AT&T Annoyance Call Bureau

Overview

Customer Support for Annoyance Call Problems

The AT&T Annoyance Call Bureau provides customer support in the investigation of repetitive/illegal harassing, threatening, or obscene telephone calls or text/email messages received on your AT&T landline or wireless phone.

The Annoyance Call Bureau does not investigate telemarketing, collection, or other types of electronically generated calls. These calls are not illegal and there are AT&T Landline, Wireless and Messaging products and services available to assist customers in managing these types of unwanted or annoying phone calls.

Annoyance Call Types

 
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Beep Tones, Data, FAX, High Pitch Tone Calls
1. Infrequent Beep or Data Calls
   
  Generally, calls that beep when answered are unintentional and are frequently misdirected faxes but may include other sources such as computers, pagers, alarms, etc. These types of calls are common and can be very annoying but are not illegal. Most of the time these types of misdirected calls are just mistakes and they will usually stop as soon as the person sending the fax or data realizes they are dialing the wrong number.
   
  • Managing Misdirected Data Calls
   
2. Frequent or Persistent FAX Calls or other Data Calls (More than 10 calls per hour or persisting over 2 or 3 days)
   
  • Managing Frequent or Persistent FAX Calls
  • Managing Junk FAX Calls
  • Managing Misdirected FAX Calls
   
Bomb Threats
1. Activate Call Trace (*57) (Not Applicable to Wireless)
   
 

Call Trace may be an effective and immediate method in which to capture the telephone number last received.

   
2. Contact your local law enforcement to pursue criminal investigation. Obtain the following information:
   
  • The police case number
  • Law enforcement agency name
  • Name of the law enforcement person you spoke with
  • Law enforcement agency's FAX number
  • Law enforcement agency's telephone number
   
3. Note the date and time of the bomb threat.
   
4. Report the above information to the AT&T Annoyance Call Bureau. Click here to enter information.
   
Collect Calls
Collect Calls can be refused on a per call basis or these calls can be blocked. Most Collect Calls can be blocked through AT&T by adding Billed Number Screening. (Not Applicable to Wireless)
   
  • Managing Collect Calls
   
Debt Collection Calls
Keep in mind that collection calls are not illegal. If you have no knowledge of the person they are asking for you may tell the collector that you would like the collection calls to stop. If the calls continue, you may want to ask to speak to a supervisor or compliance manager. If you have requested that the collection calls stop and the collectors continue to call, you may contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint. Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357 or file online at The Federal Trade Commission.
 
Life Threatening Calls
Life threatening calls are illegal. Contact your local law enforcement if you wish to pursue a criminal investigation. This does not include silent calls unless you have reason to suspect these calls are intentionally harassing you. If you are receiving silent calls, please review the section on "Silent, Hang up Calls".
   
  • Managing Life Threatening Calls
   
Obscene Calls
Obscene calls are illegal. Contact your local law enforcement if you wish to pursue a criminal investigation.
   
  • Managing Obscene Calls
   
Phantom Debt Collection Calls - Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS)
Phantom debt collection scams have been occurring for the last three years or more. These recent TDoS attacks are part of an extortion scheme. This scheme starts with a phone call to an organization from an individual claiming to represent a collections company for payday type loans. The caller may have a strong accent and ask to speak with a current or former employee concerning an outstanding debt. Failing to get payment from an individual or organization, the perpetrator launches a TDoS attack. The organization will be inundated with a continuous stream of calls for an unspecified, but lengthy period of time. The attack can prevent both incoming and/or outgoing calls from being completed.
   
If you suspect that you are a victim of Telephony Denial of Service file a complaint with the Crime Complaint center (a partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C)), aka IC3. Click here for the most recent IC3 public service announcements.
   
Keep in mind that collection calls are not illegal per se. If you have no knowledge of the person they are asking for you may tell the collector that you would like the collection calls to stop. If the calls continue, you may want to ask to speak to their supervisor or compliance manager. If you have requested that the collection calls stop and the collectors continue to call, you may contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint. Contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357 or online at The Federal Trade Commission.
   
If you are concerned about a scam or are receiving so many calls you cannot use your phone, please review the SCAMs section below.
   
Political / Campaign calls
Although these calls can become a nuisance, they are not illegal. Most political calls are received during the political / election season. You may try asking the caller to remove your name/phone number from the calling list. Some states have specific laws regarding campaign calls. Check with your state attorney general for state law information.
   
