How To Block Unwanted Calls (2023)

Got a phone? Then chances are you get calls from scammers. Scammers don’t care if you’re on the National Do Not Call Registry. That’s why your best defense against unwanted calls is call blocking and call labeling. Here’s how to block and report unwanted calls on cell phones and home phones.

  • What Are Call Blocking and Call Labeling?
  • Block Calls on a Cell Phone
  • Block Calls on a Home Phone That Uses the Internet
  • Block Calls on a Traditional Landline
  • What About Robocalls?
  • Fake Numbers on Caller ID
  • What About the National Do Not Call Registry?
  • Report Unwanted Calls

What Are Call Blocking and Call Labeling?

A good way to deal with unwanted calls is to block them. Blocking software or devices can stop a lot of the unwanted calls you get — like scam calls and illegal robocalls — before they reach you. Cell phones, home phones that make calls over the internet, and landlines each have their own call-blocking options. Just know that call-blocking services might block some calls you want to get.

Some companies also offer call labeling. With call labeling, shady calls will still come through, but you’ll see things like “spam” or “scam likely” on your phone’s screen when they do. Then you’ll decide whether to answer the call.

Block Calls on a Cell Phone

Watch this video on how to stop calls on your cell phone

Download a call-blocking app

One of the best ways to block unwanted calls on a cell phone is to download a call-blocking app, which acts like a filter. The company behind the app uses call data or reports from users, the FTC, and other sources to predict which calls are illegal or likely scams. The app then intercepts those calls before they reach you. Some apps are free, but others charge a fee.

(Video) How to block spam calls

To get a call-blocking app

  • Go to the online app store for your phone’s operating system (iOS (Apple), Android, etc.) and look at ratings for different apps.
  • Look online for expert reviews on call-blocking apps.
  • Check out the list of apps at, a website from the wireless industry. The site lists apps specific to Android, BlackBerry, iOS (Apple), andWindows.

Apps usually let you choose how to respond to calls they flag as scams. Apps might

  • stop calls
  • let calls through to your phone but keep it from ringing
  • send calls straight to voicemail

Apps also let you do things like

  • block calls based on the geographic location or area code of the incoming call
  • let you create lists of numbers to block, or lists of numbers to let through
  • send a prewritten text message to the caller

Some apps access your contacts list, so know whether that’s important to you. The app’s privacy policy should explain how it gets and uses your information.

Check the built-in features of your phone

Many cell phones have settings that let you block calls from specific numbers, though there might be a limit to how many numbers you can block. Cell phones also usually have features like Do Not Disturb, where you can set the hours that calls will go straight to voicemail.

See what services your phone provider offers

Check your phone provider’s website or call customer service to find out what call-blocking or call-labeling services it offers or recommends. Some services are free, but others might charge you a fee.

For links to company-specific information about blocking calls, go to the FCC’s Call Blocking Resources.

(Video) 10+ Ways To Block iPhone Spam FOREVER

How To Block Unwanted Calls (1)

Block Calls on a Home Phone That Uses the Internet

First find out if your phone uses the internet

Your home phone might have VoIP service. “VoIP” stands for “Voice over Internet Protocol,” and it means that your phone makes calls over the internet instead of phone lines. If you’re not sure what you have, check with your phone provider. If you get your phone service through a cable company, or use a phone/internet/cable bundle, you probably have VoIP service. If you find out you don’t have internet-based phone service, check out how to block calls on a traditional landline.

Read expert reviews on internet-based call-blocking services

Internet-based call-blocking services block unwanted calls on phones that use the internet. While your phone provider might recommend a specific service (which might charge a fee), search online for expert reviews on multiple services. Some services are free and some charge you each month.

Some internet-based services and phone apps require that all calls are routed through their service. You might have choices about how services and apps handle unwanted calls. For example, services and apps might

  • stop calls
  • let calls through to your phone but keep it from ringing
  • send calls straight to voicemail

For links to company-specific information about blocking calls, go to the FCC’s Call Blocking Resources.

Block Calls on a Traditional Landline

Watch this video on how to stop calls on your home phone

Install a call blocking-device

If your home phone is a traditional landline that doesn’t use the internet (VoIP), consider buying and installing a call-blocking device. Call-blocking devices are usually small boxes you attach to your phone.

