How to stop spam calls on iPhone

Having your day interrupted by unwanted calls can be annoying, especially when they turn out to be spam calls. While Apple has a reputation for being more privacy-centered, spam callers don’t discriminate against iPhone users, calling any cell phone they can find a number for. 

Thankfully, there are several ways to block spam calls on an iPhone, the simplest being ignoring anything with an “unknown caller” caller ID. The iOS operating system comes with built-in features to silence unwanted and junk calls and you can also use third party apps.

We’ll go over all of these methods and more below to help you drastically reduce, if not entirely eliminate your spam calls problem. 

Updated: September 29, 2023

In short:

  • Remove your phone number from the web
  • Turn on Silence Unknown Callers 
  • Turn on Silence Junk Callers
  • Block spam calls
  • Use a third-party app
  • Add your number to the national Do Not Call Registry
  • Report spam calls to the FTC and FCC

Keep reading to learn how to do this.

What is a spam call and why is it worse than you think?

Spam calls, or nuisance calls, are unsolicited phone calls that typically aim to extract money or data from recipients. While they can be disruptive and irritating, they can also be dangerous. Spam calls can come in the form of promotional calls, survey and research calls, robocalls, and scam calls

Even if you don’t fall for a scam call, receiving them is already bad news. It means that somewhere along the way, your personal information (at least your phone number) fell into the wrong hands. Simply answering one of these calls opens the door to more down the line as it confirms that the number is active and in use. 

You may start experiencing even more spam (scam) calls targeting you with attempts to steal more personal information, access to your online accounts, and money. So it’s best to block any spam calls you can, or better yet, prevent spammers from getting your phone number in the first place. 

Check out our article on how to remove your personal information from the internet to protect your sensitive data from fraudsters or try our fully automated data removal service

How to stop spam calls on your iPhone

There are various methods you can try to stop spam calls on your iPhone. Some of them may work better for your needs than others. For the best results, we recommend using ALL of them. 

Remove your phone number from the web

Even if you follow all of the previous steps we’ve listed, some stray spam calls will still come through occasionally. But you can make it even harder for spammers and scammers to reach you by preventing them from getting your phone number in the first place. 

Your phone number may be available online in more places than you realize. You’ve likely had to (and will have to) enter a phone number to sign up for online accounts or use apps, or you may have your contact details listed on your social media. But you almost definitely have your contact details available on data broker and people search sites. 

Data brokers and people search sites scrape the internet for personal information. They also buy the data from websites, apps, and other data brokers. Once they have your info, it can spread like wildfire.  

Here’s what you can do to limit the exposure of your phone number online:

  1. Avoid using your phone number to register for online accounts whenever possible. 
  2. Remove your phone number (and other contact details) from sites such as social media or personal blogs. 
  3. Opt out from data brokers and people search sites. You can find our individual opt out guides here or subscribe to Incogni and let us handle the data removal process on your behalf. 

Protect Your Privacy, Take Control of Spam

Regain control over your digital life and reduce the annoyance of relentless spam calls, texts, and inbox clutter. Subscribe today to safeguard your data and peace of mind.

Turn on Silence Unknown Callers 

The Silence Unknown Callers feature available on iOS 13 and later lets iPhone users avoid unwanted calls by silencing them. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Caller ID and Contacts: Calls from phone numbers that aren’t saved in your Contacts, Mail, or Messages apps are silenced. Although, numbers you’ve already interacted with, even if they aren’t saved, will still come through. 
  • Voicemail: Silenced calls from unknown numbers will go directly to voicemail. These calls won’t cause your iPhone to ring or vibrate. You can check your voicemail later to see if any important messages were left.
  • Emergency Calls: Calls from numbers identified as emergency services (e.g., 911) will always ring through, even if the feature is turned on. 

This is a great option to try if you’re tired of having your day interrupted by spam callers. Of course, it comes with some downsides. There is, of course, the risk of missing important calls. It’s up to you to decide if reducing spam calls is worth that risk for you. 

If this sounds like a fair compromise to you, here’s how to enable the Silence Unknown Callers feature on your iPhone:

  1. Open the settings app.
  2. Scroll down and tap on “phone.”
  3. Find the “call blocking & identification” section.
  4. Toggle the switch next to “silence unknown callers” on.

Learn how to to block “No Caller ID” on an iPhone here.

Turn on Silence Junk Callers

Silence Junk Callers is pretty similar to Silence Unknown Callers. Spam or “junk” calls will just go straight to voicemail without disrupting your day. However, this one isn’t a built-in iPhone feature. Whether you’ll have this option available to you depends on which carrier you use. Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint should have it, for example, but if you aren’t sure, just follow the steps below to find out. 

Here’s how to enable the Silence Junk Callers feature:

  1. Go to the settings app.
  2. Scroll down until you see “phone” and tap on it. 
  3. Find the “call blocking & identification” section.
  4. Toggle the switch next to “silence junk callers” on. 

Block spam calls

While the Silence Unknown Callers and Silence Junk Callers features can be really helpful, sometimes you want a more definite solution. You can prevent certain callers from reaching you entirely by blocking their number. So, if there are certain numbers you recognize as spam callers, you end up answering a spam call, or you’re left a message (from the Silence Unknown or Junk Callers features) that’s suspect, we recommend you block those numbers. 

