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How To Block Restricted Calls on Android and iPhones (2024)

Restricted calls are hard to block, as these callers intentionally hide their contact information — however, there are new tools available to help.

Restricted calls are hard to block, as these callers intentionally hide their contact information — however, there are new tools available to help.

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      Can You Stop Restricted Callers From Contacting You?  

      Americans are being bombarded by restricted, unknown, and anonymous calls — and they’re more than just an annoyance. According to a 2023 survey [*]:

      70% of Americans say they receive multiple calls from unknown numbers every week. 

      Unfortunately, while the majority of people know to not answer calls from unknown or blocked numbers, many still feel compelled to find out who’s calling them — especially if they’re being harassed repeatedly. 

      Whether you want to learn how to block incoming calls from restricted numbers or find out who’s harassing you, there are options available. 

      In this guide, we’ll explain how to block restricted callers on Android and iPhone devices, uncover who’s been calling you, and keep your phone safe from spam calls and scammers. 


      What Are Restricted Phone Calls? Are They Dangerous?

      Restricted phone calls include any calls you receive when your caller ID displays the words “restricted,” “no caller ID,” “unknown/private,” or “private number.” 

      In these cases, the caller has chosen to hide their identity — either for their own privacy and safety (such as a doctor making calls from a personal cell phone) or to pressure you into answering the call to find out who it is. 

      Yet, while there’s a risk in missing an important call, it’s even more dangerous to answer an unknown or restricted phone call. Since the beginning of 2023, Americans have lost nearly $640 million to phone scams [*].

      If you answer a call from a restricted number, a few things can happen:

      • You might become the target of phone scams and phishing attacks. Scammers often use phone calls to scam people into providing personal information — like banking details or Social Security numbers (SSNs). Compared to other methods, such as text and email, it’s easier to keep you on the line and create a sense of urgency that pressures you to act. 
      • Fraudsters will know that your phone number is active. If you answer the phone when a scammer is calling, it demonstrates that your phone number is active. This gives scammers the green light to continue spamming you in hopes that you'll fall into their traps. 
      • You’ll waste time dealing with unwanted callers. Risks aside, dealing with unknown callers spamming your phone can be annoying and time consuming. If you always answer restricted calls, you waste time dealing with robocalls, spam calls, or telemarketers.
      • You could become a victim of bullying or phone abuse. One of the biggest risks of answering “restricted” calls is phone abuse. Some scammers go to great lengths to harass you (and even your family members) if they get your number. You can ask them to stop calling, or ignore their calls altogether, but they may continue to bother you. 

      The bottom line: There’s almost no reason why you should answer an unknown call. If in doubt, let it go to voicemail and wait to hear if it’s a legitimate caller. For real-time spam protection, try Aura’s AI-powered digital security tool for free. Aura automatically answers and screens your calls to ensure that only legitimate callers get through. 

      How To Block Unknown and Restricted Numbers on iPhones and Androids

      1. Silence all unknown callers on your phone
      2. Use Aura’s AI-powered spam call blocker
      3. Block individual spam numbers
      4. Enable your carrier’s spam-blocking tools
      5. Use Google Voice’s call screening tools
      6. Set up a do-not-disturb schedule
      7. Add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry
      8. Try a third-party spam blocker

      The main issue with blocking restricted phone numbers is that there is no number to block. 

      These callers have purposefully hidden their contact information to prevent you from identifying, reporting, or blocking their numbers. However, there are still options available that can help protect your phone from unwanted callers. 

      Here is a step-by-step guide on some of the most effective ways to block restricted calls on both Androids and iPhones.

      1. Silence all unknown callers on your phone

      On iPhones and Androids, you have the option to silence all unknown incoming calls. Activating this feature won’t “block” restricted calls completely, but it will stop them from showing up on your incoming call screen. When this feature is activated, unknown callers get sent directly to your voicemail. 

      iPhone settings screen with option to Silence Unknown Callers turned on
      Silencing unknown callers can help you avoid spam calls — but may cause you to miss important callers as well.

      There’s one major risk with the “silence unknown callers” feature — it will block calls from any caller that isn’t in your contacts (or recently called) list. This means you could miss important calls from people that don’t normally contact you, like your doctor or a local business. 

      How to silence unknown callers on iPhones:

      On Apple iOS 13 and later, you can activate the Silence Unknown Callers feature to send unknown calls straight to voicemail. Here's how to use this feature:

      • Go to Settings and select Phone.
      • Toggle the Silence Unknown Callers slider to On.

