How to block calls from private numbers on your smartphone

Nuisance calls are on the rise, but there are ways to stop them getting through.

unknown number

There are few things more annoying than nuisance phone calls from private numbers. It is bad enough when a caller that you know interrupts you when you’re having a meal, but when it is a cold caller from a call centre, it can be infuriating.

Luckily, most smartphones these days come with an inbuilt feature that can allow you to block incoming calls and messages from hidden numbers, but not everyone knows how to do it.

Android
The steps you need to take will vary a little depending on your phone manufacturer but they are all roughly the same once you open the phone app.

From the phone app tap More > Call Settings > Call Rejection.

Next, tap ‘Auto reject list’ and then toggle the ‘Unknown’ option to the on position and all calls from unknown numbers will be blocked.

If your smartphone doesn’t allow you to block unknown numbers, you can also download call blocking apps such as Extreme Call Blocker.

iPhone
The iPhone process is a little different to Android.

Go into Settings > Do Not Disturb.

Then turn ‘Do Not Disturb on Manual’ and select to only allow calls from your contact list. You can also block repeated calls from the same number getting through within a three-minute period.

If you would like to block only the spam callers without blocking potential hidden numbers that may come from someone you do know, try the TrapCall app.

TrapCall’s spam call blocking will automatically block more than 100,000 known spam numbers from your phone.

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    COMMENTS

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    Miranda
    17th Aug 2017
    12:53pm
    I have an iphone with Telstra. I can block spam callers but they can still leave a voicemail. Any ideas on how to prevent this?
    Alky
    17th Aug 2017
    1:33pm
    Miranda, I don't know about voicemail, but you can block unknown numbers texting you. I use Android so it won't be exactly the same, but if you go into messages and select settings, there will be an option to block unknown numbers. I know it's not what you asked for, but it may help someone else
    Zulu
    17th Aug 2017
    1:40pm
    This is a bit of a double edged sword as, owing to the number of unwanted calls being received by people, a number of them (like me) now have a silent landline telephone number. When I call out on this line to a mobile it therefore shows as an unknown number and, obviously, if there is a block on the mobile I am calling my call, which will be a genuine (friend) call, will not go through. Another reason, I suppose, to get rid of landline phones!!
    Rosret
    17th Aug 2017
    2:22pm
    Speaking of unwanted calls/emails. Everybody be very careful of online electricity bills at the moment. There are scams running for a couple of companies and the bills look just like the real deal. The only way to tell is by the URL (address) at the top and its so easy not to notice.
    Its so common now it is almost at the point of demanding paper bills be re introduced.
    Kiri
    17th Aug 2017
    2:59pm
    I just followed the above instructions to block 'unknown' calls to my mobile, but now I suppose that means any legitimate caller who isn't in my contacts list gets blocked too.
    chris
    17th Aug 2017
    3:51pm
    wish this could be done on land line phones as well
    Blossom
    18th Aug 2017
    7:35pm
    Are you on the "Do not call" Register?? I believe you have to re-register, not sure how many years apart.
    That way you should only get Charity and Political Phone calls.
    Political ones seem to be recordings
    If you get a private number on a basic mobile phone just hand up on it Only problem I have is our medical centre, because of their extensions come up as no or private number.
    fearlessfly
    17th Aug 2017
    4:16pm
    For Android, this surely depends on what version you have on your phone, for example, in the Phone Dialler App for Android 6.0.1 on my Motorola Moto G (3) phone, there is NO "More, Call Settings, Call Rejection" option. In fact, in spite of endless googling I have still not found out how to do it. Kind of blisses me off.
    Beeman
    17th Aug 2017
    5:42pm
    I do not answer calls from blocked numbers. I didn't even when we had a landline as we had a number display.
    I regard blocked numbers in the same light as anonymous snail mail.
    Ella
    17th Aug 2017
    8:02pm
    Theses instructions didn't apply to my android. I can only tap auto reject list for individual calls already received.
    Felix Bose
    18th Nov 2017
    7:17pm
    Telstra actually gives step-by-step instructions as to how TO DISGUISE A PHONE NUMBER! This is used by many hoax and nuisance callers:

    https://www.google.com.au/search?q=Telstra+how+to+block+caller+number&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b&gfe_rd=cr&dcr=0&ei=S-wPWqP5HOXc8weJuZ7oBQ


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