Getting a phone call from a number that’s listed as “restricted” is the virtual equivalent of knocking on your door when you’re not expecting company. It can be very unpleasant not knowing who is calling you or why, especially if it happens several times a day.
Unfortunately, these rude and annoying calls are a very common experience for most people. The good news is that there are quite a few ways to combat these restricted calls.
what is a restricted call?
A restricted call is a term used to describe when a person or business wants to block their number from the person they are calling. under normal circumstances, a number or name will be provided via caller ID when a call is placed.
Your phone’s call log will also record this information. if the number is restricted, this information will not be provided and the caller will remain anonymous. In addition, these calls may also show up as anonymous on your phone log, and you may not even be able to see the information on your monthly bill.
As technology has advanced, these restricted calls have become harder to track and even harder to block.
what about restricted calls?
Restricted calls are primarily used when a person or business does not want the person they are calling to know who they are or to trace the call. the feature is usually part of a service that is easy to set up and is available through all telecommunications providers.
One of the most common tactics to enable a restricted call is to enter *67 before placing a call. what will happen is that the call will go through normally, but it will show “restricted”, “unknown” or “private” instead of your real phone number.
however, if you’re calling a friend, you’ll most likely want them to see that you’re the one answering. so who exactly needs to dress up using this feature?
Who uses restricted calls?
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Although some people may use this tactic as a form of added privacy, it is more commonly used by robocalls, telemarketers, and bill collection agencies. that’s not to say that all instances of restricted calls are done to scam you out of money.
however, the caller specifically chooses to disable their caller ID in an attempt to remain anonymous. It doesn’t make much sense for someone you know and trust to go to the trouble of hiding their number.
so it’s most likely someone you don’t know making the call or someone you’re trying to avoid. this begs the question of what you should do if you receive a restricted call.
Should you answer restricted calls?
It won’t always be a scammer or bill collector on the other end of a restricted call, but it’s quite likely to be. Answering a phone call from someone who is trying to hide her true identity is a bit like opening your front door to someone wearing a face mask. it’s not guaranteed to end negatively, but it’s not very likely to end up being beneficial either.
When it comes to a restricted call, it’s best to ignore it and let them leave a voicemail if they’re so eager to make contact. If restricted callers don’t leave a message explaining their call and how to reach them, it’s most likely a scammer or robocall.
what can you do if you constantly receive restricted calls?
Having your phone ringing almost non-stop all day can be a very irritating experience. Unfortunately, that’s starting to become commonplace, as robocalls and spam seem to be on the rise lately.
Some laws have been created over the years designed to help reduce the number of these calls, but they are not effective in stopping all calls. therefore, if you frequently receive these intrusive calls, you will most likely have to deal with them yourself. there are some options available to block these restricted calls.
If you’re still using a landline and are constantly getting restricted calls, it’s pretty easy to block them. all you have to do is dial *77 on your phone. you should hear a confirmation message indicating that the process is complete.
From now on, whenever a restricted call is made to your phone, an automated message will prompt the caller to unblock your number and try again. if you choose to disable this feature, simply dial *87 on your phone.
You will hear another confirmation message, and from then on you will start receiving all calls again.
Trying to block restricted calls on a cell phone can be a bit more difficult than on a landline. the most important factor in play is which service provider you have for your phone.
for example, at&t offers the optional feature of rejecting anonymous and restricted calls for its users. however, they may charge an additional monthly fee to enable this service, depending on your plan.
Verizon is another carrier that gives you the option to block restricted calls, but only if you’re enrolled in their Smart Family plan. If you’re a Sprint or T-Mobile user, there are currently no plans or features that block restricted calls.
use a call blocking app
There are phone apps available for just about everything these days, including blocking restricted calls. There are many call blocking apps out there, so make sure you get one that provides the features you want.
The best call blocking apps create what’s called a whitelist based on your phone’s contacts. if you receive a call from a person on this white list, it will be processed normally.
however, if a number is restricted or unknown, it will automatically be sent directly to voicemail.
submit a report
If you consistently receive restricted calls or messages that are threatening or aggressive, you may want to consider filing a police report. you may be able to determine the number through your phone records, but if not, the police can help you.
Receiving dozens of calls a day, even without threatening messages, is a form of harassment and could lead to legal action against the caller.
It won’t always be a scammer or bill collector on the other end of a restricted call, but answering a phone call from someone trying to hide their true identity is like opening your front door to someone wearing a mask. it may not end negatively, but it is not likely to be beneficial.
It’s best to ignore restricted calls and let them leave a voicemail if they’re so eager to make contact. If restricted callers don’t leave a message explaining their call and how to reach them, it’s most likely a scammer or robocall.
There are many legitimate reasons why someone might want to make a restricted call. If you’re constantly getting calls from a restricted number, there are a few things you can do instead of just dealing with it or changing your number.
Your carrier may offer the ability to block these calls, but using an app is probably the best way to block them. These call blocking apps typically cost just a few dollars a month and can save you the headache and hassle of a constantly ringing phone.
5 ways to block or hide your number when making calls | www.usatoday.com
fcc stops unwanted robocalls and text messages | www.fcc.gov
restricted call: what is it and should you be afraid? | newscellular.com
the fcc’s push to combat robocalls & identity theft | www.fcc.gov