How to stop robocalls and other spam calls from reaching your iPhone

Prevent Robocalls and other spam from flooding your iPhone. Hollis Johnson / Business Insider
There are several ways to prevent your iPhone from receiving robocalls, some of which are on the rise because the technology is cheap for spammers.
While the following options will help reduce robocalls and other spam calls on your iPhone, no single remedy is the perfect solution.
Make sure to add your number to the national uncalled register. However, you should also use a call screening app.
Other options include blocking certain numbers and using Do Not Disturb.
Check out the Business Insider Tech Reference library for more stories.
It is not your imagination; Robocalls are on the rise.
According to research by communications security company First Orion, only 3.7% of all cell phone calls made in 2017 were automated "spam" calls. By 2018, spam calls made up 29.2% of all calls. In 2019, almost half of all cell phone calls will be fraud unless the telecommunications industry takes steps to contain the trend, according to First Orion.
Part of the reason that robocalls are so ubiquitous is that they are cheap for spammers. For the average iPhone user who is inundated with spam calls, these calls seem inevitable, but the good news is that it doesn't.
While you cannot be fully vaccinated by Robocalls, there are a number of steps you can take to minimize the number of annoying spam calls on your iPhone.
Enter your number in the "Do not call" registry
Your very first stop should be to add your phone number to the national no-call registration list. The Federal Trade Commission maintains this database, and marketers are required by law to avoid calling any phone numbers it contains.
Add yourself to the National Do Not Call Registry to stop receiving spam calls from reputable marketers. Dave Johnson / Business Insider
Is that a perfect solution? Absolutely not: there are many unscrupulous marketers out there who completely ignore the registry. So adding your name to this list simply protects you from the honest ones.
Also, keep in mind that it could take a month for your phone number to be removed from spammers call logs and many organizations (such as charities and political groups) will still be able to contact you.
Let an app check your calls
The good news is you don't have to shoulder the burden of robocalls alone. Next, you should check to see if an app or service is offered by your iPhone's service provider. In most cases there will be. The apps that carriers offer for free include:
T-Mobile Scam Block
Sprint Premium Caller ID
Verizon call filters
AT&T Call Protect (see image below).
Anti-robocall apps like AT & T's Call Protect (pictured) block known spam callers and attempt to mark suspicious robocalls as "suspicious," which dramatically reduces the number of marketing calls you answer.
If you want better protection than your service provider's apps, there are also a variety of third-party apps that can intelligently block spam calls on your behalf. YouMail is completely free, although other apps offer free in-app purchase features to unlock additional features. Some of the most popular options are Truecaller, Hiya, and RoboKiller.
Block certain phone numbers on your iPhone
One way to reduce the number of calls flooding your phone is to block them. They can't bother you if you can't get past your phone's built-in virtual doorman. The downside is that this is a manual process: you have to block each unwanted phone number individually. But it can be worth it, especially if you can find the same number calling you over and over again. The good news: it's easy to block a phone number on your iPhone with just a few taps.
You can block all future calls from known spam calls by blocking individual numbers. Dave Johnson / Business Insider
Rely on the iPhone's Do Not Disturb feature
If you're still frustrated by a seemingly constant barrage of robocalls, your last line of defense is to rely on your iPhone's Do Not Disturb feature. When Do Not Disturb is turned on, your phone won't ring or notify you of incoming calls, except those that you specifically allow. That means you can use Do Not Disturb as a sort of filter that lets people you know - your own contacts - through but sends unknown numbers straight to voicemail. And since most robocalls don't leave messages, they won't bother you.
To configure Do Not Disturb to Avoid Robocalls:
1. Tap the Settings icon, then tap Do Not Disturb.
2. Tap Do Not Disturb to turn it on.
3. Tap "Allow calls from" and select "All Contacts". Of course, if you wish, you can limit the number of callers you can reach. For example, you can choose Favorites instead.
Set Do Not Disturb to full time by only ringing calls from your contacts. Everything else can go to voicemail. Dave Johnson / Business Insider
4. Tap "Back" and close the Settings app.
It's important to remember that you need to keep Do Not Disturb on all the time to check your robocalls, and that you want to check your missed calls more often, as calls from people not in your contacts are direct to voicemail.
Related coverage from Tech Reference:
Here's how to prevent robocalls and other spam calls from reaching your Android phone
How to stop spam text messages on your iPhone or Android device in several different ways
Here's how to prevent email from getting into your spam folder in Gmail in two different ways
Here's how to block text messages on your iPhone from specific senders and unblock them when you change your mind
Here are two ways to prevent private callers from reaching your iPhone
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