How to Stop Spam Calls Today and Why You’re Getting A Ton

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported, which means we earn commissions from links on Crazy Egg. Commissions do not affect our editorial evaluations or opinions.

If your phone has been ringing off the hook with unwanted calls from unknown numbers, there’s a good chance your phone number found its way onto some marketing lists that are being sold and shared without your permission or knowledge. 

According to the YouMail Robocall Index, U.S. consumers received just under 3.8 billion robocalls in December 2023—a significant increase from previous years. 

That said, if you feel like all 3.8 billion of those calls came to you, there are several steps you can take to regain control and stop spam calls from flooding your device. 

5 Reasons Why You’re Getting A Ton of Spam Calls

1. Scammers got your phone number through social media, online directories, a data breach, or a site you’re subscribed to

One way your number may have fallen into the wrong hands is through social media, online directories, or a site you once gave your contact information to. 

Over time, many of these platforms have experienced unexpected data breaches or even sold customer data to third parties without your consent. Scammers frequently collect numbers from public sources like Facebook, Twitter, reverse phone lookups, and even hacked loyalty programs or subscription lists. 

Unfortunately, no matter how carefully you manage your own privacy settings, sometimes all it takes is a single breach on a service you’ve used in the past to expose your number. At that point, it may just be a matter of time before the unwanted calls and texts start rolling in.

2. You got on a robocall list 

Another common cause of robocalls is landing on purchased lead lists, which are often circulated among scammers. Sometimes, merely answering or interacting with one spam call can flag your number as “active” or “live” before it gets sold to shady operations. 

Robocallers frequently trade lists of active phone numbers, recycling the same contacts repeatedly until they are disconnected or blocked. If you’ve ever mistakenly picked up one of these calls thinking it might be important, it could have put you on the robocalling radar for a long time to come. The only way to stop them from calling you is to find a way to remove your number from their lists.

To make matters worse, the telecom industry lacks proper oversight of how customer data is shared between companies. However, average users are not powerless—there are steps to opt out of telemarketer lists and make your number less profitable for scammers to traffic. 

3. You’ve recently interacted with a scammer

Both innocent and accidental interactions can put a target on your back for scammers. Any engagement with a suspected spam call or text, such as clicking a link, may once again confirm to the sender that your number is active and receptive. This makes your contact information more appealing to sell to other bad actors who want “verified” leads. 

Moving forward, it’s best to avoid pressing any buttons if you don’t recognize the incoming number. Scammers are constantly refining their social engineering tactics to trick people into unwittingly flagging themselves as a live contact. Thus, recognizing how these cons work is an important first step to getting rid of incoming spam calls for good.

4. You’ve signed up for a service that shares information with third parties

Many legitimate companies also contribute to the spam problem inadvertently by selling their customer data to third parties without sufficient oversight. Even major brands have been found culpable of lax privacy practices that expose people to unwanted marketing. 

To avoid this, you may have to go out of your way to read privacy policies more closely and avoid signing up for any “free” services that don’t clearly state how user information will be monetized. At the end of the day, the last thing you want is to pay for a service that treats its users like a commodity for profit, rather than respecting user privacy as a priority.

5. You got a new phone number that was previously targeted by scammers

If you think getting a new phone number will fix your spam problem, you may need to think again. Obtaining a new phone number comes with no guarantee of avoiding spam calls, and using a recycled number brings its own risks. 

When a phone number is reassigned to a new user, it still retains the call history associated with previous subscribers. If the previous subscriber was targeted by scammers and telemarketers, the new user will assume the same susceptibility to those same calls. 

While the telecom industry has been slow to establish proper procedures for separating a number from its prior users’ data trails, individuals can nevertheless minimize these risks by requesting call filtering and number removals from marketing lists.

How to Stop Spam Calls Today 

Even if you don’t know how your phone number got into the hands of eventual scammers and spam callers, you can still take action by implementing a few strategies. 

Install a Call-Blocking App

We’ve all checked our missed calls and found random numbers we don’t recognize. More often than not, these mysterious calls are from telemarketers trying to sell you something you don’t need, or scammers trying to trick you into taking some kind of action. 

Instead, one wise action you can take is to download a third-party app designed to weed out robocalls and prevent calls from unknown contacts. Apps like Robokiller and Truecaller allow you to block calls and identify potential spam risks before you even answer.

With either of these apps enabled, it’s like having your own personal bouncer to screen calls before they reach you. Both maintain databases of known spam callers collected from users around the world. Whenever one of these flagged numbers tries to contact you, the app sends it straight to voicemail.

What we like about these apps is that they’re simple to set up and intuitive to use. Within minutes, you can start taking back control of your phone. If you give one a try and it works, you may not even notice that spam calls have stopped bothering you—which is the whole point. 

Take Back Control of Your Number

While call-blocking apps can certainly help deter spammers, a perhaps more important method of curbing robocalls is to minimize the number of places your number is out in the open online.

To start, try auditing all the accounts and sites where you’ve registered your phone number over the years. This includes social profiles, forums, shopping accounts, and any other places you may have joined that require a phone number. Go to each one and remove your number if possible.

If removal isn’t an option, check their privacy settings. Many sites and applications will let you toggle your number to “private” so it’s not publicly visible. Do this wherever you can as another layer of protection.

Another pro tip is to start using a separate phone number just for accounts and sites that require a contact number. Services like Google Voice let you create a free virtual number that you could use instead of giving out your real digits. 

Register Your Number with the National Do Not Call Registry

Even if you’ve done the previous two strategies, you may still want to bring out the big guns and get your number on the National Do Not Call Registry. This is a free service managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that allows consumers to opt-out of receiving telemarketing calls.

When you register your number, it gets added to the Do Not Call list, which telemarketers are legally required to check before making sales calls. Any calls you receive after 31 days of registering can be reported straight to the FTC.

Registering takes just a few minutes either online at or by calling 1-888-382-1222 from the number you want to add. All you need to do is provide some basic contact information and then you’re all set.

If the spam calls don’t stop after you register your number, the FTC makes it easy to report phone numbers through their online complaint form or by calling their hotline. Just be sure to note the date and time of the call, the company name if provided, and a brief description. 

Remember that the FTC takes these Do Not Call violations seriously, so don’t hesitate to file reports. Frequent reports of the same numbers can lead to investigations and penalties against telemarketers, so any complaint you make could help crack down on spam operations affecting other people as well.

Make your website better. Instantly.

Over 300,000 websites use Crazy Egg to improve what's working, fix what isn't and test new ideas.

Free 30-day Trial