How to block unwanted incoming phone numbers

Updated April 17, 2017

The ability to block unwanted incoming phone calls can help manage your telephone service costs and your time. When the number of nuisance calls is reduced, you no longer have to answer these unwanted incoming calls. Telephone service providers have recognised the need for a "call block" feature and many users are taking advantage of the service to limit those persistent, undesirable phone calls.

Call you telephone service provider and request the "call block" feature. If you have a wired or business telephone, dial *60 and follow the prompts to block up to six numbers on your telephone. Incoming calls labelled "out of area" or "unknown" cannot be blocked.

With the wireless or cellular telephone, the call block feature may be automatically programmed into you cell phone. If not, call your cellular service provider and request a plan that includes the call block feature, and you may be able to block unwanted incoming calls on a per-number basis.

Register with the National Do Not Call Registry by going to the website listed in the Resources section of this article. An individual can register a phone number, verify the registration of that number or file a complaint at this website. A home phone number or a cell phone number can be used.

If you have informed a caller that you do not want him or her to call your phone and the individual persists, register that phone number with this national registry. A violation of the laws associated with the national registry could result in fines being placed on the unwanted caller.

Privatise your number to eliminate unwanted callers. Wired telephone service providers are able to privatise your phone number so that only callers who wish to reveal their name and number can call you. Therefore, you will only receive calls from those that allow their phone number to be revealed. This is called a "universal call block."

Call your provider to check the cost of adding a universal call block feature to your home or business telephone. Many phone service providers will label this feature with different terminology, but the result is the same. Using a privatisation feature lowers the number of phone calls that you will need to block because all numbers received are revealed.

This is different from "unlisting" your phone number. To unlist a number merely removes it from the phone directory and directory assistance and only involves your number, while privatisation involves how other numbers access your phone line.


If you receive international phone calls, recognise that in some cases those numbers do not include the caller's name and phone number. Therefore, if you receive international business calls, a universal "call block" feature could inhibit these international callers from reaching you.

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About the Author

Shelley Smith began her writing career in 1996, writing captions for ads in print advertising media. She has experience in advertising, finance, trading and real estate and is a human-resources consultant. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics and English from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a Master of Business Administration with honors from Keller Graduate Management School.