How do you deal w/ unwanted calls?

Apologies if this is the wrong forum, but I thought this question might lead to factual answers.

In short, we get several “anonymous” or “potential spam” calls daily, to both our home phone (xfinity) and our iPhones.

We do not answer our phones if we see the caller is not someone we know. Generally, no message is left. Occasionally, a recording is left.

Is there any effective way to reduce the frequency of or block these calls? We were on the “do not call” lists, but my understanding was that those was essentially useless.

It is a mild irritation to have our phones ring needlessly a few times daily, but an irritation nonetheless.

Sometimes I answer it and let it play on as long as possible, figuring it may cost them some by keeping the connection active for a longer time and thus not available to bother someone else. I think it has had a effect as many now time out much sooner then they once did.

iPhone. Nomorobo + Do Not Disturb, set to allow calls from contacts only. Occasionally I’ll be expecting a call and I’ll have to either add them to my contacts list or turn off Do Not Disturb or I’ll miss it, but fortunately I don’t expect many calls.

I take the same approach that you do, I don’t answer. If it is someone who needs to communicate with me about something real, they will leave a message.

My only suggestion for how to deal with it is purely psychological. The junk calls aren’t going to go away, all we can really work on is how much they upset us.

Consider junk mail - on a daily basis I get something in the mail that is an advertisement for something I don’t care about. I have to retrieve the item and at the very least put it in the nearest trash bin. This requires my physical intervention. Too me that sounds very similar to dealing with unwanted phone calls. Yet I can handle this without any emotional reaction.

The same is true with my email inbox, I have to manually delete the advertisement emails if I don’t want my inbox overloaded. Again, I can handle this without any emotional reaction.

So, put the unwanted phone calls in the same brain space as physical junk mail and junk emails.

See if your xfinity phone service works with Nomorobo. Nomorobo is a free service that you setup on your phone to do dual ring. The call initially rings at both your house and at Nomorobo. If it’s a spam caller, Nomorobo answers and your home phone stops ringing.

As to your cell phone, there are a variety of ways to accomplish that. There are apps which will only allow the phone to ring if the number is already in your contacts. You can chose to have the blocked calls terminated or go to voicemail.

Nomorobo on home phone.
“Silence Unknown Callers” feature on iPhone (new feature in iOS 13).

When the home phone rings twice (a call slipped past Nomorobo) and it’s a local number (neighbor spoofing), I just pick up and hang up in one motion.

Like Icarus says, we can choose to get all worked up, or we can treat it like spam email and junk mail.

Thanks - I’ll check nomorobo for both cell and home.

Don’t answer, block them and use the “report as spam” feature.

I can’t setup nomorobo on my cell phone, but using an app that only lets calls in my contact numbers through means I get hardly any spam ringing. Occasionally one will leave a voice mail, but that’s maybe 1 per week. Much better than before when I’d have 2-3 calling a day.

If you have a phone that can suppress the first ring, you don’t even have to hear the ring before Nomorobo picks it up. That’s made things a lot quieter at our house.

NoMoRobo is free for landlines but I think it costs for cells. Works great for my landline - it rings once, and that’s it. For calls that get through we just let it go to the answering machine, and they usually hangup at the beep without even leaving a message.
Our phones have a voice announce feature, so we can hear if the call is interesting without getting up.

I’ve taken one additional measure beyond not answering calls I don’t know*, if they leave a message I save the number as a contact called pick up/hang up. The next time I get a call from that number, instead of ignoring it I pick up and hang up on it so they can’t leave a message. If they can’t leave a message I don’t get a voice mail two minutes later that I have to listen to and delete.

*Also, if I’m near a computer, I’ll quickly google the number while it’s ringing just to make sure it’s not someone/somewhere I know.

Pro tip: have a second email address that you give out when purchasing stuff online, making charitable and political contributions, etc.

That way, it gets flooded with all the ads and solicitations, while your family-and-friends email remains relatively uncluttered.

We just had a thread:
**Unwanted calls- a good app to block them? **

I’ve been getting a LOT of calls for the person who previously had my phone number. I finally talked to two of the more frequent callers enough to figure out who they are and recognize that their debt collection efforts crossed the line. I sent a couple demand letters and the calls have stopped.

Even if they don’t pay me for the FDCPA and TCPA violations at least they are not calling and waking me up constantly. I am on a nights schedule and trying to sleep while debt collectors keep calling for Pete got to be too much. And turning the ringer off is not an option since I am seeking a better job and need those sorts of calls to come through even if they wake me up.

Blocking hardware is available for land lines.
Barring that, I try to make the caller’s life a living hell.
Get enough of that, and people will quit, unless wages go way up.
It hurts the companies behind the calls.
Robocalls get picked up and ignored.
not much to be done besides that against an auto-dialer on cell.

I killed my landline. Simple as that.
There are upsides and downsides. I no longer have a directory listing, so people with a legitimate need to contact me can’t find me that way. The reality is that this is close to zero people. As my landline number had long since got into all the various lists used by spammers and scammers just making it unlisted wasn’t going to help.

The difficult is is getting everyone I want to have my contact details to no longer try the landline, and to use my mobile number. Since I had run the two in parallel for years this wasn’t all that big a deal. I still get companies pro-actively checking details and realising I don’t have the landline, which works out well.

I now get zero unwanted calls. Unknown callers have thus far all been legitimate calls that I wanted.

I do actually have a VOIP line - it came for free with my internet service. I don’t use it and can’t remember the number. It isn’t listed.