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Silence the Noise: How to Stop Spam Calls Effectively

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Written by
Shea Georgetti
Published on
January 13, 2024
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Silence the Noise: How to Stop Spam Calls Effectively

Are you tired of being interrupted by incessant spam calls? Wondering how to stop them from reaching your phone? Look no further. This article presents clear, actionable strategies on how to stop spam calls and reclaim your peace of mind. Whether it’s leveraging built-in phone features, carrier tools, or third-party apps, we cover a spectrum of options that put you back in control.

Main Points to Remember

  • To combat spam calls, one should be proactive in identifying clues such as unfamiliar numbers and warnings on caller ID, and utilize features on iOS and Android that silence unknown callers.
  • Mobile carriers provide additional anti-spam tools like Verizon’s Call Filter, T-Mobile’s Scam Shield, and AT&T’s ActiveArmor to supplement your phone’s capabilities in filtering unwanted calls.
  • It’s essential to utilize a combination of strategies including the National Do Not Call Registry, reporting to authorities like FTC and FCC, and employing third-party apps along with carrier and phone features to effectively prevent and manage spam calls.

Read more about Voiply RoboCall Defender here.

Understanding Spam: Identifying Unwanted Calls

Illustration of a smartphone with incoming call notification

Termed as intrusive and potentially dangerous, spam calls consist of telemarketing, robocalls, spoofing, and fraudulent scams such as the IRS or insurance fraud. These unsolicited calls utilize automated systems to send out pre-recorded messages to a large number of people.

In order to effectively combat these undesirable phone calls, it is important for individuals to immediately identify an incoming call upon receiving it and understand its potential risks. One way to do this is by taking steps towards blocking unwanted callers.

To protect oneself from these types of nuisance calls that can cause harm or inconvenience, it’s crucially necessary for one to protect oneself from these types of nuisance calls that can cause harm or inconvenience.

Recognizing the Red Flags of Spam Calls

Spam calls can easily be identified before you even pick up the phone. If a caller’s number is unfamiliar or your display shows “Spam Likely” or a similar warning, it strongly suggests that the call may be spam. In order to appear more trustworthy, spammers often use social engineering tactics and manipulate publicly available information. They also resort to using caller ID spoofing techniques where they mask their real numbers, making it harder for us to recognize spam calls. These are some common red flags of such unwanted solicitations.

  • Unfamiliar phone numbers
  • Display showing “Spam Likely” or similar indication
  • Social engineering tactics
  • Caller ID spoofing

Being aware of these indicators helps safeguard ourselves against falling prey to spam callers.

The Legal Landscape of Robocalls and Telemarketing Calls

While not all automated calls and telemarketing communications are considered illegal, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established regulations that govern their use. For instance, consent is necessary for automatic or prerecorded messages to be sent to wireless numbers with exceptions only in cases of emergency. Telemarketers must also offer recipients a way to opt out during robocalls and obtain express written or verbal permission before making such calls. Engaging in the prohibited practice of using falsified caller ID information can result in fines up to $10,000 per violation.

Your Phone's First Line of Defense

Illustration of phone settings with spam call blocking feature

To being a communication tool, your smartphone also offers protection against spam calls. Most iOS and Android devices have built-in features that allow you to effectively block these unwanted calls. Let’s take a look at how you can activate these functions in order to strengthen the security of your phone against intrusive callers.

Silence Unknown Callers on iOS and Android

Activating features on your device is the first step in silencing calls from unknown numbers. On iOS 13 and newer versions, iPhone users can use the ‘Silence Unknown Callers’ feature to automatically silence these calls by sending them to voicemail and displaying them under Recents. For Android users, a similar option exists within their Phone app settingswhere they can choose to block all incoming calls from unidentified callers.

While this method may effectively prevent unwanted spam or scam calls, it’s important to note that there is a possibility of missing important phonecalls from unsaved contacts. Consider carefully before enabling this setting for prolonged periods of time.

Customizing Call Blocking Settings

Customizing the call blocking settings on your phone allows you to tailor its defenses according to your personal needs. In iOS, access the Blocked Contacts section by going to Settings > Phone > Blocked Contacts. Phone and add or remove specific contacts from being blocked. On Android, go into the Phone app’s settings menu and activate call blocking in order for it to be effective. Be sure that calls are allowed only from trusted contacts before enabling this feature.

