By Sophie Wholer | 18th September 2023
Firstly, what is a spam call?
Anyone who uses a phone nowadays are bound to get the dreaded spam calls, and they can be quite detrimental. They are unsolicited, nuisance calls made to a large number of recipients and these calls have the goal to persuade the recipient to either by a product/service, or to divulge sensitive personal information.
These spam calls come from spam call centres, where they use some form of auto-dialling system that goes through random phone numbers. This system tracks anytime someone either declines or answers. They do this because then it means that that phone number is actually a person’s mobile phone number rather than an out-of-services number or an office phone number. By declining or answering spam calls, your number ends up in a database for future calls that can either be more targeted or persistent. This also applies to text scam messages where they prompt you to text back by “replying stop” to the scam text messages.
Ignoring the actual phone call and letting it go to voicemail is a little bit better, but it isn’t the best way to do things. Ignoring a call still proves that the phone number is valid. Declining a call confirms that the number is valid, which makes it a higher value target then outright ignoring it.
Do you know why they try so hard to check if your phone number is valid? Because many platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and more, all use your phone number when you sign up or log in. These hackers work so hard to get your phone number to then try and hack into your accounts.
We need our phones
Mobile phones are now a large part of our lives so it’s a given that you need to answer your phone. Whether it’s because you’ve applied for a new job, or you’re waiting to hear back from a rental house, it’s an important part of the day to day. Many of us would have been taught to either ignore the phone call and let it ring out, or to simply decline the phone call. Both of these options are just as bad as each other, and they typically don’t lessen the amount of overall phone calls you get.
But with many of us Aussie’s getting over 10 spam calls on average in a month, this amount can easily average over 50% of the calls you would be receiving on a monthly basis. These calls can possibly block the important phone call letting you know you’ve got the job, or you got the rental you’ve been wanting.
Best way to manage spam calls
Now, there’s a few ways to go about trying to limit these spam calls. The best and foremost way to do things is to start by adding your phone number to the “Do Not Call” register at https://www.donotcall.gov.au/.
This method is free, secure, and will remove you from most lists, however it can take up to 30 days for the calls to stop.
Another way to manage spam calls
You can set up your phone for those who aren’t on your contacts to go directly to voicemail. Calls from these unknown numbers are immediately silenced and sent to your voicemail, but don’t worry – they will appear in your recent calls list if you’re waiting on an important phone call.
How to do this on iPhone:
- Go to your Settings.
- Scroll down to Phone.
- Scroll down a little bit and find Silence Unknown Callers.
- Turn this feature on by tapping the little button.
Some Android devices allow you to block all unknown callers. This process also differs from phone brand to phone brand, but they all should follow relatively similar steps.
How to do this on Android:
- Open your Phone App.
- Tap the Three Dots in the top right corner.
- Tap Settings.
- Tap Block Numbers.
- Scroll down and turn the button on next to “Block spam and scam calls”.
Once you do either of these to your phone, you will only see the newly filtered calls in either your Call History or Voicemail. They do not appear as missed calls. You will also receive a notification on your phone that someone outside of your contact list attempted to call you.
Other ways to limit spam calls
One neat trick involves answering the phone but hang on – don’t say anything! This trick, through word-of-mouth, tricks the auto-dialler into believing that the number has been disconnected. They then should hang up within 3 seconds. Many people swear in this trick, with many massively limiting their spam calls to 1 every 6 months. This option is the best one if you rely on phone calls from people outside of your contact list for your business.
Blocking each call as it comes through may help you. This method is the better way if you keep getting calls from survey centres, charities, or nuisance numbers you recognize.
How to do this on iPhone:
- Go to your Recent Call list.
- Find the correct nuisance number.
- Press on the “I” for information.
- Scroll down and find the block this caller option.
How to do this on Android:
- Go to your Call Log.
- Hold down, and an option menu should come up.
- Tap the “Block/Report’ option.
Still having trouble? Another way could be to download specific spam-filtering apps onto your phone. We haven’t tried these, so take caution when proceeding.
PC Mag recommends RoboKiller and Nomorobo for blocking robotic calls.
7News recommends Truecaller for filtering spam calls and text messages.
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