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

I get a call about once a month; I have caller ID and have never answered......but I imagine there are still several thousand people without caller ID that are answering these calls. What happens to these people, are they at a higher risk, does it make a difference if you answer and then hang up, or don't answer at all?

Sign up at nomorobo.com. It goes through your ISP. If a robo call comes, it rings once. Then after around 10 seconds, the number goes away. During that time, the robo caller hears a message telling them they cannot get thru the number with out entering a password. You can't answer your calls on the first ring to get this to work. I signed up yesterday thru Time Warner since I couldn't get the nomorobo site to work. It's not yet available thru TW so the rep. set it up for mo thru nomorobo. It's only for landlines. Today I got a call, and just like the Timewarner rep said, one ring, then silence, and ten seconds later it was gone. Works like a charm. Try it everyone!

Yes! Great service. I use it. Once in a while, the robo caller (person) figures out that nomorobo trapped their call, so they call back by dialing manually (caller ID shows a different - probably bogus number). If this happens (15-30 seconds after the one-ring call) I don't answer.

A lady called my cell phone and left a voice mail saying she had reported me for making a robocall to her and she is on the do not call registry. I'm a private citizen and NEVER have made any robocalls or any other type of unwanted calls. So what happens if a spammer uses my cell phone number to make robocalls and my number is complained about on donotcall.gov?

You can file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint under “Scams and Rip-offs” and then “Imposter Scams.”

I usually go along for a while, then I ask them for their number in case we get disconnected, then I ask for their name. Then I tell them I'm reporting them for fraud. I send an email to you guys to report it. I never get return calls. They have stopped completely.

I've stopped pressing the number to be removed from the call list. I press the number to talk to a live person, quiz them on who they work for and where, etc, and ask them to put me on the do not call list. I know that won't work, but it wastes their time, and that time the scamming company has to pay for. If they ended up paying their telemarketing operators to do nothing by talk nonsense all day, maybe it would flood out the few gullible people they do snare and make it not worth their while in the long run. The ratio of people who take the bait and follow through enough that they make money is a tiny fraction of the calls made. So, if the next-t-free robo calls started costing them money, they might give up. Spread this idea and lets hope if has an effect.

I found the best thing is to turn off your ringer and just return calls to those who have left a voice mail. This way I am never interrupted.

If your home line is on a major VOIP carrier (such as Comcast, Vonage, Time Warner, etc) look at nomorobo.com. It stops the calls from ROBO dialers. Your phone will ring once, the trap at nomorob picks up the line and then hangs up. So, you only hear your phone ring once. I registered, and now instead of ~20 calls a day, I only get one or two 'annoynance' calls. This service does not work on real land-lines or mobile phones.

I know the phone companies can do something about this, they can detect large volumes of calls via tractability, just like Uncle Sam does, but thats no money in pockets. Continue to press your reps and senators to make something happen. But unfortunately they are the worst scammers out there.

This is the result of American companies setting up call centers in foreign countries . All the employees have to do is copy or memories or down load customer phone #s and other info and then go home and set up their own shop.! try calling Microsoft support line and see who answers the call and where they are located. This is what people need to demand law makers to resove.

A scamer is using my phone number to call other people, saying that thete is problem in their computer and they can fix it for a fee. The person who got os scam call called me and said she does not need the service. Now, what do I do to prevent my number from being used by scamers?

You can file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint under “Scams and Rip-offs” and then “Imposter Scams.”

Heh...received a call on my cell this evening from 'Unknown'. Picked up the call and stayed quiet. Someone said hello, and I reciprocated with Hello. The guy hangs up. Intrigued as to the 'how this could happen', I recorded the full/exact date and time stamp of the occurrence. Next I went to check my recent detailed 'talk' usage at my AT&T wireless web portal. Low and behold, the number that called me was my own number!!

