How do I block unwanted calls or texts?

In an age of growing digital communication, seniors, like everyone else, are often bombarded with unwanted calls or texts. Whether it’s telemarketers, spam messages, or wrong numbers, the influx can be both annoying and potentially dangerous, especially if they are scam attempts. Thankfully, there are several ways you can shield yourself from these intrusions. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to block those pesky calls and texts.

1. Built-in Phone Features: Most smartphones have built-in features that allow users to block specific numbers. Here’s a general step-by-step:

  • iOS (iPhone):
    • Open the Phone app.
    • Browse your recent calls and find the number you want to block.
    • Tap on the ‘i’ symbol next to the number.
    • Scroll down and tap “Block this Caller”.
  • Android:
    • Open the Phone app.
    • Tap on the three-dot icon or “More”.
    • Go to “Call settings” or “Settings”.
    • Find and tap “Call block” or “Block numbers”.
    • Manually input the number or choose from recent calls or contacts.

2. Text Message Blocking: Similarly, smartphones let you block text messages from specific numbers:

  • iOS (iPhone):
    • Open the Messages app.
    • Open the conversation from the unwanted number.
    • Tap on the contact’s name or number at the top.
    • Tap on “info”.
    • Tap on the ‘i’ symbol, then choose “Block this Caller”.
  • Android:
    • Open the Messages app.
    • Hold down on the unwanted message.
    • Tap on the block icon (usually represented as a circle with a line).

3. Third-party Apps: There are several apps available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store that specialize in call and message blocking. Examples include “Hiya”, “Truecaller”, and “Nomorobo”. These apps often have extensive databases of known spam numbers and can automatically block them for you.

4. National Do Not Call Registry: In the U.S., registering your number with the National Do Not Call Registry can reduce telemarketing calls. Visit “” to register.

5. Contact Your Service Provider: Many service providers offer spam protection services, either included in your plan or for a small fee. Contact them to explore your options.

Conclusion: Protecting yourself from unwanted calls and texts is a crucial step in ensuring your peace of mind and safety. With a blend of built-in phone features, third-party apps, and external services, you can create a robust shield against those pesky and potentially harmful intrusions.

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