I want to block crazy stalker dude from my iPhone!
September 11, 2010 4:01 PM   Subscribe

I have an annoying Stalker and an iPhone 3GS. How can I block their calls and text messages to me?

Based on this recent iPhone question, I'm wondering if there are new options now available to block someone's phone calls and/or texts? Especially the text messages. Phone calls are not so much a problem because I can opt not to answer... but I actually have to look at the text messages in order to delete. Hate that.

In fact, I'd love it if I could allow the calls, yet block the text messages. I'd like this person to get bored (sometime in the next decade) while limiting their ability to communicate actual information to me.

It's better now than it was 3 years ago, but I'm pretty sure if I abruptly changed my number (or made it seem to them I did) this person would "ramp up" attempts to keep communication instead of fading out. I'm trying to call as little attention to myself as possible as I move forward.

At least 4 months ago this function was not available on the iPhone. I'm also willing to upgrade to the brite shiny new iPhone if there are more options available to me with that model.

Thanks so much!
posted by jbenben to Technology (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Looks like this app blocks selected texts/calls.
posted by mynameisluka at 4:11 PM on September 11, 2010

Response by poster: OK! I remember now why I did not install iBlacklist - it requires Cydia and a jailbroken iPhone.

I'm OK with the jailbreak because my phone already is. But I have a broken wifi. If I can get Cydia on my phone w/out a lot of hassle (I couldn't get it onto my phone before, TRIED) then that would be great!

I'm with AT&T, btw. As of 4 months ago they had no solutions for me via my account.
posted by jbenben at 4:27 PM on September 11, 2010

There is a service called AT&T Smart Limits that may do what you want. I'm not sure if you can just block calls without blocking texts (or vice versa) and I've never used the service myself. Unfortunately, it costs $5/month.
posted by ccrazy88 at 4:35 PM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

You can use the AT&T Smart Limits service to block incoming and outgoing text messages to certain phone numbers. The service is normally used to restrict what a child can do with his or her phone, but if you wish you can leave all of the various restrictions turned off except for blocking text messages from your stalker's phone number. Unfortunately the service costs $4.99 a month.
posted by RichardP at 4:36 PM on September 11, 2010

oops, sorry ccrazy88, we seem to both posted at the same time about Smart Limits.
posted by RichardP at 4:38 PM on September 11, 2010

Response by poster: Yep. I remember that now.

I think I opted not to because at the time, blocking the phone calls meant "ramping" them up too much. Plus, $5 per month would remind me, monthly, about the problem.

Maybe in another 6 months to a year Smart Limits could work. I guess I'm looking for an interim solution that protects me but doesn't alert them I've given any attention to the matter.

It would have been a great solution, tho:)
posted by jbenben at 4:48 PM on September 11, 2010

Best answer: Can you assign a silent ring tone to at least the calls, so that they go to voice mail, where you can ignore them?
posted by bunji at 6:43 PM on September 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Maybe this is a job for a court order?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:43 PM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This may not be helpful but I'll give it a shot anyway - you can do this easy-peasy on an Android phone, there are tons of "sms blocker" apps that work great. If you google "iphone sms blocker" you get lots of hits.

I'm pointing this out because it took me *months* to figure out that apps that block text messages are usually only findable by using the term "SMS" instead of "text" - but maybe you already knew that :)
posted by chez shoes at 8:03 PM on September 11, 2010 [1 favorite]

There is a feature called "Smart Limits for Wireless Parental Controls" that you can activate on your AT&T account. Downside is that it costs $4.99/mo, upside is that it let's you control a few things.

The main thing you can do is "Block/allow specific numbers that can be called or text messaged (incoming and outgoing)".

I guess it depends if you want to spend an extra $4.99/mo on top of your plan.
posted by eatcake at 8:40 PM on September 11, 2010

3 years??? Sounds like time to talk to the cops.
posted by schmod at 8:52 PM on September 11, 2010 [2 favorites]

Google voice allows you to use an existing number. You could, I think, assign your current number to a Google Voice with a suitably bland banner message and then switch your IPhone to another number without it being visible to your stalker. As a bonus you'd get a record of the stalker calls and texts that might be useful.
posted by rdr at 9:05 PM on September 11, 2010

Unfortunately Google Voice's marketing is a bit deceptive. You can set your current cell phone to forward to GV, and GV will recognize that it's getting a forwarded call and record a voicemail message. But you can only screen calls when the caller called your GV number in the first place. And there's no way to transfer a number to GV, as you can between different cell service providers.
posted by miyabo at 9:35 PM on September 11, 2010

Response by poster: Blocking the text messages only is PERFECT for my purposes.

