Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 15858
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Does you know of an Android ap that will block specific AREA CODES?
Screenshot_20230623-191056.png
My LGK30 Android phone allows me to block specific numbers such as 204-123-4567. I live in the 709 area code of North America.
The phone allows me to block numbers containing a specific string of digits, but I do not want to block my pal Bruce (709-234-2288 as an example).
I do not recognize the area codes off the top of my head, but I suspect that they are from a territory other than Los Angeles or New York. I realize that I may be missing the next golden opportunity to star in a movie or be the main speaker at the International Society of Memoir Writers, but I’ll take the chance.
Thanks, Chris :phonecall:
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
I’ve been tidying the junk out of my shed for five years, and now can hardly get into the shed

User avatar
Leif
Administrator
Posts: 7242
Joined: 15 Jan 2010, 22:52
Location: Middle of England

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by Leif »

Leif

User avatar
BobH
UraniumLounger
Posts: 9368
Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 01:27
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by BobH »

Chris, the iPhone app store has an app called Robokiller. I use it. IDK if it's available for android phones.
Bob's yer Uncle
(1/2)(1+√5)
Dell Intel Core i5 Laptop, 3570K,1.60 GHz, 8 GB RAM, Windows 11 64-bit, LibreOffice,and other bits and bobs

User avatar
HansV
Administrator
Posts: 78977
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 00:14
Status: Microsoft MVP
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by HansV »

Best wishes,
Hans

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 15858
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Leif wrote:
03 Jul 2023, 15:10
According to Google, you could try How to block phone numbers, robocalls from iPhone, Android, landline
Thanks for the link, Leif. By and large most spam-blockers i have seen miss the point about NOT interrupting activities at my emd.

1. Reject Anonymous Calls Automatically; Depending on your service, you may have access to Anonymous Call Rejection. Try this on your landline. Make sure your caller ID is activated. Enter the magic number *77, and you will hear three beeps. Hang up, and any call that hides its number will be rejected.

I will ask my service provider about spam calls in general.
My overall aim is to dis-allow an unknown caller to ring the phone. By the time I have walked to my phone, my activity has been disturbed. Walking to the phone to respond to a call from someone I know is one thing, but anyone else can leave a message.

2. Join the National Do Not Call Registry List
In Canada this is a joke; introduced a dozen years ago I had friends who signed up (“At last!”) and then were dismayed to learn that very few spammers registered as spammers. I think it was a government make-work project to reduce unemployment figures.

3. Use Carrier Tools to Block Unwanted Calls;
The four major carriers have tools to identify, filter and prevent suspected nuisance numbers from calling or texting your phone. Most require an extra monthly fee to activate the caller ID service, but network-level blocking is free of charge across all the carriers.
I will ask my service provider about spam calls in general.

4. Use the Best Apps to Block Robocalls; Nomorobo is an iOS and Android app that offers real–time protection from a growing list of robocallers, telemarketers and phone scammers.; Another great feature of Truecaller is its ability to block spam calls. When a pesky telemarketer calls, there will be a big warning in red, telling you that it's a spam call. Just swipe up when this happens to automatically block that caller and add them to the spam list.
Bingo! “When a pesky telemarketer calls ...” means that I have interrupted my activity to respond to a call that I didn’t want in the first place. Not a solution.

Call Control – Call Blocker; The Call Control – Call Blocker app automatically blocks spam calls and calls from other numbers you don't want to hear from. You can block entire area codes (like 888) if you're getting tons of calls you don't want from a particular location. The Call Control app is free and available for both Apple and Android gadgets.

So far this is the only promise of blocking specific area codes.

5. Some Phones Block Robocalls Automatically

Not my LGK30 Android; I have looked, searched, and looked again.

6. Block Individual Phone Numbers
Not a solution. There are more hacked numbers out there than I have time for. “Whack a mole” comes to mind.

7. Set Your Phone on Do Not Disturb

Not an option. When my new lawnmower is en route, I WANT to be disturbed and alerted that the mower will arrive at my doorstep in the next 30 minutes.

8. Common Sense Prevails; This is the simplest solution, and many people try this low–tech approach to robocalls. If you receive a call from an unknown number or one that doesn't show up on caller ID, don't answer.

Not an option. I do not want to be interrupted to make this decision.

