Getting a spam call is a huge pet peeve for many people. They are annoying, relentless and persistent. They waste your already limited time and never seem to go away. With the rise of phone spoofing, which scammers and telemarketers can use to hide their number or generate a number with an area code that matches yours, people are getting and picking up more and more spam calls than ever.
Most people hang up or let these calls go to voice mail in most cases, but if you are getting really fed up with these numbers, there are some methods you can use to hold those malicious callers accountable.
If you want to take some action against these calls, keep reading.
How to lookup a phone number
There is a multitude of ways to research up a phone number online. Simply copy the number from the caller ID or your call history and plug it into a reverse phone lookup website or service. These websites will usually tell you if the phone number belongs to an individual or business, and the name of said individual or business. However, not every phone number is registered to someone, so reverse phone lookups will not work every time. Often times, these websites will give you an address for that phone number as well, although the address may be outdated.
Reverse phone lookup websites are a common way for most people to trace back numbers that they do not know that are not blocked or private. There are many websites and resources on the Internet to do reverse phone lookups very easily, but if you are feeling a bit old-school, physical registries like YellowPages are still in use today and remain at your disposal.
Once you have identified the number of the spam caller you want to block, the next step is quite easy.
Blocking spam numbers
After you have figured out which number you want to block, you can block them manually by going through your call history and selecting that number to be blocked.
There are also third party spam call blocking applications that you can download on your phone. These apps detect known spam numbers or other suspicious numbers and either preemptively block them from your phone or send you a notification when you receive the call that it may be a scam. As of right now, no major phone company has a built-in feature or software that does this, so your best bet, for now, is finding a reputable and highly-reviewed spam blocking app.
Newer Apple and Android devices have a more drastic method to completely stifle spam calls. These features, called The Silence Unknown Callers for IOS devices and the “Block anonymous calls” switch for Android automatically blocks all calls from unknown numbers. Those calls are then sent to voicemail and appear on your Recents lists so you can see and return the call if it is a legitimate person.
Not satisfied with just blocking a spammer? You can take it one step further and report the number in the next step.
Reporting spam calls
Often times, spammers will use thousands of different numbers to call millions of people. Blocking one number every time you get one of these spam calls might seem ineffectual and tedious in the long run. However, if you report these calls to your respective country’s telecommunications commission, they may be able to trace the number back to its source and take action against the spammers.
In the United States, you can report the spam call number to the Federal Trade Commission at complaints.donotcall.gov or 1-888-382-1222. In Canada, you can report unwanted telemarketing calls to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission at www.lnnte-dncl.gc.ca or by calling 1-866-580-DNCL (3625).