How To Block Unwanted Calls

call blocking and call labeling. Which type of call-blocking or call-labeling technology you use will depend on the phone — whether it’s a cell phone, a home phone that makes calls over the internet (VoIP), or a traditional landline. Scammers can use the internet to make calls from all over the earth. They don ’ thyroxine care if you ’ re on the National Do not Call Registry. That ’ south why your best defense mechanism against unwanted calls is. Which type of call-blocking or call-labeling technology you use will depend on the earphone — whether it ’ s a cell call, a home earphone that makes calls over the internet ( VoIP ), or a traditional land line .

Consumer Alert: Mobile carriers are shutting down their 3G networks. If you have an older cell phone, you may not be able to call or text. The FCC has advice about what to do .

What Are Call Blocking and Call Labeling?

When we talk about call obstruct, it means technologies or devices that can stop a draw of the unwanted calls you get — like scam calls and illegal robocalls — before they reach you. Cell phones, home phones that make calls over the internet ( VoIP ), and landlines each have their own call-blocking options. good know that call-blocking services could block some legalize calls .
Some companies besides offer call pronounce. Call-labeling services show categories like “ spam ” or “ scam likely ” on your phone ’ sulfur screen for incoming calls. then you can decide whether to answer the cry.

Block Calls on a Cell Phone

Watch this video on how to stop calls on your cell phone

Download a call-blocking app

One of the best ways to block unwanted calls on a cell telephone is to download a call-blocking app. A call-blocking app acts like a filter. The company behind the app uses call data or reports from users, the FTC, and other sources to predict which calls are illegal or probable victimize. The app then intercepts those calls before they reach you. Some apps are exempt, but others you have to pay for .
To get a call-blocking app

  • Go to the online app store for your phone’s operating system (iOS (Apple), Android, etc.) and look at ratings for different apps.
  • Look online for expert reviews on call-blocking apps.
  • Check out apps listed at, a website for the U.S. wireless communications industry. The site lists apps specific to Android, BlackBerry, iOS (Apple), or Windows

Apps typically let you choose how to respond to calls flagged as scams. Calls might

  • be stopped
  • ring silently
  • go straight to voicemail

Apps besides can let you do things like

  • block calls based on the geographic location or area code of the incoming call
  • let you create lists of numbers to block, or lists of numbers to let through
  • send a prewritten text message to the caller
  • report it to the FTC, which you can do at, or, if you lost money to the scammer, at

Some apps access your contacts list, so know whether that ’ s authoritative to you. The app ’ second privacy policy should explain how it gets and uses your information .

Check the built-in features of your phone

many cell phones come with settings that let you block calls from specific numbers, though there might be a limit to how many numbers you can block. Cell phones besides typically have features like Do not Disturb, where you can set hours during which calls will go straight to voicemail .

See what services your phone provider offers

Check your phone supplier ’ s web site or call customer service to find out what call-blocking or call-labeling services it offers or recommends. Some services are absolve, but others might charge you a fee .
For links to company-specific information about blocking calls, go to the FCC ’ s Call Blocking Resources .

Block Calls on a Home Phone That Uses the Internet (VoIP)

First find out if your phone uses the internet (VoIP)

It ’ randomness possible you have VoIP serve on your home call and don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate know it. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, and it plainly means that your telephone makes calls over the internet, not over call lines. If you ’ ra not sure what you have, check with your phone supplier. But if you get your earphone military service through a cable ship’s company, or use a phone/internet/cable pile, you credibly have VoIP serve. If you find out you don ’ t have internet-based telephone service, skip down to the advice on blocking calls on a traditional land line .

Read expert reviews on internet-based call-blocking services

Internet-based call-blocking services can block unwanted calls on phones that use the internet. Your earphone provider might be able to recommend a specific service. But you besides can search on-line for expert reviews. Some services are dislodge and some charge you each month .
Some internet-based services and phone apps require all calls to be routed through their service, where they are instantaneously analyzed. You may have choices about how unwanted calls are handled. For exemplar, unwanted calls might

  • be stopped
  • ring silently
  • go straight to a separate voicemail
  • go to a spam folder

See what your phone provider offers

Check your telephone provider ’ s web site or call customer serve to find out what your options are or if there ’ s a service it recommends. Some phone providers offer these services for loose, but some charge a fee .
For links to company-specific information about blocking calls, go to the FCC ’ s Call Blocking Resources .

