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Sick of mistaking legit calls for spam? This new AT&T wireless service might help

Here's why you may soon see business logos on incoming calls.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
AT&T and TransUnion
AT&T/ZDNET

Spam calls are a large part of why 73% of wireless customers don't answer calls from unknown callers. And that's why AT&T and TransUnion are introducing a new branded call display feature, which shows the name and brand logo on incoming calls.

Participating businesses will be able to display their information to let customers know who's calling and to prove the call has been verified, so call recipients can be certain the number hasn't been spoofed.

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"We're obsessed with giving our customers secure and trusted calls, so we're excited to work with TransUnion for a richer, more helpful visual experience," said Erin Scarborough, AT&T senior vice president of mass markets product management. "And since we use STIR/SHAKEN verification, our customers will be able to connect with greater confidence to the brands they may want or need to connect with."

STIR/SHAKEN combines the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) protocol and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information using Tokens (SHAKEN) framework. STIR/SHAKEN is a system used to combat caller ID spoofing by ensuring caller ID information is secure and accurate. Caller ID spoofing is often used in robocalls and phone scams. 

A recent survey found that 58% of people have missed important calls on their mobile phones that they purposefully didn't answer because they didn't recognize the caller. Similarly, 73% of respondents declined a call because of safety and fraud concerns that they learned afterward was a legitimate call. 

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Officially called TruContact Branded Call Display (BCD), powered by Neustar, the new technology will be available for all AT&T wireless customers, with no action on their part. Businesses interested in participating can sign up through TransUnion.

"The delivery of Branded Call Display logos represents the culmination of years of collaboration between AT&T and Neustar, now part of TransUnion," said James Garvert, TransUnion senior vice president and general manager at TruContact Communications Solutions. "We have delivered Caller ID for landlines, evolved to the first generation of branded calling, and now we've set the stage for Branded Calls Display logos. This is helping restore trust in the phone to protect enterprises and consumers alike."

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The service is now available on iOS 17, and on the Samsung Galaxy S22 and the Motorola Razr, with more Android devices coming soon, according to AT&T. Android devices will display the branded logo when the phone rings and in the call details when a call is missed. On iOS devices, the branded logo appears if the phone is unlocked or Face ID is engaged.

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