Smartphone Alert Warning Message

Spam phone calls are very annoying. Thankfully, a lot of these calls get automatically blocked. But what about those “Potential Spam” calls that show up? If you’re a Verizon customer, you may have noticed these. What’s the deal?

What Does a “Potential Spam” Call Look Like?

“Potential Spam” calls are not outright blocked. They show up as a regular call, but the caller ID reads “Potential Spam” and it may also list the location where the call is coming from. This can appear on both iPhones and Android devices. It’s a feature from Verizon, not your phone maker.

Potential Spam call screen.

What Does “Potential Spam” Mean?

So, what does “Potential Spam” mean, anyway? Well, it’s not that mysterious. It’s simply a call that Verizon’s call screening system has flagged as being potentially nefarious. It’s not fishy enough to be blocked completely, but Verizon wants you to be wary of it.

Other carriers have similar features that flag calls “Scam Likely” or “Spam Risk.” “Potential Spam” is simply Verizon’s own wording for it. Verizon is giving you a heads up, and you can decide whether or not you want to answer the call. If you do answer the call, you should be wary.

RELATED: Who Is "Spam Risk," and Why Do They Keep Calling Me?

Can I Block Potential Spam Calls?

Unfortunately, there’s no way to block “Potential Spam” calls from showing up on your phone. However, you can block unknown callers on iPhone and Android.

This will prevent any number that’s not in your contacts from ringing your phone. Numbers that you’ve called—but aren’t in your contacts—don’t count as “unknown.” It will include the “Potential Spam” numbers, though.

RELATED: How to Block Unknown Callers on Android

Flip the switch beside "Silence Unknown Callers" to "On."

At the end of the day, “Potential Spam” is exactly that—a caller that may potentially be spam. You can completely ignore the call or take a chance on it.

Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
Read Full Bio »