How to Block Spam Calls on iPhones and Android

Who among us does not love receiving call after call that looks like it’s coming from somewhere important but is actually just spam about an extended car warranty? So fun! Dealing with spam calls is kind of like playing whack-a-mole, but until we figure out how to put the companies behind them out of business, there are ways to manage them on your Android phone or iPhone.

On iPhones running iOS 13 or later, you can stop spam calls in your Settings: Scroll down to Phone, then toggle on Silence Unknown Callers. This will also affect calls that could be important, but those folks can leave you a voicemail to return once you’ve vetted that they’re real.

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On Android, you can also filter out spam calls in your phone’s Settings—just tap on Caller ID & Spam and enable everything.

Third-party apps will also help: Wideprotect lets you block entire area codes, and Hiya is a paid option that offers more advanced spam-blocking features. Check to see what your wireless carrier offers in terms of spam solutions, because they know how annoyed you are by these calls.

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You don’t have to pay to reduce spam, but you may still have to deal with a pesky call here and there if you stick with a free option.

Check out the video above for more tips.

Senior editor, consumer tech @ Gizmodo

DISCUSSION

Hiya is a broken app. I have it, and am looking for another. For several months it has been marking calls as “Potential Spam” and then letting them ring through. This includes numbers that I entered into my own Block List.

I’ve contacted Hiya multiple times, and the best they can say is they are aware of the problem; but it’s not getting resolved.

Additionally, they supposedly added message blocking. It doesn’t work. The documentation for it sucks; and the help desk is spectacularly unhelpful on this front.

An annoyance I have with it is that I can’t just block whole area codes. I don’t live in AZ, and haven’t in some time. Blocking all calls from those 5 area codes alone would cut my spam calls by at least 70%.

I’m leaning towards RoboKiller, as a majority of the calls I get have numbers that show in their online block list. 

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