Lets face it – we all get strange numbers interrupting us on a daily basis, and today most of them are from private cell phones. They're about impossible to identify. But not impossible to stop on your land-line.
How to Block Phone Calls with your Computer
Using the right tools, you can easily convert your computer to block any type of unwanted phone call. It requires almost no processing power and lets you perform whatever tasks you choose on your computer unimpeded. Here's what you need:
1.Caller ID with Name
The first thing you will require is caller ID with name feature. This is usually about $ 5.00 a month, and the vast majority of us already have it.
2.Dial-up Modem with accompanying phone cord and jack
Many personal computers already have a modem built in. Simply make sure its setup and plugged in. Otherwise, they are commonly available for free in older machines.
This free software is the heart of your blocking system. It reads the name from your caller ID through the modem, and selectively blocks the call based on a list you create. Any words you put in the list are blocked. So if you never want to see another call identified as 'toll free' when you go to answer your phone again, you simply add the word 'toll' to the list. Anything further containing this word or a phrase with this word will be instantaneously blocked.
This system is simple to set up, and once running will block any calls you do not want to receive on a land line phone. Its wonderful for working at your computer when your expecting important communication.
What About Cell Phones?
Unfortunately to the best of my knowledge, no 'black list' or 'white list' system has been created for cell phones. While it would be an excellent idea, the best option we have at this time is to simply identify the unwanted number calling us, and report it. As telemarketing calls to cell phones are illegal, you but need to report their identifying information to the permissions.
Acquiring their identifying information then becomes the key. You have two options here: searching through free sites or using commercial reverse phone directories.
Free results are best used sparingly – try them first by entering the number into a search engine and quickly browsing the results. Scan any website which appears to contain information about your number and check it. Usually the results are frustrating, and limited to either a carrier, the phone type, or both. Often they are outdated, so even this information is inaccurate. But because there are now several types of free websites harassing the power of communities, its always worth a try. You could find information reported by someone with enough knowledge about the number to report it.
Reverse phone directories are the last resort. These websites collect information about 98% of all types of numbers, including cell phones, from public records. You enter a number into their form and results are returned in seconds including names, addresses, background info, and more than enough to identify and report any number. There is a small cost associated with using these directories to cover operating costs, however, they allow unlimited searches and refunds if no info is present.
So stopping 'junk calls' may not be as easy as email yet, and even may never be, but all hope is not lost.