How To Block Spam Calls & Texts

Tired of getting texts and answering calls from spammers? Find out how to block them on your smartphone in our latest tech tip guide. 

Tech Tip: How To Block Spam Calls & Texts

Tired of getting texts and answering calls from spammers? Find out how to block them on your smartphone in our latest tech tip guide.

Spammers, scammers, and telemarketers can take up much of your time.

Every text they send and call they make to your phone takes attention away from whatever it is you’re focusing on at the moment. They’re a distraction, and at worst, they can jeopardize your security.

The good news is that you don’t have to deal with them, so long as you understand the features your smartphone and mobile carrier offer for blocking these types of communications.

Block Spam Calls and Texts

Blocking Calls & Texts On Your iPhone

Phone App

  • Open the Phone app
  • Select Recents
  • Tap the information icon next to the number or contact in question
  • Select Block This Caller

Messages App

  • Open the conversation in question
  • Tap the information icon
  • Select Block This Caller

Remember that you can review blocked callers and unblock those you selected by accident by opening Blocked Contacts under Settings>Phone.

How To Silence Unknown Callers

While these methods work well for contacts that use the same number to send you spam, many scammers will use multiple numbers to circumvent block lists. That’s why you should also use the Silence Unknown Callers feature:

  • Open Settings
  • Select Phone
  • Enable Silence Unknown Callers

This feature will silence incoming calls from callers you have not saved as a contact in your phone. They can still leave a voicemail, but their call won’t necessarily interrupt you.

Lastly, always report spam by tapping the “Report Junk” link when it is provided under a message.

Blocking Calls & Texts On Your Android Smartphone

  • Open the Phone app
  • Select the Recent tab
  • Long-press the number you want to block, and select Block/Report Spam

How To Block Unknown Callers

Similar to iPhones, you can also filter out incoming calls from numbers you don’t know.

  • Open the Phone app
  • Tap the three vertical dots at the top right of the screen
  • Select Settings
  • Select Blocked Numbers
  • Toggle Unknown

Blocking Calls & Texts With Your Mobile Carrier

Phone companies have been using several different strategies and associated technologies to fight back against robocallers, including:

Verizon’s Call Filter App

Free to download for iOS and Android (with premium versions available), this app offers auto-blocking for identified fraudsters, warning banners for suspicious calls, and a simple spam reporting tool. AT&T’s Call Protect is similar.

T-Mobile Scam ID & Scam Block

Scam ID warns users about suspicious calls, and Scam Block (free, requiring activation) automatically rejects calls from those numbers.

Google Pixel Personal Assistant

Google’s flagship phone allows users to have their voice assistant answer and screen suspicious calls for you. It then transcription the call to help users decide whether or not they should answer.

Human Verification

T-Mobile and Comcast Xfinity have announced that they will begin verifying that humans make calls between their networks.


Many major telecom companies have contributed to developing this anti-robocall technology, which is designed to stop fraudsters that engage in spoofing (appearing as though they’re calling from a legitimate number).

How To Identify A Scam

Scammers don’t limit themselves to phone calls and spam emails—they’re also sending fraudulent and dangerous texts these days. Are you sure you would know how to spot one?

Unfortunately, SMS scams can be more damaging than most people think. SMS attacks are social engineering attacks that work similarly to text scams. The difference is that, in a lot of cases, they can be much more convincing.

5 Signs It’s A Scam

As a social engineering method, text scams rely directly on the target’s lack of awareness. The less a given user knows about text scams, the less likely they’ll be able to spot a scam text.

Here are 5 signs that a text may be a scam attempt by a cybercriminal:


Does the text come from an area code you don’t recognize or a long, nonsensical text address? That’s your first sign that something isn’t right. If you don’t recognize the sender, you need to be suspicious of what they’re saying.

Spelling and Grammar

When reading suspicious text, keep an eye out for typos or glaring errors. Whereas legitimate messages from your bank or vendors would be properly edited, scam texts are notorious for basic spelling and grammatical mistakes.


Whereas legitimate senders will likely have your information already (such as your first name) and will use it in the salutation, scammers will often employ vaguer terminology, such as “Valued Customer”—this allows them to use the same text for multiple targets in a mass attack.

Urgent and Threatening

If the subject line makes it sound like an emergency (“Your account has been suspended”, or “You’re being hacked”), that’s another red flag. It’s in the scammer’s interest to make you panic and move quickly, which might lead to you overlooking other indicators that it’s a scam text.


If the text contains a hyperlink you are urged to click, that’s a dead giveaway. The scammer is likely trying to send you to a webpage that will record your login information or get you to download dangerous malware.

Why These Scams Work

The reality is that cybercriminals can keep using the same old techniques because users keep falling for the exact same tactics without ever seeming to learn the cybersecurity measures needed to protect against them.

The key to these types of scams is that they don’t rely on digital security vulnerabilities or cutting-edge hacking technology; social engineering targets the user, who, without the right training, will always be a security risk.

How Can You Protect Yourself Against Scammers?

As with any social engineering technique, the key is that you can’t automatically trust what you’re being told. If you receive a call claiming to be from your bank, be skeptical, and think before you act.

Call or visit the appropriate party directly before providing any sensitive information or taking action. No matter how urgent the call may sound, you should always take time to verify what you’re being told and who is telling it.

4it Tech Insights

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