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The top three ways to avoid fraud

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In pretty much every article and blog post we put out, you’ll find tips to help you avoid scams. The idea is that, if you can spot a scam, and know how to avoid it, you and your money are more likely to stay together.

Today, we’re releasing a brochure that distills those tips down to the top 10 ways to avoid fraud. This brochure – available online and in print – is your one-stop resource to help you spot imposters, know what to do about robocalls, and how to check out a scammer’s claims.

Here are three things that can help you avoid scammers who try to call you:

  1. Hang up on robocalls. If you pick up the phone and hear a recorded sales pitch, hang up and report it to the FTC. These calls are illegal. And plentiful. Don’t press 1, 2 or any number to get off a list or speak to a person. That just means you’ll get even more calls.
  2. Don’t trust your caller ID. Scammers can make caller ID look like anyone is calling: the IRS, a business or government office…even your own phone number. If they tell you to pay money for any reason, or ask for your financial account numbers, hang up.  If you think the caller might be legitimate, call back to a number you know is genuine – not the number the caller gave you.
  3. Talk to someone. Before you give up money or information, talk to someone you trust. Scammers want you to make decisions in a hurry. Slow down, check out the story, search online – or just tell a friend. We find that people who talk to someone – anyone – are much less likely to fall for a scam.

For seven more tips to help protect yourself and loved ones from fraud, read on – or order your free copies of 10 Things You Can Do to Avoid Fraud to share in your community. And if you spot something that looks like a scam, report it to the FTC.


I applied for a job on line thinking I was waiting on a hire package. To find out that a credit card came to my house and with my address and name on it. Think ing I had been approved for a card or some felt sorry for me and put me as the secondary card holder to find out it was a scam. No more online application form for be. Someone had already stolen my identity for the last 4 yrs. With me not even knowimy it.

Here are the latest numbers and names on my caller ID: Jackson Lewis 1-347-644-0000. 4x 1-800-536-8148 New NY 1-646-568-5528 1-985-785-9988 1-206-681-7879 Private caller Triangle VA 1-703-291-0477 Boston Private 1-857-770-2412 Waterloo NY 1-315-670-7352 1-000-000-0000 !!!! 1-617-778-2267 Richland WA 1-509-713-1120 Spokane WA 1-509-570-1965 Amherst VA 1-434-922-1825 Waterloo NY 1-315-670-7399

Have many of the same #'s. 'Do Not Call' will never work with so many scam artists around. Hope all know how they receive your #: Internet browser you use sells your personal info, sites you visit sell it also. Point is: our personal info is all over the world. Social sites know what you just purchased!

Testout I have had all my bank and dl#ss#and virus stolen and put on phone don't know what to do they even had keystroke on my phone and stole all pass wordststout

You can take steps to protect yourself after you have been a victim of identity theft. Go to to report the theft and learn who to contact and how to repair damage.


Great stuff: wish I could send it along to others!

Actually, you can! Tell your friends, family and co-workers about our Stay Connected page. They can subscribe to this blog by clicking on Consumer Information Updates, and on Scam Alerts for timley updates.

Hope this helps.

several years ago Verizon had a service called "call intercept" it was great but they stopped. it allowed you to have any robocall to ring once and that was it and you could stop it instantly if a call got through just dial a code after the call and it would stop them from calling againm. instead you paid 2 idiots $50,000 for something that does not work.

I strongly disagree with you. I have nomorobo on my land line, and it works great. My phone provider is Comcast. I know nomorobo works, because I can see the calls that nomorobo bounces on my Comcast phone call web page.

Before nomorobo, I used old Ma Bell recordings that started with the 3 tone disconnect tone. Do a search for Miscellaneous Telephone Sounds & Recordings to find/download the Ma Bell recordings. Telemarketers hated this, and eventually left my phone alone most of the time.

I get so many on my cell and block them all. They are using the same numbers to try and fool you such as 555-555-5555 or 777-777-7777. I don't answer. Just block.

Thank you for the updates it really helps

As the Director of my community's Consumer Affairs Office, I look forward to your tips and publications, so I can refer to them when I issue periodic alerts to our residents. This has developed a following of people who continually call me with updates on the frauds and scams circulating and new ones I have not yet heard about. Keep these coming, so I can continue to share the information and prevent people from becoming victims.

Someone named Brenan Allan called my niece and said he was covering a complaint about theresidence.The phone number is 855-261-0568. When they were called back a young lady answered the phone, asked for the case number, she went off the line, came back and said there was a judgment in my nieces name. She wanted the last four digits of the social security number. When she was told that there was no judgement against the person and they were not going to get the social security number she hung up the phone.

