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How to block unwanted spam and robocalls?

If you own a vehicle and live in the United States, you've likely received a vehicle warranty robocall. You receive them every other day, and there is no effective way to block them - how frustrating is it? Those car warranty robocalls are mostly fraudulent and you want to stop them.

The prevalence of robocalls has grown drastically, becoming a major nuisance for phone users. According to various reports and studies, the average number of robocalls received per day by an American consumer ranged from 4 to 10 calls in recent years. The rise in technology has made it easier for scammers and telemarketers to place a large volume of calls quickly and inexpensively. As a result, millions of people receive robocalls regularly, leading to frustration, privacy invasion, and financial loss.

What is a robocall?

Robocalls refer to automated telephone calls made by computerized systems, known as autodialers or robodialers. Robodialers can dial a large number of phone numbers in a short period and play pre-recorded messages to the recipients. Robocalls are often used for telemarketing, scams, political campaigns, and service notifications.

Robocalls can be very frustrating, and wasteful in most cases except for service reminders. There are several steps you can take to reduce or stop robocalls. Here are a few methods you can try:

1. Register your number on the National Do Not Call Registry

There is a National Do Not Call Registry that allows you to opt out of receiving telemarketing calls in the United States. If you live outside of the USA, you may want to visit the official website for your country and register your phone number. While this won't completely eliminate all robocalls, legitimate telemarketers should honor your request and stop calling.

2. Enable your phone's built-in call-blocking features

The built-in call-blocking feature on smartphones allows users to block specific phone numbers or contacts from calling them. The feature works by creating a list of blocked numbers or contacts within the phone's settings, preventing calls and sometimes messages from those numbers.

When a call comes in, the phone checks the incoming number against the blocked list. If the number matches a blocked entry, the system automatically rejects the call without ringing and appearing as a missed call. Depending on the configuration, the blocked caller may hear a busy signal, be redirected to voicemail, or simply have the call terminated.

By utilizing the built-in call-blocking feature, users can effectively filter out unwanted calls from specific numbers or contacts. It provides users with greater control over their incoming calls, helping to maintain privacy, reduce interruptions, and prevent scams or unwanted solicitations.

3. Use call-blocking apps

Call-blocking apps can help block robocalls on your smartphone. They have a caller ID feature that identifies incoming calls and displays the caller information to the user so the user can decide whether to receive a robocall. The apps also maintain databases of known spam numbers and robocall numbers, and automatically block calls from those numbers. Users can also contribute toward building a database by reporting robocall numbers when they receive them.

Users can also manually blacklist and whitelist phone numbers to block spammers, or allow important calls through. Users may also configure apps to send suspicious calls to voicemail or create personalized blocking rules. While no app can block all robocalls, using a call-blocking app can significantly reduce their frequency and give users more control over their calls. Some popular apps include Truecaller, Hiya, and RoboKiller.

4. Use call-blocking services from your wireless service provider

Virtually, every wireless service provider today offers some form of call-blocking feature as part of their service. Basic spam detection and blocking are offered free of charge, while enhanced features are offered through a paid subscription plan.

For example, Verizon offers "Verizon Call Filter" and AT&T offers "AT&T Call Protect" as the free version, and allows customers to purchase an enhanced version of the premium service. T-Mobile offers a free "Scam Shield", and a paid "Scam Shield Premium" version of call-blocking services.

5. Be cautious with your personal information

Avoid sharing your phone number indiscriminately, online or offline. Read privacy policies carefully and only provide your number to trusted sources. Sometimes, robocalls originate from data breaches or when you provide your number to untrustworthy entities.

6. Report robocalls

If you receive a robocall, hang up immediately without providing any personal information. Reporting the call to the appropriate authorities can also help. In the United States, you can file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

While these methods can help reduce the number of robocalls you receive, some persistent scammers may find ways to bypass these measures. Stay vigilant and never provide personal or financial information to unknown callers.


While blocking robocalls entirely may be challenging, there are effective measures individuals can take to minimize the number of robocalls they receive. Registering on the National Do Not Call Registry, utilizing built-in blocking features on smartphones, and using call-blocking apps can significantly reduce unwanted calls.

Safeguarding personal information, reporting robocalls to relevant authorities, and staying informed about the latest scam techniques employed by robocallers are also important steps. Consider using call-blocking services from wireless service providers can also help reduce robocalls. By combining these strategies and maintaining vigilance, individuals can mitigate the prevalence and disruption caused by robocalls.

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