Getting calls from your own number?

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It’s like a scene out of a strange sci-fi movie. You get a call, look at the caller ID, and see that your own number is calling. Weird! No, this isn’t an alternate reality where your future self is calling the present you. It’s a scammer making an illegal robocall

Technology makes it easy for scammers to fake or “spoof” caller ID information. They can make it look like they’re calling from a different place or phone number. Even your number. Scammers use this trick as a way to get around call-blocking and hide from law enforcement. They hope you’ll be curious enough to pick up. Don’t fall for it.

The real callers could be calling from anywhere in the world. We’ve written about these kinds of tricks before — like when scammers pretended to be the IRS and faked caller ID so people thought it really was the IRS calling.

Bottom line? These calls from your own number are illegal. Don’t pick up — or press buttons to be taken off the call list or to talk to a live person. That just leads to more calls. It’s best to ignore them, and move on with your day. Maybe watch a really good sci-fi movie.

Comments

Please file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint, so the information goes into the database law enforcement uses for investigations. If you get a call saying you've won a prize, you can go to the company website and see what it says about prizes.

When this happens....I just say it's my husband calling from heaven to tell me he is ok. This was the best explanation I could come up with since my husband passed away almost 2 years ago and the calls didn't start till about a month after.

I'VE GOTTEN THOSE I.R.S. CALLS. THEY TOLD ME THAT THE POLICE WERE COMING TO ARREST ME AND THE ONLY WAY TO SETTLE THIS WAS TO PAY THE AMOUNT OF $236 THAT I WAS SHORT IN MY 1999 TAXES. BECAUSE IT WAS SO LONG AGO, I WAS CONSIDERED A FUGITIVE AND THEY WERE COMING TO ARREST ME ON A FUGITIVE WARRANT.

I TOLD THEM THAT "THANK GOD" THAT I HAD BEEN VERY WORRIED ABOUT MY "SHORT PAYMENT" AND THAT I HOPED THE JAIL HAD ENOUGH FOOD TO FEED ME SINCE I WAS VERY HUNGRY AND HAD NOT EATEN FOR DAYS BECAUSE OF MY FINANCIAL SITUATION. THEY QUICKLY HUNG UP.

I CALLED THE SHERIFF'S DEPT. BUT THEY SAID THEY COULD NOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT, TO CALL THE FEDS. I CALLED THE NUMBER THEY PROVIDED FOR ME, BUT NO ONE PICKED UP. MAYBE BECAUSE IT WAS SATURDAY JULY 4TH.

I get them once a week! I called my Phone Provider
and threatened to sue them for letting Scammers get through , using my Personal Phone number! They re-registered my Sim Card, and the calls stoppped! Try it!

We get repeated calls from U.S. Pharmacy regarding medications atleast 6 times a day and 7 days a week. We have tried everything from just not answering and then they leave their phone on or a long dial tone just to leave an annoyance on my answering machine. We have tried to be nice and say no thank you, we have pretended we will buy something, we have gotten down right nasty, They get down right nasty and say some pretty vial things, I have blown an airhorn in their ears, regardless IT NEVER STOPS!! Now we are thinking just to change our phone number. We have had this same number for years and all important contacts have this number. It sucks that we have to do this as it is just not fair to us or family & friends. I am sure though it will not take long for calls to start coming in even with a new number! So pathetic and disugusting theses people are!!!

  • Contact your phone provider. Ask your phone provider if they charge for a service that blocks that particular number. Remember that telemarketers change the numbers they call from easily and often, so it might not be worth paying a fee to block a number that will almost always change.
  • Put your phone number on the Do Not Call registry. Access the registry online or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
  • File a complaint with the FTC. Report the experience online or by calling 1-877-382-4357.

Answer the phone every time they call and blow that air horn every time. If we all did this maybe they would get the idea we are,pissed off and not going to be nice anymore.

On most smart phones, one can select a general ring tone but also a different ring tone for people in your contacts list (+/or individual people in you contacts list). I never answer the general ring tone (those not in my contact list). Check your phone's user manual for how to set the ring tones. If it was someone (NOT in your contact list) with a legitimately reason for calling you, they most likely will leave you a message. This of course doesn't help land line users.

After "renewing" our Do Not Call registry, my family has been suffering with calls exceeding 20 calls a day. Including calls originating from my own number. The local police blow me off with "we can't do anything" and the federal government can't even keep it's own files, numbers and emails safe from hackers as shown by the ongoing scandal. Why would anyone expect them to help ordinary citizens?