An attempt was made to report this to the consumer affairs department about this matter. It was so poorly handled by the person taking the information that matter was just let go. She did understand or get it. Not only that your office requires feeding that information back into the system to the people creating the problem.

Thank you for this valuable reminder and the caller ID info!!!!
Awesome work!

These annoying calls could be greatly reduced if telecom companies were required to report the perpetrators of millions of these calls....the telecom companies make a great deal of money providing connections for the robocall and telemarketing industry. My phone is for my own private conversations, no company has the right to bother me with sales pitches, whether it's a for profit company or a non-profit. Legislation will only happen when politicians are forced to refuse campaign funding from the perpetrators.

I'm so excited! I received an email from Amazon thanking me for my recent order, and to show me their appreciation, they're offering me free gift certificates.
Amazon is so good at knowing their customers, they sent it to an email address I've never associated with my account! My rich Nigerian uncle must have provided it to them! He's so sweet that way!

<Grumbling because I have to go onto my computer and forward the Spam mail. Not worth opening.>

Since I signed-up for the DO NOT CALL LIST, I get at least ONE call per day! People and robocalls. I reported them for a while but gave up. ITS A WASTE OF TIME!

The DNCL is a waste of time in my opinion as well. If they are going to allow loopholes within the system for certain types of calls then what is the point. There should not be any gray area here, it should be strict that if you are on the list that means 100% no calls at all from anything unless you give the individual permission; School, Hospital, et cetera.

We get up to 15 calls a day. We do not andwer any unknown number or without an identifying caller ID that says whomis calling. Its horrible starts asvearly as 8 a.m. And goes to 9:30-10:00 p.m.

Yes, I sure know what you mean JHR -- We've gotten those called as well, Lately it's a robo call saying this is the last time the IRS is going to sue you if you don't call this other number. I just got such all 3 times today alone (9-24-2016). If you don't answer the phone they just call back. It's getting to be a pain in the *** There should be SOMETHING "we" can do.

do not call list is a joke

I get these types of calls every day. I havr a call block on my phone now and it blocks all incoming calls that i dont recognize or isnt on my contact list. Ive been threatened with lawsuits and jail time. Mine are calls claiming to be the IRS or lawsuits claiming i owe for payday loans. Ive even had text messages and emails from Benin Africa claiming i had a consignment box sitting at the LA airport and the Miami airport containing 3million dollars. All i needed was to purchase a owners certificate for $250 and customs would release it to me. When i refused i was notified that interpol was looking for me on laundering money charges. I told them to let them come and never call me again.

It would be APPROPRIATE for web sites to NOT charge for numbers that are reported as scams!! why pay for the information on these creeps? SHOULD BE AVAILABLE TO ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN CALLED FROM A SUSPECTED NUMBER!

I Definitely Agree

I have a tip: Don't put your private numberon the internet. If you do you will be inundated with robocalls, scams and God knows what kind of calls. It's a personal choice but thats the way I manage unwanted calls.

When "Grandma" scams 1st started and hadn't been publicized yet, I got a call from NY saying my Grandson was in jail (they had his name), and needed $3000.00 to bail. I believed but said "have him call his Dad". He said he would get mad. I caught on then and hung up. I was still slightly worried. After checking with my fam. was vindicated.

Has anyone heard of Consumer Debt Defense? You pay a lawyer a monthly retainer, stop paying your credit cards and the lawyer finds Federal violations the Bank has let slip by. All of your credit card debt is eliminated; however it may take 6-18 months. It does not harm your credit and there is no 1099 on it. They say it is all it? How do I find out?

Before you do business with any debt relief service, check it out with your state Attorney General and local consumer protection agency. They can tell you if any consumer complaints are on file about the firm you're considering doing business with. Ask your state Attorney General if the company is required to be licensed to work in your state and, if so, whether it is.

If you’re thinking about getting help to stabilize your financial situation, do some homework first. Find out what services a business provides, how much it costs, and how long it may take to get the results they promised. Don’t rely on verbal promises. Get everything in writing, and read your contracts carefully.

You can learn more at Dealing with Debt.

I think that the phone service suppliers should stop allowing the option to change names on caller IDs. When will the FTC be able to make this nonsense stop? We used to be able to block unknown callers, now they figured a way around that. Home Security and Solar Panel calls are rampant.

I received a e-mail from US Debt Recovery in Los Angeles CA. They are threating me an arrest, they want me to inform my employer that my check will be garnished. They want $8000.00. they don't tell me who it is for. According to them they called me and can't get thru. I have NO MORE Robo Call on my phone. That is why they can't get thru. They say that my drivers license will be taken away and they will arrest me. I have no idea who these people are. But I'm sick of all the internet scams. There is no phone number on the e-mail. Don't care what they want. Just want these people stopped once on for all.