Leveraging Your Carrier's Tools Against Spam

Illustration of carrier-provided tools for spam call prevention

Along with the features already built into your phone, your mobile carrier may also offer additional tools to help deal with spam calls. These supplementary options can be highly effective in managing unwanted calls. Many carriers provide specialized applications and blockers designed specifically for combating spam, giving customers advanced anti-spam capabilities right on their device.

Verizon Call Filter App: A Closer Look

Verizon’s Call Filter service has been created to stop spam calls and eliminate unwanted disruptions on your phone line. By using the Call Filter app, customers of Verizon can choose to either divert suspicious or fraudulent calls directly to voicemail or block them entirely. For those looking for extra features, there is also a paid version called Call Filter Plus available as a monthly subscription option through the app.

T-Mobile Scam Shield: Comprehensive Protection

T-Mobile has a helpful solution for its customers to tackle scam calls through the Scam Shield app. It offers various features, such as ‘Scam Likely’ which alerts users about potential scams by showing them on their devices. There’s also Scam ID that helps reduce unwanted scam calls and Scam Block that can completely block these types of calls from coming in. To provide more information about incoming callers, T-Mobile also includes Enhanced Caller ID.

These useful features are provided free of cost to all T-Mobile customers who have access to the Scam Shield app. Eligible devices get an additional benefit with free caller ID service displaying the name of incoming callers directly on their screens after opting in either via different channels or within the app itself.

AT&T ActiveArmor: Defending Your Mobile Experience

AT&T provides its customers with ActiveArmor, a service that safeguards against scammers, fraudsters and potential security threats. This comprehensive network protection solution is specifically designed to proactively protect users from online dangers through the use of AT&T Wi-Fi gateway or All-Fi Hub. While the basic version comes included at no extra cost for AT&T phone plans subscribers, an upgraded version -Active Armor Plus- can also be purchased.

The service encompasses several features such as managing spam and nuisance calls by offering customizable call routing settings and blocking options for both fraudulent and unwanted incoming calls. With ActiveArmor in place, customers can rest assured that their safety online is being taken care of effectively while enjoying uninterrupted communication without having to worry about pesky scams or robocalls disrupting their day-to-day activities.

Voiply RoboCall Defender: Block Known Spam Numbers

The RoboCall Defender feature of Voiply is a specialized service that efficiently blocks unwanted robocalls. By using advanced integration with the app, it can analyze calling patterns and identify potential robocalls to screen them before they reach the user’s line. Users have control over sensitivity settings and can manage their blocked or allowed numbers through their account.

This added service comes at an extra cost of $2.50 per month for users to effectively prevent disruptive robocalls from reaching them via proactive measures by recognizing suspicious behavior in calls and blocking them beforehand.

Third-Party Apps: Your Spam Blocking Allies

Illustration of third-party spam-blocking app options

To the built-in features and tools provided by your phone and carrier, there are also various third-party apps that can help in blocking unwanted calls. These apps serve as valuable allies in combatting spam calls and include options such as Call Filter, Robo Shield Spam Call Blocker, Truecaller, RoboKiller, Call Control, and Hiya.

These external applications often rely on a community-based reporting system to identify spammers, which adds an extra layer of protection against annoying spam calls. By utilizing these resources alongside your device’s existing features, you can effectively block any type of intrusive call activity.

Choosing the Right App for Your Needs

When choosing an app that meets your needs, it’s important to consider factors like feedback from other users, the flow of calls within the app, when you typically receive calls and how well the app can detect call spoofing. Another factor to keep in mind is enterprise caller scoring.

For example, iPhone users highly recommend apps such as Hiya for their ability to effectively block spam calls. This has resulted in high ratings and positive reviews for these types of apps.

If you’re a business user looking for ways to protect your VoIP landline against spam calls, there are several options available such as Nomorobo and RoboKiller. YouMail and Hiya also offer advanced features that allow personalized protection against unwanted or fraudulent callers on both personal lines and business lines using VoIP technology.

