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When a number that is obviously spam hits your phone, Android will almost always warn you and allow you to immediately block that number (and report it as spam). But what if a number is not immediately recognized as spam? Or what if you’re dealing with a harasser who won’t stop calling? You can still block the number quickly and easily.

In this article, we’ll look at how to block numbers on both Pixel and Samsung phones. If you have a phone from another manufacturer, the method shouldn’t be too different from these.

How to screen unfamiliar calls
If you’re like us, you will often get a call from an unfamiliar source that isn’t a known spam call. Is it a spam call that has slipped through? A charity looking for a donation? Or somebody calling from your doctor’s office?

If you get a call but are not sure whether you want to take it, both Pixel and Samsung phones have ways to deal with these calls.

Pixel
If somebody calls from a number that isn’t in your contact list but is not a known spam number, you will usually get a pop-up that gives you the choice of either declining, screening, or answering the call. If you decline the call, it will be sent to voicemail. If you screen the call, you will be able to watch what the caller is saying as text on your display; you can then either take the call, refuse it, or send an automatic message.

If you want to block the call, you can do it after you’ve hung up.

Samsung
Samsung offers basic spam identification in its phone app, which it calls Smart Call. To turn it on, open the phone app, tap the three dots in the upper right of the screen, tap Settings > Caller ID and spam protection. You can toggle the feature on and also enable spam and spam call blocking for callers not in your contacts. There are two options: block all spam and scam calls or only high-risk spam calls. Samsung uses a service called Hiya for this feature, and you’ll need to agree to its terms to use it.

Samsung doesn’t yet offer a call screening feature, but it may be coming soon. Bixby Text Call is available now with One UI 5 in some regions but only functions in Korean. This feature works similarly to Google’s: it transcribes what the caller is saying and allows you to answer via text-to-voice as well. Samsung says that an English version is planned for early 2023. In the meantime, you’ll have to screen calls the old-fashioned way: send ‘em to voicemail and see if it’s worth your time.

Blocking a call
If you want to block a call after you’ve hung up, here’s how to do it.

Pixel

Go to your Phone app or your Contacts app.
Do a search for the person you want to block. (If it was a recent call from a stranger, you can find it under the Recents tab in your Phone app.)
When you’re on that person’s page, long-press on the phone number.
If you’re using your Contacts app, select Block number; in the Phone app, select Block / report spam. Either way, you will be warned that you will no longer receive calls or text from that number. If you want, check the box to report it as spam.
When you’re ready, select Block.
Samsung
The process is very similar on a Samsung phone.

Go to your Phone app or your Contacts app.
Do a search for the person you want to block. (If it was a recent call from a stranger, you can find it under the Recents tab in your Phone app.)
From the Contacts tab of the Phone app, or in the Contacts app itself, long-press the phone number and tap Block number.
In the Recents tab in your Phone app, tap the number, then tap the information icon to expand the entry. You’ll see separate options at the bottom of the screen to block and report the number.
And that’s it — you should no longer receive calls from that number. Of course, if the caller is persistent, they might simply find another number to call you from. However, with any luck, they will eventually get tired of being blocked and go away.