How to block a phone number on a landline
Frequently receiving unwanted phone calls can be a major annoyance. Whether you are bothered by insistent marketing calls or want to prevent certain phone calls for personal reasons, it is possible to prevent a phone number from calling your landline.
How to block a phone number on a landline
Blocking spam callers can be difficult, as they often change their numbers. The best thing to do to avoid these dangerous nuisance calls is to prevent scammers from getting your number in the first place. Be careful who you give your number to, especially online.
There are a few different methods you can use to prevent callers from contacting you. Which one you use will depend on your situation and the services available to you.
How to block a number after you’ve received a call
Use ‘call display’ to record the number
If your landline phone has a call display, you will be able to see the number of the person calling you. The call display might be on the handset or on the base. If your handset keeps a record of calls, you may be able to find the number in the history. If you can find it, make a note of this number.
Use 1471 to retrieve the number
If you weren’t able to record the number from the call display, or if your phone doesn’t have a call display, you can use 1471 to retrieve the last number to call you. This will only work if no one else has phoned you since you received the unwanted call.
Pick up your handset and dial 1471. The last number to call you will be read out and you can make a note of it.
If the caller dialled 141 before entering your number, their number will be withheld and you will not be able to access it this way.
You can learn a little more about where the call is coming from by looking at the phone number. If the call is coming from a landline, you can use the area code to find our where the caller is. If the caller is outside of the UK, the international dialling code will tell you which country they are calling from.
Report the number
Some companies actually aren’t allowed to get in touch with you unless you have given them permission. This includes businesses calling about personal injury claims. The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a register of numbers that companies are not allowed to contact for marketing purposes. Check if you’re on the list with our TPS Search.
If you are getting calls like this and you haven’t asked to be contacted, or have placed yourself on the TPS list, you can report the callers to the Commissioner’s Office. This will help prevent these companies from bothering other people in the future.
If you have been contacted by a scammer, you can report the scam and the number to Citizen’s Advice, who will then pass the report on to the Trading Standards team. Reporting scams helps authorities take action against them.
If you have lost money to a phone scammer in the last 24 hours, call the non-emergency police line (101) at once. If you ever feel unsafe or threatened by someone on the phone, call 999.
Speak to your phone provider to see if they offer a spam blocking service
Some phone providers offer spam blocking services. Check your phone provider’s website or get in touch with them to see if this is something they can offer you.
Use a handset with blocking capabilities
Many modern handsets will come with the capability to block certain numbers. The amount of numbers that can be blocked and the process for doing so will vary. Consult your handset’s user guide to see if it can block specific numbers. If so, follow the directions provided.
How to block a number that’s not yet called you
If you already know the number you want to block, your handset will let you enter the number to a list of blocked numbers - provided that it has blocking capabilities.
Find someone’s phone number
If there is someone you know that you want to block phone calls from – but don’t have their number you can find it online in a couple of ways:
Residential Telephone Directory: Search the directory for the person using their name and address. You can then find their phone number and get it blocked.
Find a Person: Sign up to our service and use our Find a Person search. This extensive database can provide you with someone’s land line number.
For a more blanket approach, you can opt for a spam blocking service. This may be provided through your phone provider, or through a third-party company. These services use different methods to identify spam callers and to block the calls.
Of course, these only block spam callers. If there is a number you want to block for personal reasons this method will not work.
Use TPS to prevent marketing calls
The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) is a ‘Do Not Call’ register for both landline and mobile numbers. This is a free service that allows users to opt out of marketing calls. Businesses are legally obliged to respect this list and there is a £5,000 fine if they do not. Although this won’t block any calls, registering to this service should prevent marketers from calling you.
You can use this service as an individual or as a corporation. To check if a number is on the TPS registry, you can use our TPS checking service.
Becoming ex-directory means removing your details from the phonebook and other directory services. This is done through your provider. While this won’t block anyone from contacting you, it can be an effective way to stop scammers or companies from getting your details in the first place.
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Head of Communications