How to block unwanted calls on your home phone

There are a several ways you can block unwanted calls and control which calls make it through to your house. These tactics can help you fend off telemarketers, robocalls, and other people whose calls you do not want to receive:
 

  1. Use calling features to block incoming calls
  2. Add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry
  3. Use a call blocker device
  4. Change your directory listing so it's harder for unwanted callers to find you

Use CenturyLink calling features to block calls

Here are some tools CenturyLink offers to limit unwanted phone calls and solicitations, including "robocalls" or computerized telemarketing calls and scams. Some calling features can be activated and managed by calling the CenturyLink Update Center. You can press *78 or call 888-(your area code)-8052 (except in locations noted below). 

 

  • In Minnesota, calling from area code 763 or 952: call 888-612-8052
  • In Iowa, calling from area code 641: call 888-515-8052
  • In Arizona, calling from area code 928: call 888-520-8052
  • In Oregon, calling from area code 971: call 888-503-8052
  • In Oregon, calling from area code 458: call 888-541-8052

Note: The first time you call the CenturyLink Update Center, you're asked for a security code. You can enter the temporary security code 1-2-3-4. Then, follow the recorded instructions to set up your own personal code.

 

You can use the same security code to manage many of the calling features on your account. Just be sure to remember your personal security code.

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The No Solicitation feature blocks calls and functions like a screening service. An automatic message asks solicitors to hang up and tells regular callers to press 1 to complete the call. This feature relies on the honesty of the calling party, trusting that they will hang up if they're trying to solicit your business. But in fact, anyone can press 1 and be connected through to your home phone. If you're trying to block a harassing caller, this feature is unlikely to be effective. It is most effective for solicitation calls.

You can set up a privileged caller list that will allow callers you choose to bypass the No Solicitation greeting. There are three ways to set privileged callers:

Method Example What happens
By area code 303-000-0000 Incoming calls from the area code you've selected won't hear the No Solicitation message.
By area code and prefix 303-555-0000 Incoming calls with the area code and prefix you've selected won't hear the No Solicitation message.
By 10-digit number 303-555-0102 Incoming calls from the specific number(s) you've selected won't hear the No Solicitation message. (You can have up to 25 numbers on your list.)

© 2021 The No Solicitation feature is included at no extra charge on all Price for Life bundles. For more information and instructions on how to use this feature, you can download the No Solicitation user guide.

Security Screen also blocks calls and works like a screening service by requiring that callers either share their phone number or be disconnected. People calling from blocked, unidentified, toll-free and long-distance numbers hear a message saying that you do not accept unidentified calls. They are then given the option to enter their 10-digit phone number or hang up.

For more information and further instructions, you can download the Security Screen user guide.

Caller ID with the Privacy+ feature intercepts calls that don't show Caller ID information. Callers can record their names, then you decide which calls to accept or reject. You should notice a reduction in the number of calls you receive, since most telemarketers will hang up without recording a name. 

For more information and instructions on using this feature, you can download the Caller ID with Privacy+ user guide.

With Call Curfew, you can block ALL incoming and outgoing calls. Call Curfew is preset to block calls from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Friday and Saturday. You also have the option to set your own hours. The only calls that get through during those hours are calls you authorize, and calls to 911.

Call Curfew is not designed to block specific numbers, but because it blocks ALL incoming calls it can still be helpful if you're receiving unwanted calls during a certain time of day.

Contact us to add this feature to your account. To manage this feature, dial *78 from the line it's installed on. Note that this feature requires a six-digit access code when you call the CenturyLink Update Center, rather than a four-digit code. The initial code is 1-2-3-4-5-6Download the Call Curfew user guide.

Dial Lock allows you to block certain types of outgoing calls such as long distance, local, toll free, operator assisted, directory assistance and 900 numbers.

Contact us to add this feature to your account. To manage this feature, dial *78 from the line it's installed on. Download the Dial Lock user guide.

Use Anonymous Call Rejection to block unwanted calls from anonymous and private numbers. For instance, if a sales person calls you from a blocked number, they hear: 

"The party you are calling does not accept blocked calls. If you are calling from a blocked number, please hang up, pick up the receiver, press *87 and redial the phone number. When you do this, your name and number will appear for this call only."

In many areas, Anonymous Call Rejection comes with Caller ID. In some areas, you need to order it separately. Either way, when it's first installed, it's turned off, so you need to turn it on. Do this by pressing *77 on your phone. You'll hear two beeps once it's on.

This calling feature only stops anonymous and private calls. Other types of calls that lack the info needed for Caller ID, such as out of area, unavailable, unknown, or not provided, cannot be blocked with this feature. 

