Do you ever get calls or text messages from unknown numbers? They are annoying, we know. However, when it comes to blocking those unwanted numbers and only receiving calls and text messages from your contact list, you’ve got options. If the phone call is a robocall, you can report the call to the FTC. Some phones have native number blocking abilities. That means you can block numbers from calling or texting you in your phone’s settings. If your phone does not have native number blocking abilities and you have a smartphone, you can download free apps that will help you block unwanted calls and text messages. Even if your smartphone does have native number blocking abilities, it doesn’t hurt to download a free app and simply go the extra mile to help stop an unwanted call or text.
Report Robocalls to the FTC
What is a robocall? If you answer a phone call from an unknown number and hear a recorded message instead of an actual person, the phone call is a robocall. There are two types of robocalls, illegal robocalls and legal robocalls. Robocalls that are trying to scam you or sell you something are illegal. Companies need your written permission to use robocalls to sell you things. If the robocall is being done without your permission, you can bet that it is a scam. However, there are legal robocalls that do not require your permission. Under the FTC’s rules, there are some robocalls that don’t require your permission. Robocalls that are completely informal (appointment reminders, flight cancellation calls, school closure calls, etc) and political are considered legal.
It is best practice to not answer phone calls from unknown numbers to avoid such robocalls. If you do answer a call from an unknown number and it sounds like an illegal robocall, you should hang up. Don’t press any numbers even if the recording says that pressing a number will let you speak to a live operator or remove you from their calling list. Do not say anything in response to the robocall either, especially if you are being asked questions and the questions can be answered with “yes”. Doing either of those two things could lead to more robocalls and the criminals behind the call being able to scam you. After hanging up, you can report the call to the FTC at donotcall.gov. Report the phone number on your caller ID and any number that you were told to call back. Doing so will help the FTC track down the scammers. In addition to reporting the call to the FTC, you can use call blocking in your phone’s settings and use apps designed to block unwanted calls.
Block Numbers Using Your Phone’s Settings
Most Android phones have a native number blocking feature. This feature is usually found in the Call or Message settings of the phone. Blocking a number ensures that you aren’t disturbed by calls or texts from the blocked number. They are sent straight to voicemail or the text goes undelivered. To learn more about Android’s native number blocking feature, click here.
All iPhones have a native number blocking feature for calls and text messages. Calls from blocked numbers will go straight to voicemail. Text messages from blocked numbers will go undelivered. These number blocking features can be found in the Phone or Messages app. To learn more about iPhone’s native number blocking feature, click here.
Available Free Apps
At Twigby, we are always looking for apps that would be beneficial to our customers. We searched for and tested many apps that block numbers before settling on the three apps discussed below. We hope that the three apps we chose to be the best are just as useful to you, as they were for us!
With the Truecaller app, both calls and text messages can be blocked. Truecaller is able to identify and flag unknown numbers with its caller ID. This app also has the capability to automatically identify every unknown SMS. After downloading the app, it will ask you to enable phone permissions for Truecaller to work. If you allow Truecaller to block text messages, it will create a separate folder for Spam or Junk text messages received in your messaging app. You can look up numbers to identify who they are with Truecaller as well. Truecaller is a free app and is available in the Google Play Store for Androids and the App Store for iPhones.
The Hiya app blocks calls and provides you with more information about numbers from outside of your contact list. Hiya can flag unknown numbers as spam, a possible colleague, or someone as important as the doctor’s office. To use Hiya, you will need to enable phone permissions and allow the app to access your contacts to block and identify calls. Once you have done that and have everything set up, Hiya will be able to identify incoming calls. You will also be able to choose in the Options tab if you want to block all potential scam, spam, and neighbor scam calls. Hiya is a free app and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store for Androids or the App Store for iPhones.
Call Control app
The Call Control app can block both calls and text messages on Android phones. To support Call Control’s text message blocking feature, the Call Control app has to be set as the default messaging app for your phone. As for iPhones, the app only blocks calls. To use this app, you will need to enable phone permissions. Call Control uses an enhanced caller ID to let you know who is calling from the unknown number. Additionally, Call Control gives you the ability to look up phone numbers and block any phone number or area code. Call Control also has a community blacklist and it automatically blocks thousands of robocalls and spam callers that are already known to the Call Control system. Call Control can be downloaded for free from the Google Play Store for Androids or the App Store for iPhones.
We understand it is hard to find that one foolproof way to stop all of the unwanted calls and texts. There are many other apps designed to block calls and texts aside from the ones we covered. Doing research on the app before opting to download it is highly recommended. We hope this information helps you better understand your options to help prevent unwanted calls or texts.