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How to silence every single spam call on your iPhone without buying any apps

June 8th, 2021 at 9:04 AM
iPhone Spam

There’s no getting around it: spam calls are incredibly annoying and, at times, seem absolutely endless. From fake calls about social security benefits to fraudulent calls about expiring car warranties, scammers in recent years have only become more brazen and sophisticated when it comes to robocalling any and everyone.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that your iPhone comes with a few built-in features that can help you eliminate these spam calls, or at the very least, keep them from constantly interrupting you throughout the day.

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To get started, all you have to do is go to Settings > Phone where you should then see a toggle for “Silence Unknown Callers.” If you turn this feature on, every call from an unknown number will be silenced and automatically sent to voicemail. And on the off-chance an incoming call from an unknown number is actually legitimate, the call will still appear on your list of recent calls.

With the feature turned on, the only calls that will actually ring include numbers from your list of contacts, numbers that appear in your list of outgoing calls (which is helpful if, for example, you recently dialed a customer support number), and numbers from Siri Suggestions, which is to say numbers that iOS thinks may be associated with someone you know.

Now if a specific person or entity is calling you non-stop, which at a certain point becomes harassment, you can specifically block their number. To do so, simply go to Settings > Phone and scroll down to the Blocked Contacts setting. Once you tap that, you can hit “Add New” whereupon you can select which contact you’d like to block. Once selected, no phone calls, messages, emails, or incoming FaceTime alerts will be able to come through.

In light of the above, there may be some hope on the horizon. According to RoboKiller — an app designed to fight spam calls — the total number of spam calls in May of 2021 went down by 5%. And while this isn’t a huge decrease, spam calls have been steadily rising over the last six months.

Incidentally, RoboKiller — which you can get for less than $2 from the App Store — might be a worthy investment.

MarketWatch notes:

RoboKiller blocks millions of telemarketers and robocalls from ringing (so you won’t even know those callers called) even if they are changing their numbers. The unique thing with RoboKiller is that it has an AnswerBot answer the phone for you and then waste the marketers’ time talking to them; you later get to listen to recordings of calls… The company has a list of 500 million phone scams that it will block for you, and you can adjust the level of call blocking. It can also protect from many text scams.

You can check out the app, which has stellar reviews, over here.

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A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.

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