Are you fed up with nuisance calls to your cell phone? Do you wish you had some means of blocking robocalls?
Then you have come to the right place. In the following article, we’ll cover some basic things you can do to stop robocallers in their tracks.
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How can I stop robocalls to my cell phone?
Did you know that over 50% of all phone calls are robocalls? According to USA Today, in 2018, robocalls totaled around 26.3 billion calls for the entire year.
You probably won’t be surprised to find out that it’s only likely to get worse as time goes by.
Chances are with that kind of volume of robocalls, you’ve been a ‘victim’ of them at some point over the last few years. These unsolicited auto-dialed spam calls are incredibly annoying and even at the best of times, have caught each of us out from time to time.
The tactics vary and range from helping you reclaim Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), to getting compensation for a “recent accident”. Some can also threaten you claiming they are calling on behalf of the IRS or pretending to be from tech support.
They are, frankly annoying, and can border on harassment at the time. But, of course, phone scams are an illegal practice.
Sadly, there are very little official bodies, like the Federal Communications Commission in the USA, can do about it. That’s not to say they haven’t caught and prosecuted robocaller companies in the past. For example, the FCC fined robocallers over $200 million in recent years. Of that, however, they were only able to collect just over $6,500 of it.
The plague of robocalls is a little less of an issue in Europe and the United Kingdom. However, they can still be a nuisance for European citizens.
Most authorities on the subject will tell you that the best way to avoid these calls is to simply ignore them. But, there are some more proactive means of stopping robocallers from bothering you.
1. See what your cell-phone carrier/provider can do for you
One of the first lines of defense you should consider is by contacting your mobile or cell carrier or provider. Some of them, like AT&T, offer paid-for apps that can be used to filter out and block spam calls.
2. Reject anonymous calls automatically
Most robocallers tend to come up as “anonymous” on your caller ID. Depending on your phone carrier service you may be able to activate an Anonymous Call Rejection service that should come as standard with your package.
3. Join the National “Do Not Call Registry”
In the United States, the FTC created a “National Do Not Call Registry”. While it won’t stop more nefarious cold callers, it will, in theory, prevent more ‘legitimate’ phone marketing companies from contacting you.
Check to see if your country of residence offers a similar service. They are not perfect, but every little helps.
4. Try to use carrier tools to block unwanted numbers
In the United States, the four major carriers, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, have tools to identify, filter and prevent suspected nuisance numbers from calling or texting your phone. This tends to be a paid-for add-on, but the small investment will more than pay for itself in preventing lost time and stress.
5. Change your phone
Some cell phone models actually come with built-in robocall blockers. You might want to do a little research and find out the best makes and models that provide this service.
Samsung’s Galaxy series, for example, come with a native feature called “Smart Call” that automatically flags and blocks suspicious numbers.
6. Block individual numbers yourself
Most cell phones now come with a “Block Number” function. This is, of course, the most labor-intensive method but it will prevent repeat calls from the same robocaller.
Blocking individual numbers will only work on received calls and cannot possibly help block all new calls from different callers.
7. Turn on “Do Not Disturb”
iPhones and Android phones come with a “Do Not Disturb” function nowadays. By activating this you will not be bothered by anyone except for those numbers marked as trusted contacts or favorites.
This is an extreme solution but it is effective.
8. Use your “noggin”
Just don’t answer if you don’t recognize the number – simple.
If it is a legitimate call, the caller will likely leave a message for you to get back to them. If you do answer by mistake, just hang up.
Some scammers will try to convince you to perform some action to “unsubscribe” from their list but all this action will do is tell the robocaller than you are a “live” contact number.
Don’t do it!
9. Get one of the best third-party apps to stop robocalls
This brings us to the main theme of our article. We’ll explore some of the best apps around for iPhone and Android.
If you have any other kind of OS cellphone you might want to consider doing a quick Google search for your options. That being said, any one of the above solutions should also apply to you.
How do I stop spam calls on my Android phone?
As we have already seen, Android phones (and their service carriers/providers) have some options for you to use without the need for a third-party app. But, if you want a bit more of a proactive approach you might want to consider some of these applications.
These kinds of apps work by actively screening and intercepting nuisance calls without you even noticing. Many of these kinds of apps also collect information about nuisance calls and add them to a central database.
According to sites, like Business Insider, there are two such apps that come highly recommended.
1. Nomorobo stops robocallers dead
Nomorobo is a third-party robocall blocking app that comes in a paid-for and free version. The paid-for version costs around $2 a month and the free version is enough to block VOIP nuisance calls.
At the time of writing, and according to their website, Nomorobo has stopped over 1,074,674,444 robocalls!
2. Robokiller does just that
Robokiller does everything it says on the tin. Costing around $3 a month, it not only keeps robocalls away from you but also punishes them for their trouble.
It contains an army of bots that use carefully crafted pre-recorded messages to keeps spam callers on the line for as long as possible. This wastes their time, potentially costs them money, and prevents them from calling other people for a while.
How do I stop unwanted robocalls on my iPhone?
Much like Android, iPhone also has a suite of third-party apps that can be used to stop nuisance calls in their tracks. You might want to consider using any of the following, in conjunction with the other options we’ve previously mentioned too.
The two apps mentioned above for Android also happen to work on your iPhone too. But, if you want some more suggestions you might want to consider some of the following.
1. Hiya is pretty handy for stopping nuisance calls
Hiya is a great little auto-caller blocking-app. It has partnered with carriers and phone makers to help make its app as effective as it can be.
In fact, some manufacturers standard in-built call-blockers, like Samsung’s “Smart Call”, makes use of Hiya’s client software.
2. Truecaller has got your back
Truecaller is a great blocked caller ID-based application. It is widely loved for its call identification feature that allows users to check the caller ID in real-time.
Once identified as a nuisance call, it will automatically block them in future.
3. Mr. Number is very good
Mr. Number is another great spam-caller protection app for iPhone. Like others, it is purpose-built for blocking unknown and fraudulent calls.
It makes use of fast reverse lookup using a database of user data, that can identify the spam calls and block in real-time.
It also allows users to create a personalized list of numbers to block.
Source: Interesting Engineering