Spent some time with the AT&T online chat specialist, who escalated my incident to a higher tier technician. Unable to find the source of this mystery call. They did give me some suggestions on where report such abuse.

1) [as AT&T's my carrier] contact AT&T Annoyance Call Bureau (ACB) online at

2) If they solicit to you, one can get the FCC involved.

3) File a complaint at IC3.gov (just browsed there, looks like an FBI division).

4)(once again for AT&T carrier) such incidents can be reported to

I have experienced calls with my number other numbers, I have reported calls to FCc and FIC I have called Att still no solutions.l decided to block my personal number use my friend'S number to check my messages. I pay for the services I want; no one can solve this issue. Technology was to be a gift but has turned out to be a nightmare because the powers to be can find. No solution.

I'm curious if other countries are having this type of problem. If not, then what are they doing that we are not doing? I wonder how their country handles this crap.

I have been receiving these calls from India for months now. I received one yesterday Knowing better, I got taken in. This person conned me into letting him connect to my PC, paying $399 which included a senior citizen discount of $100 to my credit card, calling my credit card company and telling them to please approve the international charge since I was the main cardholder. Then he told me that his upper level tech would now complete the work and let me know when it was finished. An hour and a half later, my computer shut down. I started it up again and things 'seemed okay'. During the night, I woke up and something was on my mind, if this guy is from Microsoft as he says, why would I have to go to another website to pay for the work? I went online and looked up 'rayandan'. Tons of people reported these scammers. I called my credit card company to report it. I had caught it early enough. We agreed that they would not pay the scammers the $399, closed my account and I would get a new one in about a week. I called LifeLock and alerted them. They flagged my account and it will be following the case. They suggested that I file a report at FTC.gov and a local police report, just for the record.
Good luck everyone.

Best bet is do not answer the phone ever unless you know who they are. If it's important, the caller can leave a message. I no longer answer my phone.

Just look at these responses and see how long people have been complaining. Nothing is being done. Whistles, horns, cussing and such is only making YOU feel better. It doesn't work. I got a call on my cellphone from my own number today. There were a total of 5 bogus calls just today between my wife and me. The No Call List is a JOKE and always has been. Again, it's to make you feel better. Go through all the motions, but just look at all these comments. Nothing works and the FTC is powerless.

Over the past few weeks I've been getting calls to my number from random bots with automated messages, coming from local numbers to my area. Now since last week 2 people have called me saying they have a missed call from my number, while I did not contact them. I am going to go to Sprint and ask for a number change, but from the comments above it's clear this is becoming systemic and out of hand. FTC please help fix this.

The FTC does absolutely nothing. My home phone and cell phones are on the do not call list and I'm still getting a lot of unwanted calls. Sometimes, I try to grill them and they usually disconnect me right way. So, now I say every ugly profanity I can before they shut me down.

dont answer dont answer dont answer thats all dont answer

Today, February 3, 2016, at 11:29 AM EST, I received a weird phone call… from myself (    ) and from my own phone number (      ) ! The recorded message referred to lowering interest rates on credit cards. I had heard that message numerous times, despite my asking them to NOT call me anymore. I registered my phone number with the Do-Not-Call database. The U.S. government website dealing with the Do-Not-Call list admits the government can’t do much about these telemarketing and phone harassing schemes. Today, I pressed the ‘1’ button to talk to a live “person”. A “representative” answered my call, speaking with an accent possibly from India. I reminded him that my number was on the Do-Not-Call list. I asked him to remove my number from their database. This time around something incredible happened. The miserable individual assured me that, on the contrary, they will keep calling me again, and again! Moreover, he threatened me, they will call also other people using with my name and phone number! Furthermore, he threatened me they would call the police and emergency services in my name under the pretext of committing suicide! He also said: “The police will come to your house and arrest you for making deceptive calls!”

