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Stop annoying spam calls on your mobile
March 14, 2018, 1:28 pm
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Mobile spam calls have been a nuisance for years, but over the last few months, there seems to have been a surge of them. Every waking day brings with it a new barrage of such calls with automated services allowing spammers to make countless such calls with ease.

Let us look at some of the different kinds of annoying and unwanted calls. First there are the Robocalls, automated, pre-recorded phone messages that are annoying and have become frequent of late. In addition there are many unsolicited spam callers who try to sell you everything from snake oil to resort-island property. Finally, there are the fraudsters, who often pretend to be someone they are not with malicious intent.

If you are as sick of these calls, as we are, here are a few options for fighting back.

Option 1: Block individual numbers one by one

This is probably a hopeless endeavor if you are aiming to completely eradicate Rbocalls, but if there is a particular number that keeps calling, it is fairly easy to block it forever from your iPhone or Android phone, provided your mobile service provider or mobile brand has the feature. Several Samsung and all Google branded phones automatically identify and deny spam callers access to your number.

On Android, the process is to go to the ‘Recent’ section of the Phone app, long press on the bothersome number, and choose block. On some Android phones, you will also be given the option of reporting the number as spam.

On iOS, just go to the Phone app, then your ‘Recent’, and tap the blue information icon to the right of the number you want to block.

Option 2: Protect yourself with third-party apps

There are a number of services such as Nomorobo, RoboKiller, Hiya, and others designed to prevent robocalls from ever ringing your phone. Most of them require a monthly (or annual) subscription. At their core, these services rely on a constantly updating list of robocallers, spammers, and fraudsters and use that database to stop nuisance calls. When a call comes in, the service runs it against their huge list of scam numbers. If it finds a match, the incoming call gets shut down before it reaches you. All of them allow you to maintain your own personal blacklist of numbers that might be bothering you and whitelist those you want getting through.

Option 3: Use do not disturb to only allow calls from your contacts

On both Android and iOS, you can set each operating system’s Do Not Disturb mode to allow phone calls from only those people and businesses in your contacts list. This is a pretty drastic, sledgehammer solution to the problem of robocalls, and you are almost certainly going to miss calls that you would have liked to have answered. But those calls will go through to voicemail, and then you can add that number to your contacts for the future.

Option 4: Complain to your mobile service provider

When all else fails and you are consumed by despair and anger over the never-ending interruptions, you can always report callers to your local mobile service provider, and hope they will take action against the offending caller. But this would not be of any help if the offending caller is your own mobile service provider.

Option 5: Route the call to the voicemail

Tempting as might be to swear up and down at a robocaller or scammer, or your own mobile service provider, your best course of action is to leave them unsure as to whether they connected with an actual person. Do not say anything. Do not push buttons — even if the robotic voice says doing so will prevent further calls. Either just let it go through to voicemail or hang up if you mistakenly picked up the call.

To send a number permanently into voicemail in Android, add the number to your contact list and then click on edit (pencil icon). In edit mode, click on the three dots on top right of the screen and select the ‘All Calls to Voicemail’ box. 

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