The Effectiveness of Community-Based Reporting

One method of preventing unwanted calls and spam is through community-based reporting in apps specifically designed for this purpose. This involves users notifying the app of any numbers that they receive unsolicited or unwanted calls from, which are then added to a shared list accessible by all app users.

The benefits of utilizing such a feature include automatic identification and blocking of known spam numbers for all app users, as well as decreasing response rates and productivity metrics associated with flagged numbers. It can potentially increase costs for spammers attempting to make these nuisance calls. By actively participating in reporting unwanted calls when they occur, individuals can contribute to reducing their volume and improving overall user experience related to receiving harassing phone communications.

The National Do Not Call Registry Explained

One helpful tool in the ongoing battle against unwanted spam and telemarketing calls is the National Do Not Call Registry. This registry provides a platform for individuals to enter their phone numbers, both landline and mobile, with the goal of reducing the amount of marketing calls received. While using this call registry can provide some relief from these types of calls, it’s important to be aware of its limitations and what falls under its jurisdiction.

Registering Your Number

The process of adding your number to the Do Not Call Registry is a simple one. You have three options for registration: calling 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY), or using the National Do Not Call Registry website at DoNotCall.gov. Multiple numbers can be registered on this list.

Once you’ve completed the registration, your number will remain on the registry permanently, there is no expiration date for this service. The national do not call program ensures that telemarketers cannot contact any phone numbers listed in their database, providing peace of mind for those who wish to limit unwanted calls.

Understanding the Scope of Protection

While the Do Not Call Registry can be effective in reducing unwanted sales calls, it should be noted that it is not a complete solution. The registry does not block all types of unwanted calls, such as those from political organizations, charities or telephone surveyors.

Even after registering on the call registry list, you may still receive illegal calls from scammers. It’s important to understand and acknowledge these limitations and use additional strategies for preventing spam phone calls along with being listed on the Do Not Call Registry.

Advanced Strategies to Stop Spam Calls

Illustration of advanced strategies to stop spam calls

When it comes to dealing with spam calls, taking a proactive approach may be required. To effectively combat these unwanted and often fraudulent calls, there are some advanced strategies that can be employed. These include becoming knowledgeable about common phone scams and enhancing your online privacy measures as means of protection. By being informed about the various tactics used by scammers when targeting individuals over the phone, you can better shield yourself from scammers.

Educating Yourself on Phone Scams

Acquiring knowledge through education is a valuable weapon in the battle against spam calls. Becoming familiar with common phone scams and their warning signs can help you avoid falling prey to these schemes. Among the prevalent forms of phone scams are:

  • Intimidating calls pretending to be from the IRS
  • Technical support scam calls
  • Fraudulent requests for donations to fake charities
  • Lottery frauds

Recognizing these typical types of scams and tactics used by scammers on phones can enhance your defense against such deceitful activities.

Strengthening Online Privacy

Strengthening your privacy online is also crucial in stopping unsolicited calls. Improving the security of your internet activities can prevent unwanted calls by reducing the chances of fraudulent behavior that may occur due to the distribution of your mobile phone number through various sources.

Utilizing tools like virtual private networks (VPNs) and unique passwords on different platforms helps protect sensitive information and enhances online safety, thereby decreasing the risk associated with spam or unwarranted communications.

Reporting Unwanted Calls to Authorities

If you continue to receive unwanted calls, despite your efforts to prevent them, it is important that you report these calls to the authorities. This will allow for Investigation and deterrence of scammers. By reporting these calls, not only are you holding those responsible accountable, but also helping protect others from receiving such unwanted phone calls.

Where to Report: FTC and FCC Resources

To report unwanted or spam calls, there are two important resources: the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Start by visiting ReportFraud.ftc.gov to notify the FTC about these calls. This will help in addressing and preventing Occurrences of such calls. For reporting to FCC, go online to fcc.gov/complaints. Fill out their complaint form with necessary information like call details, originating phone number(s), and any other relevant facts related to the call.

The Impact of Reporting

Redirecting undesired calls to the authorities plays a crucial role in the battle against unsolicited phone communications. It enables law enforcement agencies to take legal action against those responsible and aid in tackling illegal automated calls and fraudulent caller ID practices. This also allows consumer protection authorities to address urgent concerns related to these types of unwanted communication.

