You are in the middle of an important meeting when your iPhone – the one that you silenced before the meeting – vibrates. It’s an unknown number, so you press the red “Ignore” button and continue listening to the speaker.
Then it vibrates again, and you kindly react with another press of the red button. Again, another call from the unknown number, and you begin to think that the call might be urgent. So, you excuse yourself from the meeting room and take the call outside.
“Good afternoon, Sir,” says the voice on the other side. “I’m from company X, and I’d like to congratulate you because you’ve just won a special offer! You can buy this shiny useless thing for a huge discount!”
Those annoying spam calls. They keep coming like mosquitos in the rainforest. Can’t we do anything about it? Simply ignoring every call from unknown numbers is not the solution. There might be important calls among them.
How do you filter spam calls? Is there any way to know beforehand that the incoming calls are spams? Can you block spam calls?
Integrating Spam Filters on iOS
Lucky for us, there are tons of other people that feel annoyed by spam calls, and some of them actually do something about it. If you search for “spam calls” in the App Store, you’ll find a number of them.
One thing you should note is that there’s a basic difference between the open Android and the walled garden of iOS. While both have advantages and disadvantages, the closed system of iOS is there to protect the users from the unknown dangers of irresponsible developers.
That’s why users can’t just install an app that’s able to modify the iOS core system and expect it to work out of the box. Even though today’s iOS is more open to third-party integration, it needs users’ permission before it allows any app to meddle with the basic system features such as phone calls.
After installing a spam blocker app, you need to permit it to run by going to “Settings -> Phone -> Call Blocking & Identification.” Then “switch on” the app that you’d like to enable.
While you could pick any of those apps, we are going to use TrueCaller as an example. It’s free, and it works well in identifying spam calls so you can know which ones to ignore. Or if you want to go further, you can block the spam numbers so that they can’t get the next call to you through.
One special feature this app has that many of its competitors don’t is the ability to identify an unknown number straight from the call list.
After installation and activation, go to your call list and pick an unknown number. Then tap the “More Info” icon – the letter “i” inside the circle to the right of any number.
On the info page tap “Share Contact” and choose “TrueCaller” on the share page.
A contact page will open at TrueCaller. If the number is on the community list of spammers, you will see the information here. Tap the “View Profile” button to open more details. If this number has been bothering you, you can tap the “Block & Report” option.
If the number is not on the spam list yet, but you know from experience that it’s a spam number, you can also report it to add it to the list.
The user’s ability to report any new spam number gives the TrueCaller community a comprehensive and always up-to-date spam callers list. What is the use of a spam caller blocker app if its database is incomplete and outdated?
To make sure that you always have the most recent list, open the app and tap on the “Spam ID” icon at the bottom bar. Then tap the “Update Now” button to get the latest list.
Armed with TrueCaller and the most recent spam list, you will be able to filter and block spam calls without much effort. The app will try to identify incoming calls using its database. Do note that there’s no such thing as the perfect spam blocker, and it’s possible that the app doesn’t know a few of the incoming spam calls.
Do you have problems with spam calls? What is your opinion on using a spam calls blocker? Share your thoughts using the comments below.