to stop those kinds of nuisance calls from ever reaching your phone in the first place. Its secret weapon: a new feature, launching Wednesday, called Call Protect.

AT&T wants to stop spam before it reaches your phone.

KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images

The feature is free to AT&T HD Voice customers, who can enable and access it through their myAT&T account, or by downloading the AT&T Call Protect app. The feature basically acts as a network-based filter that can flag suspected spam calls or even block them outright.

AT&T said it's possible the Call Protect filter could flag or block calls that aren't actually unwanted, but adds that users can turn the feature off, or allow specifically designated numbers.

"We've listened to our customers and know they want a network that provides tools to proactively assist in blocking nuisance calls," said Jeff Bradley, AT&T's senior vice president of device and network services marketing. "AT&T Call Protect, along with others, will help put customers more in control of the calls they receive."