Unwanted incoming calls are a nuisance with any phone, but have the added disadvantage of being costly when your cell phone company bills you by the minute. These tips will help you prevent unwanted calls.
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Prevent Telemarketing Calls
With more people switching to using their cell phones as their primary phone number, it has become easier than ever for your phone number to make its way onto the call lists of telemarketers. You can block these calls by registering your number with the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call list at www.donotcall.gov. Registrations need only be made once and will not expire. Telemarketers are required to update their lists by removing new numbers from the Do Not Call list, but it may take up to a month before the companies hassling you do so; after this month has passed, complaints can be filed with the Federal Communications Commission at esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm.
Block Calls with Your Handset
Many mobile phones have the capability to block unwanted calls directly within their settings. Typically, such calls are either dropped entirely or are automatically routed to voicemail. You may also have the option of setting individual numbers to neither ring nor vibrate your phone, in which case you'll still receive the call, but since your phone will not alert you, there is no danger of it interrupting you. Check your phone's manual for details about whether your phone has this capability; alternately, the discussions at Howard Forums are an excellent resource for every make and model of cell phone.
Contact Your Cell Provider
Some companies offer call blocking as a centralised network service. Usually, there will be options either to create a list of blocked numbers or to prevent all calls except those from a list of preapproved numbers. This option may not be as attractive as the others, as your provider may charge a monthly fee for this service, or it may make updating your lists more difficult. However, a distinction is made for calls that are deemed to be harassment or stalking; such calls should be blocked by your carrier at no charge.
Use an Intermediary Service
Finally, another option is to use a secondary incoming call number, such as the one provided by Google Voice. Intermediary services such as this one give you a new number and allow you to directly control the circumstances under which each contact's calls are forwarded to your phone. For example, you can set up Google Voice so that only your known contacts call your cell phone, and only at particular hours; other calls may go to your home phone, or straight to voicemail.
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