What to do, and what not to do? Do not call the number back, and do not give out any of your personal information. Sometimes, merely calling a number back will verify that you are accessible and expose you to more risk. Some phone companies have blocked phone number listings you can use. Ask them to add the number that called you to your account (or use the automated service to do it yourself). Here are some common providers that offer this service:
Block Phone Number Services by Provider
- Time Warner Digital phone lets you block a list of up to 30 numbers via your online “My Services” control panel under the “Voice Zone.”
- AT&T has a Privacy Manager you can use to screen calls and prevent unsolicited callers from getting through (more details below).
- AT&T Wireless: For a nominal monthly fee, you can add the wireless smart limits service to your account which allows you to not only control access to the wireless numbers under your account (this protection is intended for parents monitoring their children’s phone usage, but it also allows for blocking of up to 16 phone numbers you specify).
- Verizon Wireless: Login to your account and enter the number(s) you wish to block in the restrictions section of your account.
- On Apple iPhones you can block callers (click the (i) (info) icon on your recent call list, scroll to the bottom and select “block this caller“). This will prevent calls coming through from this number. You can always unblock callers if you make a mistake.
Call blocking should prevent the unsolicited phone call from coming through in the first place. However, if you are unable to use Caller ID blocking, we recommend you simply ignore the phone calls. Some cell phones may allow you to assign a silent ring to a particular set of numbers. Next, make sure you report the call using the steps below. This will help us and respective government agencies take action against the caller and help prevent them from making more fraudulent calls in the future.
Report The Call
Take detailed notes on the call you received, including phone number, caller ID, time and nature of the call. Then, report the call to us. Next (or if you’ve already done that), visit the FCC website and report it there as well. You’ll be asked (via an online form) how you received the call (home, work or cell phone), whether or not the caller left a message, details regarding the nature of the voice mail, how many times the call has occurred and when, and more.
Search For Phone Number
Use our search box below to see if we’ve created a report on a particular phone number:
Phone Number Listing
To see all the call reports we’ve written up, visit our unsolicited calls category.
Taking Preventative Measures
After reporting your call using the steps mentioned above, register your phone number with the government’s Do Not Call List. Note that phishing calls are not affected by the government’s Do Not Call List, as they are not legitimate telemarketing calls to begin with, and often originate from a location outside the United States.
Do all this and you’ll be on the way to helping us and the millions of others suffering hours and days of wasted time answering and being harassed by annoying, threatening, and malicious phone calls. Here’s to one day living in a world where our phone rings only when we want it to!
Case Study: AT&T Privacy Manager (Video)
The AT&T Privacy Manager is one of the most comprehensive unsolicited call prevention tools we’ve come across. It can stop calls it identifies as being unsolicited before your phone even rings. More details on their website.
Receiving Unsolicited Calls?
Or have a tool you like that works to prevent annoying spam/scam calls from getting through? What’s the worst unsolicited or telemarketing call you’ve ever received?