How to Block Telemarketers and Debt Collectors

By Michael Butler

Receiving unwanted calls from telemarketers and debt collectors can interfere with other things you are doing, especially since they tend to call at times they expect you home, such as during dinner. You cannot block phone calls of both types in the exact same way, but you can prevent both from calling you. However, if you owe someone money, stopping the debt collector's calls does not stop collection activity.

Go to and register with the National Do Not Call Registry. By entering your phone number in the registry, you prevent telemarketers from calling. It is illegal for telemarketers to call any number in the registry unless you are already a customer of the business. Charities and government officials are exempt, so they can still call you. Signing up for the registry will not stop calls from debt collectors.

Talk to your phone company or wireless provider as many allow you to block calls from numbers for a monthly fee. Some cell phones also have the ability to block calls without a fee, so check your phone. Many debt collectors like to hide their number from caller ID, so blocking calls from unknown numbers will prevent many of them from calling.

Get an app that blocks calls if you have a smart phone, like a BlackBerry, an iPhone or an Android. Search the Market or App Store for your phone using the keywords "block calls" to see if there is an app available for your model. Enter the numbers that you want to block into the app.

Tell debt collectors not to call you. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, debt collectors cannot continue to call you after you tell them not too. You can tell the collector not to call you orally, but a better practice is to send them a certified letter.