It’s annoying to answer your phone only to have a robot start trying to sell you something you don’t want. According to data from First Orion, nearly half of all calls in the US will be scams this year. Thankfully, you can fend off scammers with these robocall blocker apps.
Best Robocall Blocking Apps
Robocall apps work by comparing the numbers that call you against a database of scam numbers. If it’s a match, the app will then warn you or block the call. This is important because when you answer your phone, robocallers know you have a live number, and they will begin to call you more often. They might also pressure you to give them sensitive personal information, such as your bank information.
If you’d like to stop scammers and robocallers, here are the best robocall blocking apps to download.
Hiya (Free with In-App Purchases)
Hiya uses crowdsourced data to block unwanted calls. When the call is active, the app will display a warning telling you that the call is likely a scam, robocaller, political call, or spoofed call.
The Call Blocker feature lets you automatically send unwanted calls to voicemail. The Call Protection feature also lets you block specific numbers, or numbers from particular area codes. You can block suspected spam calls, hidden numbers, or international numbers. The reporting feature lets you warn others in the Hiya community about suspicious numbers.
True Caller (Free with In-App Purchases)
Truecaller is more than a standard robocall blocking app. While most call-blocking apps allow you to look up a number, it is much easier with Truecaller. You can either scan the number from a printed surface with an Android, or search for the number in your call log history with an iPhone.
The Smart Call History feature in Android provides information about the caller, even when the number is not stored on your phone. You can see their email, place of business, social media handles, and even addresses.
While Truecaller can identify up to 50% scammers due to Apple’s CallKit, it works differently on iPhones because of manufacturer restrictions. For the Caller ID to work, the caller has to call from their Truecaller in-app dial pad. The recipient will then get a push notification with the name of the caller before his caller ID is displayed.
Mr. Number ($2.99/month; $14.99/year)
Mr. Number is the premium version of Hiya. It has the same user capabilities to block fishy callers. You can choose to block a call, send it to voicemail, or have a warning pop up while the call is ongoing.
This app also gives you the ability to manage exceptions in the Block List feature. You can enter a specific number, choose a contact to block, or block all numbers from your contact list. You can also block a number by country code, area code, or prefix.
Call Control (Free with In-App Purchases)
Call Control has most of the features you would expect from a robocall-blocking app, like community-generated reports, caller ID, and a call blocker. However, what makes this app unique is its ability to do wildcard blocking, or blocking phone numbers based on their last four digits. While other apps let the call come through, Call Control’s Disconnect Mode will automatically cut off the call. This way, you do not need to go to your voicemail and delete unwanted messages. You can also set a Do Not Disturb mode to stop all calls from ringing through.
Nomorobo (Free with In-App Purchases)
Nomorobo will warn you about robocalls through the app’s caller ID. It will also identify legitimate robocallers, such as school closings, weather warnings, or political campaigns. Or you can use the Block mode, which sends the call directly to voicemail.
Nomorobo uses a combination of community reports, data from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and their own internal monitoring systems to identify robocalls. The app compares numbers from a white list and a black list from the FTC, then it analyses the audio to detect if the caller has a machine-like voice.
Robokiller (Free with In-App Purchases)
Robokiller works by obtaining a “digital fingerprint” of a robocall voice, identifying numbers linked to the digital fingerprint, and blocking the call before it ever reaches you. If you block a number, you won’t even see it appear on your home screen. Instead, you will get a notification from the app that it has blocked the spam call.
If you want to drive telemarketer’s crazy, you can have an “answer bot” pick up the call for you. These answer bots were designed to waste scammer’s time by keeping them on the phone as long as possible. You can even record the conversation between scammers and your own personal answer bot and listen to them later. You can choose from several pre-set answer bots from categories like basic, funny, annoying, angry, and more.
Whoscall (Free with In-App Purchases)
Whoscall is an app that identifies unknown callers, so you’ll know if you want to answer or not. The app works by comparing numbers with information from Whoscall partners, internet search results, and user-generated feedback. Whoscall lets you block numbers with certain prefixes or international numbers. Or you can block numbers using keywords. It also features an offline database, which lets you look up a number even without an internet connection.
ME (Free with In-App Purchases)
Sync.ME’s advanced caller ID features let you see the number of your caller, as well as their name, photo, and social media profiles. Sync.ME claims to have the world’s largest phonebook, with more than 1 billion phone numbers worldwide. The app is built with big data and machine learning, which match phone numbers and callers’ social media profile.
If you don’t want to install an app on your phone, there are also device-based options for blocking robocalls. Here’s how to block a number on your iPhone