The spam call problem that has plagued us for years has never been worse than it is today. People in some regions can get as many as 10 or even more spam calls in a single day, and most list-based subscription services don’t do much to curtail these nuisance calls. Even anti-spam call services from wireless carriers tend to be useless, and paid subscription services from third-parties aren’t much better. It’s simply too difficult for these services to keep up when spam callers are constantly spoofing new numbers.

Thankfully, there’s a new crop of apps out there that take a different approach to spam call blocking. Spam calling services often spoof a number and then auto-dial similar numbers that have the same area code and prefix. So, for example, if your phone number is (212) 555-1234, you likely get spam calls all the time from phone numbers that begin with (212) 555. These new spam call blocking apps allow you to block all calls from numbers that start with your area code and prefix, and one such app just went on sale for free for Memorial Day 2019.

Earlier this year, we wrote about an iPhone app called No Neighbor that works exactly as described above — it blocks all calls from numbers with your area code and prefix. At the time we covered it, there were two features we wished the developer would add. The first was a white list feature, since there may be numbers that start with the same area code and prefix that you want to allow. Since we covered the app back in January, a white list feature has been added to the app so you can automatically allow all calls from anyone in your contact list.

The second feature we wanted was the ability to add additional area code and prefix combinations to block, rather than only blocking the area code and prefix from your main cell phone number. People who use dual SIM phones or services like Google Voice would benefit greatly from that capability, but unfortunately it still hasn’t been added to the app as of this writing. The good news, however, is that we found another app that does exactly that.

Phone Pattern Blocker by a developer called Apparent Logic had a rocky start, but a big update released on May 6th appears to have ironed out the main wrinkles. In a nutshell, the app lets you input any sequence of numbers with variables, and it’ll block all calls that include that sequence. So, you can input an area code and a prefix like (212) 555-XXXX, or you can even drill down further and only block calls from numbers like (212) 555-12XX. There’s also a white list feature so you can accept calls from numbers or ranges of numbers.

It’s a very handy app for anyone looking to cut down on the amount of spam calls they get, and it normally costs $2.99 in the iOS app store. It’s on sale today though, so definitely download it for free while you can. Here’s the description from the app page, followed by a download link:

• Real-time call blocking from phone number patterns you set up.

• Works with the iOS Phone app and CallKit’s directory extension blocking service.

• Completely private — this app has no access to your phone calls, contacts, or call history. Everything is stored locally, and no data leaves your device.

• No recurring subscription or upgrade fees!

Troubleshooting: If you are having difficulty enabling “Phone Pattern Blocker” in Settings, please delete the app, restart your iPhone.

*** Please Note *** iOS can block about one million phone numbers through CallKit. This app cannot block more than that upper limit.

Download Phone Pattern Blocker