How To Block a Phone Number from Spam/Robo Calling Your Cell Phone
Do you have your own personal stalker or an ex-boyfriend (or girlfriend) who just won’t accept that it’s O-V-E-R? Perhaps a persistent telemarketer? Sure, there does come a point when hitting the ‘ignore’ button on your phone just doesn't cut it anymore. Well, depending on your carrier and cell phone model, there may be a solution that you can dial in.
Unmask Blocked or Unknown Numbers
Recently, I was getting harassed by a blocked number on AT&T. Since the number was blocked, I couldn't provide the number to AT&T to block them from calling me. To my surprise, AT&T did not have a way of seeing which number was calling me. The robocalls became so frequent that I thought I would have to change the phone number I’ve had for 15 years. Luckily, I found out about an app that works on both iPhone and Android called TrapCall that allows you to unmask the number, and even block it if you want. The app was a lifesaver, as I was able to figure out which number was calling me, and then provide it to AT&T for them to block. TrapCall offers a free trial which will allow you to unmask the number you need, and then you can cancel. If you want to keep using it to blacklist numbers and take advantage of their other features, it’s just $4.99 per month. Sign up for TrapCall here.
These apps are the only ways to block an unknown caller.
RoboKiller is an app available in the App Store that will allow you to screen and block calls for $1.99 per month. The app will also automatically block a lot of known robocallers.
Your phone may be compatible with a free service called YouMail. With YouMail you can block unwanted voicemail messages. “And you can do it with a very formal “This number is no longer in service…” type of message or something more errrr, personal – it’s up to you. The callers you ditch get the designated greeting you choose and are never given the option of leaving a voicemail message. And so the buzzing stops!”
Truecaller is another app for iPhone or Android that can stop unwanted callers. Identify and block spammers, search for unknown numbers, call friends and much more! With a community-based spam list from over 250 million users, Truecaller is the only phone app you’ll ever need.
AT&T: AT&T offers a few different options for blocking numbers from calling or texting you. The main option is the AT&T Call Protect app that can be downloaded from the App Store (for iPhone) or the Google Play Store (for Android). However, AT&T Call Protect only lets you block numbers for up to 30 days, although it does let you block unlimited numbers. If you want to keep blocking those numbers after 30 days, you have to take action in the app to renew the block on those numbers. AT&T Call Protect also blocks spam calls and robocalls automatically.
AT&T also has something called AT&T Smart Limits that lets you block calls and texts for up to 30 numbers, but it can't block unknown numbers or anonymous callers. The service also costs $4.99 per month.
Sprint: Sprint allows you to block numbers by logging into your Sprint account online. Once you log in to your Sprint account, select My Preferences, then Limits and Permissions, then Block Voice, then enter the numbers you want to block. Sprint will not let you block unknown numbers.
T-Mobile: T-Mobile does not have any great way to block numbers, and their website support suggests using methods outlined in this guide, such as blocking the number on your device, or using a third-party app.
Verizon: Verizon only allows you to block up to five numbers on your Verizon account. The block on these numbers also only lasts for 90 days. To do this, log in to your Verizon Wireless account online, then navigate to My Account, then Manage Verizon Family Safeguards & Controls, then Call & Message Blocking Feature, then click Add Now.
"Do Not Call" Registry
If your offender is a telemarketer, stop them in their tracks by registering with the National Do Not Call Registry. It is illegal for telemarketers to call you after you have been added to this list. Allow 31 days for your registration to take effect, and if the calls still don’t stop, file a complaint.
How to block a number on iPhone:
Open the Phone app
Identify the number that you want to block and then tap the 'i' in the little circle beside it
At the bottom of the screen that appears, tap Block This Caller
Blocking a number on iPhone will stop the number from sending you text messages, FaceTime calls, and regular calls.
You can also block numbers on iOS by finding the contact in your Contacts app.
Identify the number you want to block, then tap Block/Report Spam
Then tap Block
For Android Lollipop
Open the Phone app
Select Call Settings
Select Call Rejection
Select Auto Reject List
Enter or find the number you want to block and select it
How to block a number on Windows:
Tap Call+SMS Filter
Turn on Block Calls
Navigate to the Phone app
Tap and hold your finger on the number you want to block
How to block a number on Samsung phones:
Open the Phone app
Open the Log
Tap on a number
Tap Block settings
Now select the number you want to block from calling or texting you
How to block a number on HTC phones:
Open the Phone app
Tap on Call History
Tap on the number you want to block
Then tap Block Contact or Block Caller
How to block a number on LG phones:
Open the Phone app
Tap Call Reject
Tap Reject Calls From
Then enter the number you want to block
You’ve tried politely and not-so-politely to tell the caller that their calls are not wanted, but to no avail. Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. Try tricking your caller into believing that either you have blocked their number or that your line has been disconnected. Have a friend with a mature sounding voice record a new outgoing voicemail message for you. Try something to the effect of “Message W26: The number you are trying to reach has been disconnected. If you believe this message is in error, please hang up and try your call again later.”
Be sure to leave plenty of empty space after the recording so the caller will hang up before the voicemail “beeps.” If your message is convincing, chances are that after a couple tries the caller will give up.
Forward Your Calls
It’s not a perfect solution, but if you can tolerate not getting incoming calls for a couple days, try forwarding all your calls to a different number. Send calls to a string of digits like “555″ so the caller will get an error message, or even send your calls to the Pizza Hut in Nowhere, Alaska. They might get the hint.
Change Your Number
Please note: this method is a last ditch method, but the steps above should allow you to block a number without having to change your number. The third-party apps listed above even let you block an unknown or anonymous number, so you should not have to resort to changing your number.
If all else fails, it may be time to face the music. If the caller doesn't know your number, they can’t call you. Give your wireless carrier a call, explain the situation, and ask them for a new number. There’s a chance they may even take pity on you and wave the charges to change your number.
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