Answer the phone only to hear a recorded message? You just experienced a robocall.
Once just viewed as a nuisance, robocalls have grown into a plague. While some of these calls are permitted – such as a candidate campaigning for office or a charity asking for a donation or an educational institution alerting parents and students to campus closures – many are not, and some are outright scams. Unwanted robocalls are the largest source of consumer complaints to the FCC and the FTC.
Unsolicited calls to phones where the receiving party may have to pay for the call are also illegal.
How to Help Protect Yourself
If you receive an unwanted phone call of any kind, including an unwanted robocall, don’t try to outsmart the bad guy by intentionally giving out wrong information. Just hang up. Do not call the number back, or call another number they give you, or press any numbers (or links in texts) that you may be instructed to press.
To help limit telemarketing calls from legitimate telemarketers, add your number to the National Do Not Call list.
Scammers using robocalling technologies can be persistent and will look for ways to get their calls past evolving blocking technologies. Sometimes calling parties try to disguise their identity by using a telephone number that they are not really entitled to use, such as the number of a government agency or a legitimate business with whom you may have a relationship, or a telephone number that looks so much like yours that you might think it is a friend or neighbor calling. In this way they try to get you to answer the phone, and at the same time avoid technologies that would otherwise block the calling party’s real telephone number. This is called “spoofing.” AT&T offers customers services which can help identify a call that uses a spoofed telephone number as spam, fraud or neither, and blocks or flags the call accordingly.
Our Commitment to Protecting Customers from Robocallers
AT&T is committed to providing our customers with the best blocking tools available.
- We block billions of unwanted robocalls using an analytics system. It looks for patterns that may indicate an unwanted robocaller.
- AT&T offers several solutions for customers, including AT&T Mobile Security and AT&T Call Protect, free services that automatically block fraud calls, provide screen alerts for suspected spam calls and help protect smartphones from potential threats.
- AT&T Phone (home phone) customers can block unwanted calls from up to 100 numbers by pressing *61 after their most recent unwanted incoming call. Customers can also set up and edit a call block list online through their myAT&T account.
- You can report robocalls here.
If you think a caller is trying to scam you, hang up. If you get a suspicious email or text, do not reply. Call 611 and ask for our Fraud Department.
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To find out more about reporting fraud, check out our Resources page.