Editor's Picks

The 3 best apps for blocking spam phone calls

Since 2014, spam calls have risen considerably, and robocalls are getting worse. Of all the nuisance call complaints in 2017, 62 percent were about robocalls.

Think about that: millions of people suffering unwanted interruptions to their lives from a… machine. Unless you find a way to block the calls completely, the robocaller will harass you forever (or until you disconnect your phone). It’s all a bit too “Terminator 2” for our liking.

So what can you do? Get suited up like Sarah Connor and track the machine down for immediate termination? That’s perhaps taking it too far, and besides, there’s a much simpler solution: install a spam call blocker on your phone.

Here are our three favorites.

1. TrueCaller (free)

With over 100 million daily users, TrueCaller is one of the most popular call blocker apps around. Promising to help you track and block spam, identify who’s calling you, and even tell you the best time to call your friends, TrueCaller is a powerful tool against the march of robo-spam. It’ll even block texts, too.

TrueCaller’s strength lies in its community. Every time a member identifies a spam call, it’s added to a list which is then used to block calls not just for that user, but all users. That means the occasional call might get through, but once identified it should, in theory, be blocked forever.

Since TrueCaller crowdsources contacts from its users, there’s been some controversy over privacy. The reverse look-up means you can find names from numbers (but not vice versa), even if they’re not in your address book. Sharing your friends’ contact info without them agreeing to it isn’t really fair, but the good news is you can opt out of this and still use the app. 

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2. Hiya (free) 

Hiya claims to have the “world’s most advanced phone spam protection engine”. While we can’t prove that’s true, the app does have a slew of 5-star reviews on the app store.

Like other blockers, Hiya uses a spam database to filter unwanted calls and you can create your own by adding numbers from your contact list or call history. The free version identifies spammers, robots, and scams in real-time, and there’s a reverse-lookup feature so you can find out if you’re in the sights of some nefarious telemarketer.

To get their “premium caller ID” you need to pay extra, and again it means adding your contact list so you and others can “share” contacts and identify people not in your phone book. If you’d rather not share your contact list, you can ask Hiya to remove it.  

Hiya Caller ID and Block
Download Free

3. RoboKiller ($2.99 per month) – iOS / Android

Oh the sweet, sweet taste of revenge…

For just $2.99 per month, you can give the spammers a taste of their own medicine. RoboKiller doesn’t just block calls, it answers them for you.

Answer Bots – prerecorded voice snippets designed to simulate conversation – take your spam call and analyze voice patterns so even if your spammer is using a spoofed local number, they’re still caught. And the results are hilarious.

From drunken wasters to grumpy old men, Answer Bots make spammers’ lives hell while gathering the information RoboKiller needs to block even more nuisance calls. There’s even a RoboRadio where you can enjoy listening to the Answer Bots taking revenge.

Aside from the unbridled joy of vengeance, you’ll also get text blocking, and customizable block lists.

RoboKiller - Block Spam Calls & Identify Callers
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So there you go – three powerful apps that can put an end to nuisance calls for good.


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