Certain calls are exempt from the National Do Not Call List. For example; political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors or companies with which you have an existing business relationship can legally call you even if you have registered on the National Do Not Call List. For more information contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.
   
Scams
If you suspect a scam, report it to your local law enforcement AND file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
   
Your local law enforcement is your first contact if you suspect you have been a victim of a scam.
   
The FTC collects complaints about companies, business practices, and identity theft. Your complaints can help the FTC detect patterns of wrong-doing, and lead to investigations and prosecutions. Filing a complaint helps to prevent business practices that are anticompetitive, deceptive or unfair to consumers.
   
  • FTC Complaints
  • FTC Telemarketing Scams Information
   
Silent Hang Up Calls
The management of silent, hang up calls differs based on the time of day and/or frequency of the calls received.
   
1. If you are receiving silent or hang up calls between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m., these calls are usually from telemarketers, collection agencies, or other types of business calls using automated dialers. Many of these calls will display on Caller ID as "UNKNOWN", "OUT OF AREA" or "800 SERVICES." Companies use automatic-dialers to continuously call a list of numbers. The reason there is no one on the other line when you answer the call is because the companies may not have enough operators to answer every call the computer dials. These calls may be annoying but most are legal and legitimate attempts for companies to sell their products or to make contact to customers for other business purposes.
   
  • Managing Telemarketing Calls
   
2. Calls in the middle of the night generally fall into 2 categories: unintentional and intentional. Please read the explanation of both to determine appropriate course of action.
   
  • Unintentional
  • Intentional
   
3. Frequent or Chronic Calls (10 calls per day and persisting over 2 or 3 days)
   
  • Managing Frequent or Chronic Calls
   
Telemarketing, Charity and Survey Calls
Telemarketing calls are generally legal. Law enforcement does not normally investigate these types of calls. If the frequency of these calls becomes a nuisance, there are several tools available to help you manage these types of calls.
   
  • Managing Telemarketing, Charity and Survey Calls
   

Landline Products

 

Availability and charges for these products and services varies; (please check our web site) www.att.com or contact your Customer Care Center for information about availability, charges and ordering. The number is on your telephone bill.

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AT&T Landline Products and Services

 
Anonymous Call Rejection (Not Applicable to Wireless)

Anonymous Call Blocking Anonymous Call Blocking (ACB) intercepts calls from people who have used special blocking features to prevent their name or number from being provided to people they call. When the ACB service is turned on, callers hear a message telling them to hang up, unblock delivery of their phone number, and call again. Your phone will not ring unless the caller removes the block. You can use the service with or without Caller ID.

For more information on how to use this and other call blocking features, please visit http://att.com/features.

Call Forwarding

Call Forwarding is a calling feature that allows you to forward your calls to another phone number. Call Forwarding lets you receive your calls even when you're not at home. As long as you have enough rollover lines or voicemail boxes to accept the calls, you can forward up to five calls simultaneously.

If you would like to automatically forward your calls to another number, you simply dial 72# on your touchtone phone (1172 on a rotary phone). Then, you enter the number to which you would like your calls forwarded.

When you're ready to stop forwarding your calls, just dial 73# (1173 on a rotary phone) to turn off the feature.

For more information on how to use this and other calling features, please visit http://att.com/features.

Wireless Customers click here.

Call Block *60

Call Block allows you to block calls from up to six specified phone numbers. Just put the numbers on your Call Block list and those callers are prevented from calling you. The number is on your telephone bill.

For more information on how to use this and other call blocking features, please visit http://att.com/features.

Wireless Customers click here.

Call Return / Automatic Call Back (*69) (Not Applicable to Wireless)

AT&T Call Return / Automatic Call Back allows you to call back the person that just called you. That means that you can finish your task at hand without missing that important call. Just by dialing *69, you will automatically be connected to the previous caller. It's a simple and easy way to be connected to your last caller. *69 Call Return / Automatic Call Back will try to place your call for up to 30 minutes if the number is busy. Simply listen for a special ring that repeats twice to let you know your call has been placed. To cancel all *69 Call Return / Automatic Call Back requests, pick up the phone and press *89. *69 Call Return / Automatic Call Back can return some long distance calls. If you use this service to return a long distance call, you'll be charged a long distance rate and the telephone number will appear on your bill.