I think these criminals also used somebody else’s name when they called me over last month. It was a J. Nixon from New York, or something like that. Please take care of this type of schemes — in fact, criminal acts. A recent chat on the CenturyLink (my phone service provider) website resulted in absolutely nothing positive. The representative said the only solution was to block the caller. But that would be me, as the criminals use my phone number and name! Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325 MY PREVIOUS BEST METHOD WAS TO YELL AND CURSE THEM SCAMMERS. IT HAS WORKED FOR THE MOST PART. NOT MANY OF SCAMMERS CAN TAKE IT. THE WORLD WOULD BE BETTER IF ALL HONEST PEOPLE YELL AND CURSE BADLY THE SCAMMERS. THEY CAN'T TAKE IT FOR MANY TIMES!!!

BEWARE OF THE SCAM - - -Today both my husband and I about 15 minutes apart received telephone calls from our own mobile numbers. I answered mine, his was no-one. The gentleman that was on the phone said his name was "Dave Mark" and was with the CPA, Consumer Protection Agency. He had a foreign accent, and sounded like he was from another country, or calling from another country, and was very persistent for me to release my credit card to him. He specifically said “They had a class action suit against the banking industry charging to much interest and based on my payments and credit history he could eliminate my largest balance.” He stated he “represented Experian and worked with Discover Cards, Visa/MasterCard and Capital One.” After asking him several times for his contact number and address he told me he was out of the Atlanta, Georgia office, but refused to give me a call back number. I then stated that I thought his call was a “Scam” and that what he was doing “Sounded Like Fraud” he then told me “he would take me off his call list, and call ALL of my credit cards and have them cancelled”. - - -BEWARE OF THE SCAM

Thank you for telling us about this. It's good that protected your  information.

Please report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

I got one of those calls and immediately called my phone company to let them know. They put it on my record and said, since I called them immediately, they won't charge me for any that appear on my account. Changed my number to unlisted.

SO, YOU RECEIVED A PHONE CALL FROM YOUR NAME AND NUMBER, NOT ONCE BUT MANY OF THEM. TWO A DAY APART. THE FCC CAN DO NOTHING. YOU WANT YOUR BUNDLE SO THAT YOU CAN GET A DEAL ON YOU PHONE, INTERNET AND TV. YOU HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THESE CALLLS FROM PEOPLE YOU DON'T KNOW, I HAVE. I DECEIDED TO BLOCK MY OWN PHONE #. THIS MEANS THAT ANYONE THAT KNOWS ME HAS MY CELL PHONE NUMBER, THOSE WHO USE MY LAND LINE WE WILL CONTACT AND GIVE THEM OUR CELL PHONE #'S. PROBLEM SOLVED. I HAVE DECIDED TO TAKE MATTERS IN TO MY OWN HANDS. I CAN CALL OUT AND NO UNDESIRABLE CAN CALL IN. THIS ELIMINATES 15 BLOCKED CALLS A WEEK. AND THE BUNDLE ISSUE THAT CARRIERS USE TO ENTISE YOU TO BUNDLE, IS FLAWED UNTILL THERE IS A RESOLVE TO THE NONSENSE CALLS.FINALLY A RESOLVE TO THE MADNESS.

I have been ignoring them. And I do not attempt to talk with someone or be taken off their call list. My concern is that in the last 6 months I have been called back by people who've been called with my number who are threatening to beat the hell out of me. I try to tell them I didn't call but many times they are so irate they simply will not listen. I am not mad at these people because I know they are frustrated and getting lots of calls from my number, but I don't want someone to track me down and kill me because of it. So I'm thinking that ignoring the calls isn't very smart. Something must be done!

If someone used your phone number to make scam calls, people might call you after they see your number come up on their caller ID.

There's no way to know how many calls a scammer will make using your number and how many return calls you'll get. If you continue to get calls and want to change your number, contact your service provider.

You also can file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint under “Scams and Rip-offs” and then “Imposter Scams.”

