How To

How to block an entire phone exchange on an Android phone

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If you’re an alum of a particular top-tier, non Ivy college that shall remain nameless (it rhymes with Bons Mopkins), you may be accustomed to getting a weekly phone call from a very pushy undergrad asking for money. Since you graduated with a degree from this excellent institution, you must have a bunch of money that you just don’t know what to do with, right? ROFL!

I have this problem, and I tried saving the phone number in my contacts and setting the ringtone to silent. Then they called from a slightly different number, so I added that to the contact record. When they called from a third number, I realized I needed a better solution. I used an app called Tasker that lets you automate things on your Android. It’s a little tricky to figure out, and there are a lot of steps involved. So here’s step by step instructions for blocking an entire exchange on an Android phone:

  1. First, you’ll need to install the Tasker app. It’s not free, but it’s worth it. (You can do a lot of other things with it.)
  2. Once that is installed, open the app and press the ‘+’ at the bottom to create what they call, in the Tasker lingo, a “profile”. Name it whatever you want and tap the check mark.
  3. You’ll see a menu that says “First Context”. Tap “State”.
  4. At the menu that says “Select State Category”, choose “Phone”.
  5. The next screen says “Select Phone Action”. Choose “Incoming Call”.
  6. Here’s where the magic happens. Where it says “Caller” put in the first six digits of the phone number (the area code and the exchange) followed by an asterisk. So if you’re getting calls from numbers like 410-555-1234 and 410-555-1235 put in “410555*”. Tap the green check mark.
  7. The next screen will say “Task Selection”. Choose “New Task”, name it whatever you want, and tap the green check mark.
  8. Then you’ll see a screen that says “Task Edit / [your task name]“. Press the ‘+’.
  9. On the screen that says “Select Action Category”, choose “Phone”.
  10. On the screen that says “Select Phone Action”, choose “End Call”. This will reject all calls from the exchange.
  11. On the screen that says “End Call”, press the green check mark.
  12. Finally, on the screen that says “Task Edit / [your task name]“, press the green check mark.

You’re done! The next time you get a call from this exchange, your phone will ring only very briefly before the call is rejected and you’ll get a “missed call” notification.

Enjoy pushy-undergrad-fundraiser-free bliss!