December 3, 2023

It’s 2022, and we don’t just have to Not Lick the fake phone call problem, it seems like it really is getting worse.

But while there is no 100% guaranteed solution to blocking calls, doing these three things can do wonders to get you down the road, and reduce the number of unwanted calls you will receive.

Best of all, you’ll only need a few minutes to set everything up: it’s about downloading an app, putting yourself in a list, and blocking the odd numbers you’re dropping out of.

Get started with your carrier

Each of the three big wireless providers offers both free and paid versions of their spam blocking technology. It’s called AT&T’s ActifarmoreT-Mobile has scamand Verizon has call filter.

These types of apps rely on the ever-growing lists of known spam callers, and the idea is that when a new scam is detected, the relevant phone calls will automatically be blocked for you.

Try these free apps first, because they are your best bet in blocking the largest number of fake calls.

There are also many third-party spam blocking apps like NoMoRoboAnd the Robocaller, and others. You’ll need to pay for these, again, try the free apps from your carrier first, and if they don’t cut it for you, explore some payment options afterward.

Add yourself to the Do Not Call List

This tactic works reasonably well to protect you from certain unsolicited marketing calls, but it depends on who’s making the calls to play by the rules. Visit FTC’s No registration required To add your number to the list. You only need to add it once.

If you find yourself getting an unwanted call once you are on the list, you can Report the number Directly to the FTC to try to block it.

Block odd numbers directly from your phone

When all else fails and you have a number that keeps calling you over and over — or if you just want to stop someone from calling you, for whatever reason — you can manually block the numbers from your iPhone or Android.

For iOS, open the Phone app and next to the number you want to block, tap the little “i” icon next to it and choose “Block this caller” to avoid calls from it in the future.

You can also do this directly from the Contacts app if you had a falling out with an ex-boyfriend, for example. Open the contact, scroll down, and tap “Block this caller” towards the bottom.

For Android, assuming you are using the Google phone app, hold down the respective caller and select the item “Block / Report Spam”.

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