June 29, 2023

How to stop spam calls on Android phones

How to stop spam calls on Android phones

Spam calls are a massive and growing concern, and with cell phones continuing to shape and refine our culture, scammers are constantly finding new ways to pull their ploys. They’re annoying, dangerous, and here to stay — for now, at least. The good news is that you can take specific precautions to keep scammers and spammers off your phone and out of your bank account.

The good news is, there are effective ways to reduce and block spam calls. Read on to find out how to stop spam calls on Android and protect yourself and your family from dangerous scams.

Why you’re getting so many spam calls on your Android phone

Spam callers adapt to our trends so they can infiltrate our phones and steal our money, assets, and identities. Over 78 billion of these dangerous annoyances flooded our phone lines in 2022, leading to more than $65 billion in losses to phone scams — and the number rises every year.

Although government agencies like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) work around the clock to keep spam calls off the airwaves, the tactics spammers use can be incredibly effective and difficult to trace. Spammers use auto-dialing technology to make mass calls, spoof their numbers to trick their targets’ caller IDs, and change their numbers when they’re blocked. This makes it crucial for people to know how to recognize and handle spam calls when they come in.

Identifying spam calls

The first step in protecting yourself from spam calls is learning how to identify them. The term generally refers to annoying calls from unknown numbers made to a mass of people. Spam calls are often used to perpetrate scams (scam calls) and can be done using pre-recorded messages and auto-dialing technology (robocalls).

Spam calls often appear to come from local numbers, imitating your area code and sometimes the first three digits of your phone number. This technique, called caller ID spoofing, allows spammers to disguise their phone numbers as any other number — even that of a business you trust. Once they get you on the line, they may fabricate a high-pressure situation to extract personal information like account numbers and passwords.

Not every call you get from an unknown number is a spam call, but it can be tough to tell based on your caller ID alone. If you don’t recognize the number calling you, or your screen says something like “Spam Likely,” don’t pick up the phone.

How to block spam calls to your Android smartphone

The best way to protect yourself from scams is to prevent spam calls from ringing your phone in the first place. Fortunately, there are a few effective methods you can use to block spam calls to your Android smartphone.

Register for the National Do Not Call Registry

One way to reduce unwanted calls is to register for the National Do Not Call Registry. This database is managed by the FTC and prohibits telemarketers from contacting the numbers on it. Marketers that don’t abide by the Do Not Call Registry face steep fines and other punishments.

How to add your number to the Registry

There are a few ways you can add your number to the Do Not Call Registry:

  • Visit DoNotCall.gov and register your home or mobile phone
  • Call 1-888-382-1222 (TTY: 1-866-290-4236) from the number you want to have registered

Once your number has been added to the Do Not Call Registry, it will stay there for as long as you own it. There’s no need to renew your registration later on.

Limitations of the Do Not Call Registry

Unfortunately, the Do Not Call Registry can only do so much — and it doesn’t eliminate spam. It only applies to legitimate telemarketing calls, which are not the main enemy in the war on spam. If you’ve signed up for the Do Not Call Registry and you get a call that appears to be from a legitimate company, that’s a sign it’s likely a scam.

How to block spam calls on Android through your mobile carrier

Your phone carrier may also offer a way to block spam calls, generally by dialing a number or using a carrier-based spam blocker. Here’s how to stop spam calls on Android through three of the major mobile carriers:

  • T-Mobile
  • AT&T
  • Dial *60 on your landline to turn on Call Screening
  • Dial *61 and then press the call button to block the last number that called you on your landline
  • Dial *77 to stop receiving phone calls from all private numbers (callers without caller ID) on your landline
  • Use AT&T ActiveArmor
  • Verizon
  • Dial *60 or *80 on your landline to activate Call Block (dial 1160 or 1180 on rotary or pulse-dialing phones) and follow the voice-recorded instructions to manage your blocklist
  • Use Verizon Call Filter

Block specific phone numbers

If a spammer has contacted you, don’t wait to block them. Here’s how to block specific phone numbers on an Android phone:

  1. Open the Phone app
  2. Tap the three dots
  3. Tap Call History
  4. Tap the number you want to block
  5. Tap Block/report spam
Source: Android Authority

Unfortunately, this isn’t the most efficient method to deal with a constant barrage of spam calls. Spammers change their numbers frequently and easily, so they can always call you again from a new one.

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Block unknown calls to your Android smartphone

You can also screen your calls so only your contacts can get through. Here’s how to block all unknown calls to your Android smartphone:

  1. Open the Phone app
  2. Tap the three dots
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap Blocked numbers
  5. Toggle on Unknown
Source: Android Authority

With this feature, any calls not in your contact list will be blocked. However, that means you might accidentally block important calls from your doctor or your child’s school if they’re not already in your phonebook.

Whereas iPhones are relatively streamlined, Android devices offer a bit more variety. The basic mechanisms are similar, but different types of Android phones may require slightly different processes for blocking numbers and preventing spam. Let’s learn how to block unwanted calls on some of the more popular types of Android devices.

Block numbers on Google Pixel devices

The ways to block spam calls on Android may slightly vary between devices, but they’re relatively straightforward across the board. Here’s how to block numbers from unknown callers on your Google Pixel:

  1. Open the Phone app
  2. Tap the three dots
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap Spam and Call Screen
  5. Tap Call Screen
  6. Use the menu to customize which types of calls are screened

If you want to block a specific number on your Google Pixel device:

  1. Open the Phone app
  2. Tap the three dots
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap Blocked numbers
  5. Tap Add a number and type in the number you wish to block

Alternatively, you can simply long-tap the number from your call history and tap Block/report spam. This way, you can block and report the number in one motion.

