Keep away spam calls with these helpful tricks
Spam calls are annoying, and with the growing internet and smartphone culture, they’re not slowing down anytime soon. If you receive dozens of spam calls a day on your phone, there are a lot of ways to stop them. In fact, there’s a good chance you have a spam filter built into your phone’s dialer app but never enabled it.
If your device uses Google Phone as the default dialer app, the option to filter spam calls can be found in the app’s settings. However, manufacturers like Samsung bundle their own default phone apps, and the process of enabling spam filters could be different.
How spammers get your phone number
Spammers get your phone number in many ways, mostly when donating to fake charities, entering contests, calling businesses with caller IDs, etc. Most spammers are also telemarketers who purchase phone numbers from third-party data providers. Hence, it’s essential not to give away your number with ease.
Other types of spam calls include automated robocalls and scam calls where the person on the other side is disguised as a bank agent or a computer genius who asks for your credit card details to fix your computer and other details.
How to block spam calls on Android
While default dialer apps on most Android phones have spam filtering features, many third-party apps on the Google Play Store can do the same. However, we’d suggest sticking to the default methods, as TechCrunch reports that many third-party apps have been accused of stealing personal data.
Manufacturers like Samsung ship their own dialer app, and while it may look completely different from Google’s Phone app, enabling spam filtering on it is a similar affair. Most of the best Android phones ship with Google Phone and Messages apps, and you can easily download both apps from the Google Play Store if you’re a Samsung user.
How to block spam calls using the Google Phone app
Here’s how to enable spam filtering on the Google Phone app.
- Open the Phone app.
- Tap on the three dots in the top-right corner and tap Settings.
- In the Assistive section, tap Caller ID & Spam.
- Toggle on Filter spam calls to start blocking spam calls automatically.
However, Google’s spam filtering could be oversensitive, at least it is in the subcontinent. When I enabled it to test, I missed a few of my parcels from Amazon as the Phone app would view the calls from the delivery staff as spam.
I ended up disabling the feature; however, you can still identify and ignore spam calls by toggling on See caller and Spam ID in Settings.
Block spammers manually
Most spam and robocalls are performed using random phone numbers. However, if you’re getting spam calls from the same few individuals, you can block them one by one.
- Open the Phone app.Long press the number you want to block.
- Tap Block.
How to block spam calls using third-party apps
This should be your last resort if your phone doesn’t have a spam filtering feature. Here are some of the most popular apps to block spam calls on Android.
- Call Blocker – Caller ID
- Calls Blacklist – Call Blocker
- Should I Answer?
- Call Control – Call Blocker
- Truecaller: Caller ID & Block
Although most third-party apps are reputable, there is always the possibility that a developer will sell or share your data. We suggest sticking to the default spam filtering methods. Truecaller is a pretty straightforward and solid all-around spam blocker app if your phone cannot filter spam calls.
Truecaller is also one of the oldest apps in the spam detection business. That said, the firm had to deal with a few major issues in the past. In 2019, a data breach in the app risked the details of over 47.5 million people in India.
Register on the National Do Not Call Registry
If you live in the US, the FCC allows opting out of telemarketing calls by registering on the National Do Not Call Registry. While you should definitely register, the registry will not magically eliminate spam; in fact, you may notice no difference at all.
- Head over to donotcall.gov.
- Click Register.
- Click Register Here.
- Enter your phone number and email address.
- Ensure the entered details are correct and click Register.
- Open and click on the verification link sent to your email address.
- Once your number’s verified, you should see this.
Let the Google Assistant do the talking
One of the perks of owning a Google Pixel 6 (and earlier models too!) is that you get access to exclusive features like Call screening. As the name suggests, Call Screening allows Google Assistant to take your calls and asks the party on the other side why they’re calling you.
This feature is exclusively meant to give users relief from spam calls. However, one shortcoming of this feature is that it’s only available in 10 countries. Here’s how to enable Call Screening on a supported Google Pixel device.
- Open the Phone app.Go to Settings > Spam and Call Screen.
- Tap every option and select Automatically screen. Decline robocalls.
The Call Screening feature is unique and works like a charm most of the time. That said, its limited availability is a bummer for those who own a supported Pixel device but live in a different country. Not all hope is lost as Google is expanding the feature to other regions. Meanwhile, the methods mentioned above should work wonders to block spam calls on Android.
Spam calls are increasing; So are the ways to stop them
Billions receive spam calls each month. The good news is that we’ve made significant progress in identifying and blocking spam calls. Spam calls/messages aren’t stopping anytime soon but there are ways to minimize your exposure.