Who's really calling?

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The millions of people who reported scams last year told us that imposters were the top fraud of the year. Imposters have called many of us – maybe even most of us, pretending to be anyone from the IRS to a family member in trouble, from fake tech “help” for your computer to a business selling things that turned out to be bogus. Their goal? To get your money as quickly as possible.

Thanks to the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, we recently heard about scammers calling to ask for contributions to the “Legal Aid Society” and pretending to be from the “national legal aid/defenders office.” A quick search of the phone number the callers used showed complaints for different kinds of imposter scams. (Of course, scammers can make caller ID show any number – even the name that shows up on the display. So don’t rely on caller ID to help you decide if a call is legit.) Imposters can pretend to be anyone, but the twist on this imposter scam is that the scammers are pretending to be from well-respected community service organizations and appealing to your civic spirit.

To make sure your donation dollars are doing the good you want them to, learn more about giving wisely. If you get a dubious call, or one that pressures you to donate right away, tell the FTC so we can investigate. We rely on you – and our partners in your community – to tell us what you’re seeing. In fact, our most recent imposter scam case – against a company that pretended to be from a community help center, the government, radio stations, and companies like Walmart – came about because of a tip from a legal services group in Washington, DC. So every report, from everyone, makes a difference.

Tagged with: charity, imposter, scam
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


You keep us well informed of this problem. So do my neighbors!
I would rather read about what you are doing to stop the problem, who we need to pressure to enable you to stop the problem.

This afternoon I received a called from what seemed to be from Verizon (Phone# 212 630-2006. When I answered it was an Indian sounding man, difficult to understand, telling me that Verizon had picked up a problem with my computer. I hanged up. I can't believe how useless Caller ID has become. Please - can someone do something about these scammers?!!!

I pay for an unlisted phone number, have "opted out" more times than I can count and continue on a daily basis, several times a day receiving these annoying calls. Some of the calls are recorded and begin by saying they are returning my phone call. Other times it is a live person calling, often with a heavy accent that is difficult to understand. I am sick and tired of this non sense. Please! Can anyone help???

You have a few options for blocking robocalls and other unwanted calls. Please see the FTC article, Blocking Unwanted Calls.

I remembered an old trick they said to use when you got those pervert calls. I grab my referees whistle and blow it. my calls have dwindled. If I do not feel evil, I sak them if their god likes liars and cheats.

I google the phone number and you can usually scroll down and finally get an ID from someone who actually talked to the caller and reported it. Then I tap the blue "i" in a circle up by the phone number on my cell phone and it brings up a window, then if you scroll to the bottom, it asks if you want to block that contact. Just tap "BLOCK CONTACT" and that's that for that particular number. If someone asks if you can hear them when you answer the phone, don't say anything, just hang up. This is the latest scam to get you to say "Yes" and then they have it recorded and then they can put it after anything they want to get you to agree to after they hang up cuz they can claim you said yes to it.

Call blocker devices are sold on amazon and ebay for land lines under $100. blocks 1,000 call or more. Cell phone apps work too and are cheap or free. Google is your friend except pay ads

I get at lease 10 calls aday trying to get our insurance info and also people calling like they are from micro soft and want to repair my computer I have call block but it doesn't help because from all kind of numbers.i am so sick of I.

I receive these calls everyday from a known person. This is harassment. They need to rid the work of the world wide web

I set up my home phone with nomorobo.com. It has successfully blocked computer generated calls for months now. By blocked, I mean the phone rings once, then no more. Nomorobo was noted on AT&T's website too.

There's also a style of scam targeted for small business owners (self-employed); so I got an email from the State of WV Purchasing Dept looking to purchase 100 computers. The letterhead and name of POC are all exactly like WV Logo. I searched the POC and the name of the legitimate purchasing officer is the same. It so real. But when I look at the delivery instruction and Googled it, its a small shack and dilapidated shed in the middle of nowhere?? I realized its a freaking scam using the officers of WV govt office the names are displayed on their official website. I called WV Purchasing Dept and inquired, they said they never sent that purchase order and they told me there's been that kind of scam going on.
Lesson learned, always google and research them first before you do anything with anyone.

Scammers also research homes owned by older people and if they live alone. Then they use their mailbox address to have stuff delivered to that address. They'd wait when fedex or mailman delivers, they exactly know the time of the day mails get delivered. Then they get their stuff before the old person in that house even had the chance to go out and pick up his or her mail.

Everybody that is blaming the FTC or FCC: Many of these calls originate from outside the US where the FTC and FCC have no jurisdiction.