Block Calls on a Traditional Landline

Watch this video on how to stop calls on your home phone

Install a call blocking-device

If your home telephone is a traditional land line that doesn ’ triiodothyronine use the internet ( VoIP ), you can buy and install a call-blocking device. Call-blocking devices are typically little boxes you attach to your telephone .
Some devices use databases of known victimize numbers but let you add numbers you want blocked. other devices rely on you to create and update your own list of numbers to block .
Some use lists to

  • stop unwanted calls
  • divert calls to voicemail
  • show a blinking light when an unwanted call comes in
  • connect callers to a recording with options so a real caller can still get through

Some devices besides use lists of approve numbers. That helps you limit which calls catch through, or lets you set up “ do not disturb ” hours during which calls go uncoiled to voicemail. other devices try to weed out robocalls by playing a prerecord message prompting callers to press a phone number to continue the call .

See what services your phone provider offers

Some services are free, but some charge a fee .
For links to company-specific information about blocking calls, go to the FCC ’ s Call Blocking Resources .

What About the National Do Not Call Registry?

The National Do not Call Registry is designed to stop sales calls from real companies that follow the law. The Registry is a list that tells telemarketers what numbers not to call. The FTC does not and can not block calls. Scammers don ’ triiodothyronine care if you ’ re on the Registry .
even though the Registry can ’ t stop all of the unwanted calls you ’ re getting, being on the Registry could reduce the number of calls you get and make it easier for you to spot illegal calls. If a caller is ignoring the Registry, there ’ s a effective prospect it ’ s a scam. even if it ’ s not a scam, you don ’ thymine want to do clientele with or give your information to person calling you illegally .

What About Robocalls?

If you answer the earphone and hear a read message alternatively of a know person, it ‘s a robocall. Robocalls trying to sell you something are illegal unless the party trying to sell you something got your written license, directly from you, to call you that way. If person is already breaking the law by robocalling you without license, there ’ s a good chance it ’ s a scam. At the very least, it ’ s a company you don ’ metric ton want to do commercial enterprise with .
Call block can help stop robocalls from scammers. But some robocalls might distillery get through. If you get an illegal robocall, hang up. Don ’ t crusade a number, which could lead to more robocalls. then report it to the FTC. Some robocalls are legal and don ’ t require your permission, like strictly informational messages, political calls, or calls from charities. But if they try to besides sell you something on the call, it becomes an illegal robocall .
Learn more at .

Calls From Fake Numbers — or “Spoofing”

Call blocking technology can sometimes stop calls from scammers who can make fudge names or numbers show up on your caller ID. Scammers frequently use these “ spoofed ” names and numbers in government impersonator scam to make you think it ’ s the IRS or law enforcement calling. then they try to convince you to wire money or pay them with endow cards. Learn more about common earphone scams .
In something known as neighbor spoof, scammers display a number with your area code. They often match the first six digits of your phone numeral, thinking that you ’ ll be more probably to answer the call. Often the fudge mention and number belong to a real person who has no estimate their information is being misused .

Report Unwanted Calls

If you didn ’ metric ton lose money and good want to report a predict, you can use the streamlined report form at

If you ’ ve lost money to a earphone victimize or have information about the company or swindler who called you, report it at .
Report the number that received the call, the phone number that appears on your caller ID — even if you think it might be forge — and any number you ’ re told to call back. besides report the exact date and fourth dimension of the call, if you ’ re able to. The FTC analyzes charge data and trends to identify illegal callers based on calling patterns. We besides use extra information you report, like any names or numbers you ’ re told to call back, to track down scammers .
We take the illegal callers ’ phone numbers you report and release them to the public each business day. This helps earphone companies and other partners that are working on call-blocking and call-labeling solutions. Your reports besides help law enforcement identify the people behind illegal calls .

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