Smartphones are used by everyone without exception. Everywhere everyone will be using smartphones. Attending calls is a routine of everyday life. But the frequent calls from unwanted sources may be annoying. Thus we all used to block certain numbers or persons for getting some relief. Here when we block a person, the phone number will be added to the block list of our mobile phone. We are able to see that blocked numbers have called us by examining missed calls in the recent call log.
A blocked call is a call that will not be able to get communicated with the intended receiver due to several reasons. The caller will be informed as the recipient is not currently available. The recipient will get a single ring, and the call will cut automatically. Thus you can see the blocked call in the call log. There are different features available on mobile phones to block the call or reject the call or abort the call. Also, our Telecomm carriers allow the calls to be blocked at the carrier level. Apart from these, we can use third-party apps to block unwanted calls.
Sources Of Calls
Calls come from many sources. Those can be from whom we already know. Such calls are useful and may be interesting for us. But certain calls can be from telemarketing people, robocalls, and spoofed calls. All these calls are somewhat agitating. Attending these calls may be a waste of time and may cause a certain type of destruction to our routine jobs. Attending such a call may make us divert our attention, and forget many important things to do.
Carrier-level blocking is more effective than personal call blocking. The carrier companies can find out the origin and purpose (to some extent) of calling. All the Telecom carrier companies have direct access to the CNAM database. The CNAM database holds the caller’s names and identification details. Thus this is also called a Line Information Database. The CNAM database is managed by the Local Exchange Carrier (LEC), an independent body to maintain this database. The carrier companies are to pay an amount to get direct access to this database.
How do the telemarketers get our numbers? It is quite easy for them. There is a system called automatic number identification or ANI, that is a part of the telephone network. This system transfers the phone number and other details to reliable outsourcing call center professionals. These transfers are based on a mutual understanding that the call center should not exploit or do not do any type of harm to the phone number owner. But some businesses are unwantedly using this advanced technology and exploiting the facility in the wrong sense. As a result, we are compelled to stop the calls through our mobile phone or landline phone feature called call-blocking. Or we will be searching for other methods to stop such calls
A robocall is a computerized technique to send pre-recorded voice messages (human voice) as part of some telemarketing campaign. It sounds as if it has been generated by robots. It is an autodialer phone call and the operator need not be there when it is generated. These calls can be as part of some emergency or some useful way of communication. The robocalls use automatic dialing techniques to find out the numbers randomly, and that is why the call sometimes reaches our phone numbers. The method uses actual human voices and passes the information faster as there is only one-way communication executed. Sometimes,
it waits for a few seconds to get our response. If we are not answering, it gets cut automatically, as it is set for a few seconds only. Robocalls are proven as a tool for brand awareness. As a result of the improvements in technology, it is cheaper, and easy to set up a robocall. Thus many business organizations implemented this method as a business promotion technique to improve the conversion rate. This can be set to start from the brand awareness and end in the complete sales conversion operation. Thus for the business community, this is a new marketing technique.
Even though we blocked a particular number, the caller can again call us by employing the facility called Voicemail. To get the voicemail activated the caller has to go through many steps. Suppose you are the caller, then you have to execute the following steps.
- Open the phone app from the home screen.
- When you open the phone app, the next screen will be displayed. Select the more option (three dots)
- Then the following menu will be displayed. Here you have to select the Settings
- When you select the settings, the following screen will be displayed. There are a lot of options on this menu.
Here tap to come down and find out the option Voicemail. Tap on Voicemail and the next window will be opened
Here you can add a number to whom you wanted to contact through Voicemail. The call will be transferred as a usual call unless the person at the other end is not blocking you in Voicemail by employing third-party apps.
Caller ID Spoofing
Caller ID Spoofing is the act of hiding the actual originating source of the caller. The ID number displayed will be some number other than the original caller number. Here the motivation of the caller may be harmful to the receiver. We can stop such scammers by restricting the calls to the contacts available in your address book of the mobile phone. The Scammers can create the caller ID to a familiar source to make it more trusted and thus we will answer the calls. In such a case the caller’s motive will be successful. Once you identify the call as a masked call, then you can block them with the usual call-blocking method. Also, you cannot identify a call as a spoofed call without attending to the call at least once. There are specially designed mobile apps, that can be used to fix such masked calls
Drawbacks of Call Blocking
There is a built-in feature in the mobile operating system to block the calls from unwanted or unknown destructive sources. Even though we blocked those numbers the mobile operating system automatically directs the blocked caller to the Voicemail feature. The blocked caller can use Voicemail to connect to us. There are no available phone features to stop the process of directing the blocked caller to voicemail. The robocalls and calls from Spoofed caller ID are not able to be blocked at the user level through the mobile phone feature. It can be stopped at the Telecom carrier level up to some extent.