      How to silence unknown callers on Android:

      If you have an Android phone, you can use the Caller ID & Spam Protection feature to filter calls from unknown numbers. Here's what to do:

      • Open your Phone app, and tap on the three dots (More Options menu).
      • Go to your Phone Settings, and then the Spam and Call Screen, and switch on See Caller & Spam ID.
      • Now, turn on the option to Filter Spam Calls.

      💡 Related: How To Screen Calls On Your iPhone (6 Methods)

      2. Use Aura’s AI-powered spam call blocker

      For a more effective option, Aura’s Call Assistant uses artificial intelligence (AI) to answer and screen unknown callers on your behalf. Think of it like an AI secretary who makes sure only legitimate callers are passed through to you. 

      Aura checks incoming calls against the most up-to-date spam phone number lists, and blocks known spammers. If callers aren’t on a list, but also aren’t in your contacts, Aura answers on your behalf, asks who’s calling, and analyzes the response for common scammer language. 

      Here are some of the standout features of Aura’s Call Assistant:

      • Blocks spam calls. When Aura determines that an incoming call or text is spam, it will automatically block the text message or phone call. If you don’t see the call or message come through, you’re less likely to engage with a spammer.
      • Screens for unknown numbers. If Aura believes that an incoming call is spam, it will answer on your behalf. Once it checks for the warning signs of a scammer, telemarketer, or robocaller, it will decide whether to block the call or ask if you want to answer.
      • Filters spam texts. Using AI, Aura scans text messages for dangerous links and language that might indicate spam. If Aura determines that a text is potentially malicious, it will send the message to your spam folder. 
      🏆 Shut down spam and scam calls with Aura’s AI-powered Call Assistant. Aura’s award-winning digital security solution uses artificial intelligence (AI) to block scam calls, warn you of phishing attacks, and protect your identity and finances. Try Aura free for 14 days.

      3. Block individual spam numbers

      While this won’t work for restricted numbers, if you’re receiving spam or scam calls from specific numbers, you should block them. 

      How to block individual spam numbers on iPhones:

      • Open the Phone app and find the caller you want to block in your call history, contacts list, or voicemail.
      • Tap on the Circled “i” symbol next to the phone number you want to block.
      • Tap on Block this Caller.

      How to block individual spam numbers on Android:

      • Open the Phone app.
      • Look through your call log for the phone number you want to block.
      • Tap and hold the phone number until a menu of options appears.
      • Tap on Block.

      Pro tip: Unblock callers in your phone’s settings. If you accidentally blocked a number, you can unblock it under Blocked Contacts or Settings (iPhone) or Blocked numbers (Android).

      4. Enable your carrier’s spam-blocking tools

      Most major mobile phone carriers offer security tools that can limit the number of spam calls and texts that reach your phone. These features block numbers found in spam databases, and flag suspicious callers to alert you of a potential fraudster. 

      When these features are activated, you might see an incoming call flagged as “scam likely” on the caller ID, which indicates that you shouldn’t answer. 

      Here are some call-blocking apps from popular phone providers:

      • AT&T ActiveArmor®. If you’re an AT&T customer, you can download the free ActiveArmor® app to block fraudulent calls. You can also upgrade to the paid plan to get more features, including a virtual private network (VPN), public Wi-Fi protection, and reverse number lookup [*].
      • Verizon Call Filter. Verizon customers can download the Call Filter app that will automatically block spam calls and text messages. If you choose Call Filter Plus, which costs $3.99 per month per line, you can get access to additional security features, like a personal block list, spam risk meter, and blocking by category [*].
      • T-Mobile Scam Shield. The T-Mobile Scam Shield app is available for postpaid T-Mobile and Metro customers. This app will identify scam calls and block them before they show up as an incoming call or text message. This app also allows you to use a proxy phone number that you can share when you don’t want to give out your personal number [*].

      5. Use Google Voice’s call screening tools

      If you use Google Voice, you can use the call screening function to hear the name of the person calling before you pick up. Once you hear who’s calling, you can either accept the call, or send the call to voicemail. 

      If you recognize the caller once they begin to leave a voicemail, you have the option to talk to the person by pressing Star (*) [*].

      How to enable Google Voice call screening on iPhone and Android devices:

      • Open the Voice app.
      • Tap on Menu, and then scroll down and select Settings.
      • Select Calls, and tap on Screen Calls.

