I get 4-5 telemarketer calls each day. Each time they call, it is from a completely different phone number. Including different area codes.

I've performed all of the usual procedures to combat this.

• Contacted my carrier (AT&T). They will block 30 or so numbers for free but then it costs after that. This is useless because I get 30 different numbers in a week. AT&T suggested changing my number (for a FEE).

• I've changed my number. It went from bad to worse. I actually get more on this new number. I swear I don't put my number out there, I don't sign up for garbage, etc.

• I've tried telling these "companies" to remove me from their list. They immediately hang up on me when I do that. I've tried calling the numbers, it never goes through. They are unreachable. Even AT&T admitted they can't track them.

• I've registered for the national "do not call" registry. This hasn't helped at all.

I'm running out of ideas. I'd love to just turn my phone off but I can't because of work.

For each number I get, I immediately add it to the block numbers. But this only stops repeat numbers.

So, my question is, is there a way in iOS to literally block entire area codes? I seriously don't care if I block a few legit numbers for the sake of sanity. I sometimes get telemarketers from my area code but those are more rare.

I have an iPhone 6 with the latest version if that helps.

  • 2
    Update. I've changed my number AGAIN. And, guess what? Same thing. In fact, it's even more telemarketers. With this new number, I made sure to NOT put it on the "Do not call list" because I think they use that as a way of looking up legit numbers. On this new number, I even get telemarketing text messages. This is AT&T's fault plain and simple. The fact that a giant telecommunications company like AT&T (or Verizon, T-Mobile, etc.) CANNOT track these pieces of garbage down is BS. Shame on you AT&T. Shame indeed.
    – cbmeeks
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 12:33
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    This may not help fix it, but the reason these companies use different numbers and don't care about "no call" lists or anything is because they are literal criminals. They're not just companies with shady marketing policies, they are full-on criminal operations trying to steal your credit card numbers, they certainly don't care that they are in violation of FCC policies. My recommendation: don't bother blocking, they use a different (fake) number each time. For me, recently they always try to spoof a number from my same area code and 3-digit prefix, so I know who to ignore.
    – BradC
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 18:23
  • @BradC yeah, I agree. I knew they were criminals. Probably part of some organized crime. It's a shame, really. And yes, they are spoofing numbers with my same area code and 3 digit prefix too.
    – cbmeeks
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 18:26
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    @MelvinJefferson The BBB is just "Yelp for old people", they are a private organization with no real regulatory power. The Federal Trade Commission handles this issue in the US. Unfortunately, though, these guys are literal criminals using spoofed numbers to steal your credit card number; if they're willing to defy the FBI, they won't give a hoot about the FTC.
    – BradC
    Commented Oct 26, 2017 at 14:47
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    @MelvinJefferson I don't think you read my original question. I have told them. These companies are illegal. Do you think they care about some law about removing numbers from their list? In fact, it's a million times worse now. Now, they are Robo-callers. Not even people. Just recordings. In fact, they have gotten so good that the number on my Caller ID is sometimes people in my contact list! I have even gotten a call from MYSELF! Do you think these people are playing by the rules?
    – cbmeeks
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 13:28

5 Answers 5


Yes, there IS a free and easy way to block incoming nuisance calls on an iPhone!

(1) Get and install a silent ringtone (I use one called "10 seconds of silence" which I found on the internet for free). (2) You know who your regular callers are. Give each contact a ringtone other than the default. (Yes, it takes a few minutes, but it's a one-time thing.) (3) Set your phone's default ringtone to "10 seconds of silence".

From then on known callers get cause your phone to ring with whatever ringtone you've assigned that particular caller.

Calls from unknown callers will not cause your phone to ring. These callers can leave a message if they wish. Most spammers don't bother.

Repeat nuisance callers can have their numbers added to a special "Spammers" contact which you can block so that such callers cannot even leave messages. Just remember that if you do this, you have to unblock and re-block this contact each time you add a number. Don't worry about whether you indicate the number is fax or mobile or whatever--doesn't matter. I used to do this last step, but found it was unnecessary. Plus I kind of like to look once or twice a day and see where the spammers are ostensibly calling from--of course, their really using spoofed numbers using VoIP over the internet.

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    This is not helpful because modern spam callers randomize their spoofed caller ID. So I'll get a call from Spammer A using (555) 555-5555 on one day then Spammer A will switch to (555) 556-5656 the next day. Blocking them individually no longer works.
    – Max Wilder
    Commented Aug 9, 2018 at 19:06

I do not believe iPhone has the ability to block phone numbers based on area code or other such rules.

However, you might consider two options for spam blocking tools. I use both of these, and have no affiliation with either. The first is a free option for iPhone, called Hiya. Hiya uses iOS CallKit framework, that integrates with the phone app to provide additional features, so rest assured that it is not 'hacking' your phone. Hiya has a constantly updating list of spam caller numbers, so you don't have to constantly block all the different numbers. You install and activate Hiya, and when the phone rings, it will show you if it is from a suspected Spam or telemarketer. Then you may just silent the call. You can also configure Hiya to send known spam, and fraud calls, to voicemail, and similar options to those it 'suspects' as spam. You can also enter a number into the Hiya app, which will give you more information, and offer to block the number in the future.

