By Justin Lavelle
Most of us have been bombarded by unwanted phone calls from telemarketers, political action groups or survey companies. Americans received some 26 billion spam phone calls in 2018.
The Do Not Call Registry (DNCR) managed by the Federal Trade Commission can slow down the number of calls you get, but it won’t eliminate nuisance callers.
However, you can take matters into your own hands. A reverse phone lookup, for example, allows you to potentially find out who called you before you return an unknown number.
If that’s not enough, there are many phone apps (both free and paid) that can suit your budget and needs.
When choosing a robocall-blocking app, first decide what features you want. Some can block unwanted phone calls and texts and even create a “whitelist” of approved numbers.
Other services—typically with paid subscriptions—offer more extensive protection by permanently stopping unwanted calls and managing them through a larger database of known scam phone numbers. You’ll also want to check compatibility with your
Free apps are great, but you may find them limiting and full of ads, while paid ones may be better—but it’s not always the case.
The following apps are available for both Android and iOS unless otherwise indicated:
Robokiller – Starting at $2.49 a month, this app claims to block unwanted calls or texts from more than 1.1 million spam numbers. You can report spam numbers with the tap of a button or set up an answer bot that speaks with telemarketers.
Hiya – Free with optional upgrades, users can blacklist numbers and block calls or text messages. Other features include a reverse lookup service and alerts for unwanted incoming calls.
Call Control is free for smartphones; there’s a one-time fee of $159.99 for landlines. It offers reverse number lookup, spam-blocking capabilities, and enhanced caller ID. The
CommunityIQ feature automatically blocks phone numbers that other users have reported.
Norton Mobile Security – This app costs $24.99 per year and not only blocks calls but offers an entire suite of security features such as antivirus protection, anti-theft protection, a password manager and app blockers. If you’re interested in more security features, this app can be a good choice.
Disclaimer: The above is solely intended for informational purposes and
in no way constitutes legal advice or specific recommendations. Author
Justin Lavelle is Chief Communications Officer for BeenVerified.com and
an expert in scam prevention.