If anyone has experience with a particular app, please let me know!

RE: SMART LIMITS... I can't. With that service it's impossible to block the texts w/out blocking the calls, too. If this guy knows he's aggravating me... he'll just bide his time and take up the "challenge" another way on another day.

The best way for this to end is for him to realize on his own it's just too damn fruitless and boring to pursue.

With your help Mefites, this can happen. Thanks.

YES, I have a long-term plan. Thanks, though. And this person is not at all dangerous!! I wish direct communication or legal action would work at this time. Honestly, I've known this guy for almost 15 years. Anything that supplies drama will cause him to think he can wait it out and pop up again in the future. He's like this with a lot of people and situations. He's compulsive. The best way to get him to move on permanently is to stop supplying the drama. Without drama, he loses all interest. I've seen the pattern. I'm making my "insider" knowledge work. For keeps. Again, you guys are helping me help this natural process along. Much much appreciation.

posted by jbenben at 9:39 PM on September 11, 2010

Response by poster: Technically speaking, sorry for any confusion with the way I worded the original question. It never occurred to me there were text message specific solutions out there, and that's really what I am looking for.

To recap:

-Must block text messages (SMS) on my end.

-Prefer if the blocked party thinks my phone is still receiving Texts.

-I can't figure how to install Cydia w/ a non-working wifi function, so any installs I can do with my Mac laptop + usb connection is probably best.

-It's OK if the answer is "The iPhone 4 does this."

-I'm not tech-y, but can figure out nearly anything.

posted by jbenben at 10:08 PM on September 11, 2010

Though I've never had to do this myself, I'm fairly certain you can block numbers by simply calling AT&T's customer service and explaining the situation. They should have no problems blocking your stalker and it should cost you nothing.
posted by FiberOptick at 5:20 AM on September 12, 2010

I use Google Voice to help get rid of texts -- for some reason, my cell number got on somebody's mailing list, and I was receiving dozens of spam messages a week. And because I don't usually text, I don't have any text plan added to my phone. Which meant every spam message I received, I had to pay for.

I ended up telling my carrier (T-Mobile) to block ALL incoming texts (which they did for free), and telling all of my friends that if they wanted to send me a text, they had to use my Google Voice number. I encouraged them to make that my main contact number as well, to avoid confusion.

I've since learned that if someone texts the old number, it doesn't come to my phone, but they don't get any kind of message that it didn't go through or that it was blocked. It just goes out into space and disappears. Which sounds like just what you want.
posted by themissy at 1:34 PM on September 12, 2010

Could you divert that number, or just calls and texts from that person, to a cheap or second-hand phone that you can just stick in a drawer somewhere and forget?

That way, he thinks they're still being received, but you don't ever have to read the texts to delete them from your everyday phone, and when this stalker finally decides to leave you alone you can just get rid of that cheap phone.
posted by k_tron at 3:14 AM on September 13, 2010

Response by poster: FINAL UPDATE:

Thanks all!

- I created a silent ring tone for the calls with GarageBand and iTunes. Directions HERE.

- So far, I've had NO luck finding an SMS Blocker. I'm confounded by the CYDIA issue.

If anyone (a) knows of an app available that I can use to block SMS on the iPhone w/out using CYDIA to upload, please MeMail, or (b) can help me to load CYDIA onto my phone using my mac + USB, please MeMail.

That's it. Thanks Again!
posted by jbenben at 8:11 PM on September 13, 2010

Best answer: hi. You can find instructions on how to install cydia apps without wifi here.

If you get through this step, the app called IRealsms has a well implemented sms blocking/blacklisting feature. There is another app called biteSMS that has this feature i think, but I dont use it so can't recommend it.

Good luck.
posted by kev23f at 6:27 AM on September 14, 2010

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