This feature is available as subscription or pay-per-use.

For more information on how to use this and other calling features, please visit http://att.com/features.

Call Trace (*57) (Not Applicable to Wireless)

Call Trace may be an effective and immediate method in which to capture the telephone number last received. Availability of this service and charges for this service varies. Information collected can only be provided to law enforcement. If the threat was the last number to be received on that phone line, use the Call Trace feature by dialing *57 (1157 for rotary/pulse phones) from the number that received the threat. Follow the recorded instructions. After a successful Call Trace, make a record of the date and time the threat was made. If the last call received could not be traced you will hear an error message.

Each time you use Call Tracing, the Annoyance Call Center receives a message with the telephone number, time, and date of the call (if the call originated from a traceable telephone number).

CAUTION — In an emergency, call your local law enforcement officials immediately.

• How to use Call Trace

Caller ID

Caller ID can identify the source of annoying or harassing calls and allow you to screen unwanted calls. You can also order Caller ID with Name and Number Delivery, which displays both the name and number of the caller. Caller ID will assist you in seeing who has called your phone when you were not there. It is also a good way to collect the numbers of people you would like to call in the future.

When you receive a call, the caller's name and number will appear on the Caller ID display screen after the first ring - unless the caller has chosen to block it or the number is unavailable. You can purchase a variety of Caller ID equipment at many retail stores.

Caller ID is not available in some areas or on some calls and may not be available internationally. Some names and numbers may be blocked, unavailable, or come from an area not equipped to provide Caller ID data. Display equipment is required.

For more information on how to use this and other calling features, please visit http://att.com/features.

Wireless Customers click here.

Privacy Manager (Not Applicable to Wireless)

Privacy Manager provides Caller ID subscribers with the ability to intercept unavailable numbers. Privacy Manager will intercept all unidentified calls before your phone rings and require the caller to identify themselves. If the caller does not identify themselves, the call is terminated and your phone does not ring. If the caller's number would normally not be displayed (such as "anonymous," "private," "out of area," or "unavailable" on your Caller ID display), Privacy Manager would ask the person to announce their name and to identify themselves. Once the person states their name, your phone will ring and you will have the option of either receiving or rejecting the call. Privacy Manager allows you to identify the caller before you speak to them.

For more information on how to use this and other calling features, please visit http://att.com/features.

Three way Calling (Not Applicable to Wireless)

Three-Way Calling is a service that allows three people in three different locations to talk to each other at the same time.

Three-way Calling allows you to talk to your two best friends, both of your parents, or even your two children at the same time. You'll enjoy the convenience and time saving benefits of being able to speak to two people on the phone at once. Features include:

  • Provides three-party conference calling capability from a standard touch-tone or rotary phone without operator assistance.
  • Allows the customer to cancel Call Waiting while on a call, link local and long distance call together, and/or use separate outgoing line while on a call.
  • Available as subscription or pay-per-use.

For more information on how to use this and other calling features, please visit http://att.com/features.

Voice Mail

AT&T Voicemail Service (AT&T VMS) is a centrally located computerized voice messaging service. This service eliminates the need for customer-provided answering machines and allows a customer to receive a message when their phone is in use or when the phone is not answered. Messages can be retrieved from any phone in the world by dialing the Voicemail access number.

The customer has the ability to create a customized greeting for callers or use a standard system greeting. They also can perform such functions as reviewing, storing, scanning, and deleting messages.

Receive messages when you're away from home, on the phone or online. Options include pager notification and extension mailboxes.

Voice Mail Plus is a service that lets you receive messages when you're away from home, on the phone, or online, without an answering machine. You can check messages privately when it's convenient for you. They're protected by your private password too. You won't have to worry about missing important calls because your phone was in use. Voice Mail Plus includes the added features of extension mailboxes, mailbox-to-mailbox messaging, and pager notification.

For more information on how to use this and other calling features, please visit http://att.com/features.

Wireless Customers click here.

Wireless Products

 

Availability and charges for these products and services varies; (please check our web site) www.att.com or contact your Customer Care Center for information about availability, charges and ordering. The number is on your telephone bill.

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AT&T Wireless Products and Services

 
My Account (Not applicable for Landline)

Your local law enforcement agency may ask that you provide them with a copy of the annoyance call record as evidence in their criminal investigation. Your incoming calls are recorded and available for you to view on-line from 2 - 72 hours from when the call was made.

