Spam calls can be annoying but also lure you into phishing scams and other cyber threats. Learn how to block spam calls on iPhone in this in-depth guide.
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How to block spam calls on your iPhone

Spam calls and messages can be a frustrating issue for iPhone users. Whether it’s telemarketers, bots, scammers, or phishers, these unwanted communications can negatively impact your privacy, security, and peace of mind.

According to Robokiller, In 2022 alone, Americans were hit by over 78 billion robocalls, an 8% increase from the previous year. This spike has led to significant financial losses as more Americans fall for robocall scam calls.

Despite the efforts of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), spam continues to be a problem for iPhone users. As this example of cold callers targeting the elderly shows, no one is safe.

One of the biggest challenges for the FTC is that most spam calls originate from overseas, where it has no authority. That’s why users need to learn how to block spam calls on iPhone devices. 

So, whether you choose to utilize the built-in iOS feature or opt for a third-party app, the methods outlined in this guide will help you take control of those pesky spam calls.

Read this in-depth guide for more on:

  • Why is blocking spam important?
  • How to block spam calls on iPhone.
  • How to block spam texts on iPhone.
  • Is it better to ignore or decline spam calls?

How to block spam calls on iPhone: Step by Step

Step 1: Use spam filtering apps 

If you’re looking for a robust solution to block spam calls on iPhones, consider using a trusted third-party app. There are several such apps available on the App Store that can block spam calls.

 Here’s how you can use one of these apps to permanently block spam on your iPhone:

  1. Open the App Store on your iPhone.
  2. Search for a reliable spam call blocker app.
  3. Install and launch the app.
  4. Follow the app’s instructions to set it up.
  5. Grant the necessary permissions for the app to function effectively.
  6. Enable the app’s call-blocking feature to block spam on iPhone.

Step 2: Silence unknown calls: How to silence unknown callers  

An effective way to manage robocalls or spam calls is to enable the Silence Unknown Callers feature, which has been baked into the iPhone since iOS 13.

This system works by automatically silencing calls from numbers that you don’t recognize. iPhone users find the feature helpful because it uses AI to detect numbers you want to interact with. For example, people in your contacts list will be able to get through, as will numbers sent in an email.

To enable Silence Unknown Callers, follow these steps: 

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Scroll down.
  3. Tap on Phone.
  4. Scroll down.
  5. Tap on Silence Unknown Callers.

Step 3: Contact your cellular service provider 

Here is how to get help from your cellular provider:

  1. Note the unwanted numbers you want to block.
  2. Call your mobile service provider.
  3. Tell them about the spam calls you are receiving.
  4. Request them to block the specific phone numbers.
  5. Inquire if they offer any additional spam call-blocking services.

Some cellular providers also offer spam-filtering apps to protect you against unwanted calls. For example, in the United States:

  1. AT&T ActiveArmor: This app is available on the App Store and features spam call blocking, fraud call blocking, and other features. The basic version of this app is complimentary.
  2. Verizon Call Filter: Verizon’s Call Filter helps you screen incoming calls and report and block spam. The basic version of this app is also free. 

Step 4: Use a caller ID 

Your Caller ID is an important feature in the fight against spam calls. It’s the number or name that displays on your screen when someone is calling you. Avoid calls that are labeled as “Likely Spam” on your iPhone.

Step 5: Block spam numbers 

As mentioned, you can use the Silence Unknown Callers feature to stop getting calls from people you don’t know. Alternatively, visit the App Store and download an app that detects and blocks spam numbers on iPhone devices. But please avoid apps that collect and share your data.

Step 6: Block unknown numbers

The Silence Unknown Caller feature will block all unknown callers. Go to Settings>Phone> Scroll down to Silence Unknown Callers. Please note that you may also silence “good” unknown numbers – for example, a company may be reaching out to you to schedule a job interview or a restaurant might be calling to confirm your reservation.

Step 7: Report spam calls and texts 

If you want to contribute to the fight against robocalls and spam texts, you can report these calls and texts to the relevant authorities. In the list of messages on your iPhone, touch and hold a spam message and then tap Report Junk. If you’ve opened a message, scroll to the bottom and tap Report Junk and then Delete and Report Junk. This informs Apple about the junk number.

You can also report spam text messages and calls to government organizations. To learn how to report texts to the Federal Trade Commission, use this link. To report spam calls to the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry, use this link.

Step 8: Use the “Focus” function  

Focus Mode allows iPhone users to focus on their tasks by silencing notifications. Although Focus Mode was designed to help iPhone users concentrate on their work, it can also help silence spam and robocalls.

By default, Focus Mode will silence all notifications, regardless of whether they’re from people in your Contacts list or not. But you can customize Focuses with your own settings. Just go to Settings > Focus and tap on a specific mode.

Why am I getting so many spam calls? 

