How to block specific area and country codes on Android and iOS

Spam callers

Spam calls are becoming increasingly common in Canada.

Scams come in all forms, ranging from people pretending they’re from the government, to people masquerading as your telecom provider — or even impersonating Nigerian princes (just wire them the money up front and it’ll all be okay).

Scammers and spam callers often use a variety of numbers in order to confuse their victims. However, we’ve noticed that they often reuse the same area codes. This type of calling fraud is called ‘Wangiri Fraud.’ This type of fraud aims to keep victims on the line in order to run up long distance charges.

Considering the numbers are unique apart from the area code, being able to block specific ones would be useful.

Unfortunately, Google and Apple don’t offer the seemingly simple feature.

Google told MobileSyrup the following: “We don’t support area code-based blocking at this time with our Phone app on Android, but we do have the ability to block and unblock numbers and we also have some additional caller ID and spam detection features.”

Stock Android / iOS

While the issue is not easy to deal with on stock Android or iOS, there are plenty of apps that help out.

  • Mr. Number is one of the most popular call blocking and management apps.
  • First download the app from the Play Store.
  • After agreeing to a couple of permissions tap on the ‘block’ symbol at the bottom right on the app, and then  touch the plus sign to add a new number.
  • This then gives the user four options, the bottom of which is ‘Numbers that begin with.’
  • Navigate to this option, which allows you to pick a country code and an area code.

There are also apps like Calls Blacklist and Call Control that perform the same function, but they aren’t as easy to use.

In terms of Apple, the App Store also offers a number of ways of blocking unwanted area codes.

Non-stock Android devices

There are also some Android manufacturers, such as LG, that allow the user to block area codes and country codes with the manufacturer’s native dialer app.

In LG’s case, users can navigate to the settings of the dialer app. Then tap on the menu button on the top right and navigate to the ‘Call blocking & decline with message options’ and tap on ‘Digit filter,’ which will allow users to block phone numbers starting or ending with a certain digits.

Meanwhile, Samsung allows users to block unknown numbers. However, that may be a tad too aggressive depending on your situation. In that case Samsung users may also want to download the Mr. Number app.

For other non-stock Android devices, check out the settings in the dialer app, or your security settings, as they may hold the key to blocking area codes.