block callsIt happened again last night at dinnertime. You were just getting ready to sit down when the phone rang. You answered, only to hear a robotic voice tell you about some amazing carpet cleaning deal in your area.

Earlier that same day, you got a call from a pushy telemarketer who wanted to sell you an air conditioning service, and last week you got about a half dozen spam texts.

It’s official: you are beyond fed up with these unwanted nuisances and are ready to fight back to do everything you can to stop them from happening. Fortunately, you don’t have to take these annoying calls lying down; instead, you can take tangible and effective steps that will help you spot, avoid and block these unwanted calls for good.

Mobile Phone Apps Can Help

According to the FTC, you have a number of options at your disposal for blocking robocalls and other unwanted calls, including via mobile apps. In essence, these call-blocking apps allow you to create blacklists of numbers that will block incoming calls to your smartphone. Some apps even let you choose which types of calls you want to block.

For instance, you have the option to block every call except for people in your contact list, or for all calls except your contact list and a “whitelist” you have created on your Android or Apple smartphone. Even more, Apple provides helpful tips on how to detect and block spam phone calls with the help of a third-party app.

Start by installing a spam prevention app like Truecaller. From there, go to Settings and then Phone and tap Call Blocking and Identification, and under “Allow These Apps to Block Calls and Provide Caller ID,” turn on the app. From this point forward, when you receive a call, your phone will check the caller’s number and will compare it to a list of phone numbers in your app.

If there’s a match, your screen will display something like “Spam,” “Scam Likely” or “Telemarketer,” which will let you know to avoid answering that particular call. Additionally, if the app determines the incoming call is spam, it may automatically block the phone number altogether.

Block By Carrier

Major smartphone carriers also have steps and apps in place for blocking unwanted calls. For example, AT&T has a support page that offers directions on how to block calls on any number of different smartphones. Additionally, the company provides a blocking app and service called Call Protect that can be used for both Android and iOS devices.

Meantime, Verizon offers a number of similar features as well, including a caller name ID app and call-blocking hardware devices. T-Mobile has a scam ID feature that attempts to identify robo and telemarketer calls.

 In addition to downloading any number of spam prevention apps, experts encourage consumers to contact their cell phone provider directly to see how they can help you eliminate as many of these calls and texts as possible.

Block 800 Numbers and Register on the Do Not Call List

Blocking these annoying phone calls often requires a multi-layered approach. In addition to the aforementioned tips, is a great resource to help eliminate these calls altogether.

For example, you can use the website to block certain or all 800 numbers, as well as add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Additionally, if you receive a call from an unfamiliar 800 number, you can use this free database to enter in the number on the search bar to identify the party trying to reach you.

Win the Fight Against Pesky Telemarketers

While robocalls and telemarketers can be intrusive and annoying, it must be reassuring to know you don’t have to continue dealing with these round-the-clock calls and texts. By following these tips — and bookmarking, you should begin to quickly see a marked decrease in these unwanted calls. Phew! Talk about relief.

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