- - How to identify a spam call?
- - How to block spam calls?
- - Is there a code to block spam calls in the UK?
- - How to block spam calls using your iPhone
- - Blocking individual unknown numbers on iPhone
- - Blocking all unknown callers on iPhone
- - How to block spam calls using your Android Phone
- - Caller ID and spam protection feature on Android Phones
- - Report and mark individual calls as spam on Android Phones
At times we receive unwanted calls it can be considered as a minor nuisance but in most cases, it turns out to be a total disturbance and may affect your life to extremes. We have seen some numbers continuously disturbing a person nonstop for couple of hours. It can occur in many forms, sometimes as a silent call, that keeps ringing one after another, sometimes marketing calls that keep on engaging our line for services or products that are not in our interest, or even it can be a call that will make us consider huge gains on investment and the scammer will request our bank details.
These are only some examples, from pensions to insurance we should always keep in mind a genuine legitimate company only contacts people according to GDPR laws by the receiver's consent. Generally, cold call schemes break the law and call people with no permit and keep on connecting some lines in a repeated pattern. There are many ways to stop these suspicious calls and scams from contacting you, blocking the numbers, reporting to Ofcom and TPS, registering with TPS service, and using software systems to prevent spam calls are a few ways to protect yourself from these malicious intentions.
How to identify a spam call?
It is not always easy to identify a spam call, some calls will use names of organisations that are very well recognised by the public such as HMRC or NHS, and some others will start calls by asking if there was a recent accident or if you are happy with your pension scheme or if you are entitled to some compensation for PPI or similar natured concepts. These calls are being made to a large proportion of the public daily and their methods get updated further every day.
Usually, the purpose of the call is to trick the person into providing information regarding their finances or gather details of a requirement that may interest the person in the near future, as example, energy tariffs, car insurance, or IRS schemes, there are also options for scammers to get more effective data using robocalls if you engage with the call and press the indicated button to connect to someone that will increase the chance of you getting more spam calls. Therefore, it is best not to engage with these calls and blocking the caller using your smartphone is the first step you can take to prevent receiving more spam calls from these companies.
Engaging with any of the spam calls may also lead to your number being added to a general list that is being used by these companies referring as responsive, easy target and commonly active answerer. That makes you a more prospective target for spam callers and fraudsters.
How to block spam calls?
Most of the smartphones we use have a feature to block numbers unwanted or for UK numbers you can register to Telephone Preference Service (TPS) to remove numbers from the telemarketer's list. This is a free application and very straightforward. This registry at the moment is not effective on the robocalls but will support the reduction of spam calls being received.
We will also identify how we can use the feature of blocking calls in Android and iPhones and show you more options to explore for further protection.
Calls are not the only communication we receive from scammers, please also watch out for spam emails and text messages.
Is there a code to block spam calls in the UK?
Unfortunately, unlike other countries in the UK, there isn’t a specific code that can block all spam and robocalls, although Ofcom, Trading Standards and TPS are working on further enhancements to protect the public from spammers, identification of numbers has been the most difficult part due to internet numbers through VoIP phones being easy to get for a list to be pooled and identified. The opportunists change the number they are calling from as soon as it is determined to be a spam number. When new updates are announced we will keep our readers updated.
How to block spam calls using your iPhone
iPhones provide the option of blocking callers individually or disabling all calls from unknown numbers in one step. Blocking all unknown numbers may reduce the risk of receiving spam calls in general but sometimes we receive calls from legitimate authorities from unknown numbers in the UK, hence this is important to know that you will block all calls from unknown numbers which can turn out to be your GP Practice or it can be related to your tax affairs.
If calls are individually blocked this will prevent you from blocking some of the genuine unknown number callers that may be important to you, or you may register with TPS and block individual numbers for a higher level of protection.
Blocking individual unknown numbers on iPhone
Please see the steps below to block numbers individually on your iPhone;
1. Select the Phone App and find the number you want to block, it is common that the number is on the top of the list in the recent calls tab, but it can be in other lists as well, Contacts, Favourites or Voicemail. Press the information button “i” next to the number displayed on the screen
2. Scroll down to see all options on the screen and press “Block this caller”
3. Press the “Block Contact” button to confirm the action.
As all steps are completed the number selected is now blocked, there is also an option to block all unknown callers in the iPhone using the filtering function.
Blocking all unknown callers on iPhone
Filtering numbers that can connect to your number is a very useful function available to iPhone users. If you receive disturbing calls, unwanted, automatic and spam calls too much then you may consider filtering the calls you receive. This also helps to prevent disguised numbers to call as scammers.
Let's examine the steps to block all unknown and private calls on the iPhone;
1. Find the “Settings” App on your phone and select “Phone”
2. Scroll down and find the “Silence Unknown Callers” option.
3. When you slide the toggle, the feature will be activated showing green on the screen meaning “ON”
After all, three steps are completed only numbers in your Contacts list will be able to get through to your line, also the numbers you have answered and spoken to before will also be allowed to connect. This action will not stop you from seeing the numbers that call you, the calling activity will be blocked but the numbers will be listed in your recent’ s list.
How to block spam calls using your Android Phone
Similar to the feature studied above the option to block individual numbers or block all unknown calls and private numbers by filtering is also available in Android Phones.
Caller ID and spam protection feature on Android Phones
Android users can get information about callers or businesses not in their contacts list using the Caller ID and spam protection feature. If you are using Android, you may be familiar with the warnings displayed on the screen for potential spam calls. The feature is present as a default on all Android phones unless deactivated by the user.
If you follow the steps below you can turn on the Caller ID and spam protection feature of your smartphone.
1. Find the Phone App on your phone
2. There is an icon on the top right corner displayed with three dots, select Settings > Spam and Call Screen.
3. Turn on or off Caller ID and spam protection according to your choice. Then tap Block numbers > Toggle on Block spam and scam calls to activate this function.
All steps completed to use this feature will allow the user to only see the filtered calls in Call History or Voicemail. They will not be displayed as missed calls. For any reason if you need to unblock spam calls on Android, slide the toggle off in the last step.
Report and mark individual calls as spam on Android Phones
If you would like to block a number and also mark it as spam, which can also help other users receiving similar calls to be informed that it is potential spam requires the following steps to be actioned;
1. Open the Phone App and press Recents.
2. Select the number in the Recents list to mark as spam and block, and press Info (i)
3. Select “Report” then tap the spam call type related to the caller. Then Select OK.
4. Select Block on the info screen.
In addition to all the steps we can use in our Android and iPhone features, there are certain benefits of registering with TPS to prevent spam calls. Taking action against fraudsters and scammers by contacting the authorities of Ofcom, Trading Standards and Citizens Advice Bureau is also a preventative action for the long-term resolution of the scam and fraud ongoing in the UK, this is why reporting is a very important step we can all take for a scam free future.
Also read: How to stop nuisance calls in the UK?