There’s nothing worse than a spam call interrupting your day. Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to prevent them entirely. Each method is completely free and takes only a few minutes to set up. 

Although you may still get the occasional cold call from organizations in the non-profit or political sectors, most of the spammers and scammers will be put to rest. 

Here are several approaches to win back your privacy, starting with the simplest.  

Method 1: Register Online at

Register your number in minutes online by following these simple steps:

  1. Go to
  2. Click the Register link, which takes you to the official registry page.
  3. Click Register Here.
  4. Enter up to three landline or mobile numbers you wish to register—digits only, with no dashes.
  5. Enter your email address for verification purposes.
  6. Click the Submit button.
Screenshot of the registration form for where you can add up to three numbers to block from spam calls.
  1. Check your email for a confirmation and click the included link within 72 hours to complete your registration. Note that you’ll receive a separate email for each number registered

Method 2: Call to Register

You can register your number on the FTC’s National Do Not Call list by phone. 

  1. Call 1-888-382-1222 or TTY: 1-866-290-4236 from the number you wish to register.
  2. Press 1 for English or 2 if you prefer Spanish.
  3. Press 2 to register your number by following the prompts.

How the Do Not Call List Works

You can register personal landline or mobile phone numbers free of charge. The registry does not accept business or fax numbers. You can remove a number from the list at any time by dialing 1-888-382-1222 from that line and following the prompts. The changes will take effect the next day. 

If you’re registering multiple numbers, it’s much faster to do so online. To register more than the three phone numbers allowed in the online form, simply follow the process as many times as you need to add additional lines. Otherwise, you’ll need to call the main Do Not Call number from each line you intend to register.

Be aware that your registration will not stop all sales calls; it will only put an end to calls from telemarketing companies that follow the legal regulations. You may still receive sales inquiries from certain companies if you’ve given express permission or if you’ve recently interacted with them. 

Since the Do Not Call registry is not a call-blocking tool, you may also receive calls from scammers that don’t adhere to the legal guidelines. 

These should always be reported to the FTC, as they are regularly shared with call-blocking providers to help improve their services. Note that, according to FTC rules, all robocalls are illegal unless you’ve given the caller express written permission or it’s an automated service-related notification.  

How Long Does the Do Not Call List Registration Take?

The process of registering your number takes less than five minutes, whether by phone or online, and your updates will appear on the national registry the very next day. However, you may have to wait up to 31 days for these changes to take full effect while the FTC shares the updated registry information with telemarketing companies. 

The good news is that your registration never expires. So after that first month, you should be in the clear indefinitely. 

Note that you may still receive calls from charities, political organizations, debt collectors, and survey groups, as these entities are exempt from following the Do Not Call regulations. 

Scams and Reporting Unwanted Calls

If 31 days have passed since your registration and you still receive calls from unknown numbers, you’re encouraged to report these violations to the FTC. Make sure to note your number, the caller’s number, and any number you’re asked to call, along with the date and time of the outreach. Even if the scammer is calling from a spoofed or fake number, the FTC can still sometimes trace it back to its point of origin.  

You can protect yourself from scams by using call masking features anytime you contact customers on behalf of your business. It’s also an important tool when reaching out to someone you don’t know, such as a third-party seller on Facebook or Craigslist. 

Safe communication measures also involve staying aware of common phone scams, which include:

  • Impersonating a trusted contact: Scammers pose as someone you might recognize or trust, like a friend or law enforcement agency. They may even call from a spoofed number to try and convince you of their legitimacy. Sometimes, the caller will threaten you with arrest, deportation, or a fine if you don’t make a payment to them.
  • Fake debt relief or credit repair offers: The scammer offers to fix your credit, lower your interest rates, or forgive your student loans—as long as you pay them a fee.
  • Fraudulent Investment Opportunities: You are offered business coaching or the chance to invest in a promising new venture for a small fee. If you’re not sure if it’s legitimate, check the securities scam list at
  • Fake Donation Requests: These callers prey on your good nature by asking for donations to a worthy cause. Run a quick online check to make sure the organization is real, and be sure to ask how much of your donation will go directly to the charity. 
  • Extended Car Warranty Scams: Beware of scammers calling to offer you pricey service contracts or extended warranties. Even if they appear knowledgeable about your specific vehicle, you should never buy this kind of coverage without looking into the details and provider. 
  • “Free” Trial Offers… That Really Aren’t: Sometimes, a caller will offer you free trials of beauty products or other hot-ticket items. The problem is that you may be charged later or placed on an automatic subscription plan and charged each month thereafter. Make sure to request specific details before accepting these offers. 
  • Fee-Based Loan Offers: With this scam, you’re offered a loan or credit card approval in exchange for a fee. This is not something an ethical bank or credit company would do. 
  • Fake Prize or Lottery Notification: These scammers will claim that you’ve won a large amount of money, but to get it, you have to first pay a fee. 
  • “Free” Trip Offer: Here, you’re asked for a payment to receive a free or low-cost vacation. Instead, you’re saddled with high taxes and fees—or you find out the “vacation” itself is a myth. 
  • Fake Timeshare Sales Offers: If you’re a timeshare owner, you may receive calls from people who claim to have a person interested in buying it. Of course, they ask for a payment from you first, which is usually a clue that the offer is too good to be true. 

