How To Block A Number
Whether it’s a persistent telemarketer or an annoying ex, knowing how to block a number has become an essential phone skill. What makes it especially pertinent now, of course, is that those undesirable phone numbers can get to you at any place and time with the advent of cell phones. Unfortunately, blocking a specific phone number by asking your phone service provider is almost always undoable. There are, however, certain methods which can effectively end unwanted calls. Read on to learn how to choose and execute the right one.
You will need:
- Access to the "Do Not Call Registry"
- Smartphone Apps
- The best way to block numbers of telemarketers is through the national Do Not Call Registry. Operated by a governmental regulatory agency called the Federal Trade Commission, the Do Not Call Registry was enacted almost 10 years ago to help protect consumers from harassment by telemarketers. Though some of the shadier telemarketing companies have found workarounds, putting your number on the Do Not Call Registry blocks the vast majority of telemarketing numbers. Registering is as easy as going to the FTC’s website.
- You can use some smartphone apps or settings on some regular cell phones to block numbers individually. If you own a smartphone and know the people that are making the unwanted calls, blocking the number is often as easy as downloading an app. There are number blocking apps for the iPhone and Blackberry platforms available, respectively called iBlackList and Efficient Call Blocker. For those who don’t own a smartphone, all hope is not necessarily lost. In the “call settings” section of certain phones manufactured by Samsung and Sony, you can enter individual numbers to block.
- Blocking numbers from unknown personal phones is more difficult. If an unknown person – not a business or person you know – is responsible for the unwanted phone calls, blocking the number might require contact with your service provider. If the calls happen unreasonably often or make you especially uncomfortable, it might be worth setting a “trap” in which your phone company will trace the call and turn over the information to police. From there, they can warn the harassing caller to stop. Traps are typically set for a short period of time, but on the bright side, they’re free to the customer.
- If worse comes to worst, it might be time to take legal action. In some exceptional cases, it’s simply not enough to block a number. Persistent, harassing, and even threatening callers can sometimes find ways around whichever of the above number blocking methods you choose. If this sounds like your situation, directly contacting the police department is probably your best option. Do note, however, that this will not work with entities such as debt collection agencies. No matter how disruptive and obnoxious their calls might be, they do not constitute harassment in a legal sense.