How to Stop Robocalls
Robocalls are a type of phone call that’s made with an auto-dialer and consists of some kind of a prerecorded message. They can be made anywhere in the world, and even though not all of them are illegal, they’re uniformly annoying. What’s more, they can even be the preferred tool of scammers. One of the best ways to stop robocalls is by blocking unwanted numbers and spam calls.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to stop robocalls on different types of cell phones and landlines. We’ll also go through the best third-party apps you can use to block robocalls.
How to Stop Robocalls on an iPhone
Robocalls can be a number of things. It could be a political group urging for your support, charities soliciting donations, or telemarketers looking to sell stuff, scam or otherwise. Since robocalls tend to either contain prerecorded messages or an artificial voice, it’s easy to tell them apart from other types of calls. While many robocalls are legal, you might want to avoid them altogether.
If you keep getting robocalls on your iPhone, the best thing you can do is to block them. By blocking unwanted calls on your phone, you can make sure spam calls and illegal robocalls never even reach your number. While there are a lot of third-party apps that you can download on your phone, the iPhone has a built-in feature to block phone numbers.
To block a specific number on your iPhone, follow the steps below:
- Open the Phone app on your iPhone.
- Go to the “Recents” tab on the bottom menu.
- Find the robocall that you want to block.
- Tap on the “i” icon on the right side of the tab.
- Go to the bottom of the screen and select “Block this Caller.”
- Confirm that you want to block this number.
However, this method only works for robocalls that have already tried to contact you. Another option you have is to silence unknown callers, although this will not only silence robocalls but all other calls from unknown numbers. If this is something you want to do, this is how it’s achieved:
- Open Settings.
- Go down to “Phone” on the menu.
- Tap on the “Silence Unknown Callers” tab.
- Toggle the switch to enable this feature.
If you choose to do this, all unknown calls will be silenced, sent to voicemail, and recorded on the “Recents” list in your call log.
How to Stop Robocalls on an Android Phone
To block a number on your Android device, this is what you do:
- Open the Phone app on your Android.
- Go to the “Recents” tab.
- Next to the “Search contacts & places” bar, tap on the three dots in the upper-right corner.
- Select “Settings.”
- Proceed to the “Blocked Numbers” option.
- Choose the “Add a Number” button.
- Enter the robocall number on the pop-up menu.
- Tap on the “Block” button.
Just like iPhones, this method only works for specific robocalls that have already called your number. Android phones give you the option to block all unknown numbers. This is how it’s done:
- Open the Phone app on your Android device.
- Tap on “Recents.”
- Navigate to the search bar at the top of the screen, and select the three dots on the right side.
- Choose “Settings” from the menu.
- Find the “Blocked Numbers” tab.
- Toggle the “Unknown” switch at the top of the screen.
Doing this will block calls from unidentified callers. You also won’t be able to receive calls or texts from blocked numbers.
While these two methods won’t allow blocked numbers to get through to you again, they don’t protect you from future robocalls. The best thing you can do is download a third-party app. There are a lot of useful anti-robocall apps, which we’ll get into later.
How to Stop Robocalls on a Landline
While cell phones are more susceptible to robocalls, they have more options for protection. Landlines, on the other hand, can’t use third-party apps or built-in features to block robocalls.
If you keep getting robocalls on a landline, the best thing to do is turn to the national Do Not Call List, which is made to protect landlines and wireless phone numbers. Once you register, telemarketers won’t be able to call your number.
You can register in two ways. You can either call one of these two numbers: 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY). If you choose to call, make sure it’s from the number you want to register. Another option is to register on the government website. This service is completely free and doesn’t expire. You might still get calls from politicians or charities, as they are not illegal. If you still happen to receive a robocall even after you’ve registered, you can report it.
How to Stop Robocalls with Verizon
There are various apps that you can use to block robocalls. Verizon Wireless offers a free app called Verizon Call Filter. It’s compatible with mobile devices and wireless home phones. The free version of the app includes the following features: spam detection, spam filter, spam & blocked call log, neighborhood spoofing filter, and an option to report spam. Call Filter Plus, on the other hand, also lets you identify Caller IDs, look up spam, create a personal block list, and use the spam risk meter.
After you install this app and enable it, it will block spam and robocalls automatically. It even allows you to cancel robocalls in advance. The spam filter feature shows you medium and high-risk spam calls. You can send spam calls directly to your voicemail or block them directly from the app. Most importantly, it gives you the option to report spam calls to make sure they don’t bother you or anyone else ever again.
How to Stop Robocalls with AT&T
AT&T Call Protect is an app that you can use to block spam calls and unknown callers. Thanks to AT&T’s analytics system, the app has a good track record of blocking billions of unwanted robocalls. You can find this app on the Apps Store or Google Play, though it is only free for AT&T Mobility subscribers.
Aside from blocking spam calls, you can also use AT&T Call Protect to manage unwanted calls, block spam with Siri, and identify spam calls even before you answer. With the app installed, go to your phone’s Settings and enable AT&T Call Protect to make changes to your phone’s calls.
To add a robocall to your personal blocklist on AT&T, follow the steps below:
- Launch AT&T on your mobile device.
- Go to the “Block” tab.
- Proceed to “My Block List.”
- Tap on the “+” icon.
From this point on, you can enter a number or select a specific number from your contacts or your call log. You can also block spam risk calls. If a potential robocall calls your number, the app will let you know by labeling it with “Potential Fraud” or “Spam Risk.”
It comes with in-app purchases for enhanced Caller ID and Reverse Number Lookup, among others. For example, if you want to block a number with a hidden Caller ID, you can only do this with AT&T Call Protect Plus.
Is the Government Ever Going to Do Anything About These Robocalls?
Even though the Anti-Robocall Law with expanded robocalls regulations went into effect in 2019, robocalls continue to be a worldwide nuisance. In fact, 48 million robocalls were made in 2018 alone. Since the passage of the Anti-Robocall Law, however, illegal robocalling offenses can come with a fine of up to $10,000.
As the enforcement body for the law, the FCC has dedicated resources to combat illegal robocalls. You can report a robocall to the FCC here.
To avoid robocall scams, the best thing you can do as an individual is to avoid answering calls from unknown numbers and never disclose your personal information over the phone.
Don’t Fall for Robocalls
Robocalls are a worldwide phenomenon. To put a stop to them, you can block known spam calls and or all unknown numbers, perhaps with a third-party app that can do it for you.
What kind of robocalls do you receive most often? What’s your opinion? Let us know in the comments below.