1. Use the Do Not Call Registry (if you live in the US).
2. Do Not Answer the phone unless it's a "known number" --let it go to voice mail (some people program their phones so any call from a number not on their contact list will go straight to voice mail; on my phone, one touch on the volume key also sends the call straight to voice mail.)
3. Be proactive, use the block number list features of your carrier, your phone, or your phone system.
4. If by mistake you answer a "spam call"--just hang up. If they call back before you can block the number, do not answer.
5. Great tools for managing phone calls (in conjunction with having a "smartphone" and a pro-consumer carrier) are Google Voice and Google Talk.
Here's one good article (out of many available on the internet) on managing "phone spam"--How to keep telemarketers at bay - 08/02/2013 | MiamiHerald.com: (excerpt follows--read more at the foregoing link)--" . . . . And software also allows telemarketers to hide their identity by “spoofing” or faking the caller ID that shows up on a consumer’s phone. In the last three years, there’s been “an explosion” of consumer complaints about unwanted robocalls . . . The FTC recommends that consumers avoid responding to a robocall, even when asked to press a number that will remove you from the company’s marketing list. The only exception is when you ask a live telemarketer to remove you from the business or charity’s phone list. The best response: Hang up. “We encourage people to just hang up the phone. The last thing you want to do is get added to a list of people likely to engage with scammers,” Daffan said. . . ."
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