Some devices use databases of known scam numbers but let you add numbers you want the device to block. Other devices rely on you to create and update your own list of numbers to block.

(Video) 6 Hacks To Stop iPhone Spam Calls — Scammers Hate #4!

Some use lists to

  • stop unwanted calls
  • send calls to voicemail
  • show a blinking light when an unwanted call comes in
  • connect callers to a recording with options so a real caller can still get through

Some devices also use lists of approved numbers. That helps you limit which calls get through, or lets you set up “do not disturb” hours when calls go straight to voicemail. Other devices try to weed out robocalls by playing a prerecorded message prompting callers to press a number to continue the call.

See what services your phone provider offers

Some services are free, but some charge a fee.

For links to company-specific information about blocking calls, go to the FCC’s Call Blocking Resources.

How To Block Unwanted Calls (2)

What About Robocalls?

If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it's a robocall. A robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless the company trying to sell you something got written permission, directly from you, to call you that way. To get your permission, the company has to be clear it’s asking to call you with robocalls. The company also can’t make you agree to the calls to get a product or service.

If someone is already breaking the law by robocalling you without permission, there’s a good chance it’s a scam. Call blocking can help stop robocalls from scammers. But some robocalls might still get through. If you get an illegal robocall, hang up and don’t call back. Don’t press a number, which could lead to more robocalls. Then report it to the FTC.

(Video) StyleBlueprint Practical Tips: How to Block a Call on Your Landline

Learn more at


Fake Numbers on Caller ID

Call blocking technology sometimes stops calls from scammers who make fake names or numbers show up on your caller ID. It’s helpful when your caller ID labels a call as a potential scam. But not all scam calls will get flagged. Scammers often use fake or “spoofed” names and numbers to make it look like a call is from a government agency like the Social Security Administration or the IRS. The caller might say that, if you don’t pay or you refuse to give them your personal information, something bad will happen or you’ll miss out on some government benefit. It’s a scam. Learn more about common phone scams.

There’s also something called “neighbor spoofing,” where scammers call you using a caller ID number with your area code. They often match the first six digits of your phone number, thinking that you’ll be more likely to answer the call if it looks like it’s coming from someone nearby. Often the faked name and number belong to a real person who has no idea someone is misusing their information.


What About the National Do Not Call Registry?

The National Do Not Call Registry is designed to stop sales calls — live calls or robocalls — from real companies that follow the law. The Registry is a list that tells registered telemarketers what numbers not to call. Being on the Registry won’t stop scammers from making illegal calls.

Even though the Registry can’t stop all of the unwanted calls you’re getting, being on the Registry should reduce the number of calls you get and make it easier for you to spot scam calls. If you get a robocall, and you haven’t given the caller written permission to call you with robocalls, the call is illegal, period. It doesn’t matter if your number is on the Registry or not.

Report Unwanted Calls

If you didn’t lose money and just want to report a call, visit to fill out a reporting form.

If you’ve lost money to a phone scam or have information about the company or scammer who called you, report it at

(Video) Easy Ways to Stop Spam Calls

Report the number that received the call, the number that appears on your caller ID — even if you think it might be fake — and any number you’re told to call back. Also report the date and time of the call, if you’re able to. The FTC analyzes complaint data and trends to identify illegal callers based on calling patterns. We also use additional information you report, like any names or numbers you’re told to call back, to track down scammers.

We take the illegal callers’ phone numbers you report and release them to the public each business day. This helps phone companies and other partners that are working on call-blocking and call-labeling solutions. Your reports also help law enforcement identify the people behind illegal calls.


How To Block Unwanted Calls? ›

Register with the Telephone Preference Service

The best way to reduce nuisance calls is to register for free with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). They'll add you to their list of numbers that don't want to receive sales and marketing calls.

How do I stop constant nuisance calls? ›

Register with the Telephone Preference Service

The best way to reduce nuisance calls is to register for free with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS). They'll add you to their list of numbers that don't want to receive sales and marketing calls.

Why do I get so many calls and no one answers? ›

These calls are “Robocalls” to see if the number is a real number and one that a person will answer or not. Then these calls are placed in a data file and sold for big money! Companies pay, for these lists knowing someone is more apt to answer the call.

