A Guide On How To Block Spam Calls on Landline Phones
While the ubiquity of smartphones has diminished the role of landlines, more than 1/3 of American households still rely on them for various reasons.
Unfortunately, this means that they remain susceptible to the scourge of unwanted spam calls. From annoying telemarketers to malicious scammers, these disruptive calls invade our privacy, waste our time, and can even lead to financial loss.
But fear not! There are effective ways to block these pesky intrusions and restore peace to your landline experience.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods, tools, and techniques to help you block spam calls on your landline, shielding you from the barrage of unwanted solicitations and potential scams. We will also share how effective each method when it comes to actually being able to block spam calls on landline phones.
Understand the Do Not Call Registry
The first step in blocking spam calls on your landline is to register your number with the National Do Not Call Registry.
This registry, managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), allows you to opt out of telemarketing calls.
Effectiveness: 🟢 ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️
Notes: The Do Not Call Registry does not and cannot stop spam, scam, or illegal robocalls.
Use Built-In Call Blocking Features
Many landline phone models come equipped with built-in call-blocking features to block spam and other unwanted calls. Check your phone's user manual or manufacturer's website to see if your device supports this functionality.
You can typically block specific numbers, area codes, or even anonymous callers. Be aware that some phone systems may have a limited number of spam numbers that you can block.
Effectiveness: 🟢 ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️
Notes: Built-in call blocking features are either cumbersome to implement or go to the extreme, blocking all calls - including the ones you want.
Invest in a Call-Blocking Device
There are standalone call-blocking devices available for purchase that can be attached to your landline phone.
These devices typically work by screening incoming calls and blocking numbers that have been added to their block list.
Some call blockers like CPR Call Blocker and Call Control Home also use preprogrammed blocklists and community-based lists to block known spam callers.
But imp starts with the calls you actually want instead. By checking every call that comes in, imp makes sure that the only time your phone rings is when its a call you want. Every other calls is silently handled, being sent to voicemail.
Effectiveness of imp: 🟢 🟢 🟢 🟢 🟢
Notes: imp stops 100% of unwanted landline calls.
Effectiveness of Traditional Call Blockers: 🟢 ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️
Notes: Traditional call blockers only stop ~5% of unwanted landline calls. Which means 95% of unwanted calls get through.
Utilize a Call-Blocking Service
Some landline phone service providers offer call-blocking services for their customers. Contact your provider to inquire about available options and associated costs.
These services may include blocking anonymous calls, specific area codes, or even providing a screening feature that requires callers to announce their name before the call is connected.
Effectiveness of Call Blocking Services: 🟢 ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️
Notes: Call-blocking services block most calls - including the ones you actually want.
Implement Call Screening
A simple, low-tech solution to managing spam calls is to use an answering machine or voicemail system to screen your calls. This allows you to listen to the caller's message before deciding whether to answer or ignore the call.
While not perfect, this method can help you avoid picking up unwanted calls.
Effectiveness of Call Screening: 🟢 🟢 🟢 ⚪️ ⚪️
Notes: Call screening works. But it is not efficient or enjoyable. Your phone still rings all day long and you still end up missing the calls you want.
Use Call-Blocking Apps
For landlines that use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, you can install call-blocking apps on your phone or internet router.
These apps can block known spam or specific numbers, or even allow only approved contacts. Some popular VoIP call-blocking apps include Nomorobo and RoboKiller.
Effectiveness of Call-Blocking Apps: 🟢 🟢 ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️
Notes: If you only get 1 or 2 unwanted calls a day, these call-blocking apps work fine. But your phone will still ring at least once with every call before the app can identify the caller and handle.
Block Anonymous Calls
Many spam callers use anonymous caller ID to hide their identity. Therefore, blocking anonymous calls can be an effective way to reduce the number of spam calls you receive.
Check your phone's user manual or contact your service provider for instructions on how to block spam on your landline.
Effectiveness of Call-Blocking Apps: 🟢 ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️
Notes: Only a small percentage of spam calls on landline phones are anonymous. Which means that this method won't stop many spam calls on landline phones.
Customize Your Caller ID
If your landline phone supports customizable caller ID settings, you can use this feature to help manage spam calls. For example, you can set your phone to display "Potential Spam" or "Telemarketer" for calls from specific area codes or numbers.
This will allow you to quickly identify unwanted calls and decide whether to answer or ignore them.
Effectiveness of Customized Caller ID: 🟢 ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️
Notes: Caller ID is rendered almost meaningless thanks to hacks like Caller ID spoofing. This allows spammers and scammers to fake their Caller ID info and trick you into answering.
Be Cautious with Your Phone Number
To minimize the risk of receiving spam calls, be cautious about sharing your landline phone number. Only provide your number to businesses, websites, or surveys if absolutely necessary.
If you must share your number, consider using a secondary or temporary number from a service like Google Voice.
Effectiveness of Caution: 🟢 ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️
Notes: No matter how cautious you try to be, spammers can still find your phone number. The only way this method could work is if you got a brand new phone number that you didn't share with anyone.
Report Unwanted Calls
If you continue to receive unwanted calls after trying the above methods, report the calls to the FTC at reportfraud.ftc.gov or your state's attorney general.
Providing this information can help law enforcement agencies track down and prosecute spammers, reducing the number of spam calls overall.
In summary, blocking spam calls on your landline requires a combination of strategies, including registering directly with the Do Not Call Registry
Effectiveness of Caution: 🟢 ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️ ⚪️
Notes: There are billions of unwanted landline calls made every week. Which means the FTC does not have the staffing or the capability to even put a dent into blocking spam calls on landline phones.
Learning How To Block Spam Calls on Landlines Effectively
Learning how to block spam calls on landline phones is a multifaceted approach that can greatly improve your overall communication experience.
By leveraging various strategies, tools, and services, you can safeguard your landline from the onslaught of pesky telemarketers, scammers, and unwanted callers.
Remember, vigilance and persistence are key in this ongoing battle against spam calls. Taking these steps can help protect yourself from scams and contribute to a broader effort to create a more secure and peaceful telecommunication environment.
So, take a stand against those bothersome spam calls and enjoy the tranquility of a spam-free landline once again.