Silencing unknown callers

My recent calls list, showing lots of missed calls from numbers not in my contacts

Over recent weeks, I’ve been plagued by calls from numbers not in my contacts. Sometimes, as per the screenshot, I’ll get three calls from three different UK mobile numbers within seconds of each other. So, I’ve enabled Silence unknown callers on my iPhone.

I made a mistake by answering the first call, and it turned out to be some kind of cryptocurrency scam. However, it wasn’t just a random dial; they had my name and email address as well as my phone number. This suggests that they’ve hoovered up my personal data from a previous breach – possibly the Patreon breach of 2015, but there have been many others.

Since then, I’ve been getting three or four calls at a time, usually twice per day. It’s a different number every time, so whilst I may have not been fully convinced it was a scam when I answered the first time, I am convinced now. I’ve tried to hide the numbers in the screenshot because the numbers have almost certainly been faked and probably belong to innocent people. It also suggests to me a deliberate effort to get around call blocking apps like Truecaller, for which I have a premium subscription.

What this means is, if people call me, my phone will only ring if the number is in my contacts, if I’ve called it recently, or it’s a ‘Siri suggestion’. The latter could include numbers in recent text messages and emails, for example.

If you want to enable this yourself, open Settings on your iPhone, go to Phone and then scroll down to ‘Silence Unknown Callers’.

I’ll keep this on until the random calls stop. At the time of writing, they’ve slowed down but haven’t stopped completely. Maybe they’ll get the hint in time.

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