Remember when the only unwanted calls we ever had to deal with came from telemarketers and bill collectors? Those were simpler, more peaceful times, before spam calls and robocalls grew into the epidemic they are today!
According to the Washington Post, U.S. phone numbers received around 26.3 billion robocalls in the last year. And as huge as that number is, it’s not particularly surprising given how many robocalls I seem to receive personally! It’s a huge nuisance, and I’m betting that I’m not the only one who would like to learn how to stop spam calls!
So after doing some research, I’ve come up with a list of 6 ways to help curb the amount of robocalls and spam calls coming in to your phone. These easy tips will arm you with the tools you need to stop spam calls and restore some of your sanity! :-)
6 Things You Can Do To Stop Spam Calls
1. Add Your Name To The Do Not Call Registry
The FTC operates a National Do Not Call Registry, and it’s free to sign up. The Registry exists to inform sales companies and telemarketers that you don’t want to be called.
However, there are plenty of scammers and spammers that don’t care about the Registry, so don’t expect it to stop all unwanted calls. But it’s a great place to start if you’re receiving a lot of telemarketing calls!
2. Download An App
There are several smartphone apps you can download that can identify and block spam calls. Here are a few options:
- Hiya – Free on Android and iOS. iOS users have the option to upgrade to Hiya Premium for $2.99/month or $14.99/year.
- RoboKiller – Free 7-day trial, then $2.99/month or $24.99/year.
- Nomorobo – Free 14-day trial, then $1.99/month or $19.99/year.
3. Get Help From Your Wireless Carrier
Most major phone carriers offer some sort of service to help keep spam calls at bay. Make sure you’re taking advantage of what your carrier has to offer!
- AT&T – The AT&T Call Protect app (available for Android and iOS) identifies suspected spam callers and gives you the option to block their numbers. Service available for free to all postpaid AT&T customers.
- Sprint – Sprint offers a Premium Caller ID service for $2.99/month, which displays the name of callers (even the ones that aren’t in your address book.) It also flags robocalls and spam calls with a “threat level” to let you know how suspect the call is.
- T-Mobile – T-Mobile offers both Scam ID and Scam Block for free to postpaid customers to help identify and help block unwanted spam calls.
- Verizon – Verizon offers their Call Filter service through an app, which is free to postpaid customers. You can upgrade to Call Filter Plus for more advanced features for $2.99/month per line.
4. Block Phone Numbers
Blocking a phone number can help reduce the amount of spam calls you receive, especially if you have gotten multiple unwanted calls from that number. Here’s a quick overview of how to block a number:
- On iPhone – Pull up your recent calls list and press the blue information icon next to the number you want to block. Scroll down and tap “Block this caller.”
- On Android – Go to your recent calls list and long press on the number you want to block. Find and select the “Block” option.
5. Don’t Engage
Engaging with a spam caller or robocall is often considered an indication of interest, and it could end up attracting more unwanted calls to your phone. Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers, but if you do answer one, hang up as quickly as possible.
If you receive a call with a prompt to press a certain button to stop receiving those calls, you’re likely better off just hanging up, as some scammers use this trick to identify potential targets.
Bonus iPhone Tip: If you press the side button on your iPhone when you have an incoming call, it will stop ringing and/or vibrating. If you press the side button twice, it will decline the call so you can keep using your phone.
6. Verify The Source
While the majority of unwanted calls are easy to identify, others can seem pretty legitimate! If you get a call from someone who claims to represent a company or government agency, hang up and call that company or agency’s customer service line directly to verify if the call was authentic.
Keep in mind that you’re much more likely to receive some sort of notification in the mail if a company or agency needs to contact you. And that’s especially true with anything related to making a payment!
Do you have any success stories about preventing unwanted phone calls?