Google has added a Global SPAM feature to its Google Voice messaging and phone service that will automatically identify select callers as spam before they even reach you.
Thanks to crowd-sourcing collective intelligence of thousands of Google Voice users who mark calls as spam everyday, as well as their own internal spam identification tools, Google has now made it possible to automatically redirect calls, texts, and voicemails from any of the numbers in their database directly into your spam folder. So when a telemarketer calls you, chances are that those calls will be filtered out as spam before they reach your phone.
To enable spam filtering:
- Click the wrench icon and select Voice Settings.
- Click the Call tab.
- Check the box next to Global Spam Filtering.
If a number ends up incorrectly marked as spam, you can easily unblock it by selecting the message and clicking the Not Spam button in your spam folder.
While not a new feature, you can also selectively block any individual caller and choose to send them directly to voicemail, treat that number as spam, or block the caller.
- Go to your Contacts list in Google Voice.
- Select the checkbox next to your contact’s name.
- Click Edit Google Voice Settings and select the second radio button under the ‘When this contact calls you:’ section, next to the drop-down menu.
- Choose one of these options from the drop-down menu:
- Send to Voicemail: None of your phones will ring, but the caller will be prompted to leave you a voicemail message.
- Treat as Spam: The caller will hear ringing and then be prompted to leave you a voicemail message. None of your phones will ring. The voicemail will be automatically marked in your inbox as Spam, and you won’t receive a notification for the voicemail.
- Block Caller: The caller will hear a ‘Number not in service’ message when calling your Google number. None of your phones will ring. The call will be marked as ‘Blocked’ under ‘History’ and ‘Missed.’
If you’ve marked a call or voicemail as spam on the Google Voice website, any future calls from the caller will be sent to your voicemail, and your phones won’t ring. The voicemail will be automatically placed in the Spam folder. Just find the call or voicemail from the caller, select the checkbox next to the call or voicemail, and click the Report Spam button. Again, you can easily unblock the person by selecting the message and clicking the Not Spam button in your spam folder.