Phone calls can be a wonderful thing. They can connect us with family and friends or allow us to perform important tasks from the comfort of our own homes. However, phones can also bring some risks. Scam calls are a rising trend, and unscrupulous people are trying and succeeding every day to scam unsuspecting people.
- Key Takeaways
- What are Call Blocking and Call Labeling?
- Why Does ‘Spam Risk’ Appear?
- Can I Turn off Spam Risk Calls?
- How to Block “Spam Risk” Calls on iPhone
- How to Block Calls on a Traditional Landline
- How to Block Calls From Fake Numbers — or “Spoofing”
- When Should I Report Unwanted Calls?
- Best Products for Fraud Risk Calls
- Final Thoughts
This can result in lost money and even identity theft if you’re not careful, so it’s best to avoid the risk entirely. Luckily, there are various methods and services you can use to avoid the risks of fraud calls.
We will be covering some of these methods in this guide, so by the end of it you should feel a bit safer and more aware of the risks of fraud.
- Call blocking will block suspicious calls while call labeling will warn you of a suspicious call so you can decide if it’s legitimate.
- Spam risk labels will alert you that there is something suspicious about a call.
- Spam risk calls can be disabled and blocked on certain phones.
- We will also cover some of the best products you can use to fight back against spam calls.
What are Call Blocking and Call Labeling?
Different smartphones and other devices may have call blocking and call labeling services, and these are used to help detect and prevent scam calls. In the early days of mobile phones, these warnings were not a thing, but now we generally have a bit of warning to a scam call.
If your phone or device detects that a call is from a suspicious source, it may show ‘Spam Risk’ or a similar message instead of the name or number of the caller.
Call blocking is a setting that can automatically block these calls, however, while this is useful it can also occasionally block calls that you actually want to receive. Call labeling is a less hands-off approach, but this function will warn you of spam risk and allow you to decide whether to answer anyway.
As mentioned in the introduction, spam calls can result in lost money or even identity theft. For more tips on how to prevent identity theft, be sure to check out our overview on the subject.
Why Does ‘Spam Risk’ Appear?
If your phone shows ‘spam risk,’ there are a few reasons this could be the case. Your phone or network may have detected signs that the call is not legitimate. For example, they may be falsifying their location data.
If a number has been reported for fraud and scams by other users, this will also flag the number as a potential spam risk.
It’s not 100% accurate, and some legitimate calls may erroneously get this label, but more often than not it is a pretty good indication of a scam risk.
If you’re worried that a spam call has resulted in identity theft, you may want to read our overview on how to spot the signs of identity theft.
Can I Turn off Spam Risk Calls?
If you want to turn off spam risk calls, you can usually do so in the settings of most smartphones and similar devices. You can look up the process for your specific phone model online if you would like to enable this feature.
How to Block “Spam Risk” Calls on iPhone
Similarly, iPhones have settings that can be used to block and label spam risk calls. You can also go into your settings and block specific numbers that you know are spam or scam numbers.
How to Block Calls on a Traditional Landline
This is all well and good for smartphones, but what about landline phones? You may have fewer options here, but you still have the means to fight back against scam calls. Many areas offer a service where you dial a specific number and then add the phone number of an attempted scammer. This will then block that number from calling you again.
If you would like to do this, then you can look up the process for your specific area and see what your options are.
How to Block Calls From Fake Numbers — or “Spoofing”
Scammers will often falsify their location details in order to look more legitimate. If you’re in the United States and receive a call that shows it’s from another country yet the person claims they’re in the US, then that would immediately tell you they’re up to no good.
Using spoofing, that scammer can instead make your phone show they’re calling from the US, making them seem more legitimate at first glance.
Your phone may warn you of spoofed numbers, or you can use some products like the ones we will be looking at later on to block such calls.
When Should I Report Unwanted Calls?
The answer to this question can vary. If a call has resulted in you falling for a scam or scheme, then you should contact the appropriate authorities and services that may be impacted. In general, you can also report scam call numbers by contacting various toll-free numbers.
Once again, these can be looked up so you can find the right one for your area. Doing this won’t necessarily help you as an individual, but it will help to build the database of scam numbers meaning that the number may be flagged for other people.
This helps in the fight against scamming, so it’s well worth doing if you have the time.
Best Products for Fraud Risk Calls
As we have seen, there are various practices you can perform to keep yourself safer. There are also various products that can be used to help keep you safer, and we will take a quick look at some of the best ones here.
The first product we have to look at is a paid app called Robokiller. As we mentioned earlier, many services rely on previous reports to determine scam risk, but Robokiller uses an advanced algorithm along with a database of past spam calls.
This way, they can label and block 99% of all scam calls. They also have an amusing feature where a bot will answer scam calls and use the voices of famous characters and celebrities to waste a scammer’s time. Any time wasted by a scammer is time they’re not ripping off an innocent victim, so it’s a good feature.
It is a paid service, but you can start a free trial from this page. Given the reliability of this app in blocking and preventing scam calls, we feel it is well worth the price, especially if you frequently receive annoying scam calls.
Panasonic Call Blocker
Next up, we have the Panasonic call blocker. Earlier we mentioned that landlines can be a bit more susceptible to spam calls, so this device aims to help with that. It will block calls from telemarketers and other suspected spam sources.
It relies on an existing database of numbers, and you can also add up to 2000 additional spam numbers. This small and simple device would be great for any landline user that wants to avoid any scam calls.
For an even simpler approach to landline safety, we have the CPR V5000. This is a similar device to the previous one, as it will identify any suspicious numbers. However, things are simplified with a large red button that can be pressed to easily block a spam call.
This simple approach is perfect for a no-fuss approach and especially for people who may not be as tech-savvy, yet still want an easy way to block spam calls.
As we have seen in this brief overview, there are many ways that spam calls can be annoying and even dangerous. There are various practices you can employ to make yourself less vulnerable and you can report spam numbers to help other people as well.
If you want to take your protection even further, you can use one of the devices and services we covered in order to protect yourself even more. Remember to stay vigilant and use the tools you have available, as anyone can fall for a scam call if they’re not careful!