Are spam calls just as annoying as trying to figure out how to stop spammers from dialing your number? Spammers love to pester and scam people. The great news is that you can stop these frustrating spam calls on Android for free, though there are some premium options available, too.
Tip: learn how to find hidden apps on your Android phone.
Enable the Spam Filter
The easiest way to stop spam calls on Android is by using the built-in spam filter. Each phone and carrier’s process works a little differently, but the spam filter should be part of your default phone dialer app. The following steps are for a Google phone with the built-in Phone by Google app. You can also download this app for your Android device. If you’d like your Android device to look more like a Google Pixel, use this guide.
- Open your Phone app. It’s the same app you use for manually dialing numbers and viewing contacts.
- Tap the three-dot icon in the top-right corner.
- Select “Settings.”
- Tap “Caller ID & spam” near the top of the screen.
- Turn on “Filter spam calls.” You can turn on “See call and spam ID” instead if you notice you’re missing legitimate calls. Note that the app may only offer the “See call and spam ID” option, so just turn that on if that’s the case.
Depending on your phone model and carrier, you may not see any of these options and only have an app from your carrier to help you with filtering scam calls, such as:
Tip: getting a “No SIM card detected error” on your Android? Learn what to do about it.
Block Spam on Android Manually
If you’re lucky and only get the occasional spam call on Android, you may find it simpler to just block a specific number. Once again, the process will vary slightly based on your phone model and carrier. Two of the most common ways to block a number manually include:
- Open your Phone dialer app and tap “Recent” to view recent calls.
- Long-press the number and tap “Block.”
- If you don’t see “Block” when long-pressing, tap the number you want to block. Don’t tap the phone icon, just the number.
- Tap the three-dot menu at the top right and select “Block number.”
If you want to learn how to unblock numbers and what happens when you block numbers, check out our guide to blocking numbers on Android and iPhone.
Obviously, this only blocks a single number. Spammers often change numbers regularly to prevent you from blocking them permanently.
If you’re using a Google phone, you can also block all numbers except your contact list. This option isn’t available on all non-Google phones that use the Phone by Google app.
- Open the Phone app, tap the menu, and select “Settings.”
- Tap “Blocked Numbers.”
- Toggle on “Unknown.”
Register for Do Not Call
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) created a national Do Not Call registry to tackle the problem of spam and robocalls. When you add your number to the list, companies are supposed to respect your wish not to be contacted.
Of course, spammers who are out to scam you couldn’t care less about this list. But if you’re getting a lot of calls from legitimate businesses, it’s a good option. Plus, it’s a free way to block spam calls on Android.
Visit the National Do Not Call Registry site, then fill in the required information. You’re all set!
Good to know: does your phone have a broken screen? Don’t worry, you can still access its contents by following our tips.
Use Spam Blocking Apps
Spam-blocking apps give you a little more control and personalization. As with most third-party apps, though, there’s a chance they’ll collect at least some data. Still, choosing a reputable option is pretty safe and may stop you from throwing your phone the next time a spammer calls.
The free version lets you know if a call/message is possibly spam. You can block numbers as much as you want. For premium features, such as a voice assistant to answer calls for you, improved spam blocking, and no ads, you’ll need to upgrade. This ranges from $9.99 to $99.99/year.
Calls Blacklist is another call-blocking app for calls and messages. Not only does it help prevent unknown and private number spam, but you’re also able to manually block individual numbers. If you want to just get calls from your contacts, you can limit calls to just those numbers.
The free version does have ads. With the premium version, which is just $1.99, you get scheduling, no ads, and even password protection.
Robokiller is a unique spam-blocking app for Android (and iOS). It doesn’t just identify and block spammers – it gets payback for all your wasted time. The free version identifies spam calls, then lets you block callers and report spam that Robokiller might not have already in its database.
With the premium version, spam is blocked automatically for calls and texts, blocking technology is far more advanced, and Answer Bots answer spam calls for you so that you don’t have to waste time on annoying robocalls. Premium is just $39.99/year.
Call Control is a more privacy-centric spam blocker and never shares or stores your contacts. It works based on community reports and Do Not Call lists to block spam. It even works directly with government agencies to keep you safe from the latest spam and fraud scams via phone and text.
Enjoy true caller ID, Do Not Disturb mode, and your own personal block list, too. While basic blocking is available for free, more advanced blocking and unlimited personal block lists are only in the premium version for $29.99/year.
Tip: should you keep using an older Android phone? We answer your questions in this guide.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do spammers get my number?
Sadly, many of the places that ask for your number don’t keep it private. Telemarketers and scammers buy lists of numbers. Plus, when sites and businesses are hacked, your number may be part of the data that’s stolen. With so many businesses and online services requiring your mobile number, it’s hard to protect your number completely.
Why am I still getting spam calls?
No app or method is perfect. Spam is becoming more sophisticated. This means you’ll still receive at least an occasional call or message even if you use all methods shown here.
How can I silence spam calls that get through filters?
Stopping spam calls completely isn’t possible. For instance, you’ll likely still get some political campaign calls or businesses calling for feedback. If you don’t want to be bothered by your phone ringing, set your default ringtone to “Silent,” then give everyone in your contact list a ringtone. It can be the same ringtone or something different for everyone.
You can also set up Do Not Disturb in your Android phone’s settings. You can choose to allow only calls/messages from your favorite contacts, so that no other calls/messages will make noise.
Image credit: Unsplash. All screenshots by Crystal Crowder.
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