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What is a restricted phone call?

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  • 3 min read

Phone calls still form most of our communication with others on our phones, despite features like video calling and internet messaging being available via a host of apps. They’re also one of the most stable communication methods, and you know instantly who’s calling you using the phone number you see.

However, there are ways a phone number can be hidden using private caller IDs. In this article, we’re talking about restricted phone calls and telling you everything you need to know.

Also read: What does Wireless Caller mean?


Restricted phone calls explained

Restricted calls are generally used when the person or organisation making the call doesn’t want to be traced. They use anonymous caller IDs meaning the phone number or other identifying information isn’t transmitted to the recipient’s phone over the carrier’s network. 

The recipient’s call log doesn’t record any information about this either. While it usually doesn’t even record the call itself, even if it does, you’ll just see a restricted call with the information your phone could gather on your end and nothing more. This can even extend to your phone bill. 


Who uses restricted calls?

These calls are most frequently used by telemarketers, as well as any automated or spam callers to get past any anti-spam filters you might have put into place. That’s not to say that all restricted calls are spam or are trying to scam you. Some individuals also use them as a means of protecting their privacy. 


Should you pick restricted calls?

It’s tricky to say whether or not you should pick restricted calls. There’s a good chance that a scammer or telemarketer on the other end might be looking to waste your time, so you’re generally safe not picking a restricted call.

That said, as mentioned before, not all restricted calls are spam or scams, so your mileage may vary. However, you can assume that if someone knows you already and wants to convey important information, they’ll be reaching out with their own number, meaning you’re not really at loss for missing restricted calls.

Also read: Will iMessage say delivered if blocked?


How to block restricted calls?

If you’re looking to block restricted calls on your PC outright, here’s how.

Blocking restricted calls on your phone

If you’re using an Android or iOS smartphone, you can use your phone’s inbuilt call-blocking mechanism to block any restricted numbers that have called you. Additionally, you can check with your carrier to see if they offer a restricted call-blocking service. You can also use a third-party call-blocking app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store for more control. 


Blocking restricted calls on landline

If you’re getting restricted calls on your landline number, blocking them is a simple matter of dialling *60 or *77 (the exact number will vary based on your specific telephone and landline connection) and going through the automated call blocking system until it asks you to punch in the restricted number and you’re good to go.

Also read: How to fix ‘iPhone storage not loading’ issue? 

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: yadullahabidi@pm.me.

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