      💡 Related: How To Avoid The Google Voice Verification Code Scam

      6. Set up a do-not-disturb schedule

      Setting up a do-not-disturb schedule can help you avoid unwanted calls during certain times of the day. While it won’t block fraudsters from contacting you, it will silence incoming calls and text messages so that you don’t get notifications until the do-not-disturb period ends. 

      iPhone Focus settings screen showing a do-not-disturb schedule between 11pm and 7am every day.
      iPhones and Androids both allow you to set certain schedules where all calls and texts will be silenced..

      This includes people in your address book, as well as unknown numbers; but you have the option to add known contacts as exceptions.

      Schedule do-not-disturb on iPhone:

      • Go to Settings, and then tap on Focus.
      • Select Do Not Disturb.
      • Scroll down to Add Schedule.

      Schedule do-not-disturb on Android:

      • Go to Settings, and then scroll down and tap on Sound.
      • Tap on Sound and Vibration and then Do Not Disturb.
      • Select Schedules, then tap on Add More, and choose Time.

      7. Add your number to the National Do Not Call registry

      Adding your phone number to the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry can reduce the number of unwanted calls you receive, but it won’t stop spammers from contacting you. 

      The DNC Registry, which is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), allows you to opt out of receiving phone calls and text messages from telemarketers. If you add your number to the DNC Registry, you can still be contacted by legitimate organizations, like political parties and charities [*].

      How to add your phone number to the DNC Registry:

      • Go to and follow the steps to register your phone number online.
      • Call 1-888-382-1222 from the phone number you want to add to the registry.

      8. Try a third-party spam blocker

      There are a variety of third-party apps that can help you block spam calls and unwanted text messages. 

      These tools provide more advanced spam-blocking and call tracing features than your mobile phone company offers. Aura’s Call Assistant feature provides robust spam protection with the latest AI technology, but there are also other spam-blockers out there — including TrueCaller, Hiya, and Scam Shield.

      Before you choose a spam-blocking tool, read reviews and check app store ratings to get a sense of what current users think about the product. And if the app requires a paid subscription, make sure you’re getting a good value for the cost. 

      🥇 Don’t settle for second-best spam and scam protection. Aura’s all-in-one digital security app combines spam call protection with award-winning identity theft, fraud, and online protection. Try Aura free for 14 days.

      How To Find Out Who’s Calling You From a Restricted Number

      If you want to find out who called you from a restricted number, be wary of reverse phone lookup services. These tools promise to help you uncover missed calls from restricted numbers, but they can’t always find the number you’re looking for. 

      Plus, many reverse phone lookup sites collect and sell your personal data — including your cell phone number — which means you could get even more spam calls.

      Instead of using a reverse phone lookup site, here are some safer ways to find out who’s been calling you:

      • Screen your calls with an AI Call Assistant. Aura uses AI to check incoming calls against known spam lists and common scam numbers. If a call could be legitimate, Aura answers on your behalf to find out what the caller wants before giving you the option to answer. 
      • Dial *69 after an unknown caller. Once a call ends or you send the call to voicemail, dial *69 and press the call button. You’ll hear a recording with details about the previous call, including the caller’s phone number. While dialing *69 is one of the few ways to find out who called you on a landline, it isn’t foolproof. It only works if the caller hasn’t intentionally blocked their information, which many scammers do.
      • Dial *57 after a malicious phone call. If you get a call from spammers, you can report their number to the authorities through your phone company’s call tracing service. After you end the call or hang up, dial *57 and press the call button. If the trace is successful, it will report the caller to local law enforcement. You should only use *57 to report callers whom you believe to be scammers.
      • Contact your phone service provider. If you keep getting harassed by a spam caller, contact your phone service provider and see if they can help. They might be able to identify the true identity of the caller, or install spam-blocking features that you’re not already using. To help the phone company investigate, be prepared with a log of the dates and times that the calls are coming in. 

      💡 Related: Scammer Phone Number Lookup: Find Out Who’s Calling You

      The Bottom Line: Phone Scams Cost Americans Millions — Aura Can Help

      Phone scams are not only frustrating, but can also lead to financial loss. Every year, phone scams cost Americans millions in lost money — not to mention, hundreds of millions of wasted hours [*].

      While there are plenty of ways to block restricted calls, you can’t avoid spam calls completely. To protect your personal information and your finances from fraudsters, consider using an all-in-one identity protection solution like Aura. 

      Aura combines AI-powered spam call protection and digital security with award-winning identity and credit monitoring, the industry’s fastest fraud alerts, 24/7 U.S.-based customer support, and up to $5 million in identity theft insurance. 

      Use AI to fight back against phone scammers. Try Aura free for 14 days.
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