You could be getting spam calls on your iPhone for one or a few of the following reasons:

  • You shared your number on public platforms like a message board or Discord channel.
  • You shared your number with an advertiser.
  • A scammer harvested your number from a public record or online directory.
  • Your number was stolen after a data breach.
  • Your friend was the victim of a phone and data theft campaign, and their contacts ended up on a fraudster’s list.
  • A robocall company purchased your number from a marketer.
  • An app or website has shared your phone number with an agency to generate revenue.
  • Scammers are using more sophisticated tactics to bypass iPhone security, like sending you spam from your own phone number.
  • You clicked an unsafe link, advert, or popup, like the malicious code spreading iPhone calendar spam.

How to block spam emails on iPhone 

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down.
  3. Select Mail.
  4. Scroll down.
  5. Tap Blocked to add email addresses to your blocked list.

How to block spam texts iPhone 

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down.
  3. Select Messages.
  4. Scroll down.
  5. Toggle on Filter Unknown Senders.

How to block group spam texts on iPhone 

  1. Open the spam text message.
  2. Find and tap the group icon at the top.
  3. Scroll down.
  4. Tap “Leave this Conversation”

Alternatively, you can tap the name or number that sent the message and turn on Hide Alerts.

How to prevent spam calls on iPhone 

Contact management 

Good “contact management” set up can help you manage spam calls. Start by reviewing your existing contacts and deleting any suspicious or unused entries. Consider organizing your contacts into groups, making it easier to identify potential spam callers.

Send to voicemail 

If you’re being inundated by spam, an effective strategy is to send all unknown calls to voicemail. If the call is genuine, the caller will likely leave a voicemail or send a follow-up text. You can also use voicemail to catch robocalls, as some robocalls will automatically leave a scripted message on voicemail.

Avoid giving out your number online 

Before providing your contact information online or engaging with unknown parties, take the time to research and verify their credibility. Look for reviews or feedback from other users. Please also avoid publishing your number on message boards and social media pages. Spammers can scan the web for numbers to harass.

When signing up for online services or subscriptions, check the privacy policy to see if your information will be handled responsibly. Consider using alternative contact methods such as alternative email addresses or messaging apps when sharing your number with unknown entities.

Don’t answer spam calls or texts 

It may be tempting to pick up the phone and vent your frustration at spam callers, but a more effective strategy is to not answer at all. In addition, you should avoid calling back unknown numbers.

Report scam calls: how to report spam calls 

Reporting scam calls is an essential step in the fight against scammers and spammers. As mentioned, you can utilize the Report Junk feature on your iPhone to notify Apple of spam calls you receive. You should also report spam to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States using the links shared above.

Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers 

More spam callers from overseas locations are using technology to disguise their location. For example, a call from an international scammer may appear to be from a local number. Instead of answering unknown numbers, let them leave you a message.

Vet email addresses and phone numbers 

Vetting email addresses and phone numbers is a crucial step in protecting yourself from spam calls and emails. Avoid responding to strange phone numbers and email addresses. In addition, search unknown numbers and email addresses on a search engine to see if they’ve been reported as spam.

Sign up for the National Do Not Call Registry 

Join the National Do Not Call Registry to stop many but not all unwanted calls. You can register your number by calling 888-382-1222. If you have multiple numbers to register, try It will take some time for the registration to take effect, but the step adds an extra layer of security against unwanted calls.

How do I enhance my iPhone security against spammers, scammers, and fraudsters? 

  1. Secure your iPhone with Malwarebytes Mobile Security: Scam Blocker & VPN for iOS to protect your device from robocalls, fake texts, phishing links, malicious websites, ad trackers, and other attack vectors.
  2. Follow safe practices on the Internet by avoiding unsafe links and websites. Beef up your privacy settings on social media platforms and avoid publishing or sharing your phone number.
  3. Use biometric security for your iPhone and set a strong password for your accounts. A password manager can help you keep track of your complex login credentials.
  4. Avoid answering unknown calls. Block and report spammers, scammers, and fraudsters using the methods shared in this guide.


How do I permanently block spam calls?

While the built-in iOS feature and third-party apps can effectively block spam calls, some persistent spammers may find ways to circumvent these measures. To permanently block spam calls on your iPhone, try calling your mobile service provider for solutions.

Why is blocking spam important?

Blocking spam on your iPhone is essential for several reasons:

  1. Peace of mind: Unwanted calls and messages can invade your personal space. Blocking spam can save you time and energy. 
  2. Security: Spam calls and texts can expose you to scams and phishing attacks. By blocking spam, you safeguard your personal information and reduce the risk of falling victim to fraudulent activities, such as business email compromise.
  3. Productivity: Many people use their iPhones for productivity. But spam calls can be disruptive to your workflow and concentration. Blocking spam can help you be more productive, whether it’s responding to emails or calling clients.

How do you unblock spam?

If you mistakenly blocked a contact or want to unblock a previously blocked spam number, you can easily reverse the process:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Scroll down.
  3. Select Phone.
  4. Tap on Blocked Contacts
  5. Locate the number you want to unblock.
  6. Swipe left on the contact or number and tap Unblock.