How to block robocalls and unwanted calls

Are you tired of all the spam calls you get? Lawmakers have passed laws to address the problem, but there are steps you can take yourself. Android devices and iPhones have built-in features to block specific phone numbers, while mobile carriers offer their own blocking tools.

Several third-party apps, including Hiya, RoboKiller, Truecaller, and YouMail, also allow telemarketing calls to be blocked. And you can also register your phone number with the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry, although that won’t stop crooks and reputable telemarketers from calling you. Let’s see each option.

(If you also receive spam bots, there are steps you can take to block themblock them, too much.)


Block numbers on iPhone

Robocallers browse thousands of phone numbers, and many include the same phone prefixes as your own phone number. To block them when they arrive on your iPhone, open the Phone app and tap Recent. Press the Info icon next to the number you want to block and choose Block this caller> Block contact.

The number is now blocked, but spammers have a habit of jumping from one number to another, so this remedy is only useful if the caller uses the same number multiple times.

Silencing unknown callers

With iOS 13 or higher installed on your iPhone, you can take a more effective but drastic step to crack down on spam calls. Go to Settings> Phone> Silence unknown callers and turn on the switch to Silencing unknown callers.

This feature automatically silences all calls from numbers that are not in your contacts. Calls are sent to voicemail and appear in your Recents lists so that you can return the call if it is legitimate.


Block numbers on Android

block android

The steps to block numbers on an Android phone vary depending on the device version and operating system. You should be able to open the Phone app and select recent calls or call history. Tap the number you want to block and look for the command that says block and / or report as spam. You then confirm the order to block the number.

block numbers

Some Android devices also allow you to block all unknown callers. Although the process varies by device, you typically open the Phone app and navigate to the settings menu. Find the option to block numbers and activate the feature. You can also manually add the phone numbers you want to block.


AT&T call protection

call protection

AT&T customers can access a support page with instructions for blocking calls on different types of phones. The company provides a fraudulent and unwanted call blocker app for iOS and Android called Call Protect, as well as a family app known as AT&T Secure Family, also on iOS and Android. The basic version of Call Protect is free for AT&T Mobility subscribers, the operator automatically deploys it for new customers and adds it to existing customer accounts. A Plus version of Call Protect with enhanced caller ID and reverse number lookup features is available for $ 3.99 per month.


Verizon Call Filter

call filter

Verizon Wireless offers a free version of its call screening service to customers with compatible phones and postpaid plans. The free version detects and filters unwanted calls. It alerts you when an incoming call is likely spam, lets you report unsolicited numbers, and can automatically block robocalls based on your set risk level.

For $ 2.99 per month per line, the paid version of Call Filter includes caller ID, a personal spam list, and other features. IPhone users can download the Call Filter app from the App Store. The app must be preloaded on your Android device. Otherwise, download it from Google Play.


T-Mobile Scam Shield

scam shield

T-Mobile offers a free blocking app called Scam Shield for T-Mobile and Metro postpaid customers. The iOS and Android app can identify fraudulent calls to prevent them from reaching you. An enhanced Caller ID feature displays detailed information about a call so you can determine if it is spam. A legitimate call has a Verified Number label, while a potential spam call is accompanied by a warning.

Scam Shield even gives you an additional proxy phone number that you can use when you don’t want to share your regular number. If your regular number gets caught in the spam, you can change it for free once a year. A spam counter keeps track of which calls have been blocked.

For $ 4 per month, the Scam Shield Premium Edition comes with more advanced features including voicemail to text, the ability to create a block list, and an option to send certain types of calls directly to voicemail.


Salvation

Salvation

Hiya third-party app: Spam Phone Call Blocker alerts you to robocalls and fraudulent calls based on a database of known scammers. The app tackles phone calls associated with fraud and illegal activity as well as those related to telemarketers.

Hiya can detect spoofed calls that use the same initial digits as your own number. You can type a phone number into the app, and Hiya will reveal its source and tell you if it is a suspected spam number. And the app can automatically allow calls from any of your contacts.

The basic version is free. A premium edition with a call filter and other features is available as a seven-day trial, then costs $ 3.99 per month or $ 24.99 per year.


RoboKiller

robot killer

RoboKiller not only blocks spam calls but also tries to disrupt spammers. The Answer Bots in the app will automatically answer spam calls with pre-recorded nonsense designed to frustrate them and waste their time. You can also create your own bot responses.

The app includes a database of known spammers, although you can add specific numbers that you want to block. The Android app costs $ 2.99 per month or $ 24.99 per year, while the iOS edition costs $ 3.99 per month or $ 29.99 per year after a one-week free trial.


Real caller

real caller

Truecaller does its best to block unwanted phone calls and text messages. The app identifies every incoming call, especially those from unknown numbers, so you know whether it is legitimate or not. It can automatically block unwanted calls based on known spammers as well as numbers you add manually. You can search for specific names and phone numbers to get information about them, and you can make phone calls directly from the app to identify and call friends and other contacts. The basic application is free. Remove all ads and enjoy other benefits for $ 4.49 per month or $ 29.99 per year.


YouMail

youmail

YouMail offers automated call blocking with visual voicemail so you can easily view blocked calls that the caller left a message for. After creating a free account, you then set up YouMail as the default voicemail service to monitor incoming calls and decide which to allow and which to block.

Paid versions are also available. For $ 3.99 per month, a Plus plan removes ads and launches unlimited size for your voicemail. For $ 10.99 per month, the Professional plan adds a personalized outgoing greeting, up to three virtual numbers and voicemail menus.


Block spam on a landline

AT&T BL102-2 DECT 6.0 handset

Without mobile apps and other digital tools and services, preventing robocalls and unwanted calls on a landline is more difficult than on a mobile phone. But you have a few options. Check with your carrier if they have features to reduce spam calls.

Some landline phones also have built-in call blocking technology. If you already have a phone and it doesn’t have this feature, you can purchase a separate call blocker. You can also register your number with the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry.


Subscribe to the do not call list

do not call the register

While scammers will not respect the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry, it can’t hurt to register your landline and mobile numbers on donotcall.gov. From the website, you can report unwanted calls, check if your phone number is registered in the Do Not Call register, and add your number if it is not.

verify registration

If you think you may have already signed up for the Do Not Call Register, select Register your phone> Check here. Enter your phone number and email address, then click TP submit. On the next screen, click To verify to confirm your number and email address. You will then receive an email telling you if your number is already registered. Check your email for the message.

register phone

If you are not already registered, select Register your phone> Register here. Enter your phone number and email address, then click TP submit. Confirm your information, then click Register. You will then be directed to verify a message in your email. Click the link in the message to complete your registration.

report a call

You can report any robocalls or fraudulent calls you receive to the FTC. The agency can’t follow up on your specific complaint, but they will suggest actions you can take and collect the information you provide in their own fight against shady telemarketers.

From the DNC home page, click on Report unwanted calls. You will be asked to fill in all the details of the phone call in question and then submit the information. You can also call the FTC at 1-888-382-1222 to report a spam call.

About Geraldine Higgins

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