Unwanted Calls: How To Avoid Them

Unwanted Calls: How To Avoid Them
Table Of Contents

There aren’t very many issues today that have bipartisan support in the government. However, when it comes to spam calls, robocalls, and other types of unwanted calls, they are universally hated by both parties.

Now, politicians have come together to create legislation aimed at eliminating unwanted calls.

While these attempts have been noble and helped create some solidarity between the parties, they have also largely been unsuccessful. Fortunately, several options are available that can help you reduce the number of unwanted calls you deal with daily. Even an app can help eliminate them completely and block 100% of spam calls.

Who Is Behind These Unwanted Calls?

If you are constantly receiving calls from numbers you don’t recognize or private numbers, it’s most likely an attempt to scam you out of your money. These scammers or telemarketers are pretty clever and will constantly change their tactics to avoid detection and stay at least one step ahead of their victims.

For example, the recent coronavirus pandemic has frequently appeared in scams. A recent survey revealed that 18 percent of the participants had experienced financial losses due to a scam in 2020 and 17 percent claimed it was related to coronavirus.

Other survey participants reported that they experienced scam calls from spammers posing as charities relating to coronavirus relief. Not all scams will involve coronavirus, but this illustrates how clever scammers can be.

They will use whatever means at their disposal to get your private information, which is why it’s so important never to answer the call.

What Should You Do When You Receive A Likely Spam Call?

The most important thing that you can do when you think you are receiving a spam call is to ignore it. There is never a reason for you to answer the phone when it’s a number that you don’t recognize or appears as unknown, blocked, or private.

The smartest thing that you can do is let the call go to voicemail. You can listen to the message that they leave and determine if the call was legitimate. Scams have become so intricate that even answering the phone is enough for the scam to work.

One of the newer techniques deployed by scammers is to use your local area code when calling. Most people won’t answer a phone number from an area code that they don’t recognize. By using a local area code, a person might assume the call is coming from someone they know instead of a scammer.

It’s a good rule to assume that unknown numbers are scammers. Even if you are wrong, you can simply listen to the voicemail and return the call. It’s not worth the risk of answering the phone and being scammed. In the last year alone, the average scam cost the victim more than $500.

How To Avoid Unwanted Calls

Having to ignore a phone call isn’t too bad now and again, but it can get annoying when it’s multiple times a day. If you are frequently dealing with unwanted calls, these are a few of the ways that you can fight back.


Whether you have an Android or an iPhone, you have the option to block specific numbers. This option is especially useful when you have the same number making multiple calls daily, but it won’t block all unwanted calls.

You will have to individually block numbers as they call your wireless phone or home phone to prevent them from calling again in the future. These work whether your carrier is T-Mobile/Sprint, AT&T, or Verizon.

Android phone

  1. Open the Phone app and pull up your Recent Calls list.
  2. Look for the number you want to block on the list.
  3. Select the number and tap the Info icon that looks like a lowercase “i.”
  4. Tap the Block option in the lower right corner.
  5. Confirm Block, and the number will automatically be transferred to your voicemail when it calls.

iPhones (iOS device)

  1. Open the Phone app and select Recent on the list.
  2. Look for the number that you want to block.
  3. Tap the Info icon that looks like a lowercase “i.”
  4. Scroll down the list and select Block This Caller.
  5. Select Confirm, and the number will automatically be transferred to your voicemail when it calls.


If you have absolutely reached your limit with unwanted calls, you can set your phone to Do Not Disturb. This is something of a nuclear option as this mode will send all of your calls, not just silence unknown callers. It sends everything directly to voicemail and won’t alert you to any notifications such as a text message or email. However, thanks to recent updates for Androids and iPhones, you have the option to adjust the settings and set up exceptions.

Android phone

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Select the Sound option and then Do Not Disturb.
  3. There should be an Exceptions list.
  4. Scroll through and select Allow Calls and Contacts Only.
  5. Repeat step #4 for your messages and select Contacts Only.
  6. You may also want to select Allow Reminders and Allow Events.
  7. Calls from unknown numbers should be automatically redirected to your voicemail from now on.

iPhones (iOS device)

  1. Open the Settings app and select Do Not Disturb.
  2. Tap the Manual toggle to enable the mode.
  3. Scroll down and locate the Allow Calls From option.
  4. Select the All Contacts option from the menu.
  5. Calls from unknown numbers should be automatically redirected to your voicemail from now on.


The options listed above can help reduce the number of unwanted calls that you receive. However, none of them will be able to prevent 100 percent of them in the same way that an app like Firewall can.

Unlike other similar third-party apps, Firewall uses a whitelist approach to dealing with unwanted calls. When you install the app, you will create a list of people from your contacts that you want to receive calls from.

Only these approved numbers will be sent through to your phone. All other callers will either be outright blocked calls or sent to voicemail. Other apps typically use a blacklist approach to reject calls from suspected spam numbers.

This approach usually isn’t effective for very long as scammers are constantly changing their numbers and strategies. It usually doesn’t take a scammer very long to bypass a blacklist. Another added feature that separates Firewall from other options is that it will provide a visual voicemail option.

Instead of having to listen to voicemails, you can simply have them transcribed into a text and read them. So if an unknown number was a legitimate call, you could read the voicemail and add the number to your white list so it’ll be sent through in the future.

A firewall is available for a 14-day free trial and will require a monthly subscription to continue service afterward. If you are tired of dealing with unwanted calls, using a guaranteed service like Firewall can help keep your phone quiet.

The Takeaway

Dealing with a constantly ringing phone with unwanted callers at the other end of the line is enough to make you want to throw your phone out the window. Instead of doing anything rash, try a few of the options listed above.

You should be able to reduce the number of unwanted calls by using some of the features of your phone. If that’s not enough to quiet your phone, using an app like Firewall is guaranteed to eliminate 100 percent of those unwanted calls.

Whatever option you try first, remember that you should never answer any calls from numbers you don’t know. Once the scammers know the line is active, they will flood your phone even worse than before.  


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