Blocking numbers on a cell phone may reduce the number of unwanted text messages and annoying calls. Reducing unwanted calls and text messages can assist in lowering the phone bill. Additionally, blocking numbers may help protect people from “smishing” attacks. Although not all annoying phone calls can be blocked, the amount received can be reduced.
Cannot Be Blocked
Numerous local phone companies provide caller identification (caller ID) services. Some situations warrant placing a block on these caller ID services. For instance, a person may not want to call a business or individual to obtain his or her name and phone number to avoid possible identity theft scams.
However, caller ID blocks cannot be placed on calls that are being sent to emergency services which utilize ANI technology. Nor can blocks be used when dialing 700, 800, or 900 prefixed numbers.
How to Block Caller ID
Different methods may be used for caller ID blocking. Numerous third-party software applications are available. However, they may charge fees for blocking services. The block may be placed on a full basis for all calls, or on an individual call basis. Sometimes a code simply needs to be entered before placing a call.
Blocking Incoming Calls
Although not all unwanted calls and texts may be blocked, there are steps a person can take to reduce the amount received. The following steps that can be taken:
- Place cell phone number on National Do Not Call list (visit www.donotcall.gov or call 1-888-382-1222) – Note that this does not stop calls from political organizations, charities, telephone surveyors (as long as they are not selling anything), companies you have an existing business relationship with, and companies that have been given a written permission for contact by cell phone.
- Activate spam filters built into cell phone – visit providers’ Web site and configure account settings; change the default email address if it uses the cell phone number.
- Protect the cell phone number – do not display it in public places such as chat rooms, forums, membership directories; give number out sparingly.
- Report mobile phone spam and scams- immediately report any spam or phone scam to the Federal Communications Commission (visit www.fcc.gov/cgb/complaints.html or call 1-888-225-5322); report spam texting to the mobile service carrier and have the text charges removed and the number
“Caller ID and Call Blocking – Wireless from AT&T.” Cell Phones and Cell Phone Plans – Wireless from AT&T . N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2010. http://www.wireless.att.com/learn/basics/choosing-features-services/caller-id.jsp.
“How to Put an End to Unwanted or Harassing Phone Calls | Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.” Privacy Rights Clearinghouse | Empowering Consumers. Protecting Privacy.. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec. 2010. http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs3-hrs2.htm.
“National Do Not Call Registry.” National Do Not Call Registry. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. https://www.donotcall.gov/.