How To Block Your Cell Phone Number

The technological age has broken down so many barriers that sometimes, we find ourselves wishing that we could have some of them back up, especially when it comes to our privacy. Take your cellphone, for instance. These days, Caller ID is automatic --- you can trace everyone who has given you a call and they can do the same to you. However, there may be times when you want to block that feature. No need to rush to the store to buy some high-tech gadget that will do the job; it’s actually quite easy to block your number from appearing on other people’s caller IDs. Decide if you want to do it permanently, or on a per-call basis. Read on:

For the Uber-Paranoid: To block your cellphone number permanently

  • Check your phone settings. Look for an option that says “show/hide my number”. If it says, “network default” then the Caller ID feature is dependent on your network provider’s default settings. Most of the time networks have activated Caller ID. Change your phone settings to “hide number”. You may need to restart your phone for the settings to take effect. Make a test call to see if it worked. When you have successfully blocked your phone, instead of seeing your name, the phone being called will instead display “private call”.
  • If this didn’t work, or the option was not available in your phone, call your provider and ask for a “line block” service – most providers have this, but some providers may not allow you to. Some providers will need a valid reason from you to justify your blocking.
  • Once your phone is blocked, this is permanent; all calls you make from hereon will not display your number. However, if there are instances where you would like your number to be displayed, type in *82 before the phone number. For example, if you are calling the number 860-000-0000 and would like your number to appear, type in *828600000000.

For the Semi-Paranoid: To block your cellphone number on a per-call basis

  • There may be times when you don’t want your number to appear on someone’s caller ID – say, you’re calling a business or public phone, or you may be trying to reach someone who’s avoiding your calls, or, well, let’s just say you want to be secretive. Simply key in *67 and then the number you wish to call.
  • To check if this works, call a phone with a caller ID feature from your cellphone to ensure that your number does not show up on the Caller ID.
  • Keep in mind that blocking your number will only work for personal and business numbers – it won’t work when you dial toll free (ex. 1-800) and emergency (ex. 911) numbers.

Be forewarned: a lot of people will not take calls from unknown numbers, so all your efforts in blocking your phone number will be for naught if it turns out that no one will take your calls. There are other options, though. You can try an ID spoofing service, wherein the caller ID will display a different name and number than yours, but the lines between legal and illegal get very blurred here, and can get you in a lot of trouble. A safer option to try would be a call forwarding service – you can give people your call forwarding number and when they do, they will be required by the service to identify themselves. The service will then ask you if you wish to receive the call. Be forewarned though, that for all your efforts to block your number there are measures that the caller can take to trace your number as well. In this never-ending game of cat and mouse, perhaps you should just make the call, the old-fashioned way.


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