Understanding Scam Likely Calls: How to Identify and Block Them Effectively

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Written By Christopher Truax

With a master's degree in telecommunications and over 15 years of experience working in telecom, networking, and cybersecurity, Christopher deeply understands the value and importance of cybersecurity. Leveraging his extensive experience and knowledge, Christopher thoroughly researches the latest cyber threats, scams, malware, and viruses.

Scam likely calls, also known as potential scams or nuisance calls, are calls that are flagged by cell carriers as possible scams or fraudulent activities. These calls are incredibly annoying for phone users and can be potential risks to their personal information.

To protect customers from falling victim to these scams, cell carriers have implemented features to block such calls. One common feature is called “Scam Block,” which allows users to automatically block known scam numbers from reaching their phones. This feature is usually built into the phone’s dialer and can be easily enabled in the settings menu. By activating Scam Block, users can reduce the risk of receiving scam likely calls.

For iPhone and Android users, blocking specific numbers is another effective way to prevent unwanted calls. On an iPhone, users can go to the Recent Calls tab, find the number they want to block, and select “Block This Caller.” On Android devices, users can open the Phone app, go to Recent Calls or Call History, select the number they want to block, and choose “Block/report spam.”

In addition to these built-in blocking features, users can also opt for third-party robocall-blocking apps. These apps can identify and filter spam calls, preventing them from reaching the user’s phone altogether.

Why Are You Getting Spam Calls?

Spam calls have become an increasingly common nuisance for individuals using personal phones, especially those who use their devices for work purposes. Several factors contribute to the prevalence of these unwanted calls.

Type of RobocallCall Percentage
Vehicle Warranties37%
Money owed for tax or acceptable32%
Offer to switch mobile, tv30%
Social security number has been suspended14%
Investments or Easy money schemes13%

One major factor is the widespread use of Robo-calls, automated calling systems that can make thousands of calls per minute. These calls are usually in the form of prerecorded messages or telemarketing calls, bombarding unsuspecting individuals with promotional offers or fraudulent schemes. Unfortunately, this automated nature makes it easier for scammers to target a large number of people.

Another contributing factor is the use of personal phones for work-related purposes. As more professionals rely on their personal devices to handle business calls, spam callers are more likely to find their numbers through online directories or websites where contact information is publicly available. This increases the chances of receiving unsolicited calls.

Additionally, many individuals may unknowingly provide their phone numbers to various websites, sign up for different services, or participate in surveys, unwittingly offering their contact details to potential spam callers.

The rise in spam calls poses several risks, including financial scams, identity theft, and unauthorized access to personal information. Scammers may pose as representatives of legitimate organizations, such as credit card companies or government agencies, tricking individuals into sharing sensitive data.

To combat this issue, individuals can take preventive measures such as enabling call-blocking features on their phones or installing third-party apps that filter spam calls. It is important to stay vigilant, never share personal information with suspicious callers, and report any fraudulent activities to the appropriate authorities.

What Are Scam Likely Calls?

Scam-likely calls are phone calls that are identified as potentially fraudulent or scam-related. They are often labeled as “scam likely” or “potential spam” on the caller ID, indicating that caution should be taken when answering or interacting with such calls.

There are various methods used to identify these scam likely calls. Some phone companies and third-party apps use advanced algorithms and databases to analyze incoming calls and compare them against a list of known scam numbers. These algorithms take into account factors such as the number’s reputation, call patterns, and user feedback to determine the likelihood of the call being a scam.

The purpose behind labeling scam likely calls is to alert the recipient about the potential risks associated with answering or engaging with these calls. Scammers often use various techniques to deceive individuals and obtain sensitive information, such as personal details or financial data. By identifying and labeling these calls, individuals are reminded to exercise caution and take necessary measures to protect themselves from potential scams.

It is important to be aware of the risks associated with scam likely calls. Engaging with these calls can lead to financial loss, identity theft, or unauthorized access to personal information. Scammers may pose as legitimate organizations or government agencies, using tactics to trick individuals into sharing sensitive data.

