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AT&T Rolls Out an Easy New Way to Tell if a Call is Spam

by Suzanne Kantra on February 01, 2024

By now, most of us have learned that unknown callers are probably spam calls and phone numbers that show up on Caller ID can easily be spoofed. As a result, many people just ignore unknown callers, sometimes missing important calls.

What if you were able to tell at a glance if an incoming call is verified and legitimate? That’s the promise of a new type of Caller ID for AT&T customers, being rolled out in partnership with TransUnion, called TruContact Branded Call Display. TruContact enhances traditional Caller ID by providing a quick visual verification of the caller. When you receive a call, the service displays the company's logo, name, phone number, and a "valid number" indicator, making it easier for you to trust the authenticity of the call.

Phone showing TransUnion calling with a TruContact Branded Call Display

To appear on your phone with a TruContact, companies must register with TransUnion. AT&T then uses the STIR/SHAKEN protocol to authenticate calls from these registered companies.

Read more: How to Prevent Spam Callers from Leaving Voicemail

At launch, AT&T has confirmed that there are two businesses using the TruContact: a health insurance company and a major healthcare network (they declined to provide the names). So, we can't get too excited about this until we see much broader company adoption.

If you’re an AT&T consumer, you don’t need to do anything to get TruContact and the service is free, but you will need a phone that’s compatible. The service is available on all iPhones running iOS 17 and select Android devices, including the Samsung Galaxy S22 and Motorola razr, with plans to expand compatibility. On Android phones, the verification display appears whether your phone is locked or unlocked. For iPhones, you’ll only see it if your phone is unlocked.

Read more: How to Tell if Your Number Was Spoofed & What You Can Do About It

While TruContact Branded Call Display won't eliminate all spam and robocall issues, it represents a welcome step by AT&T to make caller ID more informative and trustworthy, helping you sidestep spam without missing crucial calls.

[Image credit: screenshot via TransUnion, phone mockup via Canva]

For the past 20+ years, Techlicious founder Suzanne Kantra has been exploring and writing about the world’s most exciting and important science and technology issues. Prior to Techlicious, Suzanne was the Technology Editor for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and the Senior Technology Editor for Popular Science. Suzanne has been featured on CNN, CBS, and NBC.


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