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how to block unwanted phone calls, landline and mobile?

A woman with her fixed telephone handset in her ear. (JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOURDILLAT / RADIO FRANCE)

While consumer associations are going to war against the abuse of direct marketing, here are some technical solutions to fight against this scourge.

The manufacturer Panasonic has launched a landline phone that filters and blocks unwanted incoming calls. This happens in two ways. First, the device asks the caller to type a code to connect with you, but since most unwanted calls are made by robots, they are unable to type codes and, as a result, the appeal is dismissed. If it is a human being, it is possible to indicate on a case by case basis that a number is undesirable by pressing a special key which will place this number in blacklist. The number will be blocked next time (around 50 euros).

There are also small boxes in the trade to connect to a fixed line, in addition to his usual telephone, which are capable of blocking series of numbers pre-recorded in a black list. Again, it is possible in addition to manually block any number that is not already recognized (about 30 euros).

On mobile phones, you can block unwanted numbers piecemeal (as soon as you have received a call, by going to the call log or at the address book level). For each number concerned, simply activate the option “block this numberHere's how to do it on iPhone and Android.

There are also specific apps, like Blacklist Plus (Android), Whoscall (iOS) or Truecaller (iOS), which contain regularly updated lists of known spam numbers.

Finally, a radical option, you can silence all calls from unknown numbers on your mobile phone, that is, all those that are not contained in your address book. By activating this option, calls are directly directed to the voice mailbox without ringing your telephone. It’s a bit radical but it can be useful if you are in high demand.

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