Fifteen, twenty years ago I set up an effective email spam blocker that worked well. Every email that had the “@” symbol in the To or From field was defined as spam by default. That cut out a lot of spam!
However if the email was in my address book, then it was redefined as not-spam.
That left honest enquiries. If the email was not in my address book, but bore the subject line “From the Chris Greaves web site”, it was allowed through. Besides approving folks who had clicked on the “mail me” after finding a web page, it also discouraged smart-alecs like myself who modified the subject line to read “From the absolutely fabulous Chris Greaves web site”

Thanks again Leif.
Chris
I’ve been tidying the junk out of my shed for five years, and now can hardly get into the shed

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 15858
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by ChrisGreaves »

HansV wrote:
03 Jul 2023, 19:22
For Android too: Robokiller on Google Play Store
@Bob @Hans
Thanks for this. I will investigate
"Any unwanted caller or phone call with an unknown caller ID will be marked as spam with the help of our number-blocking, audio fingerprinting technology."
This sounds to me as if the ap uses a database of reported spam numbers, hence the 99% rate advertised.

I know that my situation is strange: No-one outside my area code 709 (i.e. Newfoundland) is likely to call me. My few remaining friends use email.
Whatever system I implement, strangers with a genuine need to speak with me must be allowed to leave a voice-mail.

From my point of view I don't want to stop washing dishes or barrowing grass clippings unless it is someone with whom I have previously spoken.

Cheers, Chris
I’ve been tidying the junk out of my shed for five years, and now can hardly get into the shed

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 15858
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by ChrisGreaves »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
04 Jul 2023, 10:22
Thanks for this. I will investigate
I got as far as this reviews page and stopped.
I agree with the July 02 comment that many negative reviews may be from folks who have not understood the ap-settings.
As well some of the comments seem positively spoiled-child juvenile.

Bob: You are in my position, sort of; retired, no major contracts on the line etc.
Have you experienced any of these "takes over your phone/your life" problems?
Cheers, Chris
I’ve been tidying the junk out of my shed for five years, and now can hardly get into the shed

GeoffW
PlatinumLounger
Posts: 4106
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 07:23

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by GeoffW »


User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 15858
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by ChrisGreaves »

GeoffW wrote:
06 Jul 2023, 08:07
Here's a different approach:
Hi Geoff. I agree that this is a fun way to deal with spammers. It is a more modern version of my Hayes Modem technique which I developed in the early 1990s. Back then I would engage the caller in chat for three minutes then say "I have to go, my four-year-old is calling out from the bathtub, give me your number and I'll call you right back!", and they did! (In those days these guys were usually local to Toronto selling cheap driveway paving contracts).

I plopped their number right into a little batch file (whose last command was "%0") which ECHOed that digit-string with appropriate Hayes codes ("ATDT ...") along with a dozen or so other suckers, and then eavesdropped as the dozen or so callers got increasingly angry as they ran to pick up their phones. Again.

Back on topic:-
My life's thesis (well, inasmuch as I have had a life in computing) is that computers are meant to serve us, not us them. So anything at all that causes me to perform an action dictated by a computer goes against the grain.
Hence each time I enter a 10-digit number into a call blocking service I am violating my principle of living.

"If it's boring and repetitive, get a computer machine to do it" is the driving force in my life. If I run to the phone when I didn't need to, that's bad. As is picking up empty voice-mail messages.
So my need is for a machine (in this case a mobile Android Ap) that inhibits the ringing/vibration for any type of call that violates MY definition.

My definition right now is that any area codes other than (709)===Newfoundland can be considered spam. I haven't had a phone call from 416/905=== Toronto GTA since February 2019. Too I would like it to delete voice-mails left that are less than five seconds long. Nobody leaves a message for me that says simple "Call me!".

I really have to make time today to check out the ap that says it will block area codes. As long as no one else delivers grass clippings, and no-one else (Fred) comes around with design plans for my new book bin, and Bernard doesn't drag me out of bed at 8pm to deliver my Moka Pot, and I don't waste too much of Cathy's time chatting with her about soil remediation, we should be OK.

Cheers, Chris
I’ve been tidying the junk out of my shed for five years, and now can hardly get into the shed

User avatar
BobH
UraniumLounger
Posts: 9368
Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 01:27
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by BobH »

Chris, I have had none of the problems you cite. RK has worked just fine for me.

Geoff, thanks for the info. I just might give that a try. :grin:
Bob's yer Uncle
(1/2)(1+√5)
Dell Intel Core i5 Laptop, 3570K,1.60 GHz, 8 GB RAM, Windows 11 64-bit, LibreOffice,and other bits and bobs

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 15858
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by ChrisGreaves »

I spent the best part of an hour tracking down and installing RoboKiller and CallBlocker-CallControl and ended up uninstalling them.

