How to trace and block anonymous calls


Spam calls are on the rise, and the scammers behind those calls are getting more and more sophisticated. Because of this, it can be harder to determine whether or not a call is actually a scam, especially if the scammer has phone spoofed a legitimate number that you may recognize.

Often, people can quickly identify a scam call, especially when their caller ID shows “Unknown Caller.” But what happens when this anonymous caller persistently calls again and again? This can become irritating very quickly. The usual solution is to block the number, but this is easier said than done when the actual phone number is hidden on the Caller ID.

Fortunately, there are several effective methods and tools available to help block and even trace anonymous calls, ensuring these nuisance calls stop for good.

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Incoming call on phone (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

3 ways to block anonymous calls

Spam callers can find all sorts of ways to trick you into answering the phone and giving up your sensitive data. When you don’t answer or don’t give them what they want, they may keep calling and calling.

Some scammers even rely on robots to initiate what’s known as robocalls to make it easier to call their victims over and over again at a faster rate without requiring a human to do it. Whatever the case may be, here are ways you can get ahead of them and stop them from bothering you:

1) Use your phone’s built-in features

To start, your phone already has built-in features that can help you block anonymous calls or at least prevent them from trying to call you in the first place:

On iPhone:

On iPhone, the best way to block anonymous callers is to silence them.

  • Go to Settings > Phone
  • Scroll down and select Silence Unknown Callers
  • Toggle it on. Calls from unknown numbers will be silenced and sent to voicemail

On Android:

On Android, the way to do it is to block anonymous calls. Here’s an example of how to do this on a Samsung Galaxy, though keep in mind the steps may be slightly different depending on which type of Android phone you have.

Settings may vary depending on your Android phone’s manufacturer.

  • Open the Phone app
  • Tap the More icon (three vertical dots) > Settings > Call blocking
  • Turn on Block anonymous calls

If you have a different Android device and can’t find the “Block anonymous calls” feature, you can download an app instead that helps with this:

  • Download and install the ShouldIAnswer? app from the Google Play Store.
  • Open the app and configure it to block unknown and hidden numbers. This handy feature can help you maintain your privacy and avoid unwanted calls.

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2) Download third-party apps

Speaking of the ShouldIAnswer app, if you don’t have that option and/or prefer not to use your phone’s built-in settings and want an extra layer of security, these other third-party apps can help block out anonymous callers:

TrapCall: TrapCall is available for both iOS and Android. It reveals the phone number of anonymous callers and provides options to block them. Just install from the App Store or Google Play then follow the steps to set up the app.

Truecaller: Truecaller is another option that’s similar to TrapCall in that it identifies phone numbers that appear “unknown” or “private” on your Caller ID, and it has features to then block them. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play and then configure the app.

A person accepting an incoming call (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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3) Reach out to your phone carrier

Reaching out to your phone carrier is an effective step to combat spam calls. Many carriers offer services specifically designed to help customers manage and reduce unwanted calls. Whether you ring them up, contact them online or stop at your local phone store, they can help you.

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How to trace anonymous calls

Sometimes, you want to know who is calling you so much. By unveiling who is behind the anonymous caller, you can find out if it’s actually a scammer or someone you know who is calling you over and over again to harass you. There are several reasons you may want to trace these calls. We won’t cover all those reasons here, but if you need help finding out who is actually calling you, try these methods below:

Dial *57: If you receive harassing calls, you can dial *57 after the call. This traces the call and logs it with your phone company, which can take action if needed.

Dial *69: This service redials the last number that called you, even if it was anonymous, allowing you to identify and block the number.

A man picking up an incoming call (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

Invest in personal data removal services

In an era where our personal information is increasingly digitized, the risk of it being misused by scammers is ever-present. Investing in personal data removal services is one of the most proactive steps to protect yourself from spam calls and potential identity theft. These services work diligently to remove your personal information from public databases and websites often scraped by scammers to find their next target. 

Why personal data removal services are worth considering

By removing your details from public view, you reduce the chances of being selected by a scammer in the first place. Also, knowing your information isn’t easily accessible gives you greater peace of mind. In addition, these services often allow you to control which information you want to be public and which you prefer to keep private.

How personal data removal services work

While no service promises to remove all your data from the internet, having a removal service is great if you want to constantly monitor and automate the process of continuously removing your information from hundreds of sites over a longer period. Remove your personal data from the internet with my top picks here.

By combining the use of personal data removal services with the methods outlined in this article to block and trace anonymous calls, you can significantly bolster your defenses against the ever-growing nuisance of spam calls.

Kurt’s key takeaways

Dealing with spam calls can be frustrating, but there are effective strategies to combat them. By utilizing your phone’s built-in features, downloading third-party apps and reaching out to your phone carrier, you can significantly reduce the number of unwanted calls. Also, investing in personal data removal services can further protect your privacy and minimize the risk of being targeted by scammers. Stay vigilant and proactive to keep those pesky spam calls at bay.

What role should government and telecommunications companies play in addressing the spam call epidemic? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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