I am on the Do Not Call list and still get calls from solar companies regularly. I periodically get the IRS scam calls--so funny because the guy will be called Brandon or Darren and his accent will be so thick he's hard to understand except that he is angry and rude. I also get calls looking for someone who is getting arrested if he or she) doesn't call a certain lawyer or collection agency--and he supposedly has my phone #. Scammers!

I just got a call saying first, I owed IRS an exact amount of money, $1987.00. First the man had a thick accent and was really rude from the start. He never gave his name, but told me I could make payment arrangements, because I said I was on permanent disability and only get paid once a month. He first said I had to pay something today, even $10,then they'd make pmt arrangements for me, for the same amount. He was threatening me that I'd be arrested if I didn't come up with $500 today, telling me to borrow it from someone or it would cost me $20-$30,000 if he had to go forward and file a claim against me. I was trying to explain my lack of money, then he threatened me again and hung up on me. I called back and it was the same guy and he answered hello, then went through the same thing again, but ended up hanging up on me this time. The phone # he was calling from is, 1-877-209-5812. Please take note of this number and check into this scam. Also, I want to be put on the do not call list, which from what I've been reading, doesn't seem to be working well. Please stop these scam artists!

I just don't answer my phone from any number that is not in my contacts. One can always leave a message. Scammers don't generally leave messages. And if they do, at least then you have the option to call them or not. Just don't answer.

to many calls, some in the middle of the night or early m morning..I.have contacted FTC.. seems to help for a brief time...but now is overwhelming...

Look into Nomorobo. It has definitely helped cut down on many calls. FTC probably has info on other ways to help you. Good luck.

It might help to jot your incoming caller's # down and look it up on reverse phone look up on white pages before answering that caller again.

Now when I try to do that I'm taken to a site that requires payment to complete the search. I just ignore the calls.j

Thank you for this info!

I started getting calls about 5 years ago from someone looking for Michael S_____. They finally stopped but started up again recently. I don't answer, but they leave a message for this Michael stating that if they don't get a response someone will come to his place of employment. It makes me laugh that they're making this threat for someone who likely doesn't exist. If they call one more time I will report the number, but I've noticed that sometimes these callers change the caller ID by one number to avoid call blocking.

fraud/scammer telephone numbers I keep getting.


Thank you for the tips little late but helps. I have been scammed. Not that I'm stupid but when your needing money and bills are coming in and you or your spouse can't work then you can get scammed really easy. Yes, in the mail, phone and letters.

I have 4 lg files full of scam letters etc. Would the FTC like to have them or not? I was going to write up the disputes and email them. Just wanted to make sure they are wanted otherwise I'm filing them

Please go to to file a complaint. You will be able to tell your story in your own words on the website. You can leave a note to say you have documents related to a scam.

You may also want to contact your state Attorney General’s office.


scam Sherman Legal Services 866-584-9633 ray jackson is asking 900 to settle a debit out of court do not give out your card number .

The problem with these scammers is that they only care about getting caught. They know that as long as they can't be found or traced, they can continue to do what they are doing. I feel that if the phone companies don't want to cooperate with tracking them down, then issue a subpoena on them in doing so. Whatever gets these scammers caught and arrested, I will support.

Boston Private 857-770-2412 Call from "Mike" lots of background noise, says it is something medical (heavy accent hard to understand with noise and accent) says they have "discovered" recent surgery for blood clots. Informed them they needed to remove the number from call list and from their scam. Hung up. Beware anyone claiming to have medical information has obtained it illegally or is making it up! Hang up!

The scam I have received the most lately is the "windows scam". I received a call almost every day, sometimes around 7:30 a.m. and as late as 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. About 2 weeks ago, I received 3 calls from a toll free number, one at 11:00 p.m.! When I called back, I got a message that it was Shaw Flooring and their office was closed. Someone had spoofed their number. When I googled it, there were dozens of complaints in a 24 hour period from that number.

As far as the phone companies, people can spoof numbers through a pc and a phone dialer. My understanding is they don't have to go through the phone company. It's like stealing someone's credit card and pretending to be them.

My phone is through the cable company and they block robocalls. I called 2 back and receive a fast busy signal...or "the number has been disconnected". How can it be disconnected if you just called me?

I was scamed out of $364.75. They said I won 8.8 million. and had to send that money to receive the 8.8 million. I was stupid and sent that money.

Please report this to the FTC at The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.


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