Many readers are probably already (and unfortunately) familiar with "neighbor scam" calls, a popular tactic of fraudsters in which they spoof a phone number that has the same area code and prefix (the first six digits) as your own number. People are much more likely to pick up a call from a number that could be in their area, thinking that it could be a friend or a local service. It can be quite maddening to receive multiple calls of this sort on a daily basis, so how can you block them? Unfortunately you can't effectively accomplish it by blocking numbers in your iPhone's settings, but there is a third party app that can do it - Hiya.
Hiya is a leading call profiling and spam blocking service that is well respected - Samsung has integrated its services in its phones and AT&T's Call Protect app uses it. Its full suite of tools is also available to iPhone users through the Hiya app. Here's how to block neighbor scam calls using the Hiya app on your iPhone:
- Download the Hiya app from the App Store and open it. Agree to Terms and Conditions and then enter your phone number (it needs your number to work). It will then send you a text with a PIN to verify. After that it will ask you to choose a plan. For now you just want to try it out for free, so keep tapping that.
- When you are at the main page, tap on the "Protect" tab. It may ask you to turn it on in your Settings, if so, head to Settings -> Phone -> Call Blocking & Identification and toggle on Hiya 1 and Hiya 2.
- Now you can enter your number under "Neighbor Scam Protection" if it isn't already there. You can also add up to 24 more area code and prefix combinations.
- Now you will receive a warning when you receive a call from your area code and prefix (and any others you entered). It will cost you, however, if you want them blocked automatically. If you do, tap on Automatic Spam Blocking and choose a plan. You can get an annual subscription for $24.99, quarterly for $9.99 or monthly for $3.99. All of the plans include a 7 day free trial period so you will be able to test it before actually paying.