To protect oneself from potential scams, it is advised to avoid engaging with suspicious or unknown callers, never share personal or financial information over the phone, and consider using call-blocking apps or services provided by major carriers. Being cautious when receiving scam-likely calls can help prevent falling victim to fraudulent schemes and safeguard personal information.

Why Are Calls Flagged as “Scam Likely?”

Calls are flagged as “Scam Likely” to protect consumers from the growing threat of spoofed robocalls and fraudulent activities. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking proactive steps to combat this issue and ensure the safety of phone users.

The FCC has implemented the STIR/SHAKEN framework, a set of standards designed to verify caller ID and authenticate calls. STIR (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) work together to detect and prevent illegal call spoofing.

Under this framework, telecom carriers are mandated to implement technology that verifies caller ID and indicates the authenticity of calls. When a call is made, the caller’s information is passed through a digital “signature” process, where it is verified against the calling number’s authorization. If the call fails this verification, it is flagged as “Scam Likely” or similar labels to alert the recipient about the potential risk.

By implementing STIR/SHAKEN, the FCC aims to reduce the number of fraudulent and nuisance calls by giving phone users the ability to identify potential scam calls before answering. This initiative supports the fight against robocalls, protecting consumers from falling victim to scams, identity theft, and financial fraud.

In conclusion, calls are flagged as “Scam Likely” due to the efforts made by the FCC, particularly through the implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN standard. These measures enhance caller ID verification and help protect individuals from spoofed robocalls and potential scams.

Types of Spam Calls

There are different types of spam calls that plague phone users on a daily basis. Understanding these types can help individuals better protect themselves from falling victim to scams and unwanted annoyances.

Telemarketing calls are perhaps the most common type of spam calls. These calls are made by companies promoting their products or services. While not illegal per se, these calls can still be frustrating and invasive.

Legal robocalls are automated calls made by legitimate organizations for purposes such as appointment reminders, political campaigns, and surveys. These calls are generally not harmful, but they can still be unwanted and disruptive.

On the other hand, illegal robocalls are automated calls made with malicious intentions. These calls often involve scams, such as fake lottery winnings, fake tech support, or IRS impersonations. The goal of illegal robocalls is to deceive and defraud unsuspecting individuals.

Scam calls are another type of spam calls that aim to trick and manipulate people. These calls often involve impersonations of government agencies, financial institutions, or even friends or family members. The intentions behind scam calls vary, but they usually involve obtaining personal information, financial details, or money from the target.

By understanding the different types of spam calls and their intentions, individuals can be better equipped to identify and avoid falling victim to scams and unwanted annoyances.


Telemarketing calls are subject to rules and regulations to protect consumers from unwanted solicitations. As per these regulations, telemarketers are required to display their telephone number and name on the caller ID. This allows consumers to identify the source of the call and make an informed decision about answering it.

Additionally, telemarketers must provide an option for consumers to opt out of receiving future calls. If a consumer requests to be added to the telemarketing company’s “Do Not Call” list, the company is obligated to honor that request and refrain from further contact.

There are also restrictions on telemarketing calls regarding timing. Telemarketers are prohibited from calling before 8 am or after 9 pm based on the recipient’s local time. These time limits help prevent calls that may disturb individuals during unsuitable hours.

Furthermore, telemarketers are required to obtain prior express written consent before making a telemarketing robocall. This means that they cannot initiate a pre-recorded message without the consent of the recipient.

These rules and regulations aim to provide consumers with more control over the telemarketing calls they receive and help protect them from unwanted solicitations. By ensuring transparency and offering opt-out options, consumers can have more peace of mind when it comes to telemarketing calls.

Legal robocalls

While illegal robocalls continue to plague phone users across the nation, it’s crucial to distinguish that not all robocalls are unlawful. In fact, there are specific rules set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that govern legal robocalls.

