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I have a relative who keeps calling a premium-rate telephone number. I want to block the ability to call this specific number because it is able to rack up a very high bill in a matter of hours.

They also have a feature phone (dumbphone) where as far as I found out it is not possible to block a specific outgoing number, nor do the phone carriers in my country offer the ability to block the calling of premium numbers (or the calling of one specific number).

  1. My first option is to buy a cheap smartphone and somehow block this one premium number there. It would be best if I could block the number directly in the phone settings (parental controls or something similar?) and lock the setting with a password.

  2. The second best option would be to install an app that can again block a specific outgoing number and lock the setting behind a password. They would not be able to root the phone or do anything similarly technical to circumvent the limitation.

  3. My third option is to take the phone away altogether, but it's used to stay in contact with other people, so this is a bad solution (albeit one I must reach for in case the other ones fail).

What solution would you recommend to block a specific outgoing phone number? Does some version of Android have parental controls with a block of outgoing calls? Or is there a good app for it?

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    At ATT I have blocked numbers in the past(not sure how easy it really is). Doing it at the carrier level would probably be the easiest.
    – William
    Mar 26 '18 at 21:30
  • Unfortunately the phone carriers in my country do not offer the ability to block the calling of premium numbers (or the calling of one specific number). I have already asked them about it.
    – Martin
    Mar 26 '18 at 21:32
  • It's probably unlikely you'll find a way to block outgoing calls, however you could use an App Locker to lock the call application with a password, I think receiving calls would still be normal but opening the call app to dial a number would require a password Mar 26 '18 at 21:32
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    Maybe some "old folks" launcher replacement could do the trick – i.e. one that only has the "important numbers" as "buttons" for direct calls. Then hide the real phone app, effectively limiting the owner to those numbers set up with the launcher. My site is currently down because of an hardware issue, but hopefully back in a few ours; you could then check with this list of apps if this approach is acceptable.
    – Izzy
    Mar 26 '18 at 22:15
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    Don't have time for a full answer, but fdn is the setting you are looking for. en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixed_Dialing_Number
    – aBochur
    Mar 27 '18 at 7:09
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On Xiaomi phones running MIUI (their Android port) you can restrict calling to a list of fixed dialing numbers or to numbers with certain prefixes. Similar options may be available in other Android phones as well, be sure to check before you buy a phone.

In MIUI 9:

  • open the phone app
  • select menu ('hamburger' icon on bottom left)
  • select settings
  • scroll down and select 'Advanced settings'
  • select 'Fixed Dialing Numbers'

Otherwise, Android apps for parental control should provide that functionality.

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