Both applications boasted a Free Trial as long as I told them my credit card and email details. This raises me above my normal state of paranoia.

As preparation I copied my currently-blocked numbers from the smartphone settings to a MSWord document (attached) and summarized the area codes in case anyone wants to use it.

I want NOT to be aware of any calls from any one of these (currently) 20 area codes. In particular I do not want my phone to ring. It's bad enough that many mornings I learn I have a voice-mail that is "click". Getting up from my couch to see if Fred is calling to say that the new book cabinet is ready is enjoyable. Getting up to find that someone pretending to be in the 587 area code makes me lose my concentration in any John Grisham novel.

The current objective is to monitor all new calls and see if (a) they are in my list (should be NO) and (b) if their area code is in my list (could be YES)

I will keep looking ...
Cheers, Chris
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
I’ve been tidying the junk out of my shed for five years, and now can hardly get into the shed

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 15858
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by ChrisGreaves »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
10 Jul 2023, 12:48
I spent the best part of an hour tracking down and installing RoboKiller and CallBlocker-CallControl and ended up uninstalling them. Both applications boasted a Free Trial as long as I told them my credit card and email details. This raises me above my normal state of paranoia.
I appear to have been mistaken about "CallBlocker-CallControl". This application turned up in another search. I emailed them and received a response same-day, and yesterday installed CallBlocker-CallControl for a 7day full-feature free trial.

The interface seems to have changed from several of the YouTube tutorials and help screens.

I set up CallBlocker-CallControl to allow my contacts list (naturally!) AND the area codes 709 and 416/647/905/705. 709 is my local area code and the other four are the area of Southern Ontario - Toronto, the GTA etc.
I am now waiting to see if any spam calls or silent voice-mails ("Click") interrupt my post-lunch nap.

I attach an updated version of my documentation.

Cheers, Chris
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
I’ve been tidying the junk out of my shed for five years, and now can hardly get into the shed

User avatar
BobH
UraniumLounger
Posts: 9368
Joined: 13 Feb 2010, 01:27
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by BobH »

One thing I've run into is the need to communicate sometimes with people in the blocked codes or with those not in my contacts. When that happens I ask them to resort to texting as only voice calls are blocked, not texts. Texts are flagged as questionable, but one can easily detect spam from real meat.
Bob's yer Uncle
(1/2)(1+√5)
Dell Intel Core i5 Laptop, 3570K,1.60 GHz, 8 GB RAM, Windows 11 64-bit, LibreOffice,and other bits and bobs

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 15858
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by ChrisGreaves »

BobH wrote:
20 Jul 2023, 19:13
One thing I've run into is the need to communicate sometimes with people in the blocked codes or with those not in my contacts. When that happens I ask them to resort to texting as only voice calls are blocked, not texts. Texts are flagged as questionable, but one can easily detect spam from real meat.
I can see that this would be the case for you and everyone else in Eileen's Lounge.
But not me.
I seem to have alienated everyone in the world except for those in Eileen's Lounge, and even then, half the population of Eileen's Lounge has started planning my funeral celebrations(1) :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Truth is that I have no kin who are going to phone me. My son does email, and email it is for a few correspondents around the world.

So "Allow" my contacts list plus the area codes of Newfound (709) Southern Ontario (416/647/905/705) and I am done.
Of course, if David (Adelaide) wants to phone me he will have to book in advance, but he does that anyway.
And if Eileen, Heather, Susan, Christine, Barbara et al track me down, they too will have to email me anyway.

(1) Even Bob Archell said "No, email will do fine" when I asked :sad: :sad:

(later) I had a problem actually dialling out. I couldn't find how to do that after trying to dial out using my native dialler and using Call Control as a dialler. This highlights a support problem. While VA has been responding individually by email, there is no user-support forum. I gather there used to be a forum, but it is discontinued. For folks like me this means that there is no massive database of answers to simple but important questions like mine.

Cheers, Chris
I’ve been tidying the junk out of my shed for five years, and now can hardly get into the shed

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 15858
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by ChrisGreaves »

ChrisGreaves wrote:
20 Jul 2023, 20:05
(later) I had a problem actually dialling out.
I uninstalled then reinstalled Call Control. My area codes appeared to be retained (Good, in this instance), and I could dial out using the GREEN button which I had not seen before. I was focused on the word “Call” which I took to be a command button.
Late afternoon I saw a pop-up message on my phone:
Screenshot_20230728-170819 (Copy).png
(480) is an area code on my tables of spam numbers.
602 is a new exchange code.
The number 480-602-1980 has not been recorded (by me) as a spam call before. It is, to me, yet-another-apparently random number.