According to FCC rules, consent is required for autodialed, prerecorded, or artificial voice calls or texts made to wireless numbers, with the exception of emergency calls. This means that telemarketers and other entities must obtain the recipient’s consent, either in writing or orally, before initiating such calls.

The purpose behind this consent requirement is to protect phone users from the unrelenting barrage of unwanted robocalls. By enforcing consent, individuals have the power to control who can contact them and for what purpose.

However, it is important to understand that there are exceptions to the consent requirement for certain types of lawful robocalls. For example, calls from political campaigns, charities, or purely informational messages may be exempt from the consent requirement.

Knowing these FCC rules can help individuals distinguish between legal and illegal robocalls, empowering them to take action against unwanted calls while still allowing for legitimate robocalls that serve important purposes.

Illegal robocalls

Illegal robocalls are a widespread nuisance that prey on unsuspecting phone users, bombarding them with unwanted and often fraudulent calls. These illegal calls are made using an autodialer, which automatically dials a massive number of phone numbers in a short period of time. There are several types of illegal robocalls, each with its own malicious intent.

One type of illegal robocall is the spoofed robocall. In this case, the caller intentionally manipulates their caller ID information to display a false or misleading number, often disguising their true identity or location. This deceptive tactic is used to trick recipients into answering the call or believing it is a legitimate call.

Another type of illegal robocall involves prerecorded messages or artificial voices. These calls use recorded messages to convey fraudulent schemes, such as fake offers, prize winnings, or financial scams. The purpose is to lure individuals into providing personal information or making payments to the scammer.

Advances in technology have significantly contributed to the rise in illegal robocalls. Callers can now easily spoof their numbers using readily available software or services, making it more difficult to identify and trace the source of the calls. Additionally, autodialers are faster and more efficient, leading to a significant increase in the number of illegal robocalls being made.

It is essential for phone users to be aware of the dangers posed by illegal robocalls and to take necessary precautions to protect themselves. By understanding the different types of illegal robocalls and knowing how to recognize and report them, individuals can help combat this pervasive issue.

Scam calls

Scam calls have become a growing nuisance, with countless individuals falling victim to fraudulent schemes. These calls can take various forms, but their objective remains the same – to deceive and exploit unsuspecting victims.

Telemarketing calls, while not always illegitimate, can often be unwelcome and intrusive. These calls typically involve sales pitches or promotions from businesses, trying to persuade individuals to purchase their products or services. While not necessarily scams, telemarketing calls can still be a source of frustration for many.

Legal robocalls are automated calls made for legitimate purposes, such as appointment reminders or political campaigns. However, illegal robocalls are a different story. These calls employ prerecorded messages or artificial voices to trick individuals into divulging personal information or making payments. Whether it’s fake offers, prize winnings, or financial scams, illegal robocalls aim to exploit unsuspecting victims.

Scam calls, on the other hand, encompass a broader spectrum. They can involve telemarketing scams, illegal robocalls, or other deceptive tactics. Scammers may spoof their caller ID to make it appear as if the call is from a trusted source, tricking individuals into answering or divulging sensitive information.

It’s essential to remain vigilant and aware of these scam attempts. By recognizing the signs and taking preventive measures, we can protect ourselves from falling victim to these malicious schemes.

Instructions on how to block scam likely calls

There are various methods available to block scam likely calls and protect yourself from unwanted and potentially fraudulent calls. One effective way is to enable the Scam Blocker feature offered by T-Mobile, a major carrier that provides this service to its customers.

To enable the Scam Blocker feature, follow these steps:

  • 1. Download the T-Mobile app on your mobile phone or access your account through the website.
  • 2. Log in to your T-Mobile account using your credentials.
  • 3. Navigate to the “Manage Services” or “Call Settings” section.
  • 4. Locate the option for “Scam Block” or “Scam Likely Blocking” and toggle the switch to enable the feature.
Source: t-mobile.com

Once enabled, the Scam Blocker will automatically identify and block any calls marked as “Scam Likely” before they even reach your phone. This adds an extra layer of protection against potential scams and fraudulent calls.

