How to stop spam calls on landline

While landline phones are becoming less and less prevalent, millions of people still have them at their homes. Unfortunately, landlines receive just as many spam calls as mobile phones. 

These calls range from annoying but relatively harmless sales calls to straight-up attempts to rob you of your money. Regardless of type, you probably don’t want to receive any of them. Thankfully, there are things you can do to stop unwanted calls on your landline phone.

Updated: September 29, 2023

In short:

  • Take control of your own data (opt out of data brokers).
  • Register your number on the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • Don’t pick up.
  • Use call-blocking software.
  • Contact your service provider.
  • Get a call-blocking device.

Keep reading to learn how to do this.

What can you do to stop landline spam calls?

There is no single solution that could solve the spam call issue. But you can achieve it through a combination of tools and habit changes. It may be a bit laborsome to do but worth it in the long run. 

Take control of your own data (opt out of data brokers)

Before calling you, spam callers first need to get your phone number from somewhere. You most likely entered in when registering to some website or filling out a form online. After that, your phone number reached third-party data brokers, who then sold your data to scammers.

Incogni is a personal information removal service that helps you regain control over your own data. We can help you take back any phone numbers and email addresses that got into the wrong hands. And all you need to do is get an Incogni subscription and we’ll do all the work for you.

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Register your number on the National Do Not Call Registry

Filling out a form in the National Do Not Call Registry is one of the first things you should do. It is a US government initiative which gives salespeople a list of numbers that should not be called. And you can enter yours into this list.

This registry is only followed by reputable, law-abiding businesses. Yes, you will get a lot fewer marketing calls after adding your number to this list. But as you might expect, hackers and other bad actors couldn’t care less about it.

Don’t pick up

Don’t pick up if you are getting a call from an unknown number when you’re not expecting one. Let it go to voicemail. Legitimate callers will leave a message, while automated calls do not. 

As soon as you pick up the phone, telemarketers add you to their list, and you’ll be getting more calls from then on. Be aware that spam callers often change their phone numbers to make it seem like they are from your area. It can be a spam call, even if the caller ID seems familiar.

Use call-blocking software

Many modern devices have call-blocking capabilities; you just need to install and use appropriate software to make it work. Noborobo is probably the most effective option when it comes to blocking unwanted calls on landlines.

This software has an ever-expanding list of robocallers. As soon as your phone rings, it filters the list of numbers and hangs up for you if the call is coming from a spam caller. Sure, new numbers are coming up every day, but it’s nice to rule out all known offenders.

Contact your service provider

Nowadays, most phone service providers have their own means of fighting spam calls. You can go to an FCC page on call blocking resources to check if your provider has anything to offer. Not all of these services are free, though. Some charge a monthly fee. But it’s still something you should ask your service provider about. 

Get a call-blocking device

If you have an old-school copper line rather than a more modern VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone, you won’t be able to install any software. Instead, you can block calls with a physical call-blocking device.

They are programmed to include thousands of known spam caller numbers, and adding new ones is quick and simple. The device forwards unwanted incoming calls straight to voicemail, much like a piece of software would.

What should you do if you answer a spam call?

Say you are waiting for a call from your car mechanic or a doctor. In this case, you’re expecting a call from an unknown number, so of course you’re going to pick up when the phone rings. 

But what should you do if you answer and realize it’s a spam call?

  1. Don’t speak: Make sure not to answer any questions, and avoid saying the word “yes.” Criminals may use recordings of your voice to commit identity theft. And any personal information you provide is likely to lead to more unwanted calls.
  2. Avoid non-verbal interactions: Spam callers may ask you to press a button on your phone or otherwise interact with them without speaking. If that happens, hang up. They’re just looking to identify potential targets.
  3. Call back through official phone numbers: Sometimes live spam callers pretend to be the IRS, your bank, or a service provider. If you have any doubts, hang up the phone and call the official number of the institution in question. You can usually find that number online or in your service agreements. No official will ever ask you to provide sensitive information such as your social security number or banking details. If the caller is asking for such information, it’s a surefire sign that you’re talking to a scammer and should hang up.
  4. Report the phone number: As soon as you realize that you are in the middle of a scam call, hand up the phone and report the caller’s phone number on DoNotCall.gov. Taking this extra step results in fewer scam calls for you, your family, friends, and neighbors.
  5. Don’t tease the scammer: Some people think that it’s fun to play around with scam callers and waste their time. Don’t do that. Criminals can record your voice and then use it with malicious intent. Once you recognize a scam call, you need to hang up immediately.

If you don’t want to get scam calls, you should give these callers as little attention as possible. This is just as true when talking to telemarketing agents as when you’re getting calls from scammers and criminals.

Is it possible to stop spam calls on landlines?

There is no way to stop receiving spam calls completely, but you can significantly reduce the number of such calls you receive. Let’s quickly run down what you should do if you want to keep your landline phone from ringing with unwanted calls:

  • Register on the National Do Not Call Registry.
  • Don’t pick up calls from unknown numbers.
  • Use call-blocking software.
  • Contact your phone service provider.
  • Get a call-blocking device.
  • Remove your data from data broker databases with Incogni.

More guides on how to stop spam:

FAQ

Is there a spam blocker for landlines?

Yes, there are two ways to block spam calls on landline phones. If you have a VOIP phone, install call-blocking software. If you still use a copper line, getting a call-blocking device is your best option.

How to block unwanted calls on landline free?

There are ways you can reduce the number of spam calls you’re getting without spending a penny:
– Add your number to the Do Not Call Registry.
– Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers.
– Hang up as soon as you realize it’s a spam call.
– Contact your phone service provider and see if they have free call-blocking services.

Why am I getting so many spam calls?

If you are getting a lot of unwanted spam calls, your number is probably really easy to access. To reduce the number of such calls, make sure you don’t hand out your phone number to everyone, and remove your current information from data brokers with a subscription to Incogni.

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