by Dr. Eowyn
Last year, I did a post on “Why the FTC’s Do Not Call registry doesn’t stop those annoying robo-calls — and how you can stop them”.
After I signed on to a service called Nomorobo, which blocks robo-calls free for landline phones but costs $1.99 a month for mobile phones, most of the robo-calls I get indeed are blocked. How I know is when a call comes in, the phone only rings once, then the call is referred to Nomorobo.
But Nomorobo (to which I donated) still does not block all nuisance calls. I’ve noticed that some calls still get through, which my landline phone’s Caller ID identifies as “Anonymous”.
Well, there is a way to block “Anonymous” calls as well! Alas, it works only with some landline phones — Xfinity, AT&T and Verizon, but not T-Mobile and Sprint.
Craig Johnson of clark.com tells us how:
If your landline phone service is with Xfinity:
- On your home phone, lift the receiver and listen for the dial tone.
- Press *77 and listen for a confirmation tone. That’s how you know that the feature is working.
- The “anonymous” caller who is blocking the display of their name and number will hear an automated recording that you’re not accepting blocked calls, and that to call again they must to unblock their Caller ID.
- To turn off the Anonymous Call Rejection feature, press *87 and listen for a confirmation tone. When you hear it, the feature has been deactivated.
If your landline phone service is with AT&T:
- Open the Customer Portal online and click the Inbound Features tab.
- If Anonymous Call Rejection is enabled, to the right of it, under Action, click the Edit icon. Click yes or no and save.
If your landline phone service is with Verizon:
- Sign in to your My Verizon account.
- Select Account Manager > Calling Features > Incoming Call Block > Reject All Anonymous Calls > Activate Incoming Call Block.
Even after you’ve activated the Anonymous Call Rejection feature on your landline phone, there are at least three kinds of calls that you’ll still receive:
- Operator-assisted calls.
- Calls that come up as Unknown or Unavailable.
- Calls that are listed as Out-of-Area.
Note that the *77 feature won’t stop anonymous calls on your cell phone. Depending on the cell phone carrier, pressing *77 will either result in a “call could not be completed” prompt or in some areas of the United States, pressing *77 on your mobile phone will connect you to either the police or public safety officials.
- To block unwanted calls on your cell phone, click here.
- Do not answer calls or texts from these area codes