“Potential Spam” Call On iPhone? Here’s What It Really Means!

You just received a strange call on your iPhone and you’re not sure why. When you picked up your iPhone after hearing it ring, it said “Potential Spam” in the caller ID. In this article, I’ll tell you what a “Potential Spam” call is on your iPhone and explain why it’s showing up on caller ID!

What Is A “Potential Spam” Call On iPhone?

A “Potential Spam” call is a that Verizon Wireless has flagged using call screening software. “Potential Spam” calls are typically from telemarketers or other nefarious callers who are trying to scam you and take your money.

potential spam call iphone

Currently, Verizon is the only major carrier that labels potentially nefarious callers as “Potential Spam”. Other carriers have implemented a similar call screening software that sometimes labels spam callers as “Scam Likely”.

Why Do I Have Missed Calls From “Potential Spam”?

If you declined or missed one of these spam calls, you’ll still see “Potential Spam” in your list of recent calls in the iPhone Phone app. Open the Phone app and tap on the Recents tab to see if you’ve received a “Potential Spam” call lately!

potential spam calls in recents iphone

Androids Can Get Spam Calls Too!

If your friends or family have an Android phone, they may get a “Potential Spam” call too! In fact, any Android device with the Caller ID version 6.1.2 or later and the operating system Nougat or later can flag calls as “Potential Spam”. These calls could also be flagged as “Spam Caller”.

spam caller android

Can’t I Just Block All Of These Calls?

Although there currently isn’t a way to block calls from “Potential Spam”, Verizon does have some excellent spam detection tools. If eliminating spam calls and texts is important to you, you may want to consider switching to a Verizon cell phone plan.

Earlier in this article, I mentioned that other carriers like T-Mobile sometimes flag nefarious calls as “Scam Likely”. If you do receive calls from “Scam Likely”, you can block them entirely!

Clearing Out The Spam

I hope this article cleared up any confusion you had about the “Potential Spam” calls you’ve been receiving. Leave a comment down below if you’ve noticed any other strange caller IDs on your iPhone — we’d love to hear about your experience!

Thanks for reading,
David L.

About Author

David Lynch is an expert on cell phones, cell phone plans, and other tech. After using a flip phone into his early 20s, he learned the ropes about iPhones and Androids from a former Apple employee. Today, his articles and videos are read and viewed by millions, and he has been cited by major publications including Reader's Digest, Wired, CMSWire, Consumers Advocate, and more.

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3 months ago

comuster with a virizon plan that include 3 phones. All 3 phones been getting Potential Spam a min of 8 to 12 calls a day. And no I havent had any help from Verizon. To stop these calls. I did go on line to the USA No call list and state no call list and file a complaint. Not that I will get any results.

Chris Charles
8 months ago

i understand the need and usefulness of having callers listed as potential spam or scammers. My question is how is a number determined to be potential spam or potential scam numbers? I ask because my mobile number caller id shows on other peoples phone as potential spam. i use my phone extensively for business so the option of changing numbers or having contacts program my number in their phone are not realistic options or even possible. I have never used my phone or my mobile number for telemarketing purposes and I have had the same number for almost 20 years.… Read more »

jane hobbs
6 days ago
Reply to  Chris Charles

ohh nice

11 months ago

My mom was in the hospital, and then to an acute care rehab. Whenever they called me, it would show up as a potential spam caller. At first, I would ignore them, and they would leave a message. So, I started picking up calls again, even from “potential spam” callers, labeled as such. I figure, if they are potential spam, I can just hang up on them right away.

1 year ago

Hi David. In the past 8 hours, I have had 8 phone calls from Molly from amazon With a suspicious charge of $729. All different numbers and areas including my local area. How can I stop these call?

2 years ago

How do I take off the “potential spam” from my calls. It is blocking calls from numbers that I have called and are not in my contact list so I am missing calls from people I am waiting for a call back from.

Liam Shotwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Earlene

Sounds like you’ll need to turn off ‘silence unknown callers’. Go to Settings -> Phone -> and then switch Silence unknown callers to the off position.

linda torok
1 year ago
Reply to  Liam Shotwell

Yesterday on 6/8/21 I received 4 calls from potential started 9:09 pm. up to 10:35 pm..Tried to block, but unable. I know this is a spam call and I am sick and tired, the number calling me is; 585 419-0890..Never any message…

Cindy Comilla
2 years ago

Is there a way to block robo spam texts?

