If you own a phone, you've likely received frequent unsolicited calls from scammers and telemarketers. These calls can be incredibly annoying, but blocking numbers on your landline phone can be a helpful step towards preventing further calls.
Doing so is relatively easy, and there are several ways to go about it. Here's how to silence unwanted calls for good:
Both landline and mobile phone users can control various parts of their phone service using special asterisk and number combinations, or "star codes." Among these codes are a few that can help you stop unwanted callers from becoming a nuisance.
For instance, star code *77 can completely block anonymous calls from coming through. This works against private callers but is ineffective against callers whose numbers are publicly visible.
To block specific numbers from calling your landline phone, you can use the built-in *60 call blocking star code by following the steps below:
The *60 code is a great way to stop specific callers from bothering you at home, but the system will only allow you to block 12 numbers in total.
If you want to stop blocking the numbers you have specified, then you can do so by using the *80 code, which disables the call block feature (more on this below).
If you're having trouble keeping spam callers from bothering you, or the star code above is too limited to provide the kind of protection your number needs, the products below just might do the trick:
This simple software service guards your phone number from known robocallers by checking each incoming caller's number against a regularly updated database.
Nomorobo's database features both a blocklist and an allowlist which you can actively contribute to if you notice either malicious callers making it through or good callers getting blocked.
On landlines, Nomorobo leverages a "simultaneous ring" feature that allows it to detect robocallers before you answer the phone. You simply wait for the phone to ring more than once, and if it does, the call is legitimate. Otherwise, the call has been blocked.
The V5000 sold by CPR allows you to block 5,000 known robocall numbers the minute it's installed. It accomplishes this by connecting to your phone and service line, allowing it to block calls before they even reach the phone.
You can add numbers to the V5000 by pressing the red "block now" button when an unwanted caller makes it through, and numbers can be entered manually as well. With a storage capacity of up to 1500 numbers, it's possible to block out most unwanted callers with relative ease.
The V5000 can block private callers, unknown status callers, international calls, and more. Even area codes can be blocked as needed.
As mentioned earlier, you can dial *80 to turn off call blocking. However, the exact steps may be slightly different depending on your service provider.
Here are a few variations on both the call block activation and deactivation processes for common providers:
Verizon advises landline users to dial 1180 on a rotary or pulse-dialed phone to deactivate call blocking. To activate the feature on such devices, you should dial 1160.
AT&T landline users may need to press 3 after dialing the star code to activate (or deactivate) the feature. Otherwise, the steps are the same as those used by most other carriers.
Spectrum phone users can block up to 30 numbers with the standard star code, but the service feature needs to be activated online first. This service also incorporates a special Nomorobo successor by default to block robocalls.
Cox allows for up to 31 numbers to be added to a block list by using the standard star code.
CenturyLink provides an update center from which call blocking features can be configured. To access it, users should dial *78 or call 888-(your area code)-8052.
For Frontier Landline users, up to 12 numbers can be blocked in total; however, some areas may only be able to block six.
Robocalls are an unfortunate part of owning a phone, but by following these simple steps, you can greatly reduce or even eliminate unwanted calls.