Block numbers on Samsung phones

Samsung phones offer a feature called Smart Call, which allows your device to screen unwanted numbers. Setting up Smart Call is similar to setting up call screening on your Pixel. Here’s how to do it on your Samsung device:

  1. Open the Phone app
  2. Tap the three dots
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap Caller ID and spam protection
  5. Toggle the switch to turn on the service

With this feature enabled, you’ll have the option to block and report numbers as your phone rings.

Samsung phones also allow you to block individual numbers from callers who have already tried to contact you. Follow these steps to block numbers from the Phone app on your Samsung device:

  1. Open the Phone app
  2. Tap the three dots
  3. Tap Settings
  4. Tap Block numbers
  5. Tap the plus sign to add a number to your Block list

Like Google Pixel devices, Samsung phones also allow you to block numbers from your call log. In your Recents tab, simply tap the number, then Details, then Block.

Blocking calls on other Android phones

Regardless of what type of Android phone you use, you can generally block individual callers and set up call screening to prevent calls from numbers you haven’t previously saved.

Use an Android app to block spam calls

Android devices offer built-in features that can help you reduce spam and scam calls, but none of them are perfect solutions. If they’re not getting the job done on their own, it may be time to use a different type of Android app to block spam calls. Unlike the built-in options that come with your device, third-party spam blockers were specifically designed to detect and filter spam calls. These apps fend off spammers before they can ring your phone, protecting you and your family from annoying callers and dangerous scams. There are many Android spam blockers on the market, so be sure to compare your options to find the one that best suits your needs.

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Reporting spam calls to authorities

The bad news is that you have to receive a spam call in order to report it to the authorities; the good news, however, is that doing so can help protect others. By informing the appropriate government agencies about spam calls, you help hold the scammers accountable.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) complaints

You can report spam calls and other fraud to the FTC by visiting ReportFraud.ftc.gov. The FTC uses these reports to investigate and bring claims against the criminals behind the scams.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) complaints

You can also report spam calls to the FCC online. Just enter some basic information, choose Unwanted Calls/Messages from the drop-down menu, and then fill out the form to file your complaint.

Extra tips to prevent spam calls

Learning how to stop spam calls on Android is an ongoing process. The more tools you have in your anti-spam toolbox, the better you can protect yourself, your family, and others from dangerous spam and scams. Here are a few extra tips to prevent spam calls.

Don't answer random phone numbers

If you get a call from a number you don’t recognize, don’t answer it. If it’s important, the caller will leave a voicemail or send you a text. If the call appears to come from a legitimate business, call them back at a publicly listed number.

Be cautious when sharing your phone number

Think before you add your phone number to your social media profiles or share personal information online. This only makes it easier for spammers to find your number, sell it to other scammers, and bombard your phone with spam calls.

Avoid responding to spam callers

It may be tempting to answer a spam call and give the spammer a piece of your mind, but that type of revenge can come back to haunt you. Answering a spam call confirms that the caller found an active number, which may lead to more spam in the future. The same goes for spam texts; don’t answer them, even if you think you’re just opting out of a mailing list.

Robokiller is 99% effective

Third-party apps are a necessity in the fight against spam, but it’s important to find the best one for the job. Robokiller offers comprehensive coverage and the full scope of features you need to make spam a thing of the past.

Here are a few reasons you need Robokiller:

  • $600 million in losses to spam calls prevented
  • 1.5 billion phone numbers in our global blocklist
  • Audio fingerprinting capabilities that crack down on caller ID spoofing
  • Award-winning technology built on AI and machine learning
  • Customizable block and allow lists
  • The power to take back your privacy and peace of mind

The big takeaway

A trustworthy call-blocking app is an essential tool for your Android phone, and Robokiller is the most effective one out there. It protects you and your family from annoying and dangerous spam calls by giving you complete control of who can and can’t reach you. On top of that, it lets you contribute to the fight against scammers who rob Americans of billions of dollars every year, so you can help keep the community safe.

Now that you know how to stop spam calls on Android, all you have to do is get started. Start living life spam-call-free™ with a free 7-day trial of Robokiller!


How can you stop spam calls on Android permanently?

Although there are measures you can take to reduce spam calls, such as joining the Do Not Call Registry and blocking individual numbers, the best way to eliminate them altogether is to download a robocall blocker app. Robokiller uses predictive algorithms to stop 99% of spam calls from reaching your phone.

How do spammers get your cell phone number?

Scammers can obtain your cell phone number in several ways — through publicly shared information online, data breaches, surveys, purchased lists, and even at random with automated dialers. Be sure to avoid sharing your number online and use strong privacy settings on social media.

Why is it important to block robocalls on your Android phone?

Most robocalls are designed to trick you into giving something up — your information, your money, or otherwise. Every year, scammers steal billions of dollars from people over the phone, so it’s important to protect against getting scammed. The best way to do it is with a robocall blocker app like Robokiller, which blocks 99% of unwanted calls.

How can third-party robocall blocker apps help in stopping spam calls?

Third-party robocall blocker apps like Robokiller are highly effective at combating spam calls. They use predictive algorithms to detect likely scams in real-time and rely on extensive databases of known scam callers to proactively defend users against spam. Robokiller is 99% effective at blocking spam calls.

Free 7 day trial
Fight back against spam and reclaim your phone.
You’re one step away from a spam-free phone (and a little poetic justice, thanks to Answer Bots).
Sign up for a 7-day free trial

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