Cell Phone Spam Calls: How to Block Intrusive Disruptors
There are good reasons not to want to talk to every caller. Especially when such contacts call repeatedly, it can quickly become annoying. We'll tell you how to block unwanted callers on iPhones and Android smartphones.
You should block some calls
Calls from strangers can be annoying, sometimes even dangerous. Image: © Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio 2022
In both Germany and Austria, telemarketing calls that you have not previously consented to have been banned for several years. In Switzerland, you can mark your phone book entry with a star and thus also legally protect yourself from unwanted advertising. Nevertheless, calls like this happen again and again – and that's annoying.
Phone scams and phishing scams are less harmless and just as annoying. You will either be called directly by people or machines and tricked into giving out various information, or the phone will only ring very briefly. Your subsequent bona fide recall can be a cost trap.
Another good reason to block calls is a very pushy suitor, ex or even stalker.
iPhone/iOS: Block calls from specific contacts
On iOS, blocking a specific contact is easy.
You can block calls, FaceTime requests, messages, and emails from specific numbers if they've contacted you before. It doesn't matter whether you replied or not.
How to block calls and more from selected numbers on iPhone:
- Depending on what you want to block, open the appropriate app. For example the FaceTime, Messages or Mail app or the call log in the Phone app.
- Tap the info icon next to the phone number, contact, email, or message. If you don't see the symbol, first tap on the contact itself. For e-mails, you must first open the e-mail.
- Tap Block This Contact . In most menus you have to scroll down to the bottom.
You will no longer receive notifications about blocked calls or messages. Emails are moved to the trash. The blocked contact will not receive a notification that you have blocked them.
iPhone/iOS: Block all unknown numbers
You can also block all unknown contacts collectively on the iPhone (from iOS 13). Image: © Apple 2022
From iOS 13 you also have the option to automatically block all numbers that you do not know. Only numbers that are saved in your contact list, with which you have communicated via text message or who have given you their phone number in an e-mail are then considered known. So be careful with this block feature!
Calls blocked in this way are still redirected to voicemail and appear in the call list, but you will no longer receive a notification.
The only exception: As soon as you make an emergency call, "Mute unknown callers" is deactivated for 24 hours so that you can be reached in case an emergency service or the police calls you back.
How to Block All Unknown Numbers on iPhone:
- Go to "Settings > Phone" and scroll down.
- Tap Mute Unknown Callers.
Android: Block calls from specific contacts
You can also specifically block selected numbers on Android smartphones. Image: © Pexels/Deepanker Verma 2022
Android smartphones offer the ability to block calls from selected numbers. An incoming call from this number will then be automatically rejected.
Note: Since the various manufacturers of Android cell phones sometimes implement the menus and settings differently, the procedure can differ slightly from device to device.
How to block selected phone numbers on Android smartphones:
- Open the phone app.
- Tap the three-dot menu and go to "Call History" .
- Choose the contact/number you want to block.
- Tap Block/Report Spam.
Note: With some devices, for example from Samsung, you will find the call list under "Recent". If you tap on the contact/number and then on the info button ("i"), you will find more details about the contact. There you will see a three-dot menu again, in which you can also select "Block contact". If the number is not saved, there may be a "Block" button directly in the contact details.
Android: Turn built-in spam protection on and off
Android comes with a feature called "Caller ID and Spam Protection". It is enabled by default. Isn't that the case for you or do you want to turn it off? Below you can read how to do it.
Note: Note that Google will receive information about the calls on your smartphone if you activate the "Caller ID and spam protection" feature. However, data from contacts stored in the phone book will not be transferred.
How to turn on automatic spam protection on Android smartphones:
- Open the Phone app.
- Follow the path "More options > Settings > Spam and call filter".
- Turn on or off Show Caller ID and Spam ID. With this setting, your smartphone will inform you about spam calls.
- If you want to block spam calls directly, enable the "Filter out spam calls" option.
If you also perform step 4, you will no longer receive notifications of calls or voicemails that have been identified as spam. However, you can still find them in your call list and you can also call up mailbox messages that you have left.
- Both iOS and Android offer useful and effective ways to block unwanted callers.
- In iOS you can specifically block selected numbers or disable notifications for all unknown contacts.
- Android also allows specific numbers to be blocked. In addition, the built-in spam filter offers preventive protection against unwanted calls.