What Call Blocking Doesn’t Stop and What To Do About It

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Call blocking technology can help fight off scammers and other unwanted telephone calls, but it still has its limitations. 

For one, it doesn’t stop scammers from calling you with different phone numbers later on after you’ve blocked them. To avoid leaving yourself vulnerable to harassment, it’s best to be proactive and use additional methods beyond call blocking. 

Let’s examine some lesser-known strategies to evade unwanted calls. 

Here’s What to Do About What Call Blocking Doesn’t Stop

Call blocking apps, built-in cell phone blocking technology, and other solutions can play a role in warding off scammers and unwanted calls, to be sure. But scammers can get around them.

The key is to use a mix of methods and several layers of defense against unwanted calls.

Enable call labeling

First and foremost, always make sure that call labeling is enabled on your cell phone. Do the same if you’re using a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone or landline’s Caller ID. 

Call labeling allows you to see “spam” or “scam likely” on your phone screen when receiving a robocall or other unwanted call. This display alerts you not to answer and to protect yourself against scammers. Afterward, you can immediately block the number and prevent them from calling again. 

If you receive a call from a number you don’t recognize and no one answers on the other end, it may be a ghost call. These calls may be from hackers trying to search for vulnerabilities in your phone system. If you suspect you’ve received ghost calls, contact your phone service provider immediately to verify the suspicious numbers. 

Don’t put your phone number online unless you absolutely have to

When giving out your phone number and other personal information online and on social media, exercise extreme caution. If putting in your number is optional, refrain from entering it. 

Be especially careful when signing up for a mailing list, making a purchase, or creating a social media profile. These are places where scammers and other unscrupulous callers find potential phone numbers. 

The more you expose your phone number online, the greater likelihood that scammers and robocallers will find it. Only give it out when absolutely necessary and never post it on a public forum, database, or social media profile if possible. 

Report unwanted numbers to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

Reporting scammers and other unwanted calls to the FTC can play a critical role in shutting down unwanted and illegal calls. 

The reporting process is much simpler than most people realize. If you didn’t lose any money in a suspected scam and simply want to report an unwanted number, use the form at DoNotCall.gov. If you suspect you lost money in a scam or have some additional information about a suspected scammer, report it at ReportFraud.ftc.gov. 

By reporting unwanted calls, you help government agencies identify, track, and ultimately stop scammers and other illegal operators. Yes, it may be an extra step on your end. But it’s a quick process that can help to protect others in the future. 

Bookmark FTC.gov/calls

It’s a good idea to bookmark FTC.gov/calls as a resource in the fight against scammers and unwanted calls. Refer to it frequently for new information and tips about how to best avoid annoying spam calls. 

Some types of unwanted calls are inevitable in this day and age. However, the best way to stay ahead of scammers is to arm yourself with accurate and timely information so you don’t fall victim to a costly scam later on.

Other Helpful Tips in Fighting Scammers and Unwanted Calls

In addition to these methods, keep these helpful tips in mind to protect yourself against scammers and unwanted spam calls. The more layers of defense you use against them, the better your chance of avoiding falling victim to a scam that can cause serious financial damage. 

Never answer a call from an unknown number

If you receive a call from an unknown number, don’t answer it. It’s best to always err on the side of caution and never engage with potential scammers or robocall spammers to protect yourself. 

If the call is legitimate and important, the caller will most likely leave a voicemail for you to listen to later. If you suspect the incoming call was a scam, robocall, or other type of unwanted call, be sure to block it immediately on your phone. 

Be aware of the tricks scammers and spammers use

Scammers often use some shady tricks to lull their victims into thinking they’re legitimate callers or to gather sensitive information. 

Some common tricks include asking you to press a certain button to stop receiving calls and pressuring you into giving out sensitive personal information quickly to supposedly protect your account from a hacker. 

In general, always exercise caution and never give out your personal data unless you’re absolutely certain the person you’re speaking with is trustworthy. 

Verify the identity of incoming callers

Another common trick of scammers is to impersonate officials from government agencies or financial institutions. If you receive a call like this and suspect it’s a scam, hang up immediately and contact the agency or institution that supposedly contacted you to verify if the call was legitimate or not. 

Use caution, even with local numbers

Often, scammers, robocallers, and other unwanted callers will employ spoofing techniques that disguise their actual phone number as a local number, giving the call recipient a false sense of security that they’re receiving a call from someone local. In reality, they could actually be in another country entirely. 

Never give out sensitive information to someone you don’t know

Never give out sensitive personal information to someone you suspect is a scammer. Specifically, this includes your Social Security number, home address, email address, birthday, and any passwords, pin numbers, and login information. 

If you suspect you’ve given sensitive financial information to a scammer by accident, change your account credentials immediately, contact any relevant financial institutions to let them know to be on the lookout for suspicious activity, and report the call to the FTC. 

Use multiple layers of defense 

Even if you’ve never given your sensitive personal data out by accident, there’s always the chance you may fall victim to a data breach or have a scammer locate your information online somewhere. To protect against this, implement two-factor authentication (2FA) for your sensitive personal accounts, particularly for financial institutions.

Protect your voicemail 

If your phone has voicemail, be sure to use password protection for it. If your voicemail account has no password to safeguard it, you run the risk of hackers spoofing your personal phone number to gain access to it without your knowledge. 

Watch out for ghost calls

If you receive a call from a number you don’t recognize and no one answers on the other end, it may be a ghost call. Also called phantom calls, some ghost calls may be from hackers trying to search for vulnerabilities in your phone system. If you suspect you’ve received ghost calls, contact your phone service provider immediately to verify the suspicious numbers and ask what steps they’d recommend to stop them. 

Useful Resources 

The resources below can help you stay informed about how to protect yourself against scammers and spammers. 

  • FTC.gov: The FTC is a crucial resource for reporting scams and finding up-to-date information on how to protect yourself from scammers and other illegal operators. 
  • FCC.gov: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) offers useful information on reporting robocalls and other unwanted calls, plus provides additional information on how to stop illegal and unwanted telephone callers. 
  • DoNotCall.gov: Adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry can help stop telemarketers, robocalls, and other types of unwanted calls. 

Call blocking technology can play a key role in stopping scammers and other unwanted calls, but other methods of fighting them are needed.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of ways to protect yourself, including using call labeling, being careful with where you share your contact information online, and reporting calls to the FTC. 

With these actionable steps, you can better defend yourself against scam callers, ensure your privacy, and protect your sensitive financial information. 



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