It’s important to note that mobile phones are especially susceptible to malicious text messages and attachments. Scammers are taking advantage of the limited ability (and inclination) to verify auto phone call, photos and other attachments sent via text messaging.
For iPhone users, numbers can be blocked from your recent call list, iMessage, Facetime and Contacts via the information button:
While blocking calls on an iPhone is simple, there are many different ways to block calls on Android smartphones, depending on the manufacturer and the version of Android OS that you are using. For most Android devices, numbers can be blocked from the call screen:
To block from within the Android Messages app, long press the contact and tap the Block Icon in the upper-right corner. You can also tap the More Options Icon (three dots stacked vertically) next to the magnifying glass, select Settings > Call Blocking, and manually add the number you want to block.
There are many Android apps designed specifically for blocking calls but take time to read reviews carefully and ensure the developer is legitimate before opting for an alternative.
GENERAL BEST PRACTICES FOR SPOOFED AND SPAM CALLS
Register your landline and mobile phone with the Do Not Call Registry for free at https://www.donotcall.gov/.
Do not respond to unknown and unwanted calls, even if you are offered to opt out of future messages by pressing a number – this will verify that your number is active and legitimate.
Do not respond to unwanted text messages or click on links sent via text messages. Even links that appear to come from legitimate contacts. Numbers can be spoofed and accounts can be compromised.
Don’t enter your phone number when signing up for online and offline accounts unless it is necessary. One alternative is the Burner app for iPhone and Android, which provides you with a second phone number that reroutes calls coming to the Burner number so your personal number stays private.
If you are unsure about a call, hang up and dial the known phone number for the contact to verify, especially if personal and/or financial information is being requested.
Remember when your mom told you, “nothing’s ever free, everything has a price.” She wasn’t lying. Decades later, her lessons still ring true with modern computing. All software comes at a price. Sometimes the price can be subsidized by third-party marketers, malicious developers and criminal enterprises aimed at identity theft. None of those are things momma would be proud of.