KIM KOMANDO

Here are the best ways to block scam and telemarketing phone calls

Apr 9, 2023, 5:00 AM

(Freepik Photo/wayhomestudio)...

(Freepik Photo/wayhomestudio)

The phone rings, and as soon as you say hello, the person on the other end starts babbling about saving money on car insurance.

Don’t say anything! They could be recording your voice, which they’ll use to impersonate you. If you do speak up, avoid saying this one word.

When it comes to telemarketing and scam calls, the best thing to do is not pick up the phone.

But it’s not always easy to tell whether an incoming call is legitimate — especially if your phone doesn’t show that scam or spam warning.

You want to stop these calls before they happen. Here’s how.

Block calls from your smartphone

Your phone has built-in security tools to protect you from scammers, and you should get to know one of the most basic: the block function.

If you get a call from a number you know is connected to a scammer or telemarketer, block it. You can do this as many times as you need to.

Block calls from your iPhone

● Open the Phone app and tap the info button next to the number you want to block. The info button is a lowercase (i) inside a circle.
● Scroll down and tap Block this Caller.

Block calls from your Android phone

● Open your Phone app.
● Tap More > Call history.
● Tap a call from the number you want to block.
● Tap Block/report spam.

What about unknown numbers? You might prefer to stop them altogether, but be careful.

Silencing unknown callers could silence calls you may want to receive, such as from a doctor’s office, hospital, and other important calls from numbers not in your contacts. But generally, they will leave a voicemail if the call is important.

Silence unknown numbers from your iPhone

● Go to Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers.
● Toggle on Silence Unknown Callers.

Silence unknown numbers from your Android

● Tap the Phone icon and select the three-dot menu.
● Go to Settings > Blocked Numbers.
● Toggle on Block Calls From Unidentified Callers.

Carrier tools

Your wireless carrier can help you avoid spam, too. Some have advanced caller ID that lets you know when a possible spam text reaches you. Some carriers provide an app with more powerful tools to block unwanted calls and texts.

This includes T-Mobile’s Scam Shield, AT&T ActiveArmor, and Verizon Call Filter. Check your service provider’s website or call them to learn more about their services.

Though unexpected calls from outside the U.S. are big red flags to watch out for, scammers can trick you into thinking they are calling locally. Tap or click here for tips on spotting this trick and a list of area codes to avoid.

Third-party apps

Nomorobo is a third-party app that offers real-time protection from robocalls, telemarketers, spam texts, and phone scammers from calling your iOS or Android phone. It lets the phone ring once and then attempts to identify the caller. If the number is found on the app’s robocaller list, it will automatically be blocked.

You can try a free 14-day trial, and then you’ll need to pay $1.99 per month or $19.99 per year. The app is available for iOS and Android.

Do Not Call registry

It might not stop everything, but it’s worth adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry if you never have. Adding your number to the list doesn’t cost anything, and its purpose is to stop sales calls, though we all know scammers don’t care about rules or laws.

Go to donotcall.gov to add your number. You can add multiple numbers to the list, so do your older family members a favor and add them.

What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Call Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find it on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch The Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, television or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcasts.

Kim Komando

Image of person holding cellphone in their hand....

Kim Komando

Here are 3 easy ways to clear out the junk on your phone

With minimal effort and guidance, decluttering can ensure a more streamlined and enjoyable user experience.

16 hours ago

Home surveillance on the walls....

Kim Komando

The story about when a SWAT team stormed my house

Discover a chilling real-life account of a home invasion thwarted by Phoenix SWAT and learn how to protect your home from similar threats with advanced security measures.

2 days ago

Image of a voice assistant....

Kim Komando

7 things you should never ask Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant

As technology evolves, so should our knowledge of it. Here are seven things you should NEVER ask your smart assistant!

8 days ago

Person upset with phone....

Kim Komando

Here are the signs that you need a new phone, like, now

As time goes on, the battery level on your phone will drop. Here are the signs you should know that hint you need a new phone ASAP.

9 days ago

Woman sitting at her computer....

Kim Komando

Here are tech life upgrades smarter than the stuff on TikTok

This story delves into the pitfalls of relying solely on online guidance, particularly in the realm of finance and technology, where clickbait and hype often overshadow genuine insight.

15 days ago

Anything connected is a hacker target, and you better believe that includes all the Internet gadget...

Kim Komando

Tech security to-do: Lock down your smart stuff before it can be hacked

Anything connected is a hacker target, and you better believe that includes all the Internet of Things gadgets in your home.

16 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.

Here are the best ways to block scam and telemarketing phone calls