How to block spam calls by sending unknown numbers straight to voicemail on your iPhone

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iPhone 12 Pro Max
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Spam calls are on the rise. According to RoboKiller, which makes a popular phone app that blocks them, the number of spam calls received in the U.S. jumped 26% in the last year.

Most of those spam calls were advertising vehicle warranties. Others include health insurance calls and vacation scams, according to RoboKiller. I get a mix of these all the time, mostly the vehicle warranty flavor, but they’re easy to block.

You can use apps like RoboKiller, which is rated pretty highly in Apple’s App Store, but they cost about $3.99 a month depending on the plan and service.

Or you can do what I do and just send unknown numbers right to voicemail.

It’s a feature that was introduced a few years ago for iPhones. Turn it on, and your phone won’t even ring when you get a call from an unknown number. If it’s someone whose number you don’t have in your address book, like a doctor, they can always leave you a message.

Send robocalls and spammers right to voicemail by turning on “Silence Unknown Callers.”
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Here’s how to set that up.

  • Open Settings on your iPhone.
  • Choose the “Phone” option.
  • Select “Silence Unknown Callers.”
  • Toggle the button next to “Silence Unknown Callers” to on.

That’s it. Your phone will still ring if the caller is in your contacts, but it’ll go to voicemail if they aren’t.

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