Thus we have to use the help of reliable third-party apps. Before selecting those apps, please read the reviews and the specification details of those apps before installing them.
Preventing Unwanted calls
The built-in phone has a feature to stop calls from unknown sources. But such a call can be a person who needs your help. Also, this can be the first time that person calls you. How can you decide such a call is a scam? Scammers can make use of the internet to call regardless of the physical location. If you feel or experience the built-in phone features are not up to your expectations to stop unwanted calls, there are some solutions for this. Here are some tricks to be used.
Block the robocalls at the carrier level Approach your telecom carrier company and ask them to enable the robocall blocking services for your phone number at the carrier level. When the feature is enabled, you are succeeded by the scammers at the carrier level. The carrier companies can identify the scammers as they look up the CNAM database. This can stop the robocalls from disturbing you
Skip the calls from unknown numbers Do not pick up your phone when an unknown number calls you. It can be someone purposefully calling you to access some useful information from you. If you answered something to show your irritation towards the caller, by that time the caller identifies your number as the real existing one. Thus knowing your number the caller can get other identification information. This information is used in their next scams. Some sort of cheating takes place.
Install and use a phone filter app Up to some extent the phone filter apps (third-party software) are able to find out the unwanted calls and stop them immediately in connection with you. The phone filter app identifies the scams and breaks the ring by itself without waiting for your permission. Before installing the third-party software, make sure of the reliability of the software by Googling it.
Use of Third-party Apps for Call Blocking
Third-party apps can filter the calls based on your choices. Thus you may not know such calls coming and breaking. These calls are displayed in the call logs as blocked calls with an emblem near the number indicating those are blocked. The call filter apps can do the following services:
- Scammer blocking
- Makes a single ring for blocked calls. If the number is present in the robocall list, then the app automatically cut the call
- Directs the blocked call to voicemail
- Decline the calls as per user selection
- Stops private calls (unknown caller makes the call by typing *67 as the starting digit, is known under the label ‘private number’)
Mobile phones are required for life to exist in modern society. The number of scammers is increasing day by day. Thus there will be some requirements to find out the scammers and block them. The mobile phone’s built-in features help in blocking unknown numbers. But there are advanced scamming techniques like robocalls, spoofing calls, etc. These are not reliable all the time. Sometimes attending such a call collects your data and identification to implement them in the scam calls.
Thus these can be aborted or stopped permanently. The blocking of calls can be done at the Telecom carrier level or with the mobile phone features. But spoofing and robocalls cannot be blocked with the phone features. Thus we can go for third-party software apps that can be installed and used carefully. Those apps can control and block scammers. The carrier level blocking is effective as the Telecom companies can easily identify the scammers by looking up the Line Information database. Direct access to this is possible for the Telecom carrier company only through subscription.
Calls from telemarketing, and robocalls are sometimes annoying and a waste of time. The business people are implementing it as a new technique for business promotion, thereby creating business conversions. Many unknown calls are made intentionally to collect some information through communication. When a user answers such calls the caller can save the details related to that particular user. Thus for security reasons unwanted calls are to be blocked.
There are built-in features in the mobile phone to block calls. You can either selectively block or block the entire calls from unknown sources. Apart from these robocalls, spoofing calls are there. You can use the carrier level blocking from your telecom service. Or you can install and use a third-party phone filter app.
The Telecom carrier company has direct access to the Line Information database (CNAM database). This database holds the details about a phone number and related information. Direct access rights are given to Telecomm carriers only. Thus it is easy for them to detect the source or the person from where the unknown call is generated. They can even find out the anonymous calls labeled as ‘Private’. If the carrier company is subscribing to the access to the CNAM database, then the carrier level blocking is more efficient and reliable. The third-party apps are to be used only after understanding the complete details and going through the reviews added by the users.