Unknown Caller vs No Caller ID: What’s The Difference? (Explained)

Odds are that you have probably received a call at some point that either said ‘Unkown Caller’ or ‘No Caller ID’, but what’s the difference? Just about all phones come with a caller ID system so that you know exactly who is calling you when your phone rings. However, there are certain situations where this is unclear, which is when you will see an Unknown Caller or No Caller ID. 

Unknown Caller vs No Caller ID 1 Unknown Caller vs No Caller ID: What's The Difference? (Explained)

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What’s the difference between Unknown Caller and No Caller ID?

The difference between an Unknown Caller and No Caller ID is that an Unknown Caller is a number that your mobile carrier was not able to register, whereas No Caller ID implies that someone is intentionally trying to hide their number and identity from you.

When I see that I am receiving a call from an Unknown Caller or a No Caller ID number, I am immediately suspicious. More often than not, when I receive a call from one of these numbers it is a telemarketer or someone who is calling me by mistake. 

However, there are the odd situations where I am genuinely getting a call from someone who needs to get in touch with me. 

After paying closer attention to these calls, I began to wonder whether these call labels meant the same thing. Surely each of these call labels has to do with an error from my caller ID system or my phone, right? I looked into this matter by getting in touch with my provider and I was able to get some information regarding the difference between these two call labels. 

To help you understand this further, we are going to take a closer look at the difference between Unknown Callers and No Caller ID in more detail.

After extensively researching call labels from various phone carriers, I have been able to gather enough information to determine the difference between Unknown Caller and No Caller ID call labels. My research has indicated that each of these labels indicates something different based on the intention of the caller or your phone carrier’s response to the call. 

Unknown Caller vs No Caller ID 1 1 Unknown Caller vs No Caller ID: What's The Difference? (Explained)

The Difference Between Unknown Caller vs No Caller ID Explained

When you see an Unknown Caller or No Caller ID, it is clear that you are not able to identify who is calling you before you pick up the phone, but it is important to understand that each of these call labels means something completely different. Let’s break down each call label.

What is an Unknown Caller?

You will see Unknown Caller on your phone if your mobile carrier is having trouble registering the number that is trying to reach you. Often times these are not malicious calls and the label is simply there because of an issue with your mobile carrier.

These calls can sometimes happen when someone is trying to call you from a smaller carrier or perhaps the call is coming from a different state. When this happens, your mobile carrier’s telecom operator may not be able to register the number quickly enough to give you an accurate caller ID identification on your mobile device.

Generally speaking, Unkown Caller numbers are safe to pick up and it is probably a person who is genuinely trying to get a hold of you. 

There are certain conditions where mobile carriers are not allowed to interpret the numbers that they are receiving due to restrictions. If the Unknown Caller trying to reach you wants to sell you something or has other malicious intentions, you should instruct them to stop calling you.

What is No Caller ID?

As we have just covered, an Unknown Caller is usually due to your mobile carrier not being able to register the number with their caller ID system, which is usually not the caller’s fault. However, No Caller ID is the opposite of this. 

If you see No Caller ID, it implies the person who is calling you intentionally blocked their number so that you cannot see who it is. Receiving calls like this is always concerning and it can make you feel uncomfortable.

At the end of the day, if you are calling someone with honest intentions, why would you need to conceal your identity? 

No Caller IDs are a major problem for a lot of people, as they are becoming more and more common. With telemarketers and scammers thriving due to virtually everyone having a mobile phone, there are plenty of numbers for them to reach out to with malicious intent.

When you see No Caller ID on your phone, you should immediately have your guard up and be suspicious, as there is a very good chance that the person is trying to scam you in some way. 

What Should I Do When I Get a Call from an Unknown Caller or No Caller ID?

Now that you know the difference between an Unknown Caller and No Caller ID, you are probably wondering what is the best way to respond to these calls. The truth is that it is entirely up to you and that you can decide whether you want to pick up the call or take some other action towards it. 

Given that we know that Unknown Callers may not be anything to worry about, you can approach receiving these with less consideration, as they could be genuine callers. 

However, for No Caller IDs, you may want to take evasive action to ensure that you are not getting these calls anymore. Let’s explore your options.

Decline the Call

Whether your phone read No Caller ID or Unknown Caller, one of the best ways of dealing with these is to simply ignore or decline the call. If someone is actually trying to reach you, they will try to call you back to get in touch. 

Scammers and telemarketers might give up after the first try, which is why declining calls can be very effective.

Set Up Voice Mail

You probably already have a voice mail set up on your phone. If you ignore a call from an Unknown Caller or No Caller ID, let it go to voice mail. 

You should consider changing your voice mail to include a message like ‘please do not call this number’ or ‘put me on your do not call list if you are a telemarketer’. Telemarketers are not legally allowed to call numbers if they know the person does not want to be reached.

Block the Caller

If you keep receiving calls like this, you can block these numbers completely. You can do this by accessing your smartphone’s ‘Settings’. 

Both iPhone and Android are equipped with a feature to block Unknown Callers and No Caller IDs. For an iPhone go to:

  1. Settings
  2. Phone
  3. Silence Unknown Callers (turn on)

You can do the same thing with an Android smartphone by pressing the 3-dotted icon on your dialer and then following these steps:

  1. Settings
  2. Block Numbers
  3. Block Unknown Callers (turn on)

Activating these settings will ensure that you never receive these kinds of calls again – with only known callers coming through.

Contact Mobile Carrier

If you are unsatisfied with your mobile carrier’s ability to register unknown numbers, then you should consider giving them a call. They may be able to offer you some kind of solution to the problem outside of what we mentioned. 

If they can’t, they will at least know that is an issue with their service and that they should improve their caller ID system.