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AT&T is finally cracking down on robocalls to select Android phones

Published Dec 18th, 2019 9:06PM EST
AT&T vs spam calls
Image: Francis Dean/Shutterstock

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AT&T on Wednesday unveiled a new tool in the eternal struggle against spammers and robocallers — a call display that, if you ask anyone frustrated by the onslaught of spam calls, arrives not a moment too soon.

The display will alert the recipient if an incoming call seems to be coming from a spoofed number or one that’s not valid. Alternatively, a green checkmark will be displayed if AT&T has determined the incoming call to be originating from a valid source. It doesn’t seem that this is for everyone, though, at least not straightaway. AT&T’s announcement notes that most of its customers with a Samsung Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+ or LG V40 ThinQ will see this new special display.

Here’s an example of what those customers should see going forward:

Image source: AT&T

“This is another step to tame annoying, unwanted robocalls,” AT&T senior vice president Kevin Petersen said in an announcement about the new feature. “In the coming year, we’ll continue to take more steps and put more pressure on the bad guys.” As far as customers with AT&T Phone digital home service, they too can activate this feature. Once that’s done, they’ll see a “[V]” when an incoming call has been determined to be valid.

Other key points to know related to AT&T’s activation of this new display include:

  • A call that shows “valid number” has been verified and can increase the customer’s trust level — but a call without the label may still be a legitimate call. AT&T’s identification tool will get better over time.
  • Users of certain Android phones mentioned at the top of this post are getting the feature first. It’s coming to other phones soon. If you’re not seeing call validation on those devices when you accept their latest software update, you can just download the AT&T Call Protect app or turn on the service from your account settings in myAT&T.
  • AT&T Phone digital home phone users can opt-in to get AT&T Digital Phone Call Protect and call validation and go to account settings within myAT&T to turn it on.
  • Validation displays will be added to more mobile devices in the new year.
Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.