How to Block Robocalls and Spam Calls


 How to Block Robocalls and Spam Calls

Are you sick and tired of the robocalls and spam calls you get on your landline or mobile phone? Lawmakers have passed legislation to address the problem, but there are a few actions you can take on your own.

iPhones and Android phones come with built-in features for blocking specific phone numbers, while mobile carriers offer their own blocking tools. Several third-party apps—Nomorobo, Hiya: Spam Phone Call Blocker, RoboKiller, Truecaller, and YouMail Voicemail & Spam Block—also strive to block telemarketing calls.

You can also register your mobile and landline phone numbers with the FTC's Do Not Call Registry, though that won't stop scammers and disreputable telemarketers from calling you. Let's check out each option.

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Block Specific Numbers on an iPhone
Block Specific Numbers on an iPhone
Robocallers cycle through thousands of phone numbers, and many include the same telephone prefixes as your own phone number. To block them as they come in on your iPhone, open the Phone app and tap Recents. Tap the Info icon next to the number you want to block. Tap Block this Caller > Block Contact. That number is now blocked.


Silence Unknown Callers in iOS 13 and Up
Silence Unknown Callers in iOS 13 and Up
With iOS 13 or higher installed on your iPhone, you can take a more effective but drastic measure to clamp down on spam calls. The Silence Unknown Callers feature automatically silences all calls from unknown numbers. Each call is sent to voicemail and appears on your Recents lists so you can see and return the call if it's legitimate. To enable this, go to Settings > Phone. Turn on the switch for Silence Unknown Callers.

Block Specific Numbers on Android
Block Specific Numbers on Android
The steps for blocking numbers on an Android phone vary based on the device and operating system version. You should be able to open the Phone app and select recent calls or call history. Tap the number you want to block and find the command that says block and/or report as spam. You’ll then have to confirm the message asking if you want to block the number.




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Block All Unknown Callers on Android
Block All Unknown Callers on Android
Some Android devices also allow you to block all unknown callers. While the process will vary among different devices, you can typically open the Phone app and enter the settings menu. Find the option for blocking numbers and activate the feature. In this example, you would activate the switch for Unknown to automatically block all unknown calls. You can also manually add phone numbers that you want blocked.

AT&T Call Protect
AT&T Call Protect
AT&T customers can access a support page with directions for blocking calls on different types of phones. The company also provides a fraud and spam call blocking app for iOS and Android named Call Protect, and an app for the family known as AT&T Secure Family, also on iOS and Android.

The basic version of Call Protect is free for AT&T Mobility subscribers, with the carrier rolling it out automatically for new customers and adding it to the accounts of existing customers. A Plus version of Call Protect with enhanced Caller ID and Reverse Number Lookup features is available for $3.99 a month.


Verizon Call Filter
Verizon Call Filter
Verizon Wireless offers a free version of its Call Filter service for customers with compatible phones and postpaid plans. The free version tries to detect and filter out spam 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 level of risk.

For $2.99 a month per line, the paid version of Call Filter kicks in Caller ID, a personal spam list, and other features. iPhone users can download the Call Filter app from the App Store. The app should be pre-loaded on your Android device. If not, download it at Google Play.

T-Mobile ScamShield
T-Mobile ScamShield
T-Mobile offers a free blocking app for iOS and Android called ScamShield, though it’s only for postpaid T-Mobile and Metro customers. The app tries to identify scam calls in an effort to prevent them from reaching you. An enhanced Caller ID feature displays detailed information on a call so you can determine if it’s spam. A legitimate call carries a Number Verified tag, while a potential spam call comes with a warning.

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

For $4 a month, a ScamShield Premium edition kicks in more advanced features, including voicemail-to-text, the ability to create lists of numbers that should always be blocked, and an option to send certain types of calls straight to voicemail.

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