AT&T Poised to Protect Phone-Theft Victims with New Service

A new report says AT&T will launch a service next week that protects victims of phone theft by blocking thieves from racking up charges after taking the device.

If your device is stolen, you’ll be able to call AT&T and get it added to what’s being referred to as a “blocklist,” sources told The Verge. It’s much like calling and cancelling your credit cards after your wallet is stolen. In this case, the phone is rendered unusable, unable to browse the Web, send texts or make calls. Even better, the device can be wiped of all its information remotely. SIM cards, however, will not be blocked.

To get the device taken off the blocklist, a customer service rep must be contacted and the victim will give the CSR some personal info to ensure they’re not talking to the thief.

Naturally, there will be some privacy concerns that AT&T will keep a directory of blocked phones, something denied by The Verge’s source. An AT&T spokesperson told CBS News that it’s too soon to get too detailed about the service. We should know more next week.

The FCC and CTIA said earlier this year that they would team with AT&T and the other major carriers to better protect device owners from theft.

The new service is said to go into effect Tuesday, July 10. Look for a formal announcement from the carrier very soon.

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