There are always times when you may get annoyed or irritated at the sound of your phone’s ring as it may come from an unknown person. In other words, anonymous calls can burn up the minutes available in a cell phone plan, resulting in losing calling time and wasted money. More seriously, the unknown calls may even have your identity stolen which is a devastating and time-consuming misfortune to experience. In general, many anonymous callers are that way for a reason: they’re up to anything bad. As both individuals and organizations desire to safeguard their privacy and avoid unwanted calls, knowing how to block anonymous phone numbers has become vital information. If you need to block a phone number but aren’t sure how to keep reading to see if the strategies and processes outlined in this guide will work for you.
What are Private, Unknown, or Anonymous Calls?
Private, unknown, or anonymous calls are phone calls where the caller intentionally hides their identity by blocking or withholding their phone number. These calls can be made for various reasons, ranging from personal privacy concerns to more malicious intentions.
The network carrier was not able to get identifying information from the originating number at the time that the call was made. This may be due to restrictions preventing the carrier from displaying the identifying information, or a network hitch that prevented the carrier from obtaining the identifying information. Unknown calls may also come from legitimate businesses, such as call centers or international businesses, that may show up as unknown numbers when calling people.
The caller has chosen to hide from the recipient intentionally. Anyone has the capability to call from a private number, but some businesses, such as call centers engaged in telemarketing, may choose to call from private numbers to increase the chances of people answering the calls. Bill or collections agencies may also call from private numbers, possibly for intimidation purposes. It is also possible for call centers that are not located in your area to look as though they are local when you get a call from them, although this is not the same thing as a private call.
These calls are quite intentional on the part of the callers. They are typically made using internet-based calling services, Voice over IP (VoIP) private numbers, or other anonymization techniques. With anonymous calling, there is less chance that there is a hitch in the system resulting in the carrier not obtaining identifying information. However, anonymous calls can be used by numerous solicitations and spam calls to catch you off-guard. It is important to be cautious when answering unidentified calls, especially when receiving calls from private or unknown numbers from individuals or businesses that you do not recognize.
Are Private, Unknown, or Anonymous Calls Dangerous?
Unknown, private, and anonymous calls can be annoying, but they are not necessarily dangerous. The level of danger or harm depends on the intent of the caller. However, it is important to be cautious when answering unidentified calls, especially when receiving calls from private or unknown numbers from individuals or businesses that you do not recognize.
Some callers may use private calls to protect their privacy. While these calls are generally safe, it’s still important to be aware of potential risks.
Harassment or Threats
Some callers may use anonymous calls for malicious activities such as stalking, making prank calls, or issuing threats. If you receive such calls, it’s important to report them to the appropriate authorities and consider using call-blocking features or apps to minimize further contact.
Scams and Fraud
Some anonymous or unknown calls may be scams or fraud. The callers may attempt to deceive or manipulate recipients into providing personal information, financial details, or access to sensitive accounts. It’s crucial to be cautious and avoid sharing any sensitive information over the phone unless you can verify the caller’s identity and legitimacy.
How to Block Anonymous Calls on iPhone
Unwanted anonymous phone calls and messages have become a common source of aggravation and even stress for many smartphone users these days. Apple, thankfully, has capabilities that allow you to block nuisance calls and texts from the same number from reaching your phone.
Option 1. Silence Unknown Callers
On your iPhone running iOS 13, follow these steps to block unsolicited anonymous calls:
- Go to the Phone section of your iPhone’s Settings app.
- Go to CALL SILENCING AND BLOCKED CONTACTS and scroll down.
- Select Silence Unknown Callers from the drop-down menu.
Option 2. Silence Junk Callers
Apple added a new function called Silence Junk Callers to iOS 14 that exploits your carrier’s spam-spotting capabilities. However, it is not available on all carriers. Here’s how to check whether it’s turned on or not:
- Go to the Settings app on your iPhone.
- From the drop-down option, choose Phone.
- Scroll down to the Calls section and select Call Blocking & Identification.
- If it’s accessible, make sure that Silence Junk Callers is enabled.
Option 3. Block individual callers
When you receive an unknown call, you can also block this individual phone number. Here is the operation:
- Using your iPhone, open the Phone app.
- Tap Recents at the bottom of the page.
- Then, next to the unknown phone number, tap the Information icon, which looks like an I within a circle.
- On the next screen, scroll down to Block This Caller.
- Finally, press the Block Contact button.
With these settings enabled, iPhone will use Siri’s intelligence to allow calls from numbers found in the Contacts, Mail, and Messages apps on your device to ring your phone — in other words, calls from people you’ve interacted with in the past will still ring your phone, even if you don’t have their number saved. All other calls will be forwarded to your voicemail.
How to Block Anonymous Calls on Android
Unwanted or anonymous calls are one of the drawbacks of carrying a phone in your pocket all the time. Sure, you could just ignore the call, but that’s still bothersome. On Android, you may avoid this by blocking unknown numbers.
While the Android operating system is used on a wide range of devices, blocking anonymous calls on an Android phone is a fairly standard procedure. Go to Call Settings, then Call Rejection, and finally Auto Reject List in the Phone app. After that, you’ll be given a search box where you can block a phone number or a contact name. You may also do this from the call log by selecting the number to block, then click the upper right menu button, then selecting Add to Reject List.
How to Block Anonymous Calls on Landline
Anonymous phone calls can be blocked in various ways for landline users. To help clients deal with nuisance calls, phone companies now offer services such as call blocking, anonymous call rejection, and priority ringing.
Calling your phone provider or looking at their website is the quickest approach to finding out what services they provide. For example, AT&T’s website offers various options for blocking unsolicited calls. Call blocking (telephone code *60) is one of the most straightforward services; users simply enter the numbers they want to be blocked, and the phone does not ring when those numbers call. Callers are informed that their call has been blocked with a message.
Other options include anonymous call blocking, which blocks any incoming unknown number, personalized ring, which uses a unique ring to identify preferred callers, and Privacy Manager, which asks unknown callers to identify themselves before the phone rings, allowing you to decide whether or not to answer. Many phone companies offer similar services, sometimes under slightly different names, and they usually have a monthly subscription.
More specifically, for AT&T’s local home phone service, Anonymous Call Rejection (*77) intercepts calls from users who have activated a blocking feature that prevents their name or phone number from being revealed to the people they call. When Anonymous Call Rejection is enabled, callers receive a message instructing them to hang up, unblock their phone number’s delivery, and call again. Unless the caller removes the barrier, your phone will not ring.