How to Make a Private Call and Block Caller ID

Elizabeth Lockwood

Many businesses and private individuals run into situations when they need to make a private call. However, with the near-universal use of caller ID on landlines, VoIP, cable phone, and cell phones today, this is not as easy as it once was. 

You can ask your service provider to make your number private, but there is a myriad of reasons why this might not be the best choice for your business. You want potential customers to have the contact information they need to reach you, and many people will not answer calls from an unknown number. 

When you have one or two calls you need to make, though, knowing how to block your caller ID and make a private call is key. This will allow you to make a business call from your cell phone or your home phone if necessary, without giving out your personal number.  

Blocking caller ID from your phone system at the office 

You can make a private call from most landline phones by dialing a special “star” code that blocks caller ID. From a touch-tone or digital phone, you would:

  • Dial *67
  • Wait for the three beeps followed by the dial tone
  • Dial the number to make the call

On a rotary phone, you can accomplish the same thing by dialing "1-1" in place of the star, then "67". Dialing *63 and using the same process should block your name and not your number.

This method of making a private call only works for the call dialed immediately after entering the *67 code. You will need to dial it each time if you are making several calls and want to block the caller ID for each of them.

Busy business owners, professionals, and C-level executives may find themselves in a situation when they need to reach out to a client or potential customer quickly, but are away from the office. However, it would not be professional and would be a breach of their own privacy if the recipient of their call had access to their home phone number or personal phone number. Private calls are one solution. 

This solution may also make it possible to reach someone you need to get in touch with, but who does not want to talk to you — perhaps a customer behind on their invoices or someone who has your number blocked. 

Blocking caller ID from your cell phone

While most cell phone services allow you to dial *67 to block your caller ID temporarily, you can also turn off caller ID from your cell phone settings if you need to make a number of calls or if there is some reason why you want to make private calls all the time. If you have questions about making your number private all the time, you can dial 6-1-1 on your cell phone to reach your carrier’s customer service department.

From an Android phone, you can block caller ID by selecting:

  • Menu>Settings>Call Settings>Additional Settings, then “Hide Number”

From an iPhone, blocking caller ID is possible by navigating to:

  • Settings>Phone, then toggling “Show my caller ID” to off

If you turn off your caller ID to make a few calls using this method, do not forget to turn it back on. Many people are unlikely to answer a call when they do not know who it is. For this reason, it may be difficult to get in touch with clients or those waiting to hear from you if you enable this feature. 

iPhone anonymous caller ID button toggled off

(Example: iPhone anonymous caller ID option.)

If you wish to leave caller ID blocked, but need to turn it on temporarily to make a call, you can dial *82, wait for the beep(s) and then the dial tone, and make your call. This unblocks caller ID for that call only.  

Smith.ai offers services that can help you manage outbound calls

Whether you are an overwhelmed small business owner with a lot on your plate or an executive in a large corporation whose time is required on many topics, you could benefit from using smart systems and services to delegate and automate some of the key customer service tasks that are the most time-consuming. 

While making calls with caller ID blocked is one way to keep your number private, this is not likely something you want to do all the time. When your business number is private, it could prevent potential customers from finding you and make it more difficult to develop new leads. A “work smarter, not harder” alternative to this is to enlist the help of Smith.ai, whose virtual receptionists can make managing inbound and outbound calls worry-free. Our relevant services include: 

  • 24/7 answering services based in North America so your customers and potential customers will always reach a live person
  • Outbound callback services that immediately reach out to those who send an inquiry via your website, leave a voice message, or otherwise contact your business

Our month-to-month plans are affordable and provide professional backup for your team, as well as handling other duties related to incoming and outgoing calls, scheduling, setting up video conferences or phone conferences, and more. Our system can display any number you want on the caller ID when someone calls in or when we make a call on your behalf. This means you disclose only the number you want your customers to see, never a direct or personal line. 

Contact us for a free consultation today

You can reach the Smith.ai team today by calling or texting (650) 727-6484, using the chat option on the website, or emailing hello@smith.ai. Like our professional receptionists, we are available 24/7 to take your call or return a call based on your inquiry. 

We are upfront about our plans and pricing, and we also provide complimentary consultations that can help you identify the services and solutions we offer to best support your business and your goals.

Elizabeth Lockwood

Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at Smith.ai. She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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