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How to tell if someone has blocked your number

Ever place a phone call to someone that goes unanswered? Or you’re met with a voicemail recording? No big deal — unless this happens every time you call that person. What could be wrong? Why are your calls not going through?

There may be an innocent explanation. Maybe the person you’re attempting to contact turned off their phone by accident, or the battery is dead. Tap or click here if they have an Android — there’s a reason their batteries are dying quickly.

Of course, there could be another reason: your number could be blocked. Before you begin to stress over what you could have said or done to warrant being ignored, there are several ways to determine if your number is really blocked.

Hello?

We’ve all called people and have been sent straight to voicemail; however, if continued attempts to contact the same person via call or text result in total silence, a blocked number is a possibility.

Note: This shouldn’t be your first conclusion unless it occurs every time you call or text over a length of time. If it’s only been a day or two, don’t assume you’ve been blocked. Sometimes people really do lose their devices, accidentally crack their screens or just turn their phones off to tune out the world.

You should really become suspicious if it’s been several days or even a week.

One ring

Repeated redirects to voicemail after a single ring, or none at all, could be an indication your number is blocked.

If you hear multiple rings before hearing the voicemail prompt, chances are the person has not blocked your calls but is just rejecting them.

Domo arigato?

Do you hear automated messages that inform you the person you’re calling is unavailable or is not accepting calls right now? Since there is no standard “you’ve been blocked” message, all you can do is assume yours is blocked if you received automated messages. This includes messages like, “the number you are calling is temporarily out of service.”

If you can’t even reach the person’s normal voicemail, it’s a clear indication you’ve been blocked.

It may not be you

Although the idea of having your phone number blocked is a bit disconcerting, it may not be because you somehow messed up the relationship. Several situations can cause one’s phone to go straight to voicemail, continue ringing without answer or deliver automated messages. Here are a handful of possible scenarios:

  • The person is traveling and has limited or no service.
  • The battery is dead.
  • A natural disaster has damaged network infrastructure.
  • The phone is turned off, or the Do Not Disturb feature is enabled.
  • (S)he forgot to pay his or her phone bill and has had service disconnected.
  • The phone is lost or not in their possession.
  • The person has blocked all contacts for whatever reason(s).
  • The person has used Apple’s new feature to block robocalls and doesn’t have your number in their phone. Tap or click here for more information on how the block works.

Last resorts

Unfortunately, if someone blocks your number, there’s nothing you can do to reverse it; however, there are a few ways to help confirm whether you are blocked or just calling at bad times.

Consider the following methods:

  • Conceal your phone number when calling. You can type *67 before you dial their number or disable caller ID from outgoing calls in your phone’s settings.
    • Options will vary depending on your wireless provider, phone model, manufacturer and operating system.
  • Call from a different phone number.
  • If you have a trusted family member or mutual friend, ask if they would be willing to contact the person directly for you.
  • Attempt to reach out via social media or email.

If you’re still getting the silent treatment, especially if others are able to reach the person you’ve been trying to contact, we’re sorry to say you’ve been blocked.

While you can use any of the above options, continued attempts to contact someone who has taken steps to cut communications with you can be viewed as crossing a line (harassment or stalking), which could result in legal consequences.

One of the best things you can do in this situation is to not reach out repeatedly, unless you have reason to believe the person is in danger. If this is the case, notify authorities; otherwise, step back and take a few days between calls to offer the other person an opportunity to get back to you.

If you’re the one who wants to block someone, simply tap or click here to learn how.

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