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Have you noticed an increase in spam calls? You’re not alone. In 2021, America and Europe saw a 56% increase in spam calls over the course of the year. From telemarketers to robocalls and even that infamous car warranty call, these pesky scam attempts have gotten out of control. In fact, the FCC has even cited them as their top consumer complaint

Spam calls aren’t just annoying – they’re also a major risk to your privacy and finances. Comparitech reported that Americans lost almost $30 billion to scams via spam calls in 2021. 

Luckily, there are a few tips, tricks, as well as handy apps that can help reduce the amount of spam calls you receive, and prevent you from falling victim to a phone scam. 

Step 1: Know the signs of a spam call

To better protect yourself from spam calls, start by familiarizing yourself with how they sound. Just like phishing attempts, spam calls can be identified by certain red flags:  

  • There’s a prerecorded message or robotic-sounding voice
  • A claim that you’ve been “specially selected” 
  • Mention of a limited-time offer or special discount
  • Any kind of payment request
  • Reluctance to provide further information or answer questions
  • A claim that you’ve won a sweepstakes or contest
  • Threatening language
  • A request to confirm your personal information 
  • A claim that you have a virus on your device

If you notice any of these signs, you need to hang up immediately without providing any information. Even saying “Yes” could land you in hot water – many phone scammers use a tactic called “voice phishing” or vishing. This is when a bad actor uses a phone scam to record the responder’s voice and use it to impersonate them later. 

Step 2: Take the right actions

Responding incorrectly to a spam call could land you in hot water. That’s why it’s important to know what not to do when you receive one.

  • Don’t answer any calls from unknown numbers
  • Don’t be fooled by what looks like a local number
  • Don’t respond to questions requiring a “Yes” or “No” answer 
  • Never press any buttons, even if instructed to 
  • If you answer and hear a response along the lines of “Hello? Can you hear me?” hang up immediately without responding

To help stop unwanted sales calls, you can also add your phone number to the National Do Not Call registry by visiting This list is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and is free to use. 

You can also file a complaint with the FCC if you think you’ve received a scam call or text, or if you have fallen victim to a scam. 

Step 3: Use a call-screening tool

Beyond what you shouldn’t do when you receive a spam call, let’s talk about what you should do to prevent them. To decrease or stop spam calls, consider using a spam detection or phone screening app. These can be found built-in with your mobile device, or can be downloaded from a third-party service. 

Third-party apps

​​Another way to help reduce the number of annoying spam calls is to use a third party app. 


Available for: iOS, Android

This phone screening app offers spam detection, making it easy to filter out unwanted calls. Hiya also has a premium option that comes with advanced features, such as reverse lookup and spam blocking. 


Available for: iOS, Android

Truecaller is one of the more popular and reputed caller ID and spam blocking apps. This service auto-blocks spam calls and texts, and even offers community-based spam reporting to help protect others from scams, telemarketers, fraud, and more.


Available for: iOS, Android

Designed to stop robocalls, Nomorobo is a great option to put an end to annoying spam calls. This app is easy to use, blocks spam calls and texts, and also identifies calls from robocallers.

How can I protect my private data from scams?

Beyond phone scams, social engineering and other forms of cybercrime can put your private data at serious risk. To further protect your identity and online activity, consider using a VPN, or Virtual Private Network. vpnzr provides industry-grade encryption that protects all your devices with one click. Our mobile and desktop apps make it easy to keep internet connections secure at home and on the go. Get started today to begin protecting all your online activity. 

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