Click here to manage your wireless account, including, providing law enforcement with your wireless phone bill.

Call Forwarding

Call Forwarding lets you forward your incoming wireless calls to another phone number. Airtime charges, plus any applicable long distance and/or roaming charges, are incurred for calls forwarded via the wireless network.

With Call Forwarding activated:

  • You can continue to make outgoing calls from your telephone. Incoming calls will be forwarded.
  • When the telephone number to which your calls are being forwarded is busy, callers to your number will receive a busy signal.
  • To change the number to which your calls are forwarded, deactivate the feature. Then follow the activation instructions to enter the new number.

Call Forwarding is included on all AT&T and former AT&T Wireless rate plans. Forwarded calls are billed airtime from the time the call is answered until it is ended. Each call forwarded may receive, depending on your location, per minute/per call or interconnect charges based on where the call is forwarded. Long Distance charges apply if the call is forwarded to a long distance number. If you are on a former AT&T Wireless rate plan, call forwarding minutes may not apply to your included minutes.

Contact your Customer Care Center for information about availability, charges and ordering. The number is on your telephone bill. Also, you can go to Wireless Basics for Call Forwarding for more information.

Landline Customers click here.

Caller ID

Caller ID lets you to know who's calling before you answer a call. When your phone rings, Caller ID shows the telephone number of the calling party on your phone's display. Take important calls and let voice mail handle the rest.

Using Caller ID

Your phone should come with Caller ID already activated. There are no special instructions to use Caller ID. When someone calls, the name and number will automatically appear on your phone's display.

Contact your Customer Care Center for information about availability, charges and ordering. The number is on your telephone bill. Also, you can go to Wireless Basics for Call ID for more information.

Landline Customers click here.

Number Change

To change your telephone number contact your Customer Care Center. The number is located on your telephone bill.

Smart Limits for Call / Text Message Screening (Not Applicable for Landline)

AT&T Smart Limits for Wireless is a new online service that provides you with the freedom and security of a cell phone while setting sensible boundaries for its use.

With AT&T Smart Limits for Wireless, you start with an easy online set-up that allows you to determine specifically how and when you can use the phone. You can set limits for:

  • Number of text and instant messages
  • Dollar amount of downloadable purchases (ringtones, games & more)
  • Times of day the phone can be used for messaging, browsing and outbound calling
  • Who the phone can call or text (incoming and outgoing) by blocking or allowing certain numbers
  • The access of content

As you approach the text and download limits, you will receive an advance warning. Once a limit is reached, there will be a notification that the action is restricted and that the service will be stopped until the next billing cycle begins.

Calls and text messages to and from phone numbers you designate as "Allowed Numbers" and calls to and from 911 will continue to be permitted regardless of the limits you set.

Please Note: This product cannot currently be used to set specific monthly limits for minutes. All incoming calls are allowed at all times except from numbers you designate as "Blocked Numbers."

Contact your Customer Care Center for information about availability, charges and ordering. The number is on your telephone bill. Also, you can go to Wireless Basics for Smart Limits for Wireless for more information.

Voicemail

Let Voicemail take a message.

Sometimes you can't - and sometimes you choose not to - but you don't always answer your calls. That's when your voicemail becomes your personal assistant. Get the most from your voicemail by knowing its features and benefits, and the keys that make it happen.

Although Basic Voicemail is included with all of our calling plans, AT&T offers Enhanced Voicemail to customers who need more robust voicemail service. To add voicemail to your account, log in to My Account.

Contact your Customer Care Center for information about availability, charges and ordering. The number is on your telephone bill. Also, you can go to Wireless Basics for Voicemail for more information.

Landline Customers click here.

Messaging (text,email)

 
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AT&T Messaging Products and Services

 
AT&T's Messaging Preferences Web Site
From AT&T's Messaging Preferences web site you can apply email delivery controls, create personalized block and allow lists, and create an alias to replace MSISDN. Preference options include:
   
1. Alias - You can create one alias (alias@txt.att.net) to go along with your 10-digitmobile#@txt.att.net email address. The alias chosen will also apply to your mms.att.net email address.
   
2. Anti-Spam - Spam is unsolicited email or messages. Spam affects mainly landline networks but with increased awareness and the use of PC-to-Mobile messaging, SPAM has increased within the wireless community.
   
