How to Prevent Robotic Calls and Minimize Phone Spam

It looks like this is the year of the robocall. I didn’t notice it directly, but now a lot of friends, colleagues and internet posters seem to be inundated with crappy phone calls more than ever before. What wonderful times we live in when anyone with an auto dialer can send millions of calls to people who don’t want to hear about scam vacation offers or other nonsense.

While we are all waiting for the STIR and SHAKEN certifications to work , you should take a few minutes to make sure you have done your best to keep the robots from reaching you. This is Sisyphean work, but you have to stay on top – for the sake of your sanity. Here are some of our suggestions:

There is an application for this

There are many applications you can use to block phone calls, which usually work by detecting spam numbers that other users have already received and proactively blocking them before it’s your turn. They’re not perfect, but they offer a reasonable first line of defense against trouble.

I’ve been a huge fan of Hiya ( Android , iOS ) for many years now as I found its free version to do a great job of suppressing calls from robots. Make sure you update its database at regular intervals (for example, whenever you get an annoying call or two), and make sure you configure the app to automatically block problematic numbers and “neighbor scams” or number spoofing that are very similar to your number, and not just warn you about them.

I also like WideProtect and Mr. Number for iOS and Android, respectively, which allow you to block numbers starting with any prefixes. If you receive a lot of calls from someone else’s area code and you don’t know anyone with that number, just block it all.

You can also try paying for apps like Robokiller which might work for you, but I’d try the free options first. It is annoying to have to pay a monthly fee so as not to get annoyed.

Check with your wireless carrier for spam blocking features.

If your wireless carrier offers free spam identification and feature or app blocking, there is nothing wrong with giving them a shot. These functions may not work very well , but they are better than nothing:

Try this Do Not Call Registry, but don’t hope

Of course, you can register with the FTC ‘s Do Not Call Register , but you will still receive spam. We have reached the point where fraudsters easier to dial phone numbers and either be caught or get such positive results that being caught is not a big deterrent. Either way, this registry exists and you can subscribe to it – as even a placebo can help you feel better – but don’t worry when it doesn’t work.

Oh, and while you’re there, feel free to file complaints about the spam calls you receive. They probably won’t do anything either, but it may slightly improve your mood. If you receive spam, please forward it to # 7726 .

Add your contacts to the whitelist

If you’re an iOS user, you can go to a few extreme steps and use Do Not Disturb mode as a sort of whitelist for your iPhone. Open the Settings app and tap Do Not Disturb. Turn it on, don’t set a schedule (as you’re just going to keep it on), and tap the Allow Calls From section to select All Contacts. You have now muted all phone calls, except for calls from people already in the Contacts app on your iPhone. However, you will also not receive notifications for messages or applications such as email, which can be problematic.

You can use the same trick on Android (via Settings> Sound> Do Not Disturb) and you have a lot more control over the types of notifications you want to receive. In other words, you can continue to receive notifications for messages, events, and reminders, but block incoming calls if they don’t come from people on your contact list. While you’re at it, be sure to enable Android’s built-in Caller ID and Spam feature.

For a more reliable solution, install the Tasker app and try this original Redditor plugin that sends all calls to voicemail if they are not in your smartphone contacts. (You can also try creating your own skill that’s worth learning !)

Consider switching to Google Voice

Google will gladly provide you with a free phone number . While subscribing to one won’t stop spam calls from blowing up your phone, providing that number as your new main number instead of your real phone number can help you reduce the load a bit, especially if you’re using Google Voice’s call filtering feature. and forwarding functions. If you see your Google Voice number ringing you, but the caller isn’t announcing who they are when you pick up the phone, you can probably safely send that number to voicemail.


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