If you ever need to disable the Scam Blocker feature, simply follow the same steps and switch it off. However, it is highly recommended to keep this feature enabled to safeguard yourself from scam likely calls and potential fraud attempts.

By utilizing the Scam Blocker feature offered by T-Mobile or exploring other methods to block scam likely calls, you can minimize the nuisance and potential risk associated with these unwanted calls. Stay protected and enjoy a safer communication experience on your mobile phone.

Block specific numbers on iPhone and Android

Blocking specific numbers on both iPhones and Android devices is a simple way to prevent unwanted calls from reaching you. Here’s how you can do it:

On an iPhone, you can block specific numbers through the Phone app or by enabling the “Silence Unknown Callers” option. To block a number through the Phone app, follow these steps:

  • 1. Open the Phone app and go to the “Recents” tab.
  • 2. Find the number you want to block and tap the “i” icon next to it.
  • 3. Scroll down and select “Block this Caller” to confirm.
Source: macreports

Alternatively, you can also block unknown callers on an iPhone by enabling the “Silence Unknown Callers” option. To do this:

  • 1. Go to the Settings app on your iPhone.
  • 2. Scroll down and tap on “Phone.”
  • 3. Toggle on the “Silence Unknown Callers” option.

For Android devices, blocking specific numbers can be done through the built-in tools or third-party applications depending on the device’s manufacturer. Here’s a general process:

  • 1. Open the Phone app on your Android device.
  • 2. Go to the “Call history” or “Recent calls” tab.
  • 3. Find the number you want to block and tap on it.
  • 4. From the options that appear, select “Block” or “Block/report spam.”
  • 5. Confirm the action when prompted.

Some Android devices also offer a built-in feature called “Blocklist” where you can add specific numbers manually. To access this feature, go to the Phone app settings or dialer settings and look for “Blocked numbers” or “Blocklist.”

These steps will help you effectively block specific numbers on both iPhones and Android devices, allowing you to have better control over your incoming calls.

Third-party robocall blocking apps

Third-party robocall blocking apps are a valuable tool for smartphone users looking to block scam likely calls. These apps provide an extra layer of protection by identifying and blocking suspicious calls from known scam numbers or telemarketers.

Popular apps such as Hiya and YouMail offer robust features to help users block scam calls. Hiya, for example, uses a database of millions of phone numbers to proactively identify potential scam calls and block them before they even reach your phone. YouMail, on the other hand, provides advanced call filtering options to block calls from specific numbers or entire area codes.

It’s important to note that wireless phone users must provide consent to receive robocalls, including scam calls. However, these third-party apps give users the power to take back control of their phone by blocking unwanted and potentially fraudulent calls.

To block scam likely calls using these apps, simply download and install the app from your device’s app store. Once installed, follow the instructions to enable call blocking features and customize your settings according to your preferences.

By utilizing third-party robocall blocking apps like Hiya and YouMail, smartphone users can effectively block scam likely calls and maintain a more secure and peaceful calling experience on their devices.

Block telemarketing calls by using the Do Not Call Registry

Telemarketing calls can be a nuisance, with unwanted sales pitches disrupting your daily routine. However, you can take control and minimize these calls by utilizing the Do Not Call Registry. Registering your phone number on this list blocks most telemarketing calls, reducing the number of interruptions you receive.

Registering your number on the Do Not Call Registry offers several benefits. Firstly, it provides protection from unsolicited sales calls, ensuring your peace of mind. Additionally, it helps eliminate the hassle of dealing with telemarketers, freeing up your time for more important matters.

Registering your number is a simple process. Visit the Do Not Call Registry website and click on the “Register” option. Follow the instructions, providing the necessary information, such as your phone number and email address. Once completed, your number will be added to the list, and telemarketers are legally obligated to cease calling you within 31 days.

If you wish to remove your number from the registry, you can easily do so by visiting the website and clicking on the “Remove” option. Follow the instructions to remove your number from the list, and you will no longer be protected from telemarketing calls.