You don't need to renew your number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Telephone numbers on the Registry don’t expire. We only remove your number if you ask us to, or if the number is disconnected and assigned to someone new.

Why can't the Government stop this nonsense. unless they do not consider it's a priority.. Also, i received calls and once i do answer the phone no says anything. Cloud this be a trick as well

Some call rooms use machines that call lots of numbers at once. The people talk to whoever picks up first, or play a recorded message to whoever picks up first. Maybe you're hearing nothing becuase a machine called your number, but no one picked up your call or played a recording. It's OK to hang up.

I just wish there was a "share" button so I can pass this on to Facebook.

You can  copy the URL of the blog post and paste it into a Facebook status update to share it. For example, this post’s URL is https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/getting-calls-your-own-number.

So, I just answered a call, for the second time I might add, and pressed 1 to get someone to take me off the list...BEFORE I READ THIS, of course! By pressing 1 have I given them access to anything? Should I be concerned about anything?

If you press a number or respond to a call, the caller knows your number works, and they may call you again.

East coast Canada...Ive gotten this call a few times and it freaked me out because it was my Number and Name calling me. ive never answered it and Now I know Not too!!!!

I whistle extremely loudly into their ear piece! Let them enjoy that ringing for a change!

I hardly get any calls from these clowns any more. Time is money to these guys so if you answer the calls and play stupid they will eventually get tired and hang up on you. It seems to me if you frustrate them long enough that they remove your number.

The last time I had the lower the interest rate on my credit card asked a lot of questions like I was really interested. Made them repeat everything 2 or 3 times. Eventually they wanted to know what I had for currently had for cards.

I replied with the Ace of Spades & the King of Diamonds. then I said hey wait that is 21 and started hollering I win I win .... *click*

I have to be really bored and have the free time to do this but when I do it is entertaining. I have left them go through their spiel and then asked to speak to their supervisor to confirm what they just got done telling me.

It takes some practice but I have just about had them in tears and had them swear at me a few times after I wasted 20 - 30 minutes of their day.

I am still waiting on the "Microsoft" guy to call me saying I have a problem with my Windows. I intend on telling him the biggest problem with my windows is they are covered with dog slobber ;)

I did a similar thing 3 weeks ago when I received one on my cell phone - have not received one since!

Thanks for the much needed giggle! My frustration is the look-alike mail spam & phishing. Lots of new URLs - .work, .link, .xyz, and one from .ninja!

July 14,2015. Received a call 903-326-9521 claiming IRS lawsuit. Scam calls leaving message to call back. The numbers is located Irving,Tx. Hope you can stop them before they hurt people. Thank you

i get them all the time

Get a big whistle and when it is a real caller blow in it real loud. They won't call again, they won't be ever able to hear in that ear again.

In the year and age we are living with all this technology, I cannot understand why all of these scam calls cannot be put to an end, I am sick of looking at the phone around meal times or after 8 and not recognizing the number. This is really getting to get on my nerves. Feel like just cutting off my landline phone pretty soon.

It wont help, as they call from cell numbers too.

When will it stop. I get these calls all the time even from numbers I recognize. I even got a call on the hospital internal emergency line. People could die and there is no way to stop these.

Really, how hard could it be for the phone company to block any calls to yourself? Some high school kid could figure out how to do that in a couple of hours after school, I am sure. We have the most inept phone companies in the history of this planet. Stupid!

Allowing the caller ID to be spoofable is totally unnecessary. Caller ID is info offered by the calling system, and is separate from the caller's billing identity, which is handled with much more care. This is to prevent users from making free long-distance calls, and to support a variety of billing and tariff arrangements, including reverse billing. A telephone call requires a two-way setup ahead of time, in which two-way billing info may well be required. It should almost take a court order for a company to allow any customer to use spoofing to provide caller ID inconsistent with his carrier's billing info. And for calls originating in systems of other countries, we should insure the country info is provided and not spoofed.

A carrier should be actually accountable to the feds. For example, any provision of portal service to scammers (a somewhat different problem) should quickly result in complaints being backtracked and the responsible payer nailed.

This should be technically straightforward, and without any new legal mandates.

