Interaction and communication have been made easier with the development of smartphones and the good internet. However, it comes at a price with spam calls.
Despite rules and regulations against spam calls, scammers and some telemarketers find ways to call you. Analysis shows that approximately 4 billion robocalls are made monthly, regardless of these policies.
No one has the luxury of wasting their time on scammers or annoying robocalls, let alone people you try to avoid. Therefore, it is time to implement a firewall for these spam calls on your Android phone.
In this article, we will discuss some methods you can use to mitigate your exposure to spam calls.
Method 1: Block Spam Calls Using the Google Phone App
Below are the steps for activating this feature on your phone.
Step 1: Get the Phone by Google app
Install the Phone by Google app from the Play Store and open it. If you already have the app, tap the phone icon in your app list.
Step 2: Go to Settings
Tap the three dots at the top right corner of the app to open some options. Select Settings, the second option.
Step 3: Go to Caller ID and Spam
Under Settings, select Caller ID & Spam, the first option under the assistive section.
Step 4: Enable Spam Filtering
Toggle on the button next to Filter spam calls. This will allow Google to identify potential spam callers and block them.
If you enable Filter spam calls, Google will block potential spam callers. However, this might block some numbers that are not spam.
To avoid this, turn on See the caller and spam ID instead and turn off Filter spam calls. This way, you will get notifications when a suspected spam number calls, and you can decide whether to answer it or not.
In the video below, LoFi Alpaca demonstrates how easy it is to block spam calls on your Android.
Method 2: Block a Number Manually
Turning on the blocking feature on your device will block only the numbers reported as spam by others. However, you may need to block one or several individuals that are maybe harassing you, or you don’t want to receive their calls anymore.
Here is how to block such a number.
Step 1: Locate the number you want to block
Open your phone’s app and go to either Contacts or Recents if you have recently contacted the number. Identify the number and long press to open more options.
Step 2: Block the number
Select the Block/report spam option and click Block on the confirmation pop-up message.
If you want to report the number as spam, check the box next to Report call as spam.
After blocking a caller, their calls will no longer go through to your phone. If you blocked a number by mistake, you could unblock it by long-pressing the number and selecting Unblock among the options.
Method 3: Use Third-Party Apps
If your dialer app doesn’t have the blocking feature, you can rely on third-party apps to identify and block spam calls. Some commonly used third-party apps to block spam calls are Call Control- Call Blocker, Should I Answer?, Call Blocker- Caller ID, and Truecaller: Caller ID & Block.
Although such third-party apps are reliable, their developers may still be tempted to share your details with unauthorized people. Therefore, it is best to go for these as a last option if the default spam blocking in your phone isn’t working.
Here, we will explain how to block spam calls using the Truecaller: Caller ID & Block app. Follow these steps.
Step 1: Download the Truecaller app
Find the Truecaller app in Play Store, download it, and open it by clicking the app icon.
Step 2: Give permissions
Allow Truecaller to access your calls, contacts, and messages by confirming the pop-ups.
Step 3: Register with Truecaller
Enter your country and phone number and verify your number to continue using the app
Step 4: Open Blocking Settings
With the Truecaller app now active, select the Blocking option at the bottom right corner.
Step 5: Enable Spam Call Blocking
Toggle on the button next to the blocking option you want to activate, such as Block top scammers.
If you wish to block a number that Truecaller does not identify as spam, select Phone number under the Block someone manually section, enter the details of the person you want to block, and tap Block.
Method 4: Register on the National Do Not Call Registry
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) allows U.S. residents to opt out of telemarketing calls by registering their numbers on the Do Not Call Registry.
Although this option does not automatically block all spam calls, you will notice a drop in spam calls. Registering your number on the National Do Not Call Registry is free.
Here is how you go about it.
Step 1: Go to the Do Not Call website
Open your browser and search donotcall.gov or visit the site here. This will open the National Do Not Call website.
Step 2: Open the Phone Registration page
Scroll down on the homepage to the bullet that says You can register your home or mobile phone for free and click on Register.
Step 3: Select Register Here
Click Register Here on the new page if your name is not in the registry to add it.
Step 4: Enter your details
Enter the phone number you wish to add to the registry in the fields provided. You can add up to 3 phone numbers. Also, enter an active email address for verification and click Submit.
Step 5: Open the verification email
Open the inbox of the email address you entered in the registration, and look for an email from Register with a link to complete the registration. Click on the link to continue.
Step 6: Registration is completed
After you complete the verification process, you will have successfully added your number to the Do Not Call Registry. You will get a message to confirm that you have completed the registration.
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) expects companies to respect the numbers in the registry and not make telecommunication calls to them. Therefore, by adding your number to this registry, you are likely to reduce the number of telemarketing spam calls significantly.
Unfortunately, other spammers don’t care about such rules and may still try to contact you. Thus, you will need another blocking method if you are still getting spam calls after adding your number to the registry.
Method 5: Block All Calls, Not Your Contacts
Basically, this option may cause you to miss important calls from people not in your contacts. However, it is an effective method, especially if you want to block some calls for a while. To do this, you must turn on the Do Not Disturb feature. Here is how to do it.
Step 1: Turn on Do Not Disturb
To activate this feature, open the notification bar shortcuts on your phone by scrolling the screen up or down (based on your phone type). From the shortcuts, tap on Do Not Disturb.
Step 2: Open Do Not Disturb Settings
Long press the Do Not Disturb icon in the notification bar to open more options.
Step 3: Allow calls from contacts only
Under Settings, select Calls, then click Allow Calls to open more options to allow calls. Tap the radio box to the left of From contacts only to allow calls from contacts only when in DND mode.
With this mode, you can only receive calls from the people in your contacts. Make sure you save all the numbers of people you do not want to miss calls from to prevent them from being blocked by this setting.
Method 6: Use Your Wireless Carrier
The major U.S. wireless carriers offer their customers spam call-blocking features, with free and premium options available depending on the desired features.
Blocking a number through the wireless carrier can be more effective than other methods since you won’t have to re-block the number if you change your device.
Confirm with your wireless carrier provider if they provide the blocking feature, and register with them to keep off the spam calls.
It can be incredibly annoying to pick up your phone only to find a suspicious or fraudulent call on the other end. Thankfully, you are not powerless in the fight against these spam callers.
By using the techniques mentioned, you can take a stand against them. Additionally, be careful when sharing your number on strange websites or signing up for services in areas you don’t trust, as this could get your number in the hands of spammers and scammers.
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The image featured at the top of this post is ©Karlis Dambrans/Shutterstock.com.