3. Block/Allow Lists - You can set up and manage a list of e-mail addresses or domains from which you would like to Block or Allow messages to be delivered to their handsets. If a domain like aol.com or Comcast.net is added to the block list, then all emails from that domain will be blocked and not delivered.
   
4. Block from the Handset - If you receive SPAM from e-mail to your handset, you can reply with the word "block" and that address will be added to the customer's block list. Note: Block functionality does not work for Mobile to Mobile Text Messaging.
   
5. Block All Text Messages sent as E-mail - If you do not want to receive ANY Text Messages sent from e-mail, you can select this option, and all e-mails sent to your alias@txt.att.net or 10-digitmobile#@txt.att.net e-mail addresses will be blocked except those on your Allow List.
   
6. Block ALL MMS messages sent to you as E-Mail - If you do not want to receive Multimedia Messages (MMS) sent from E-mail addresses you can select to block this capability and only those on your Allow List will be delivered.
   
7. Wireless Number Control - If have selected an alias you can choose to block delivery of messages sent to your 10-digitmobile#@txt.att.net address and deliver ONLY those e-mails sent to your alias.
   
8. Message Segment Control - Text messages as e-mails can be long and include more than 160 characters, the maximum size of a text message segment. Since you pay for every segment or text message, it's important for you to have control. Message Segment Control allows you to dictate how many segments of an e-mail are initially sent to their handset. If you would like an additional segment of the message to be delivered, you can reply M for "more." To get all of the remaining segments of a message, you can reply ALL to the message.
   
Email Messages to Your Mobile Phone
1. Visit the company web site (www.company.com) that sent the message to unsubscribe either by following a link with "unsubscribe" instructions, or by contacting the company directly to find out the specific procedure.
   
2. The company sending the messages may send you more messages between the time they are notified to cancel the messages and the time the messages actually stop.
   
3. Visit AT&T's Messaging Preferences web site where you can apply email delivery controls, create personalized block and allow lists, and create an alias to replace MSISDN.
   
Messages from 5 Digit Short Code of 36245
1. The AT&T's Messaging Preferences web site allows you to setup and manage your Email-to-SMS messaging preferences.
   
2. Message Preferences manages PC-to-Mobile user preferences and not Mobile-to-Mobile messaging.
   
3. Changes to your Message Preferences account can take up to 24 hours to take affect.
   
Messages from a Short Code, (example: 12345 or 123456789)

If the short code is not associated to Instant Messaging, you can reply with the words STOP, END, QUIT, CANCEL or UNSUBSCRIBE in the body of the message.

Messages from Another Wireless Number
1. If you have / want Smart Limits, you can block calls and text messages from specific numbers. For more information go to Wireless Products and Services, or go to www.att.com/smartlimits.
   
2. You can change your number. Call your Customer Care Center located on your bill. Make sure to guard your new number.
   
3. You may block ALL Text or ALL Picture Messages. To do this, call your Customer Care Center located on your bill. NOTE: You will not be able to send or receive ANY Text or Picture Messages if you select these options.
   
Messages Arriving in your MEdia Net Inbox
You need to access your MEdia Net Email account and log in using your Media Net ID or wireless number. Verify the account is receiving the Spam Messages. If the end user has SPAM Messages in the MEdia Net mailbox continue to the next step.
   
1. Under Email Options, near the bottom of the Email Center, you will click on "Message Alerts & Filters".
   
2. Click on "Turn Off". NOTE: This action will turn off all Mail Alerts and subscriber will not receive any SMS mail notifications from MEdia Net.
   
Messages Arriving from Greendot.com
1. Greendot is a popular prepaid credit card company, which offers SMS updates regarding remaining balance. If you have a prepaid credit card through Greendot, you should call the customer service number on the back of the credit card.
   
2. If you do not hold a Greendot Prepaid Credit Card, you may email an opt-out request to CVisa@greendotcorp.com. You must include your full 10 digit number and your full name requesting to remove your number from the Greendot Contact List.
   
Yahoo! Instant Messenger Abuse

Click here to report any Instant Messenger abuse.

Yahoo! Instant Messenger SPAM

Click here to report any any Instant Messenger SPAM.

Managing Annoyance Calls

You may choose to manage annoyance calls using AT&TLandline,Wireless andMessaging products.