How do I auto reject all spam calls? ›

How to block spam calls on Android. If you have an Android phone with Google dialer, then open the app > click on the three dots in the top right corner > settings > caller ID and spam > and enable filter spam calls, which will automatically block suspected calls on your Android smartphone.

Why am I suddenly getting so many spam calls? ›

Getting a lot of unwanted calls would mean your number has been sold to a scammer group. Once your number is sold, it's used by all the scammers who have access to it. They try to defraud you in multiple ways by posing as professionals.

Does * 61 block unwanted calls? ›

Block calls from your phone

You can: Press *61 to add the number of the last call received to your call block list. Press *80 to turn call blocking off.

How do you stop certain numbers from calling you? ›

Block a number

Open your Phone app . Call history . Tap a call from the number you want to block. Tap Block / report spam.

Is it better to ignore or decline spam calls? ›

If you receive a spam robocall, the best thing to do is not answer. If you answer the call, your number is considered 'good' by the scammers, even if you don't necessarily fall for the scam. They will try again because they know someone on the other side is a potential victim of fraud.

Will spam calls eventually stop? ›

Unfortunately, robocalls aren't going to stop completely. But if you take the advice mentioned above, you can help prevent most unsolicited calls and text messages from ever reaching your phone. You'll find more information and tips on stopping unwanted calls and texts, HERE.

Does 662 block spam calls? ›

Even without the app, you can block Scam Likely callers with a feature called Scam Block. To do so on both iPhone and Android: Open the Phone app. Dial #662# and hit Call.

What is the quick code to block spam calls? ›

Enter *67 and then the number you want to block from seeing your caller ID info. Other ways to stop nuisance calls: Add your number to the free National Do Not Call Registry by calling 888.382. 1222 or going to

How do I remove my number from spam likely? ›

Unfortunately, there isn't a quick fix for your caller ID showing “scam likely”. If your number has been flagged as spam, you will need to prove your legitimacy to carriers or call-blocking apps, which can take some time.

Why do random numbers keep calling me and not saying anything? ›

These calls are referred to as 'robocalls,' which are automated telephone calls that call thousands of numbers. When the other end of the line is silent, it could actually be an automated computer system that's calling for the purpose of building a list of humans to target for theft.

Why are spam calls getting worse? ›

The main reason people are getting more spam calls is the sales spammers make through these calls are worth their while. Meanwhile, there's hardly any downside for scammers and spammers: Their identities are easily concealed over a call, and there is a general lack of legislation that would prevent these activities.

What Phone blocks nuisance calls? ›

The Verdict: Top Call Blocking Phones

With advanced call blocking technology, BT are the only brand who can claim to stop up to 100% of nuisance calls. However, its other features leave a lot to be desired. For a more practical option, we recommend either the Panasonic KX-TGH260 or, even better, the Gigaset C575A.

How do I block nuisance calls on my Iphone? ›

Block voice calls, FaceTime calls, and messages from certain people. In the Phone app , do any of the following. next to the number or contact you want to block, scroll down, then tap Block this Caller. Tap Contacts, tap the contact you want to block, scroll down, then tap Block this Caller.

Is there a device to block nuisance calls? ›

Best Overall: The Panasonic Call Blocker blocks up to 16,000 telemarketer numbers and lets you build your database with up to 100 numbers. Best Runner-Up: The CPR V5000 Call Blocker instantly blocks unwanted calls, advanced call screening technology, and easy-to-use big red button.


1. How To Block Spam Calls On Android! (2021)
(LoFi Alpaca)
2. Why You're Getting So Many Spam Calls
3. Want to stop robocalls to your home?
(ABC15 Arizona)
4. How to Block Calls on an Android Smartphone
(Digital Trends)
5. Free ways to block annoying robocalls
(ABC Action News)
6. Best SPAM CALL Blocker Free for IPHONE
(How To with Doc)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Terrell Hackett

Last Updated: 04/08/2023

Views: 5926

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (52 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Terrell Hackett

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Suite 453 459 Gibson Squares, East Adriane, AK 71925-5692

Phone: +21811810803470

Job: Chief Representative

Hobby: Board games, Rock climbing, Ghost hunting, Origami, Kabaddi, Mushroom hunting, Gaming

Introduction: My name is Terrell Hackett, I am a gleaming, brainy, courageous, helpful, healthy, cooperative, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.