How to Block Spam Calls: A Guide for Consumers and Businesses

Derek Andersen Copywriter, DialogTech

If you’re getting bombarded by spam calls, you’re not alone. According to a Google survey, half of respondents receive at least one spam call per day — and one-third receive two or more per day. 

These calls aren’t just a nuisance to consumers; they also harm businesses by disrupting communications, draining marketing budgets, and wreaking havoc on marketers’ ability to make data-driven optimizations.

Below, we answer all of your burning spam-related questions and provide actionable tips for both consumers and businesses to block spam calls.

Spam Call FAQs from Consumers

What Are Spam Calls?

Spam calls are phone calls placed in bulk to recipients who have not expressed interest in receiving the message. Under US law, spam calls are illegal

What Is the Point of Spam Calls?

Spam calls are often placed by scammers trying to get personal information, such as credit card or social security numbers. To do so, they may pose as the IRS, a bank, a fake charity, tech support, or an insurance provider. With this information, they can take money from your bank account or steal your identity.

What Percentage of Phone Calls Are Spam?

Every week, an estimated 1.3 billion spam calls are made in the US. Nearly half of all phone calls made to US cell phones in 2019 will be spam. 

Why Are Spam Calls Increasing?

With auto-dialing technology, scammers can place thousands of pre-recorded phone calls from unique fake numbers for mere pennies. These “robocalls” are difficult to trace and can be placed from anywhere in the world, making it difficult for the FTC to locate and fine the culprits. 

How Do I Report Spam Calls?

To report spam a call, contact the Federal Trade Commission at complaints.donotcall.gov or 1-888-382-1222. 

How Can I Block Spam Calls?

  • Register your number on the Do Not Call List. This won’t prevent most spam callers from contacting you since they operate outside the law, but you will stop receiving telemarketing calls.
  • Don’t pick up calls from unknown numbers. Once you answer a call from a spammer, they will know that your line is active and continue to target you.
  • Beware of phone number spoofing — a caller ID showing a local number does not necessarily mean it is coming from a local caller.
  • Never give out personal information such as credit card numbers, account numbers, Social Security numbers, passwords, or mother’s maiden names in response to unexpected phone calls.
  • If someone calls you saying that they represent a company or government agency, hang up and call the officially listed phone number for that entity to verify that the request is real. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call if a company or agency is asking for a payment.
  • Ask your phone service provider about the call blocking tools they offer and research third-party spam-blocking apps.

Spam Call FAQs from Businesses

How Do Spam Calls Affect My Business?

Spam calls waste your agents’ time and hinder them from fielding legitimate sales opportunities. They can also drain marketing budgets, if you are investing in channels, campaigns, and keywords you believe are driving high volumes of sales leads but are in fact driving high volumes of spam calls. If  spam calls are skewing your call tracking data, it becomes extremely difficult to make impactful data-driven optimizations.

How Many Spam Calls Do Businesses Receive?

We studied over 100 million phone calls and found that spam calls to businesses have increased 165% in the past year. 4.95% of calls to US businesses are now spam, with the average business receiving 1,062 spam phone calls per month.

What Industries Receive the Most Spam Calls?

Auto parts and repair companies top the list — 18.72% of all calls they receive are spam calls. Funeral services (14.48%), child tutoring (9.41%), and consumer services (8.87%) follow closely behind. 

See the complete industry breakdown below:

Percent of Calls that are Spam by industry

What Time of Day Do Businesses Receive the Most Spam Calls?

81% of spam calls to businesses occur from 9 AM to 5 PM, peaking around noon. See the full breakdown below:

Most popular times for spam calls

How Much Marketing Spend Do Spam Calls Cost Companies?

This varies per industry. Considering industry cost per click benchmarks, we estimate that one thousand spam calls from Google Ads call extensions would cost auto parts and repair companies $687. Meanwhile, one thousand funeral services and child tutoring spam calls from call extensions would cost marketers $386 and $268, respectively. 

See the full industry list below:

How Can My Business Block Spam Calls?

With over a thousand spam calls flooding the average business each month, manual spam prevention tactics are not enough. To combat spam calls, businesses are now using spam blocking tools powered by AI. These solutions can automatically detect spam calls at scale and block them from ever reaching your phone lines or corrupting your marketing analytics data. As a result, your agents will be freed up to sell, you won’t continue to invest in marketing programs driving spam calls, and you’ll have cleaner call data to use for optimizations.

To learn more about the impact of spam calls on US companies, download our infographic, Spam Calls Are a Menace to Businesses.

To learn more about the impact of spam calls on US companies, download our infographic, Spam Calls Are a Menace to Businesses.

Download the Infographic