When you’re being pressured to make a decision or payment right this moment—sometimes under threat of arrest or a heavy fine—you’re likely dealing with a scammer. 

Another red flag is when a caller will accept only a certain type of payment, such as a wire transfer, gift card, or cryptocurrency. Requesting sensitive information like your social security number is also a sign that you’re being scammed. 

If you’ve been on the receiving end of a scam call, report it to the FTC

Built-In Call Blocking on Your Phone and Third-Party Apps

If you’re on the Do Not Call registry and are still getting spam calls, it’s probably time to implement call blocking. 

Most mobile phones come with a built-in blocking tool you can easily activate at any time. Many third-party apps can manage this task for you, with different benefits and features. Your phone carrier is another great resource for spam call protection. 

Here are the best options available for each type of device. 

Activate Built-In Call Blocking Features

On an Apple phone, there are a few ways to block unknown callers. To activate the Silence Unknown Callers feature:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Phone
  3. Select Call Blocking and Identification
  4. Toggle the Silence Junk Callers switch on

If you have an iOS 13 or above, you can:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Tap Phone
  3. Switch on Silence Unknown Callers
The silence unknown callers screen on a cell phone

You can also block individual calls on your iPhone:

  1. Access your recent call menu 
  2. Tap the Information symbol to the right of the number you wish to block
  3. Tap the red Block This Caller button at the bottom of the next screen
block contact prompt button on ios cell phone

On an Android phone:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Open your Phone app
  3. From the Dial or Call Logs tab, tap the three vertical dots in the top right corner to access more options
  4. Tap Call Settings
  5. Select Call Blocking and Decline With Message 
  6. Choose Blocked Numbers 
  7. Tap the plus sign at the top-right to add a number to your block list—you can enter a number manually or choose a recent number from your call log
call blocking and decline options on an android phone, found within the call settings.
A screen showing three options you can select to manage your blocked callers on the iphone

Also, on an Android device, you can add blocked numbers from your Message app to stop pesky scam texts:

  1. From the Message app, tap the three vertical dots at the top-right
  2. Choose Settings
  3. Tap Message Blocking
  4. Select Blocked Numbers 
  5. Tap the plus sign to add a new number to your list

On a Samsung phone, you can block numbers from your Phone app:

  • Tap the three vertical dots at the top-right
  • Tap Settings
  • Select Block Numbers
  • Tap the plus sign to add a new number—you can also choose from Recents or your Contacts
  • Optional: From the same screen, you can toggle on Block Unknown/Private Numbers to block all unknown calls
a screen that Allows you to block unknown or private members on the samsung interface.

Another way to activate call blocking on your Samsung is directly from the Contacts app:

  1. Tap the specific contact you wish to block
  2. Tap the More menu at the bottom-right below the three vertical dots
  3. Choose Block Contact 
  4. Tap Block again to confirm 
A screenshot of a samsung phone where you can select the options delete, qr code, or block contact.

On a Google Pixel device:

  1. Open your Phone app
  2. Tap the More menu, signified by three vertical dots
  3. Choose the Call History clock icon
  4. Tap the number you wish to block
  5. Tap Block/Report Spam
A screenshot demonstrating how to tap the number you wish to block from the more menu in the phone app on a pixel phone.