The second option is one that costs $1.99 per month for your iPhone, but is free (and highly recommended) for your landline, if you have one. Nomorobo is a similar tool, that on the iPhone uses CallKit as well. It has a very extensive database of spam and fraud numbers, which, like Hiya, it looks up when your phone rings. Nomorobo is free for landlines, and it makes money by selling the service on mobile devices. All very reasonable. It works similarly to Hiya, in that it shows suspected spam or "robocaller". I think Nomorobo works better, but YMMV.

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    Hiya does not block this type of calls (in my case spam calls from Burundi and Somalia). These calls are identified as spam when manually checked on the app, but the call it self always comes through and never get blocked by the app.
    – Hamid
    Commented Jul 8, 2018 at 15:37

In addition to the answer above that you can't block patterns without a third party extension (which you could compile and run yourself with Xcode assuming sufficient skill in programming) there is going to be some sort of change needed by the carriers.

Keep in mind the spammers are calling every phone number in the book these days. You really need to write a formal letter to your carrier and ask them how to trace / charge back to the people making the calls. The carriers need to fix this and stop making money from the callers that are abusing caller ID features. If the carrier insisted the callers use one traceable number, people could block things.

Additionally, it might require legislation to increase penalties of people that don't consult the do not call list. If you could get actionable information about the caller upon formal complaint and then take that company to small claims court in your local community and win $500 or so, that would end this practice quite quickly.


Okay guys, here is a trick I just read about in the internetz. Although it's not approved yet, I decided to give it a try because it sounds reasonable.

I get frequent calls from Guinea (Country Code: +224), so I just added a contact with the respective number +224 and blocked the contact with the default Apple iOS 10.3.3 option (Settings / Phone / Block and identify calls). I also get frequent calls from UK (Country Code: +44). Because I can't block a contact with the number +44, I created a contact with 10 numbers in total (+44 0, +44 1, +44 2, ... +44 9). Same with Austria (Country Code +43).

The best part of the solution is that you don't have to rely on third party Apps which are occasionally collecting our data.

Cheers from Germany, keep your head up!

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    This absolutely does not work.
    – undefined
    Commented Apr 12, 2018 at 15:39

Maybe it will help to think of these calls like junk mail? Without junk mail, the price of a stamp would be considerably higher... but yeah, that sucks.

Here's a review of iOS10 call-blocking apps which recommends the free app, Hiya

Hiya does require that users provide access to their contacts, which may deter some people from using the app over concerns about where their information might wind up. The company’s privacy policy is incomplete and a bit unclear about what it does with specific data, including contacts, but a company spokesperson provided extensive and official clarification on request.

Hiya says it uploads a user’s phone number and contact phone numbers to add to its global whitelist, because contacts tend, as it notes, not to be spammers. The app also uses your contact information to help with calls placed within the app, one of its features. The company says it keeps contact data otherwise private, and doesn't sell it to third parties, nor does it use the information to market to your contacts. Hiya also says it doesn’t give your phone number to third parties.

Here's another article with call blocking options. You might be interested in "Call Bliss" (not free) to only let known callers through.

If you're still receiving unwanted solicitations after registering your number with the do not call registry, then you should report the numbers to the FTC.

If you received an unwanted call after your number was on the National Registry for 31 days, report it to the FTC.

If you are being called by an actual person, instead of a "robo-call" recording, just immediately talk over them and tell them to cease and desist, that the call time and number are being reported to the FTC, and that you will personally sue them and their company if the continue to harass you. They usually hang up before I can get all that out and it seems to do a good job of preventing them from calling back.

Good luck!

From the Do Not Call Registry FAQ:

What are the penalties for breaking the law?
Those who violate the National Do Not Call Registry or place an illegal robocall can be fined up to $40,654 per call.


If you get unwanted calls from many different numbers, look into a call blocking solution. There are online call blocking services, call blocking boxes, and smartphone apps that block unwanted calls. Research whether the service costs money and whether it’s effective. Do an online search to look for reviews from experts and other users.

  • 1
    Junk mail doesn't wake me up at 2:00 AM. I can choose when to open my mailbox, what time of day, etc. These robo-callers are invading my personal time. Also, you can't immediately talk over them. They are pre-recorded messages and the minute they detect a voice, they hang up. They are after valid phone numbers so they may sell them to other robo-callers.
    – cbmeeks
    Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 12:21
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    The challenge with the Do Not Call list, is that telemarketers commonly spoof Caller ID now, so that one can not trace the number that is originating the call. You are likely just blocking some old lady in central Idaho.
    – cmason
    Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 12:43
  • @cbmeeks Try answering the phone "Hello, you're on the air" whenever it's an unrecognized number.
    – MmmHmm
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 3:46

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