Reporting such occurrences can lead flagged numbers’ response rates and productivity metrics to decline, resulting in increased expenses for the perpetrators while potentially reducing their ability to make nuisance calls.

Protecting Landline Phones from Unwanted Calls

While the current emphasis is on mobile gadgets, it’s important not to overlook the susceptibility of traditional landline phones to undesired calls. To ensure protection for your landline phone, there are numerous resources available including services that label incoming calls and external devices that block them.

Call Labeling Services for Landlines

Caller ID labeling services are designed to label calls as potential unwanted or illegal, such as ‘spam’ or ‘scam likely,’ in order to assist users in identifying and avoiding these types of calls. While they can effectively block known spam numbers, it is important to note that not all unwanted calls may be caught by these services, especially those coming from new or changing spam numbers.

Some common providers of caller ID labeling services include Xfinity, Spectrum, AT&T, Voiply, and CenturyLink.

Utilizing External Call Blocking Devices

Call-blocking devices for landline phones are external tools that can help screen and block unwanted calls by utilizing databases of known spam numbers and caller ID technology. These devices offer features such as the ability to whitelist or blacklist specific numbers, as well as automatically blocking unrecognized or user-defined blocked numbers.

According to ratings from users, two highly recommended call-blocking devices for landlines are the CPR V10,000 and CPR V5000 models. Both of these options utilize advanced technologies to effectively block unwanted calls on a landline phone system.

RoboCall Defender Automated Call Blocking

At Voiply, our RoboCall Defender service utilizes cutting-edge technology to effectively detect and block unwanted robocalls. Through seamless integration with Robokiller, it is able to analyze patterns in robocall behavior and screen incoming calls for potential intrusions. By proactively preventing these calls from reaching the user’s line, we strive to provide a hassle-free phone experience without any interruptions from annoying automated calls.

How do I stop spam calls permanently?

To permanently put an end to the nuisance of receiving spam calls, there are several options you can explore. One method is blocking unwanted numbers on your smartphone or using tools provided by your carrier company. Another solution is downloading third-party apps like Hiya or RoboKiller which specialize in identifying and stopping spam calls. Registering your number with the National Do Not Call Registry will also aid in decreasing the amount of unsolicited calls you receive.

By taking these necessary measures, you can effectively decrease and potentially eliminate annoying instances of receiving spam calls for good.

Why am I suddenly getting so many spam calls?

The reason behind the constant influx of spam calls is likely due to your number being shared or sold with scammers and telemarketing companies. Take action against this by reporting these numbers to the appropriate authorities, while also avoiding answering any calls from unfamiliar numbers whenever possible.

How do I block all incoming spam calls?

To prevent receiving unwanted calls on your Android device, you can utilize the “Block Unknown Callers” feature in the Phone app. Simply access Settings, navigate to Block Numbers and turn on the option for blocking unknown callers.

For Protection against spam calls, it may be helpful to install a call-blocking application that screens incoming numbers automatically. With these measures in place, you can effectively filter out any annoying or fraudulent calls from reaching your phone.

Is it better to decline or ignore spam calls?

Ignoring spam calls is a more effective approach than rejecting them. This is because interacting with the call can give scammers confirmation that your number is operational, possibly resulting in an increase of unwanted calls in the future.

It’s advisable to disregard these types of calls and allow them to be directed to voicemail instead.

What are the common indicators of a spam call?

Some telltale signs of a potential spam call are phone numbers that you don’t recognize, alerts such as ‘Spam Likely’ showing up on your caller ID, delays in greetings from the person calling, or callers who have trouble communicating clearly.

Another tactic used by scammers is known as caller ID spoofing where they manipulate their displayed number to trick people into answering calls. This can make it difficult to identify and avoid incoming spam calls.

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Shea Georgetti
Shea Georgetti is a co-founder and CEO at Voiply, where he leads a team dedicated to transforming communication in businesses. Inspired by books like Atomic Habits, The One Thing, and Goodbye Things, Shea values patience and positivity.
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