Use Call Rejection or Enhanced Call Rejection to block specific phone numbers from reaching you. To do this, enter a list of phone numbers that you want to reject. Then anyone calling from a number on your list will not be able to get through.

How does Call Rejection help you block unwanted phone calls?

  • To block calls, create a "rejection list" and add the phone numbers you want to that list. Numbers on your call rejection list are not able to call your home.
  • When an unwanted caller tries to reach you, he/she hears a pre-recorded message saying you're not accepting calls.
  • This feature works with most numbers.

 

The Call Rejection feature has to be ordered and added to your account. When it's first installed, it's turned off; turn it on by pressing *60. To turn it off, press *80.

This feature lets you block up to 10 unwanted phone numbers. If you want to block additional numbers (up to 25), Enhanced Call Rejection is available in some areas.

If you don't know a caller's number, you can activate Call Rejection immediately after you get a call from that person. To do this, hang up, then pick up the receiver and press *60 and follow the recorded instructions.

Do Not Disturb is very similar to Call Curfew. It blocks ALL incoming calls from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. seven days a week. You can customize the hours it's active and also add numbers that you do want to allow through. 

Do Not Disturb is not designed to block specific numbers, but because it blocks ALL incoming calls, it can still be helpful if you're receiving unwanted calls during a certain time of the day.

Contact us to add this feature to your account. To manage this feature, dial *78 from the line it's installed on. Download the Do Not Disturb user guide.

CenturyLink partners with Nomorobo for Digital Home Phone customers. This third party application blocks robocalls for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) numbers and mobile phones. 

Digital Home Phone customers only, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Nomorobo to initiate the sign-up process.
  2. Choose the “landlines” options where it says “sign up now!”
  3. On the next screen, pick “internet landline” and then either input your phone number or choose CenturyLink Digital Home Phone from the carrier list.
  4. You will get an email from Nomorobo with instructions to complete the setup.

 

More information about robocalls is available on the USTelecom website. You can also visit the FCC web page for stopping unwanted calls, texts, and faxes.

Use the National Do Not Call Registry

The National Do Not Call Registry (often referred to as the "Do Not Call" list) is managed by the Federal Trade Commission and gives people a way to stop unwanted calls from phone solicitors and telemarketers.

 

If you would like to block unwanted calls to your home or cell phone, you can add your number(s) to the Do Not Call list. It's a free service, and once your number has been on the list for 31 days, telemarketers should stop calling you. If they don't, you can file a complaint

 

The government recognizes that some business calls are legitimate, so even if your number is on the list, you may occasionally still receive calls you don't want. For example, you may get calls from political organizations, charities and telephone surveyors.

 

You may also receive calls from companies that you've purchased from within the last 18 months, or from companies you've given written permission to contact you. Be careful to read the fine print whenever you sign an agreement, as you may be granting that entity permission to contact you.

 

Did you know? If you ask a company to place your phone number on its internal do-not-call list, they must honor your request. It's always a good idea to keep a record of the date you made the request, just in case they fail to follow through and you need to file a complaint.

Use a call blocker

You can also block robocalls with the V5000 Call Blocker, a device that makes it easy to view the last 20 callers and block any call on the spot. It comes pre-programmed with 5000 numbers that have already been identified as nuisance callers, and you can block up to 1,500 additional numbers. You can order a V5000 on the CenturyLink Accessories Marketplace.

Change your directory listing

Limiting where and how your telephone number is published can make a difference. There are several ways for you to control how your name and number are shared. You can see more details about these options on our page about directory listing options.

 

  • Non-listed (semi-private) listing: Your name and phone number aren't included in the printed telephone directory, but are available through Directory Assistance. 

  • Non-published (private) listing: Your name, address and phone number don't appear in the printed telephone directory and are not available through Directory Assistance.

  • Have your name removed, at no charge, from lists that we may provide to other companies for marketing purposes. Non-listed and non-published numbers are automatically excluded from these lists.

Harassment prevention options

Telephone harassment is a crime. If you receive threatening or obscene phone calls, you can trace who's calling you.  If you feel threatened or that your safety is at risk, contact your local police.

Call Trace is available in most areas, and is already installed on your line. You don't have to order it or have it installed, and you will only be charged if you successfully complete a trace. 

After three successful traces, contact the CenturyLink Annoyance Call Bureau at 800-582-0655 for help stopping the unwanted calls.

Need further assistance in blocking unwanted calls on your home phone?

If you have questions or would like to add calling features to your account, contact us. We're here to help!

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