How to Block Incoming Calls on the House Phone

Updated March 21, 2017

There are various carrier services you can use to block incoming calls on your house phone, from blocking all anonymous calls to blocking just a selected list of phone numbers. In addition, you can purchase an external device that gives you the power to customise your call-blocking. The best way to find out what blocking services your telephone carrier offers is to contact them. There is typically a monthly charge for such services, and a one-time fee for external devices.

Block a set number of calls with 60. For some North American telephone carriers, such as AT&T, you can use the code 60 to screen calls. After pressing this code on your phone's keypad, a series of prompts guides you through its features, including how to to set up a list of phone numbers that you don't want ringing through to your house phone. Instead, these callers will hear a recording that you aren't accepting the call. If an incoming call is blocked, you can press 60 after the call to add it to your blocked list. To unblock, the code is either 3 or 80, depending on the region. There is typically a monthly service for this service. Contact your telephone carrier to inquire if it offers this service.

Set up anonymous call rejection with 77. Various North American phone companies, such as AT&T, offer this code to their customers. By pressing this code on your house phone, you set up anonymous call rejection, a service that rejects all incoming blocked calls. When a person whose number is blocked calls, a recording informs him you do not accept blocked calls, and to unblock his number if he wishes the call to ring through. At any time, you can press 87 to deactivate this service. Typically, there is a monthly charge for anonymous call rejection. Contact your telephone carrier to inquire if it offers this service.

Order a blocking service. Some telephone carriers offer "Privacy Manager," a service that works similarly to anonymous call rejection. But instead of letting incoming callers unblock their numbers to ring through, it also requests the caller to press a code or record her name at the prompt. After the caller completes these actions, your house phone rings and prompts you to accept or reject the call, let it roll over to voice mail, or inform the caller through a recording that you wish the telemarketer to add your number to the Do Not Call Registry. There is typically a monthly charge for this service. Contact your telephone carrier and inquire if it offers this service.

Purchase a call-screening device. There are products that you use externally with your house phone to block incoming calls. For example, the Caller ID Manager lets you customise what types of incoming calls you wish to block--anonymous calls, or a list of phone numbers--or you can create a list of numbers allowed to ring through.

Sign up with the Do Not Call Registry. This database, managed by the Federal Trade Commission, lets you add your phone number to a Do Not Call Registry that prohibits most telemarketers from calling your phone number. You can register your phone number at


Probably the simplest way to block all incoming calls is to simply turn the ringer off on your house phone.

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About the Author

In 1997 Harlequin published Colleen Collins' first novel, followed by many more by Harlequin and Dorchester. Her articles and writing have appeared in "P.I. Magazine," "Pursuit Magazine" and "Cosmopolitan." She earned a B.A. in theater arts from University of California, Santa Barbara and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America.