Apple joins the ‘Robocall Strike Force’ to combat ‘robocalls’

The CEO of AT&T will announce today that 33 companies including the telecom giant, Apple, Alphabet, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are joining an effort with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to crackdown on “robocalls,” reports Reuters.

A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, as if from a robot. Robocalls are often associated with political and telemarketing phone campaigns, but can also be used for public-service or emergency announcements. Some robocalls use personalized audio messages to simulate an actual personal phone call.

AT&T chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson will make the announcement at the first "Robocall Strike Force" meeting at the FCC, the article adds FCC chairman Tom Wheeler in July wrote major companies about robocalls. The strike force will report to the commission by Oct. 19 on "concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions," Stephenson said.

"Since giving consumers meaningful control over the calls and texts they receive will require collective action by the industry,” FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement. “I am gratified that AT&T will lead an industry strike force to develop an action plan for providing consumers with robust robocall-blocking solutions. Last week, I asked all the major phone companies to develop just such a plan; I strongly urge industry participants to join the effort and to produce conclusions within 60 days."

AT&T also promises to adopt the newest caller ID verification standards as soon as they become available and to help in the strike force's formation of a "Do Not Originate List." That list will contain numbers of companies that tend to be impersonated by spammers and scammers overseas, so fake calls can be blocked before they even reach subscribers.