- Assess the Spam’s Origin
- Call Blocking Apps
- Premium Carrier Services
- Stop Answering Unknown Calls
- Blocking Number Individually
Spam, scams, and robocalls are one of the most annoying consequences of modern technology to date. I never expect to meet a person who enjoys their phone ringing off the metaphoric “hook” until the point of exhaustion, and for good reason. Back in the day, some of us could get a little enjoyment out of messing with scammers, now they aren’t people and do not provide the same entertainment value. Given this, it’s time to take action.
Assess the Spam’s Origin
It can be frustrating and easy to blame spammers and scammers for the incredible annoyance but in some cases, we’re all to blame for the cause. Filling out raffles in shopping malls for that “chance” to win a new car or vacation is just one example of how some spammers obtain warn leads. However, the rest of the time, most robocalls are just random selections long chronological phone number lists. A good rule of thumb is to find out how the spammers are calling you. Are they random calls from your own (or a specific) area code? Or are they in response to your consensual submissions.
Call Blocking Apps
The best defense to spam calls is a good anti-spam or call blocking app. There are lots to choose from. Some work well, others not so much. Some bog your phone down with ads, some just work without issue. I’ve found that CallControl (blue shield with phone icon) works the best for Android. I imagine they are equally as successful on the iOS (iPhone) side of things.
CallControl, which has a free and paid version, gives you the ability to block phone numbers based on a series of digits. This can allow a person to block an entire area code so that if robocallers are randomly selecting you, you can automatically deny any unknown calls from that area code while still allowing everyone else to call. The importance behind area code restriction is due to the fact that many robocallers, marketers, and spam callers spoof their area code to appear local. Therefore you can cut down on the majority of spam calls by just restricting your phone’s own area code.
This works great if you no longer live in the same area code as you obtained your phone number but may not be the best option if you are in the same location as your current area code. For that reason, there are some other tips for those of you who’d rather white-list your own area code.
Premium Carrier Services
Some carriers, such as T-Mobile, offer a service which claims to block spam. This method is done through the carrier and network side rather than the device using digital signatures and other data-integrity verifying methods. Unlike the third party application CallControl, this is a direct service from carriers and as such, they generally charge a small monthly fee. For the majority of us, $5-$10 a month may be well worth the annoyance and the headaches.
Stop Answering Unknown Calls
If you don’t answer, your number has no value. Whether this be for marketers, spammers, or scammers, the principle is the same. The caller is attempting to reach someone for [insert malicious reason] and their goal is to reach a live individual. If you stop answering and let it ring, or have an application automatically disconnect such as CallControl, the scammer’s algorithm may remove your number from future calls. As far as human spammers, they certainly won’t both either. You should starve the fire. Don’t make it worse by yelling and screaming at it!
Blocking Number Individually
The last resort of a desperate person is to just individually block the number by tools that are already included in your phone. The primary issue with this is that each number is generally different. When robocalls first kicked up, this was my go-to method. The problem is, I came out with 65 phone numbers blocked and my phone wasn’t ringing any less. In a situation like this, it’s best to provide a solution that will tackle the spoofing aspect head on.
Bonus: Change Your Number
Now, this is by far the most extreme. It isn’t recommended unless you have a serious harasser, habitual scammers, rabid bill collectors, or crazy ex’s beating down your phone’s door. However, if you have any of those things, sometimes the best method is to let your friends and family know that you are obtaining a new number. It might seem aggravating to go through the change but it may be very well worth the up-front aggravation in repetitious and daily aggravation.