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How to block spam calls on your Android phone
Hate spam calls? So do we! They’re annoying as hell, and the problem gets worse by the day. In this post, we look at how to block spam calls or at least minimize them. But before we do, let’s take a look at the three most common types of spam calls.
The first is telemarketing calls from real companies trying to sell you stuff. Carriers and internet service providers love to use them to lure consumers away from the competition. Then there are robocalls, which are automated phone calls with pre-recorded sales messages. They are also frequently used for political campaigns, charitable causes, and more.
Take it to the next level: How to block a phone number on your Android phone
Lastly, there are scam calls from shady characters trying to take advantage of you. They pretend to be FBI, CIA, or bank employees and try to get you to reveal your financial or other sensitive data. For more details on these scam calls, check out our dedicated post on this topic that shows some of the most common phone scams to look out for.
So, how can you protect yourself from spam calls? You’ll find the four best methods to use below.
How to block spam calls on Android
- Use an app or carrier service
- Block calls one by one
- Only allow calls from contacts
- Register at donotcall.gov
Editor’s note: These are the best ways to block spam calls right now, but we will add new methods as we find them.
Block spam calls with apps and carrier services
The best way to block spam calls is with dedicated apps, which rely on databases of millions of numbers. Whenever you get a call from a number listed in the database, the app will warn you with a message displayed on your screen. Alternatively, it can also send the call to voicemail so you don’t have to deal with it at all.
Several apps like these are available in the Play Store — some are free, while others require a subscription. You can check out a few of the best ones below:
Additionally, the big three U.S. carriers offer apps and services to help their users fight unwanted calls. Features differ from carrier to carrier, as do pricing and availability. Most work the same as the apps described above, which means they’ll notify you when you get a spam call or block it so it won’t even reach you. You can check out what each carrier has on offer via the links below:
Keep in mind that while apps and services offered by carriers are the best way to block spam calls, they aren’t perfect. They won’t completely eliminate these unwanted calls, but they will significantly reduce them.
Block spam calls one by one
If you’re regularly getting harassed by just a few companies or individuals, the easy way to block unwanted calls is to block their numbers. To do so, all you have to do is open the phone app on your Android device, long press on a number that keeps calling you, and tap on “Block.” That’s it! Keep in mind the process can slightly differ from device to device.
This is a quick and easy solution, although it’s not the best if you’re getting tons of spam calls from different numbers — blocking countless numbers each day can get annoying. Some spammers also spoof their numbers to show up differently each time. If that’s the case, opting for a dedicated app — as described in the section above — is a better method.
Block spam calls by only allowing calls from your contacts
Another way to win against spam calls is to block all numbers except those in your contacts list. Sure, this might be an extreme measure, but it will get the job done. The best way to achieve this is to download an app like Calls Blacklist – Call Blocker. It’s free of charge and extremely popular, with more than 10 million downloads. But there are many alternatives available if it’s not up your alley for some reason.
Just download the app at the link above, open “Settings,” select “Blocking,” and tap on “Block all numbers except contacts,” as shown in the screenshots above. When you receive a call from a number not saved in your contacts, your phone won’t ring, but you’ll be able to see that the call happened within the app. Nice!
This method obviously has a significant drawback. You’ll likely miss calls from friends, family members, coworkers, and others who may have changed their number or call from a different phone. So make sure you only opt for this measure if all else fails.
Block spam calls by registering on donotcall.gov
The FTC runs The National Do Not Call Registry, allowing people who want to block unwanted calls to sign up with their phone number. Companies must respect it, which means they are prohibited from calling the numbers the registry contains.
However, this only applies to telemarketing. By signing up, you shouldn’t get any annoying calls from ISPs and other companies trying to sell you stuff, but you can still get political, survey, and other similar calls. Signing up also won’t eliminate scam calls, as shady characters normally don’t care much about the law.
Getting your phone number listed in the registry is fast and free — you can sign up via the button below.