It’s important to note that even though the Do Not Call Registry blocks most telemarketing calls, certain entities such as political organizations, charities, and survey companies are still permitted to call you. Furthermore, be aware of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules regarding telemarketing calls. Telemarketers are required to provide their name, contact information, and the purpose of the call.

By utilizing the Do Not Call Registry, you can greatly reduce unwanted telemarketing calls and enjoy a more peaceful phone experience. Take advantage of this valuable service and reclaim your phone’s privacy.

Use tools from mobile carriers

Major mobile carriers like T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint offer built-in features and services to help you block unwanted and scam likely calls. These features are designed to provide an extra layer of protection and give you peace of mind when using your mobile phone.

To activate these features, follow these steps:

T-Mobile: T-Mobile offers a free service called Scam Block, which helps identify and block scam likely calls. To activate it, simply dial #662# on your T-Mobile phone’s keypad and press the call button. You will receive a confirmation message once Scam Block is enabled.

Verizon: Verizon’s Call Filter service allows you to block spam and scam calls. To activate it, download the Call Filter app from the App Store or Google Play Store. Open the app, follow the on-screen instructions to set it up, and enable the spam call filtering feature.

AT&T: AT&T provides its customers with a service called Call Protect, which helps block unwanted calls including scam likely calls. To activate it, visit the AT&T Call Protect website and follow the instructions to enable the service on your account.

Sprint: Sprint offers the My Sprint app, which includes a feature called Premium Caller ID. This feature helps identify and block scam likely calls. To activate it, download the My Sprint app from the App Store or Google Play Store, open the app, and follow the on-screen instructions to enable Premium Caller ID.

By using these built-in features from your mobile carrier, you can effectively block scam likely calls and protect yourself from fraudulent activities. Take advantage of these services to enjoy a safer and more secure mobile phone experience.

Remove your number from data broker lists

Data broker sites collect and sell personal information, which can lead to unwanted spam calls and solicitations. If you want to remove your number from these lists, there are a few options available to you.

One option is to manually opt out of each data broker site. This can be a time-consuming and frustrating process as you have to find and navigate through each site’s opt-out process. DIY opt-out guides and step-by-step instructions are available online to assist you in this process.

However, there is an easier way to remove your personal data from data broker sites. DeleteMe, a service offered by legitimate data brokers, handles the opt-out process for you. For a monthly fee, DeleteMe ensures that your personal information is removed from data broker sites, saving you time and effort.

By joining DeleteMe you can simplify the opt-out process and have peace of mind knowing that your personal information is being actively removed from data broker lists. With DeleteMe, you won’t have to worry about continuously monitoring and opting out of data broker sites yourself.

Take control of your personal information and remove your number from data broker lists with the assistance of DeleteMe. Say goodbye to unwanted calls and solicitations, and regain your privacy.

Did You Receive a Suspicious Call? Do This

Receiving a suspicious call can be unsettling and potentially dangerous. It’s important to know the necessary steps to take when faced with such situations to protect yourself and others from potential scams. Here’s what you can do if you receive a suspicious call:

1. Stay Vigilant: Be cautious when answering calls from unknown numbers or callers that display suspicious behavior. Avoid giving out personal information, such as your Social Security number or financial details, over the phone.

2. Hang Up: If you suspect a call is a scam or phishing attempt, it’s best to hang up immediately. Do not engage with the caller or provide any information they request.

3. Report Violations: If you believe the call was a violation of telemarketing rules, such as unwanted robocalls or fraudulent schemes, report it to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The FCC can issue warnings and impose fines against companies involved in illegal practices.

4. Be Aware of Phishing Attempts: Phishing attempts often involve scammers tricking individuals into revealing sensitive information or wiring money. Be cautious of any calls that sound too good to be true or ask for immediate financial assistance.

Receiving a suspicious call can potentially expose you to various dangers, including falling for phishing attempts and wiring money to scammers. By promptly reporting violations to the FCC and being vigilant, you can help protect yourself and others from potential harm. Stay safe and stay informed.