My advice: Don't answer the phone unless you recognize the number/caller, or you are expecting a call from that caller. If it's important, they will leave a message. If they leave a message and they are asking for money - think twice. I've had "the IRS" and "Microsoft" call and leave a message asking for money. If it's really who they say they are, they would send me a notice in the mail.

My latest favorite? A call telling me I had recently reached out about a Medicare approved back-brace I'd wanted. Needless to say, I knew this was a SCAM because I'm on Medicare and know that doctors approval is necessary. Problem? I just can't get rid of these bastards; they keep calling and calling! Punching 2 to stop future calls immediately defaults to a real person wanting all kinds of information. Hence, I no longer answer UNKNOWN MAME or NUMBERS!
Problem is, all my doctors nurses call with this on my caller ID!

Google Inc called me yesterday. I thought "Why would Google be calling me?" The # was 650-214-4578. I was on another call, and didn't answer. I checked afterwards by using Google to find out if it was a scam. I just had that feeling. I don't know what this particular call was all about. I have received them all, from the IRS telling me I was going to be arrested, Microsoft telling me they received a message from my computer indicating a problem, and believe it or not, I even got a phone call from myself. That one puzzled me, until I checked it out on Google. Apparently they can make your caller ID show any # they want, and most people would answer that, curious as to why their own name and # came up. I don't usually answer any of these calls. If it's something I don't feel right about I'll check the phone # out on Google. I seldom answer my phone. I have an answering machine and anyone who knows me knows to leave a message so I know if I should answer it or call them back. I even get the calls on my cell phone. But I never answer that. There are only a couple of family members that have that #, and they usually just call me on the land line, speak when the answering machine kicks on, and I answer that. My cell phone is shut off most of the time. I only use it for making necessary phone calls when I'm not at home. I'm not so annoyed by the constant calls on the land line, because the ringer is off, and I'll see the screen on the handset light up, and I'll listen to hear if anyone leaves a message on the answering machine. Gone are the days of answering the phone and saying hello.

The FTC needs to do a better job of protecting consumers. I find government agencies in general to be most ineffective!

All these Payday scammers calling yearly/monthly/daily has got to stop! The calls daily are threating calls and I thought by law the debt collector could only call once a day! They hide behind your local numbers and long distance numbers! I go on 1800notes.com and reverse 411.com and research as many numbers as I can and comments about the numbers calling you! The landline we have had for years and just hate the fact of possibly getting rid of it this year! All we know is the phone rings all day sometimes in a row or spaced apart. Many different callers for many different reasons. Some everyday same callers. IRS/Internet/shampoo companies/schools ect. Need to stop this now!

I received a calling yesterday 4-4-2017, from a company named Nationwide Procesing stating that her name is Candice Crawford and that she was reaching out to me to collect a debt and that if I didn't contact her office as soon as possible that a warrant for my arrest will be sent out from my local sheriff office. The number she gave me is 855-203-4037, the number that showed up on my caller ID is 512-387-7456. I called back to the 512 number and I keep gettIng a busy tone. What's funny is that she called me once before that other call and my answering machine Picked up without her knowledge and I can hear her talking to someone else like if it's from her home and talking a lot of mess but couldn't make it out. I did report it to FTC. What other way can I stop these calls?

I received a recorded call today saying to call back .. Had nothing to write with so don't know the number I was suppose to call but they said they were IRS and I needed to call to stop them from issuing a warrant for my arrest. I called called back the number it came from and it rang a few times then it said no one available leave message. Seriously if you the IRS wouldn't someone answer besides wouldn't they send something in mail?
Number that called me was 877-219-4114

This John Davis is probably part of the "Nigerian," or similar conspiracy, which tries to hook people with a carrot, who claim they will receive millions of dollars, if they send money. The Nigerians make millions of dollars by scamming people. Even if they send you a check from Orlando, FL do not cash it, since the money is fraudulent from a criminal organization. An official from Alaska was fooled into sending thousands of dollars to the Nigerian criminal organization from the treasury.

Rec'd a call today saying my Student Loans had been forgiven. (I never went to college and never had any student loans)

I am about to go out of my mind. I recorded a fax machine and put that as my answering machine. This has worked for almost a year and now they ignore and get through. I would be willing to bet if these calls were to go to someone of importance that they would be stopped.

I received a call from 703-291-1592 demanding for me to pay $3,985.00 for owing taxes.

I have lately received threatening phone calls from a woman claiming to be calling from a court saying I am under threat of injunction or a district attorney, that I will be indited, that I will be fined, etc., unless I call her and send at least $2000, that I have to appear before a grand jury, a magistrate or judge. The last phone call said the only thing she can do is wish me luck if I do not call her back.

