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Trick this #! @% Spam calls with a fake phone number



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The firewall is taking a new approach to preventing spam and robocalls from ever reaching your phone.


Jason Cipriani / CNET

How many times a day does your phone ring with a number you do not know? Imagine, all calls came from callers you actually know, not from bots or strangers trying to sell you something. Firewall is a new app for the iPhone (also for Android) that allows you to block and check incoming calls on your phone. You will also receive fake phone numbers that you can use to return calls. In the few days I used it, my phone did not ring once. I could not be happier.

Spam calls are currently receiving the most attention – more in a nutshell, these robocalls stopped . And for a good reason. Spam calls are annoying and often lead to scams that try to separate you from your money, sign you up for an unwanted service, or identify sensitive information that can be used to cheat you.

The FCC has recently passed a proposal that gives carriers more power to block robocalls. The FTC also acts against spam calls and the scams they often lead to. Even Apple does its part by adding an option in iOS 13 that prevents any unknown caller from ever calling your iPhone.

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Firewall differs from features like iOS 13 in that it uses a database to completely block calls without sending them to your voicemail. You pay just under $ 4 per month for firewall smarts and for the unlimited number of fake numbers displayed when making a call in the caller ID. This is a small fee for those of us who are flooded with calls every day and value anonymity.

Using the firewall requires some settings and some precautions that you need to consider. We will guide you through everything you need to know to get started.

Things to Remember

The firewall works like a server's firewall, preventing calls from ever reaching your phone instead of informing you of incoming calls. Can be spam like most current callers ID apps do. Therefore, it is not common to block unwanted calls. That's why you need to be aware of a few things:

  • Unlike apps like Hiya, which integrate directly with applications The firewall replaces the iPhone's default phone app.
  • You must forward all incoming calls through the firewall service.
  • All incoming calls are routed through the firewall app.
  • After the 14-day free trial.
  • Supports all four major US carriers: Verizon, AT & T, Sprint and T-Mobile.
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The setup takes only a few seconds.


Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Set up firewall

After you install the firewall and sign up for the 14-day trial, you need to set up call forwarding. The app guides you through the process, including entering your phone number, a verification code, and forwarding incoming calls to the service.

Finally, you grant the app access to your contacts (see below for more) and enter your firewall voicemail greetings – one for suspicious spam calls, one for your contacts. The process takes only a few minutes and consists mainly of tapping keys until everything is set up.

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You are in control of how aggressive the firewall is at blocking inbound calls.


Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Determining how aggressive the firewall is

By default, the firewall only allows calls that originate from numbers that you have stored in your contacts app. All other calls are either blocked or sent directly to your firewall voicemail to check calls.

You can add numbers to the app's whitelist by selecting the Whitelist tab and then Add to Whitelist . Enter a name and number and then Add . If you call this number, the call will be put through and your phone will ring.

Also, select the Settings tab followed by Allow calls from to switch between Whitelist, All Callers, or Nobody.

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Waiting for an important call? Stop firewall for it to get through.


Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Stop firewall

If you expect a call from someone who is not on your whitelist, such as a doctor's office, you can stop the firewall for 10, 30, or 60 minutes. If you stop the service, all calls will be put through for that period.

Access the Settings tab and tap Stop Firewall . Then select the period.

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One of the firewall's best features is to give you fake phone numbers that are not linked to your real number.


Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Using a fake number for outgoing calls

Another feature of the firewall is the ability to make outbound calls with a randomly generated phone number. Use this feature if you do not want your real phone number to appear in the caller ID, or if you happen to receive a call that might be spam, which you think is legitimate.

It is easy to use. Open the Firewall Call tab, dial the number, and tap the red call icon. You will be asked if you want to use a temporary number or your real number.

The best part? If someone tries to call you back at this number, you will never know – your phone does not even ring.

If you're using Android or are not convinced that stopping spam calls is worth a monthly fee, read our Complete Guide to Stopping Robocalls . From service providers to third party apps to best practices, we cover everything.


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