From the More menu in your Phone app, you can also:

  1. Tap Settings
  2. Select Blocked Numbers
  3. Activate Unknown to block all calls from private or unidentified numbers

If you’re a Google Voice user, you can block specific numbers from a recent call or text message. From a text:

  1. Tap the More menu, signified by three vertical dots
  2. Select People and Options
  3. Tap Block Number
  4. Tap Block to confirm
Screenshot of... in upper right hand corner and a text message on the Google voice platform.
Screenshot of the people and options drop down selection within the... in the upper right hand corner. Using Google voice.
Screenshot of the people and options section of Google Pixel where you can go to general settings and block a number.

From a call or voicemail:

  1. Tap the More menu
  2. Select Block Number
  3. Tap Block again to confirm 
The spam and block Number buttons that you can select from viewing your incoming calls on Google Pixel.

To block all calls from unknown numbers:

  1. Open the Voice app 
  2. Tap Menu at top-left, symbolized by three horizontal lines
  3. Choose Settings
  4. Tap Security
  5. Switch on Filter Spam 

Use a Third-Party Call Blocking App 

  • Hiya is one of the most highly-rated call-blocking options. After downloading, every call to your device is compared against Hiya’s extensive spam database. If a match is found, the call is automatically blocked. You can access more in-depth caller ID features with a paid plan, which is just $2.99 per month or $14.99 per year. Also, try Hiya for Business to protect your commercial telecommunications systems. Find it in the Google Play or Apple Store.  
  • Call Control is a community-based blacklist and call blocker app designed to check any incoming spam or robocall against a list of known offenders. You can build your block list from spam calls or texts. Features also include smart call dialing and caller ID to identify everyone who tries to make contact. While the app itself is free, you can make in-app purchases ranging from $2.99 to $29.99, depending on the feature. Find it in the Google Play or Apple Store. 
  • Truecaller offers real-time caller ID, reverse number lookup, and automatic call blocking. You can also text directly from the app to utilize its smart messaging feature, effectively filtering out any spam and phishing attempts. The premium version is $9.99 per month after a seven-day trial. It removes the ads, giving you unfettered access to call recording, AI-powered call assistance, and advanced filtering options. Find it in the Google Play or Apple Store.
  • Call Protect: Robo Blocker is available for iOS only, using an automated caller ID tool to stop calls from telemarketers, scammers, robocalls, and even survey inquiries. The app checks any incoming numbers against a regularly updated list of known scammers, blocking any offenders and warning you if the number originates from an unverified source. You also get access to reverse number lookup and the ability to block a range of numbers. An upgrade to the PRO Protection version is offered as an in-app purchase, unlocking extra features for $2.99 per month. 
  • Calls Blacklist is available for Android only, effectively blocking calls from private, unknown, or all numbers if you so choose. Simply toggle the app on or off, or select a daily time frame when you want the service active. Easily blacklist or whitelist calls you want to block or prioritize using a “number contains” or “number begins with” feature to pre-screen all calls in a specific range. For a one-time fee of $2.99, the PRO version removes ads, blocks SMS messages, and keeps the app itself password-protected. 

Get Free Protection From Your Phone Carrier

  • AT&T users with either iOS or Android phones can access the Active Armor app, which offers fraud and spam call protection for free. It can also automatically send unknown numbers to voicemail and label telemarketing calls so you aren’t taken by surprise. An added fee of $3.99 per month will get you advanced Virtual Private Network (VPN) capabilities, plus identity monitoring, reverse phone lookup, caller ID, and safe browsing. 
  • Verizon provides its customers with a free Call Filter service that identifies, filters, and allows you to report spam calls. It also blocks robocalls and catches spoof numbers that mimic your own. For $2.99, you can access caller ID features and maintain a personal log of blocked numbers. Both versions are available for certain iOS and Android devices.
  • If you use T-Mobile or Metro, try the free Scam Shield app for iOS and Android. It identifies, logs, and blocks spam calls while providing an enhanced caller ID that warns you if a call cannot be verified. It even provides users with an additional proxy number to help maintain complete contact privacy, and you can change your number annually for free if you’re attracting too many spam calls. A $4 per month version of the app offers extra features like voicemail-to-text, along with the ability to create a personal blocked number list and send specific numbers directly to voicemail. 
  • Google Fi offers its customers a free call-blocking feature, accessible through its namesake app or on the company’s website. In your Account tab, click or tap Privacy and Security. Scroll to Spam and Contact Settings, then choose Block Phone Numbers. You can enter the specific number or select from your previous call log.