Having the ability to easily make phone calls from such a small, but powerful device is a true marvel. You can talk with friends and family that live right in town or across the world. Unfortunately, owning a phone number and mobile phone opens you up to receiving calls from anyone, including spam callers. No one wants to receive spam calls on a daily basis, especially those trying to sell them something or scam them. Thankfully, there are ways to block, report, and prevent these types of calls.
What Are Spam Calls?
Spam calls, often referred to as robocalls, are automatic calls and voice messages sent to many recipients at random (most of whom are likely uninterested.) Even though these calls may seem innocent, they are actually looking to get something from you, including payments and personal information such as your credit card information, date of birth, and social security number. With this information, the people behind these spam calls can steal your identity or finances.
How To Block Spam Calls
On Android Phones:
*The below instructions may differ depending on your Android device.
- Open your “Phone” app.
- Go to your recent calls and click on the phone you want to mark as spam.
- Tap the information icon ℹ️ to learn more about the phone call.
- On the bottom right of your screen, select “Block” to block the phone number.
- Open your “Phone” app.
- Go to “Recents” and click on the information button next to the spam call you want to block.
- Scroll until you see “Block this Caller” and tap it.
Third-Party Spam Blocking Apps
- Hiya (Best Overall Spam Call Blocking App): With Hiya Protect, you can prevent spam, fraud, and telemarketing calls from contacting you. It scans through 17 categories of spam including extortion, political, debt collector, and more to protect you.
- TrueCaller (Best Paid Spam Call Blocking App): Not only does this app block spam calls, its Caller ID feature can identify who is behind the spam or unknown number.
- Youmail (Best For Businesses): Youmail offers various business packages, along with personal plans as well, to help your company avoid, block, and identify spam callers.
Upgrade Your Cell Phone Carrier Plan and/or Features
Many cell phone carriers offer plans and/or feature upgrades for spam call vetting and/or caller ID.
- T-Mobile Scan Shield (Free App)
- AT&T Call Protect (Free)
- Call Filter (Free)
- Call Filter Plus ($2.99 per month for one line)
How To Report Spam Calls
Report It To The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
If you are receiving continuous spam calls, you can report them to the FTC by calling them or going online to complaints.donotcall.gov. In regards to your complaint, you will have to provide information such as the telephone number, when you received the call, if it was a call or text message, if it was a recorded call, what the call was about, and more. If a debt collector is harassing you and not respecting your rights, you can report them HERE.
File A Complaint With To The Federal Communications Commission
Other than the FTC, you can report your spam call to the FCC. All you have to do is visit this site, provide your information including your contact information and the situation, and tap submit. Make sure to attach any essential documents, screenshots, and other evidence of your spam call.
*Tip: You may want to look up the unknown number to see who may be behind it!
How To Prevent Spam Calls In The Future
Add Yourself To The National Do Not Call Registry
By registering your phone number with the Do Not Call Registry, this will prevent you from receiving unwanted and soliciting calls. Doing this has been proven to greatly reduce the spam calls you receive, but now all. First, you will need to register your phone number HERE. Then, verify your registration HERE. After this, it will take about a month or so for the spam calls to slow down
Use The Various Spam Call Blocking Techniques
Continuously blocking unwanted calls can prevent you from receiving these calls in the future. Block specific numbers through your cell phone manually, or by utilizing phone blocking apps and features through your cell phone carrier.
Be Careful Where You Share Your Phone Number Online
With technology today, it’s relatively easy for your cell phone number and other personal information to be stolen online. When you are using sites, apps, and more, be careful who you share your phone number with. This could be via messaging, forms, online accounts, social media, and more.
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