The truth is that scammers don't play by the rules by any means. They know that it's against the law to either spoof caller IDs, pretend to be someone they aren't, or even call those who are on the DNC list, but they just don't care. The only thing they care about is just getting out, because they know as long as their calls can't be traced back to where they are actually calling from, they can get away with this. Until the FTC and FCC becomes more proactive in stopping these scammers, they will continue to make such calls and never leave us alone until every last one of them is behind bars. Also, phone companies really need to find ways to block those who don't even show their numbers, because I have looked it up lately, and there is no sure way to stop them on either home or cell phones in that they can just find ways around it like they do for anything else. I feel that the only way to stop them is to be numerous steps ahead of them so that they can't through for a good amount of time, which could mean they can actually be traced and placed in custody while trying to break through.

I just received a call from 877-219-4114, left a message if I didn't call them they would take a warrant for me.... I called them, he answered the phone with a bogus name..& IRS. I told him I knew it was a FRAUDULENT CALL. I also told him the IRS does NOT contact people by phone, the send a letter. He stated that I got a call, I told him to cut the CRAP out..not understanding I used a stronger word. He hung up on me.....I BLOCKED the number.

8772145967 called saying they were calling about a home ? loan acct. Did not answer...No home loans

And they called again today .. Considering I make no money and am on disability I like to know what they think their issuing a warrant for? Do they really think I have any money? Again the number is 877-219-4114

I cannot understand why the govt doesn't legislate that the phone companies must develop a program for their computer systems that would eliminate the ability for people to spoof numbers. Then the public would be able to report real numbers, to the do not call list, of the people creating all these problems. I think it would stop a good portion of this harassment we all get if these people did not have the ability to hide.

Last week I changed my longtime cell number because of SPAM calls. The new number got four SPAM calls the very next day and continues to get three to five a day. I can't even complain to the FTC because they say my new number has not been on the WORTHLESS DO NOT CALL list for 30 or more days.

I've gotten several phone calls from 772 212-8586, claiming to be from the IRS. I think the number is from Florida.

I get all kinds of calls but I usually don't answer if I don't know the number but one day I did answer because he kept calling within minutes, so I finally answered to see who it was and he had an accent, I think he was selling windows! So, I told him not to call me anymore!

How many times I get an incoming call and my digital speaking phone says it is "local number." Looking at the caller ID, it is not a local number. Or so often when I receive a call and I answer it, no one id there. Then I call the number back and the recording tells me that the number I dialed is not a working number or this number has been disconnected. So who is this and if they do not talk to me and the number they are calling from is not a working number; how is that advantageous to them?

Scammers use technology to hide the number they're calling from so people can't locate their operation.

A long time a go, before phone numbers were spoofed all the time, almost all telemarketer caller IDs were from Florida. If we fix the laws in Florida, we would get rid of most of the telemarketers.

Otherwise maybe we can just hope Florida sinks under the water from Global warming.

NoMoRobo is the best thing the FTC has ever done in the fight against telemarketers. Silence is golden on my land line. Although it would be nice if NoMoRobo were free on cell phones, there are many free apps that work very well.

If the above options aren't available to you, an idea I used before NoMoRobo on my answering machine, was to use old time Ma Bell disconnect (starting with the three tones) messages like "please deposit 25 cents . . " that can be down loaded from the Internet.

I got a robo call today that is a hoax for the IRS from 424-377-4153: (Text of the voicemail) "There are some serious charges has been pressed against you so before anything goes wrong or before we tracked down your case file to your local police department in order to get arrested on these charges I want you to call us back as soon as possible at my department call back number which is 424-377-4153. This is Jack Henderson again from Investigation Department of Internal Revenue Service thank you." Please be aware of this scam!

Just tell them Your spouse is an IRS collections agent

888-563-0237 wanted to send me a refund for overpayment just needed my full bank account and PIN - it was not from Nigeria as far as I could tell :( Still waiting for the $$

May 5, 2017 I received a call from my sister on Messenger, which is part of Facebook, telling me that she decided to open a daycare center and she received a government grant of $100,000 so that she could open one. My sister stated that it only took a day and that she received the check from UPS the same day she signed up. About an hour later my sister texted me (I know it was her because her picture popped up during the call) and asked if I had applied for the grant? During the entire time the conversation was I felt that the words that were being used were not words that my sister would use.

