No Caller ID vs Unknown Caller

So you’ve been receiving calls with both the No Caller ID and Unknown Caller labels. Are they the same thing? What’s the difference? Today I’ll be taking a closer look at these caller labels and what they mean.

To cut to the chase, when you receive a call from a number with the label No Caller ID that means the caller purposely disabled their caller ID. The Unknown Caller label is for numbers your phone carrier does not recognize, such as internet phone services, international numbers, and whatnot.

Caller ID is a feature found in your phone’s call settings. By default, most phones will have caller ID enabled, at least the basic information such as your phone number. In other words, when you call someone who is not on your contact list, they’ll be able to see your phone number.

Disable Show My Caller ID

There are some situations where you might not want the receiver of your calls to see your phone number. For example, if you make to make lots of calls in a row for work purposes and whatnot. It’s also an option for privacy.

Enabling Show My Caller ID will make it so your phone number is hidden when making outgoing calls. On the receiving end, your call will appear with a No Caller ID label or Private Number label.

To Enable Show My Caller ID on iPhone, tap on Calls and scroll down until you see Show My Caller ID and toggle it.

Show My Caller ID Greyed Out

In some cases, the Show My Caller ID option will be greyed out. The reason it’s greyed out is that phones from certain carriers lock the feature and require payment or special steps to unlock it.

Certain phone carriers consider the caller ID feature as an add-on. You will need to contact your carrier to enable it. However, if your phone is unlocked, the feature should be available for you at no cost.

Another option to hide your caller ID is to add a prefix before your outgoing call. The prefix will vary depending on the mobile carrier you use. For Verizon and Sprint, input *67 before entering the phone number. With AT&T and T-Mobile the feature is unlocked and you can enable it at any time in your phone’s settings.

There are some cases where incoming calls from someone you know and who is on your contact list appear with the No Caller ID label. When that happens, it’s most likely because they chose to disable the Show My Caller ID on their phone. You also might have accidentally deleted their phone number or they got a new number and you need to update their contact information.

What is an Unknown Caller on iPhone?

As mentioned earlier, an Unknown Caller is a phone number your phone company does not recognize. These are mostly used by telemarketing companies and scammers.

There are also some internet-based phone services like Skype that are used to make outgoing calls with random numbers. 9 times out of 10, it’s not worth picking up a call that has an unknown caller ID.

Block Unknown Callers

Unfortunately, you can’t block unknown callers because your phone can’t identify them. However, there is a feature on your iPhone called Silence Unknown Callers which can help reduce interruptions. If the caller is someone you know, they’ll have the option to leave a voice message which you can listen to later on.

There are a number of call filtering apps that can help too. But most call filtering apps will require a fee. Another idea would be to use Google Voice because their spam filtering is good. Google Voice also allows you to make and receive calls from any internet-connected device, such as your MacBook. However Google Voice is only available is certain countries, so it might not be an option for you.

The Bottom Line

The problem is both of these labels are used by scammers and telemarketers, but the one that’s more likely to be dangerous is the unknown caller label because your phone carrier can’t identify it.

As for the No Caller ID feature, anyone can enable it as a privacy setting on their phone. If you don’t want your phone number to be visible, consider disabling Show My Caller ID.

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