This might be a somewhat tedious process, but the more numbers you block, the fewer spam calls you’ll receive in the future. To the spammers, your phone will be seen as unresponsive or inactive, making it less likely for them to target you in the future, even from other numbers. 

Here’s how you block voice calls, FaceTime calls, and messages from specific callers on an iPhone:

  1. Open the phone app
  2. Tap “recents” or “voicemail” (depending on whether you’ve taken the call or not).
  3. Tap the “i” icon next to the number you want to block. 
  4. Scroll down and tap “block this caller.”

Use a third-party app

For an added layer of spam protection, try downloading a spam-blocking app for your iPhone. Spam-blocking or spam-filtering apps rely on a database of numbers previously identified as sources of spam. When a call comes in, the app runs it against its database and identifies whether it’s a spam, telemarketing, or other type of nuisance call. 

Depending on which spam-blocking app you try, you may only be notified about the type of call coming through, or the app may automatically prevent the call from coming through entirely. Your phone calls should never be sent to the app developers, ensuring your privacy. However, as with any app you download, you should exercise caution and discretion. Make sure you choose an app with a good reputation that isn’t likely to go rogue. 

If you want to give call-blocking apps a go and have chosen a reliable app, here’s what you should do:

  1. Open the app store and download the app.
  2. Open the settings app
  3. Tap on “phone.”
  4. Find the “call blocking & identification” section.
  5. Find the “allow these apps to block calls and provide caller ID” section. 
  6. Toggle on the switch next to the app you downloaded. 

Add your number to the national Do Not Call Registry

While it won’t do much to deter scammers, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) offers a national Do Not Call Registry that keeps telemarketers and researchers from bothering you. 

Here’s how it works:

  • Registration: You can register your cell or landline numbers free of charge, either online here or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-382-1222 (voice) or 1-866-290-4236 (TTY).
  • Telemarketer Compliance: The FTC requires telemarketers to check the registry and refrain from making unsolicited calls to any registered numbers. 
  • Exceptions: Some categories of calls are exempt and may still contact you. These may include political organizations, charities, survey organizations, and companies with which you already have an existing relationship.
  • Period of validity: There is no expiration on the Do Not Call Registry. However, if your number has been disconnected for a period of time or you have a new number that the previous owner had registered, you may need to register again. You can verify if and when your number was registered here
  • Scope: The Do Not Call Registry only applies to calls made within the United States, so calls originating from outside the country may also be exempt from these regulations.

Report spam calls to the FTC and FCC

Finally, you should report any and all spam calls you receive to the FTC and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It won’t prevent the specific caller from contacting you (the previous options in this list can take care of that), but it will blacklist them, making it easier for companies and regulators to deal with them accordingly. Reporting to both the FTC and FCC is completely free and should only take you a couple of minutes. 

Here’s how you can report spam calls to the FTC:

  1. Go to
  2. Click “report now.”
  3. Click “phone, internet, TV service” and then select “cellular or landline phone service.” 
  4. Click “continue” and follow the on-screen instructions.

Here’s how you can report spam calls to the FCC:

  1. Go to the phone complaints page of the Consumer Inquiries and Complaint Center.
  2. Fill out the form and select  “unwanted call/messages” under “phone issues.”
  3. Click “submit.”

More guides on how to stop spam:


How do I stop spam calls permanently?

You can register on the national Do Not Call Registry on to permanently block spam calls. This won’t deter scammers, however. You can stop these types of calls by using Silence Unknown Callers and Junk Callers features and by individually blocking spam and scam callers on your phone. 

Why am I suddenly getting so many spam calls on my iPhone?

Suddenly receiving an influx of spam calls may mean that your phone number has been leaked or sold to scammer groups. It may also indicate that your phone number has been listed on data broker or people search sites. 

Is there a setting to block spam calls on iPhone?

There are two settings to block spam calls on iPhone. These are the Silence Unknown Callers and Silence Junk Callers features. You can turn them on in the call blocking & identification section of the settings app. 

Should I block all spam calls?

You should block all the spam calls you receive. Accidentally answering a spam call can open the door to more spam and scam calls later on, even if you hang up right away. Blocking all spam calls reduces this risk and leads to fewer spam calls down the line. 

Can you block all spam risk calls on iPhone?

You can’t block all spam risk calls through the iPhone settings. You can block all unknown callers and junk callers. However, if you want to block spam risk calls, you can download a third-party spam-blocking app. 

Is it better to ignore or decline spam calls?

It’s better to ignore spam calls rather than decline them. Declining the call shows the caller that the phone number is still in use. This will likely lead to more spam call attempts in the future. Ignoring the call may indicate that the number is useless and get you off the hook. 

How do spam callers get your number?

Spam callers can get your number from a variety of sources. This may include warranty cards, online shopping accounts, social media accounts, public records, data brokers and people search sites, and data leaks and breaches. 

You can reduce the exposure of your phone number and other contact details by removing your data from the data brokers and people search sites that sell them to markets and other third parties (even scammers, on occasion). You can also try an automated data removal service like Incogni to keep your personal information off the market.

Is this article helpful?
Scroll to Top