I get spam calls on my iPhone SE. I have caller ID.

I have a contact called "do not answer". The contact is blocked

Inside the "do not answer" contact I keep a list of all the spam numbers that call me.

In iOS 12.0.1 I get calls saying Incoming call from "do not answer". How is this possible? Doesn't the phone app see its showing the "do not answer" contact that should be blocked?

The only workaround I have found is to set my "do not answer" contact to have a silent ringtone without vibration but it still interrupts use of my phone

This has been ongoing since my iPhone 4s days

  • You said "The contact is blocked". How did you block the contact? If you block a contact, any phone number assigned to that contact should also be blocked. You're seeing a 'Incoming call from 'do not answer'" tells me the number they're using is already assigned to a blocked contact. Is that correct?
    – fsb
    Oct 16, 2018 at 18:57
  • @fsb Tap on the contact, scroll to the bottom, choose "Block this caller". your assumption is correct
    – zoplonix
    Oct 16, 2018 at 19:07
  • @fsb The block doesn’t include numbers added to the contact after it has been blocked.
    – Mike Scott
    Oct 16, 2018 at 19:16
  • @MikeScott That doesn't sound correct. The OP received a notification that 'do not answer' called them. That means iOS identified the number was already assigned to a blocked contact. It should've blocked that number regardless of when that number was added to the contact. Apple's page on blocking calls/contacts imply the contact will be blocked.
    – fsb
    Oct 16, 2018 at 19:24
  • 2
    @fsb Why don’t you just try it for yourself? Blocking a contact doesn’t actually block the contact, it blocks all phone numbers currently assigned to that contact. You can easily verify that what I’m saying is correct.
    – Mike Scott
    Oct 16, 2018 at 19:28

3 Answers 3


If a contact has more than one phone number, you have to block each number separately. Have you blocked every individual phone number that’s assigned to your “Do not contact” contact?

  • where is the option? i just see the one at the bottom of the contact, all indications would say this blocks every number in the contact
    – zoplonix
    Oct 16, 2018 at 18:22
  • @user1886419 Settings / Phone / Call Blocking and Identification
    – Mike Scott
    Oct 16, 2018 at 18:36
  • I see a long list of "do not answer"
    – zoplonix
    Oct 16, 2018 at 19:10
  • @user1886419 But does that list include every number that’s assigned to that contact?
    – Mike Scott
    Oct 16, 2018 at 19:11
  • assuming so. would i have to go back to this list each time i add a number to the contact? what is the point of the block this caller option that can be found on each contact in the phone/contacts app?
    – zoplonix
    Oct 16, 2018 at 19:12

Write down each number you want to block and block each one separately. I had a iPhone SE and started to block numbers I did not want as they came in. That worked for me.

  • i can't afford an apple pencil unfortunately :)
    – zoplonix
    Oct 17, 2018 at 0:40

What you are trying to do is actually not possible with the Phone app on your iPhone.

Like the commenters suggest you can't block a contact by the name that shows up on your iPhone's screen. I understand why you did that but the underlying logic of the phone doesn't work that way, for whatever reason.

The "Do Not Call" list is mostly a joke that few companies respect.

I have found some success with the "Call protect" app from AT&T which marks calls as "Telemarketer." "Potential Fraud," and the like, though they still ring. There is a free tier (which I use) and a paid tier that supposedly offers more protection. Of course that only works if you have AT&T. If you don't have AT&T call your carrier and see if they offer something similar.

The only real solution to this issue is in the hands of our government, making penalties for phone spamming much more severe might cut down on this. Until then we have to rely on imperfect technological solutions, much like those that filter email spam.

  • what does my question have to do with the do not call list? i am not on this. there are callers that constantly call me that I would like to block. they are on my do not answer list
    – zoplonix
    Oct 16, 2018 at 19:48
  • It's another point of reference. you can only block a number, not a person or a company if they use a different number Oct 16, 2018 at 21:11
  • was that not established in my OP?
    – zoplonix
    Oct 16, 2018 at 22:31

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