When your phone rings, the last thing you want to hear is an unknown voice on the other end of the line. It wastes your time and your paid cellphone minutes. Scammers often use these calls to trap people in financial fraud or get them to offer personal information. Even if you don't participate in their scam, they'll keep calling until you do.
This is how to stop fake numbers from calling you. You'll learn why the calls happen and how to make them stop — permanently.
What Is Call Blocking or Call Labeling?
Call blocking is often the first resort to limiting or stopping spam calls. It's a service provided by your phone carrier that keeps suspicious calls from ever reaching your phone. You can even access this service if you prefer making calls over the internet or using a landline.
When people research call blocking, they also come across call labeling. Labeling is another service some companies offer. Instead of preventing the calls from coming through, they'll show up as "Spam" or "Spam Likely" on your caller ID. You can decide to pick up or not.
How Do Fake Numbers Use Your Area Code?
Scammers use phone fraud in numerous ways, but they know people are more likely to pick up if the number looks like a local resident. The person on the other end of the line might think it's a friend or family member checking in on them.
Anyone can access caller ID spoofing programs to hide their phone number and appear as any area code they attempt to reach. The programs themselves aren't illegal, but you can still seek legal action for crimes committed during a phone call using a spoofing application.
How to Block Cellphone Calls
There are a few ways to stop fake numbers from calling you, depending on how much control you want. See which of these options are best for your situation.
Block Individual Numbers in Settings
Smartphone users can go into their settings to block a number individually. Although this won't help people who receive numerous calls from different numbers every day, it's perfect if you have that one line that won't stop ringing your phone.
Anyone with an iPhone can tap the information icon next to the unwanted number in their Recent Calls app. "Block This Caller" will appear as your next option and keep that person from contacting you again.
Android owners have nearly identical steps. Open the Phone app, tap on the Recents section, press and hold the spam number you wish to block, and choose the "Block/Report Spam" option.
Download a Call Labeling App
If you can't access call labeling through your phone provider, you can always download an app to do the service for you. Check out the best-reviewed apps available today and download one for free. The only way they won't help you avoid spam calls is if you can't download them. In that case, you can find a quick solution without paying for technical support and get back to a life of peace and quiet.
Report Calls to the FCC
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) exists to help consumers in numerous ways, like stopping spam calls. You can use a lookup app to identify those "Unknown" calls based on their geographic location and find their phone number. Once you have the actual phone number, you can report them to the FCC with a digital form submission or a quick call.
Stop Fake Numbers From Calling You
You don't need to dread a future of constant robocalls. Now that you know how to stop fake numbers from calling you, take your power back and enjoy knowing that every time you answer a phone call, it'll be someone you know and love.