AT&T launched a new feature on its network this week called "Call Protect." It's capable of stopping suspected scammers from ever even getting through to your phone, helping save you the headache of dealing with them in the first place. It's a nicety, especially for folks who might otherwise be susceptible to falling for advanced scams – think of grandma falling for a tech support scheme, for example.

AT&T said the free service is network based, which means AT&T is capable of identifying the problem before a call is even connected. "We've listened to our customers and know they want a network that provides tools to proactively assist in blocking nuisance calls," the company said. "AT&T Call Protect, along with others, will help put customers more in control of the calls they receive."

Call Protect even helps customers if, for some reason, a call gets through. When it hits your phone's home screen, an alert will point out to the user that AT&T suspects the call might be from a spammer. The myAT&T application, installed on most phones the carrier sells, will also provide a temporary call blocking feature. Users can opt to block spammers for up to 30 days.

AT&T Call Protect is super useful

This is great tech. We had scammers call our office, for example, pretending to help us with a Microsoft Windows problem that didn't exist. We had fun with that phone call – you can listen here – but that's because we knew it was a scam. AT&T will help prevent those calls for folks who might not know.

Additionally, I can't even count how many spam calls I received after I started searching for competitive mortgage rates when I was buying my first home. With temporary call blocking, I could have blocked all sorts of repeat callers. Good on AT&T for rolling this out.