How to configure Android to handle incoming spam calls

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I don’t know about you, but spam phone calls have been a plague for me. Those calls aren’t just annoying but could be a serious risk to your identity and privacy. Needless to say, I loathe those bothersome callers and go out of my way to avoid them.

Thankfully, Android has some pretty handy tools built right into the phone app to help you banish those spam calls. These built-in configuration options work in conjunction with Google’s spam database (which is frequently updated) to keep those calls from inundating your phone.

Also: How to record a phone call on your Android phone

However, you can’t just expect Google to take care of everything. You need to make a couple of configuration changes within the phone app to get the most out of the service. That’s what I’m going to help you with. Once you’ve taken care of this, your spam calls should be considerably reduced.

Will it put a complete end to them? No. But the more you use it, the fewer spam calls you’ll receive.

Also: Use AI-powered personalization to block unwanted calls and texts 

How to configure Android to handle incoming spam calls

Requirements

The only thing you’ll need to reduce spam is any Android phone running at least Android 10 (which should cover most Android devices currently on the market). 

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Open the Phone app on your Android device and tap the vertical three-dot menu in the upper right corner. From the pop-up menu, tap Settings.

From the Phone Settings window, navigate to the spam pop-up settings window by tapping Spam and Call Screen > Call Screen > Spam

Also: 5 quick tips for better Android phone security now (yes, it’s this easy)

From within the Spam pop-up, select the option called “Automatically screen. Decline robocalls.”

The Spam configuration popup in Android 13.

Enabling automatic screening of possible spam calls.

Image: Jack Wallen

Next, we want to set up automatic declining of robocalls. For this, go back to the Spam and Call Screen settings page, select Call Screen, and then tap Possibly faked numbers. In the resulting pop-up, again make sure to enable the option for “Automatically screen. Decline robocalls.”

The faked numbers autoscreening configuration popup on Android 13.

Enabling the automatic screening of possibly faked numbers.

Image: Jack Wallen

When a suspected spam call comes in, it will automatically be screened for you with these two options enabled, so you won’t have to do anything about them. As a bonus, on the Call Screen options page, if you choose, you can also select First-time callers and choose the same automatic screening option that you did for spam and robocalls. 

Since I’ve enabled these settings (which I did probably two years ago), I’ve seen spam calls reduced to almost zero. I highly recommend that you do the same, so you can enjoy far fewer unnecessary interruptions throughout your busy day.

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