During Saturday I did not talk much. However, on Sunday my sister asked again if I had gotten my Grant delivered to me yet? The she used the very same exact words and then these words, "It is a blessing to you in your life." Inside I was laughing as I am a business major and I knew this was just a game, but the person talking to me was my sister. This is what I did, I asked how do I get started and this is what I was told: Text the Agent (323)250-7532 whose name is Bill Brent. Well instead of texting I called the number, because I didn't know how to text, The person that I finally spoke to sounded as though he was of Asian-Indian descent. I asked Bill what I had to do to get the check. At that point Bill informed me that I had to give him a lot of information to him, but I told him that I would rather that he email me all of the information and I gave him my email address. Bill stated that he does not email or call, only by text. I then told Bill that I was not interested, thanked him for his time and asked him not to text, email, or call me. About three minutes later I got a call from Bill trying to recover me for an account and I told Bill not to call or bother me anymore. My son heard me on the phone talking and asked for the phone and told Bill, in no uncertain terms,not to call again and hung up.

I called my sister and I reported to her what had transpired and she advised me that, somehow, she was HACKED!! My sister has a different area code than I but the person running this scam used my area code as their number. Not only that, two of our nieces swore up and down that they talked to my sister all this weekend. I guess you now know what was hacked.

I thought that I would post this information because this was geared toward "Those who need assistance paying for bills, buying a home, starting and financing their own business, going to school, or even helping raise their children with old and retired people."

Sick people port your phone numbers. Some take over you accounts and when you call to report this to your phone company your told you are the fraudulent one. Then told to pay the bill for it all. And the people that are now using your numbers,and or accounts,that have your social security number on them are now using it or them for fraudulent activities and or to use in there criminal activities.

How is possible nobody can t stop this people? I'm full. I received phone calls from UK and I'm in Portugal.
They are using WhatSap, chat on FacebooK... OMG !!!

I receive several calls everyday . If I answer the immediately ask if I am who I am do not say yesm. I simply say I'm a friend and ask if I can take a message they say to have "me"call back at that number. I've called them back . No answer sometimes doesn't even ring or a message tells me that number doesn't exist even tho they just called me. If you don't know the number don't answer them. If it's a legitimate person they'll leave a message

Please continue posting to this, and other legit forums, as myself and other telco employees read these and check our own calling logs for these numbers perpetuating fraud. When we find them, we either block the numbers from our network and / or close the account sending these calls.

From my personal experience dealing with subpoena scammers, I would suggest googling the phone number you are supposed to call or that showed up on your Caller ID. Most of the legit company's phone numbers will show up in your search as associated with the company. At least then you know that it is a registered company (can still come out as a scam but at least registered company can be reported to and tracked by authorities). In my experience, most of the scammers numbers show up on the search as a number not associated with any company, number with no history, no complaints, nothing due to these being spoof numbers that are changed constantly.That's the first step. There is also a lot of actual attorney advises on the web on how to spot a scammer. Another good one aside from the verification notice is asking them for a docket number of the litigation and the actual court that it is going through. If you have any concerns regarding the legitimacy of the debt you can then call the actual court and check the docket number with them. The last time I asked the scammer for a docket number, he hung up.

I just got a phone call from them today saying if I don't pay it right now that it's going to get turned over to the courthouse automatically and then they're going to have a sheriff come out and serve me my papers and a warrant for my arrest

I accidentally stumbled upon a brand new way to harangue telemarketers while reading the paper. We all know about NoMoRobo for landlines and apps for cell phones for blocking robo calls. This is a cross between NoMoRobo and the hilarious video content on YouTube.

FTC won't allow me to name the company, but maybe there is more than one. For a small monthly or annual fee, you can sign up to forward your calls to a variety of robot answer bots with distinct personalities, from business to busy mom with kids, to use your imagination.

The Robot voice replaces you in the conversation (after you forward your call) and irritates the hell out of the telemarketer, until he just hangs up. The recorded conversation is saved for your listening pleasure later, ha ha ha.

I listened to some sample conversations with live telemarketers. The robots waste the telemarketer's time, make them steaming mad, and were so funny; they should become a new posting category on YouTube.

I agree with speechie is there really A NATIONAL DO NOT CALL list?


When they text send those text to your phone provider they are supposedly help with that.??? Like all the rest.
I would still send all.

877-399-4068 and 877-402-1163, I have gotten two calls, by two diff numbers. Message is this is an attempt to trace/locate ( in automated voice) my name. If we are not able to locate your whereabouts by law we will contact all reference on file to locate you. No collector uses these threats. This person never states the name of the company. I googled the 877-402-1163 which comes back to a United Surveys in Beverly Hills Ca. the other number I can find anything on. When I google United surveys I also got a 951-337-2075 # for them. When I searched that number googles maps show it be in Moreno Valley CA in a low income housing project. This scream SCAM all over. No legit credit uses these tactics.


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