Call Control successfully blocked this number, presumably by area code, which is exactly what I am looking for!
Well Done Call Control!

Blocking calls by area code is good, but being able to block all area codes except for a small white list of approved area codes is what people like me need. Retired, inactive in business, and a limited number (five) of area codes of people who might have a reason to phone me.
Settling in period: I have a recorded message from a spam caller, and I deleted the (empty) voice-mail before checking the date. Right now I can live with voice mails from blocked messages, since that is a once-per-day exercise (I check for voice mails first thing each morning)
Reasoning contacts: If someone on the west coast really wants to talk about my one-click indexer, they should and will send me an email, rather than a spur-of-the-moment voice call.

My mode of operation - block all incoming calls except for a small whitelist - is an ideal mode for some people who are concerned about elderly relatives being targeted by scammers.

Cheers, Chris
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
I’ve been tidying the junk out of my shed for five years, and now can hardly get into the shed

Reginald99
NewLounger
Posts: 1
Joined: 11 Apr 2024, 12:12

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by Reginald99 »

Hey Chris, there's this app on the iPhone App Store called Robokiller that I use. I'm not sure if it's available for Android phones though.

User avatar
Leif
Administrator
Posts: 7242
Joined: 15 Jan 2010, 22:52
Location: Middle of England

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by Leif »

Robokiller appears to be available for both Android and Apple users, but at a cost:
RoboKiller Review: Cost & Pricing Plans in 2024
Leif

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 15858
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Reginald99 wrote:
11 Apr 2024, 12:16
Hey Chris, there's this app on the iPhone App Store called Robokiller that I use. I'm not sure if it's available for Android phones though.
Thanks Reginald, and Welcome to Eileen's Lounge.
The FAQ states "RoboKiller works by cross-referencing incoming phone calls with their global database of 1.5 billion phone numbers that have been flagged as spam. If the incoming call matches a phone number in its database, it is automatically blocked." which suggests to me that there is a database that needs to be updated as new numbers arrive. I daresay my old number in Toronto is close to being re-used by spammers!

I am looking at blocking from a different stance. Most of my communication nowadays is by email; I suspect that 99% of my acceptable incoming calls are from the 709-areacode. That is, I deal by voice telephone with people in Newfoundland, Bonavista mainly, and have very little voice contact with people anywhere else in the world. If my son in Adelaide SA wants to chat we arrange, by email, a time when we will both be available. In the fifteen years before my retirement I ignored any phone call from a number/person I did not recognize. "If it is important and concerns me as an individual, they will leave a voice-mail", Draconian, but to my mind, successful.

Today I resent the time spent looking at my phone to see yet-another 412- or 409- or 656- ... area code.
I ***might*** answer a 416(Toronto) area code, but only if I haven't spoken to anybody for a week!

I am looking for a package that will allow only one specific area code (709) through, and block all other numbers except those on my personal contact list.
Cheers, Chris
I’ve been tidying the junk out of my shed for five years, and now can hardly get into the shed

User avatar
ChrisGreaves
PlutoniumLounger
Posts: 15858
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 23:23
Location: brings.slot.perky

Re: Blocking Spam Phone Area Codes

Post by ChrisGreaves »

Leif wrote:
11 Apr 2024, 12:54
Robokiller appears to be available for both Android and Apple users, but at a cost:
RoboKiller Review: Cost & Pricing Plans in 2024
Thanks Leif. Even pecuniary-I was tempted by the $US3.33/month, and a free trial sounded good.
But the free trial is only seven days.

I have noticed, but not documented/measured, the spam calls.
I believe I have not had a spam call for the past three weeks. In a week or two's time I will get spam calls from three different numbers in a span of two days, then silence again.

I don't know how spammers work, apart from selling each other lists of spoofed(?) numbers. But it seems to me that about once every four weeks or so, a new spammer starts up, gets his/her/its list and hits-the-airwaves, then goes elsewhere. That suggests to me that the spammers might get through before the database is updated.

I could be wrong.
Cheers, Chris
I’ve been tidying the junk out of my shed for five years, and now can hardly get into the shed