I also feel empathy for the frustration of the folks receiving what they think are calls from you. However, it is illegal to call someone and threaten them with physical harm. If you receive a call that is physically threatening, write down the time, date, and number and name that appears on your caller id and report this info to the police. If someones sounds authentically threatening, the police will be happy to inform them of the spoofing situation and warn them not to call you again. If the caller goes too far, s/he can be criminally prosecuted.

response to Aburgett-Great idea! But who's going to protect us from the Politicians?????

This computer based system works for Internet based VOIP users, and it's free: http://www.nomorobo.com/

Too bad Telus has not created such a system, even though many people are dropping their landline service everyday and just keeping their cell phones, to save money, and I'm sure to also better control spam callers using free Call Block Apps. I now figure my best option is to switch to VOIP and save about $40.00 a month and that way I can also block spam callers with the above free application, just like I do with an application on my cell phone.

I received a call that said EMERGENCY NUMBER with red background and my number, I answered and it hung up asap, any idea what that means?

My calls are forwarded to my cell. Imagine me seeing my own number. I thought someone was calling from inside my home. (long story about daughter's friends) i sent the police there. I later found out it was a spoof. Unecessary use of a much needed public resource! With technology the way it is, I'm surprised they're able to get away with this.

i had a call from my own number this morning and since then I'm getting loads of calls saying I've phoned them but i haven't! very frustrating

The FTC advises not to answer when your own number "calls" you. But if I ignore it, it rolls to the answering machine. Isn't this the same as answering it?

does anyone think local police will do anything? this needs to be handled by a bigger agency that has the technology and man power

One spammer has been calling since March of last year to confirm a dental appointment I never made for a person I've never heard of. If Miss Pittman hasn't confirmed in this amount of time I'd say it's safe to assume she won't be going to the dentist. These shameless liars know they're wrong. They haven't been able to get me on the phone since last March and they never will again. I just continue blocking them and will keep on as long as they keep calling.

The suggestion I got today from AT&T was to simply block my own number, since I have visual voicemail and have no need to call myself, seems to me like that could be an effective, easy fix. We'll see.

Oh, most of these type calls and other spoofed number calls are from scam businesses but there are some are harassment from unbalanced political activists.

Of course both the businesses that are in the communications business that put the call through and by extension then, the government, knows exactly where the calls originated and the route they took to get to your phone.

All this fighting by some people for your right to privacy - don't be fooled, they are fighting for their ability to dupe you with criminal behavior and escape unpunished.

We have been getting these calls for a year now off and on...When and where does this stop...

It would be helpful to know if there were anything further you can do if this is a recurring problem. Until then I'll just "ignore them, and move on with your day. Maybe watch a really good sci-fi movie."

My home phone is bundled with our U-Verse account. Is there a way to block a number going OUT, not in? There have been calls made from my home phone line to a number that doesn't exist (according to AT&T) and I'm being charged for the calls. Thank you for any help.

Your service provider should be able to answer that question.

This tweet was misrepresented. I didn't see a solution or help to avoid these calls. What a joke. The sci fi movie solution was flippant and inappropriate.

You're right, this blog post doesn't explain how to stop getting calls from your own number. However, many people have asked the FTC how and why they get calls that appear to be from their own phone number, whether the calls are illegal and how to respond to them. The blog post answers those questions.

I suspect this spoofed call of my own number I received is from the jackass who called me last week from 505-407-3106. I call-blocked THAT number, and I guess he wants to show me how clever he is by spoofing his call and making it look like I'm calling my own number, smh.

I wonder just how many verses of the Lollipop Trio these scam callers could stand listening to me sing in my best monotone voice?

Probably not politically correct but a long blast from one of those air horns people use at ball games seem to be useful I have been told.

I discovered someone is using my number to make spam calls. Time to get them to stop. Maybe we should all cancel our phone and internet service until something is done. Nothing will be done until big data starts to lose money. It's unacceptable that decent people have to put up with problems from technology misuse.

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