2 years ago

please help me

2 years ago

Please quit calling me you people call me 500 times a day and I’m tired of it so quit calling me. My number is ***-***-**** take me off your list I don’t want to receive another call from you people

Liam Shotwell
2 years ago
Reply to  Lori

Sorry, this website is not calling you. This article just explains what to do about spam calls. I censored your phone number in your comment so any spammers lurking the Internet don’t use it to send you even more calls. Have a nice day!

2 years ago

Hey is there any way to switch back to showing the number. I receive different calls due to Biz and some are showing as Potential Spam and they’re not.

Steve R
2 years ago

How do I remove my number from this list?

2 years ago

Thanks this really helped me out and Answered my question entirely thank you so much

Janice Runswick
2 years ago

how do you block calls???

Liam Shotwell
2 years ago

It depends on your wireless carrier. You might be able to find more information on their website. I know Verizon will let you block calls.

Janice Runswick
2 years ago

I don’t answer calls if I don’t know the number, if they need to talk to me they can leave a VM if they don’t I think they are not important

Liam Shotwell
2 years ago

I do the exact same thing. Stop calling me constantly, just leave a voicemail! ?

Carmen Beauchamp
2 years ago

I am receiving “Potencial span” calls everyday on my house phone. What Ivdi is: hit the incoming call twice (very quickly) and press “off”.

Diana higgins
2 years ago

I get a bunch of potential spam all the time it is so aggravating

Jackie Volkmar
2 years ago

I’ve decided to not answer calls I don’t recognize. If they want to talk to me they can leave a message. Thanks Verizon, why would I answer a call that identifies as Potential Spam?

2 years ago
Reply to  Jackie Volkmar

Exactly. I don’t answer and I give them one chance to leave a message and then they are blocked. Although I did get a call that said “Potential spam” that was a notice of delivery time for a new mattress. But they left a message.

James Dillon
9 months ago
Reply to  Jackie Volkmar

Same problem. It was my doctor

2 years ago

A legitimate doctor’s phone number is now listed as Potential Spam. How do I remove this erroneous label?

2 years ago
Reply to  Stan

I would like to know this answer too

2 years ago
Reply to  Stan

Same problem

1 year ago
Reply to  Stan

Put them in your Contacts List.

Margarette St-Germain
2 years ago

I am tired with all these scam call is there a way Verizon can stop them

Wilda Edwards
2 years ago

Thanks for the information,I am getting call from all over the nation,I just block them,but the potential spam are very frequent.Thanks for the help.

Mike clayton
2 years ago

What about businesses being flagged because of a false positive on your part??!!

Jo Wynne
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike clayton

exactly right Mike. I work for LEGITIMATE Australian Charities and I’ve had supporters tell us the call comes up as a potential fraud. So who decides what numbers are potential frauds?? How do you get legitimate numbers removed from this list?

2 years ago

I recently got an iPhone 8 and love it, but the problem is that I’m getting those ‘ potential spam ‘ calls that turn out to be employment calls. Any suggestions ?

2 years ago
Reply to  Penny

Any answers on this one? I’m currently interviewing and think I might have some calls labeled “Possible Scam”. That could have been my call back? Not sure this is a good thing?

Heather C
2 years ago
Reply to  Penny

Same situation here. I use my phone for getting paged and I can never see the number that is calling me so I don’t know whether it truly is spam or someone paging me for my job.

Margie Castelow
2 years ago

I have a android…i work 3rd shift and get these calls back to back all day and night..
You said earlier to get a verizon plan i have had one for years…and i think a person pays enough for a phone and a phone bill that verizon should take care of this immediately
Thank you for listening

2 years ago

wtf, iphone on “silence non contacts”, fricking phone rings, display sows “Potential Spam call”. How can this non contact Not be silenced? Did Verizon add a feature to undo this. Aholes!

2 years ago
Reply to  David Lynch

“You may be able to contact Verizon customer support”? Are you saying that Verizon customer support is so difficult to contact that one’s success in attempting to do so is in doubt? That would explain a lot.

Manuel Diaz
4 years ago

I just just pick up my phone to a potential spam. When my phone rang it didn’t say potential spam once I pick it up no one answered so I hung up that when it said potential spam . I’ve been getting potential spam everyday and when it a potential spam it say it but today it didn’t that how they got me to pick up the phone.how r they able to get u for ur money? Thank u I was always wondering what was a potential spam .again how r they able to get u for ur money? Thank… Read more »

Mary Walters Feo
4 years ago

How can we get numbers added to the list?