So after the 4th time I got a call from my line and filing complaints at the CRTC...I decided to answer and press the #2 to be removed...of course it's invalid so I pressed 1, he asked me to verify my VISA # starting with 4, I so no, why don't YOU tell me what it is...he said I need you to verify your VISA, I said I don't even have a VISA, he said I said mastercard starting with 5, I so no you didn't, I'm not DEAF or STUPID...he said don't you want to lower your credit card rates, I said what I want is for you to stop scamming me from my own phone #...why don't I just give you my bank account # and my pin, I know this is a scam you moron....don't call me again....I haven't gotten a call since lol

The only way I can see to stop these calls is to stop allowing calls originating from the internet into the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This of course, will never happen, but we did not have this type of "unidentified" call prior to that being allowed. I know there are going to be all kinds of posts saying I am wrong and that wouldn't stop it etc. We all want cheaper long distance, thus we have vonage and Internet Protocol phones - this is where these calls are originating! Laws will not work as these calls are originating from third world countries that don't have laws against it.

BS. They originate anywhere that the phone company deems it necessary for CID spoofing. It would not be difficult for the phone company to pass ANI (Billing) information instead of CID in cases where CID = Called number.

I generally get 5-10 of these calls every day.My number had been registered with the DNC list since 2009.It's a joke they do nothing.Wouldn't be a shock if the government got paid for letting it slide.The people that provice phone services like Bell,Roger's and Telus need to step up here and stop this crap as in the end,they are the ones losing revenue as customers cancel their home phone accounts because of it.

These are all phishing scammers and they keep doing it because it works for them too often. They suck too many people in, and too many have they lives or finances destroyed. If 100% of people would not give info over the phone or email...this wouldn't continue to be an issue.

I gave them my information and now they owe the IRS

I recently got a call from my cell phone to our land line. I picked it up as I thought it might be my husband calling feom the backyard to save coming in tomask me something??

Just look for a decent voip provider that does telemarketer blocking. They know that if it's your number calling yourself to block it out. Why the big phone companies ignore incoming CID is beyond me.

Sorry, but the LAST thing I'll EVER do is ask to be placed onto a do not call list. It stops the guys who follow the rules, but those guys aren't usually the pests. Besides, the idea of the do not call registry is to publish the list to call centers. This list would be chalk full of live, juicy numbers just waiting for that dinnertime interruption. Way too tempting for hungry marketers to ignore.

It's just like gun control. Outlaw guns and only the outlaws will have the guns.

I am constantly getting this call along with many other spam calls ... seriously in 1 day my call list had 18 spam numbers and 2 of my friends, that was it! I disconnected my home line. Why pay to have spammers constantly calling me.

I let them talk for a while and then I Just put the phone down. Best one was when I actually booked the duct cleaning and when they showed up I told them I had no idea what they were talking about. They waste my time I'll do my best to waste theirs. I do some other things too but they are too nasty to mention here.

What if you don't have call display so you can't see it's from your own number and you do pick it up...are you going to get charges for calls you didn't make??

A scammer can fool caller ID and make it look like the call is coming from your number, but the call is really not coming from your number.

Well, I have been receiving robocalls from RBC. The call is apparently legit, but it asks for either my DOB or postal code to verify that it is me - that I won't give. Turns out it WAS a legitimate call (I confirmed with the bank), but hopefully people are getting wise to robocalls and will just hang up, legit or not.

If I don't know the name or number I don't answer......if you leave a message I'm likely to call back......no message.....no call from me. I've done this for years.....back when we had a separate answering machine with tape cassettes in it!!

It's well and fine to not answer when you see your own number...but what about a neighbor's number or someone in your family??? Have had that happen...don't know until you answer!!!

I'm from Alberta Canada and got so tired of the west jet....hotels.....lower interest on credit cards calls that I called the CRTC to complain because I am on the DC list. They said there is nothing they can do about it because these callers originate in middle eastern countries. Their law enforcement agencies would have to deal with it and they have more important things to worry about was the answer I got. You'd think with today's tw ch no log, if we can take a photograph of Pluto, we could stop these calls.

This is horrible. They are even using my cell number. There has to be a way to stop them. We pay for our phone numbers and they can just use them. What are we doing wrong.

You are not doing anything wrong. Unfotuntately if a hacker/scammer has your information (cell #, Phone #, account info)unless you can get the criminals caught on camera, no one seems to be able to do anything about it. I have actual printouts of config files from hacked computers and cell phones and am still trying to get someone to look into this. Stay strong and watch all your account statements very carefully.

Scammers certainly are people that don't care about anyone or anything -- not even their own families. I fell for one just a couple of days ago to reduce my credit card rate . Luckily I felt something was aamiss and was able to get my cards cancelled before it was to late. Big lesson learnt. I really feel sorry for those that get cought.

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