That’s not your neighbor calling

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When your phone rings and it looks like a local call, you may be more likely to answer. Scammers count on this and can easily fake caller ID numbers. They even can match the first six digits of your own number, which is called “neighbor spoofing.” The urge to answer can be tough to resist, since you might worry it’s a neighbor who needs help, or the school nurse.

If you see a number like this on your caller ID, remember that it could be faked. Letting it go to voicemail is one option. If you do pick up and don’t recognize the caller — hang up.

But what else can you do? Call blocking services that block or flag unwanted calls can help. These services include mobile apps, features built into your mobile phone, cloud-based services, call-blocking devices, or services provided by your phone service carrier. Some are free and others cost money.

You also can register your number with the Do Not Call Registry. The Do Not Call Registry is designed to stop sales calls from legitimate companies, so it won’t stop calls from scammers. But it could make it easier for you to spot scam calls. If a company is ignoring the Registry, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.

You also can help by reporting unwanted calls. We take the phone numbers you report and release them to the public each business day. This helps phone carriers and other partners that are working on call blocking solutions. Your reports also help law enforcement identify the people behind illegal calls.


I started answering "Madison County Criminal Justice Department, Officer Dooly speaking. I know we can't stop these vulture calls but the scam calls have dropped from 15 a day to about 2 a week.

I believe carriers could do a lot more in seeking out these offenders. Don't provide them service.

This is how spyware and malware is inserted into your cell phone, also voicemail spies gain access to your phone just by your answering. Do NOT answer calls from unknown sources. Once someone "gets into" your phone, it is very difficult to remove them and near impossible to remove yourself from remote surveillance systems. Also do not post your cell phone number or home address on any social media sites, public, private, or otherwise.

I keep getting calls from this home improvement company from local 864 numbers and you're right when you call the person back they have no clue. So I've started telling each one of the Home Improvement guys that called me that my house burnt down and there's no need for improvements right now until it's rebuilt and even then it would be new and shouldn't need any improvements. But they insist that I may need some home improvements and I finally have to hang up on them. It's like they don't understand anything past the scripted information they read.

Some people get a great deal of satisfaction in wasting the time of the spoofer, leading them on and giving them fake information!

I've started a "campaign".... Instead of blocking the number with an app I will call the number with my ID blocked. And then inform the true owner of the problem. After a brief conversation explaining the situation they will call their service provider and complain.

We as consumers have to start with our carriers/service providers and by complaining in large numbers put THEM on the spot to stop this annoying scammer behavior. The thing is the providers have the technology and the means to stop this before the call even reaches you. Here's why... you get a call matching your area code and prefix, it has name in the caller ID. That caller ID is provided by the carrier who services (and bills you) that number. Their "system" is able to determine where the call originated, internally from their system or EXTERNALLY.

So don't be apathetic and ignore or block the number. Call the number back (especially if there was a caller ID with a name) via a different phone (and block the ID with *67) and kindly, very kindly inform who ever answers of what just happened.

Every person I've spoken with has been appreciative and says they'll be calling their carrier to complain.

I'm getting calls from neighbors saying I call them and hang up. So someone is neighbor spoofing using my phone number, which is infuriating. Is there anything that can be done to trace these calls and end this?

It is a shame that there are people out there spending their time devising scams rather than a cure for cancer, but I would rather be proactive. Everyone I know understands that I do not answer the phone immediately for anyone other than my husband, and they leave a message. The scammers don't leave messages, unless it is preprogrammed as part of their robocall. No biggie, I delete them.
There is no law that says you HAVE to answer your phone immediately. It is a tool, not your master. 30 years ago, your phone was a t home, or work and if someone called when you were driving, it was no big deal. Phone calls, texts and facebook should not control us, we are not their slaves. If the ringing bugs you, turn down the volume. I use my phone for business, and I still do not answer every call immediately. My days are less stressful because of it

Amazing the spoofing, robo calls are increasing as pay services are popping up also amazing I've been on the do not call list for years...Guess the telemarketing companies fund a lot of election campaigns...

happens to me all the time. I just got an angry text from someone who claims I called them 5 times today. In fact I never called them, they called me. I don't quite understand why scammers do this or what they might actually gain from it.

it all falls on the ADMIN to the VOIP system that scammers use. I was admin to our cities VOIP system and you can make any number you wish to go out as caller ID, for example our police depart private line was 867-5309. So with that being said, the admin to the system should be held accountable for the made up numbers. It should be made that they have to adhere to the numbers with in their range and that heavy fines will be issued to scammers.

Everyone should call their phone provider to confirm that you are the only one authorized to use your number. Google your own cell phone number and see if your name is attached to it.

I found out I'm on the other end of this. Yes, I get these harassing calls, but I just got notified that my number was spoofed so when these telemarketers call it appears as my number. From what I can tell, there is nothing I can do.

Received numerous calls from phones with same area code and first 3-digits. Never answered the calls and later checked voicemail -- never any messages. Until, some months ago a person left a message asking me to stop calling her. Recently, a man left a message asking why I was constantly calling him. I finally called my cell carrier and spoke with a technician who said my phone had been hacked. She made some changes and said that I should turn off my phone and then restart it. That did the trick! No more calls coming in asking me to stop calling them.

Way back in 2008, I used a online service
which seemingly had a U.S. phone number for computer problems / issues regarding technical help. I had no idea the call was routed to INDIA where / when at that time in my life, I was far more trusting with sites which claimed to give technical support... They requested that I go to a specific website, where I stupidly connected to their server, and they said I had multiple issues with my computer...They actually fixed the one issue I had, but now they had my phone number and my full name and credit card #... They requested my address but I refused.

I immediately told my credit card carrier and got a new card / number issued..

Long story short, to this day I've been getting spam & spoofed phone calls that have been nothing but harassment, trying to sell me things, and they've PASSED my info to MANY other scammers and have called me all times if the day and night...

In the pass, I got angry, cussed vile things, but now I just don't answer.

I'm committed to not answering these calls, which mostly comprise of my area code spoofed following a number which closely matches my suffix.

They almost never leave messages, but when they do it's always scam stuff.

However, just today I got another message ( 6 seconds long ) from these same series of spoofed / local numbers, and there was what sounded like a gun being fired in the background...

I think they are really angry, now that I am no longer


Why is it that the telecommunication companies can't stop scammers from spoofing Caller ID? Also, I have found that when I call back a local number, it's a number that has been disconnected. This tells me that the scammers are able to hack into telecommunication companies' own files to locate non-working numbers. Don't the telecom companies have some responsibility in this?

The FTC shares the phone numbers people report to the Do Not Call registry with telecommuncations providers.

The telecommunications providers are working on call blocking solutions, and many of those solutions rely on blacklists (databases of numbers that have been reported as the source of illegal calls). Companies use the information the FTC provides to help identify which calls should be blocked or flagged. Even if a scammer fakes caller ID information — so the number you see isn’t the scammer’s real number — reporting it can make a difference. Call blocking technologies also can help prevent this kind of spoofed traffic.

This number keeps calling me. Does anyone recognize it or have an idea what it is?

I've had 4 calls today between my cell and land line. I have a land line phone that has the capability to block calls. I just reached the 250 number limit on my landline. I had to delete some of the blocked numbers so I could add 2 more blocked numbers. I had one call on thanksgiving...claiming to be from Medicare. I had less than kind words for her. The gall on these clowns is unbelievable.

Unfortunately, using your carrier's "block" or blocking the number is only blocking a legitimate phone number that has been scammed. My phone is issued for work and it is publicized. I deal with the public, so I get 2-3 calls a day asking what I wanted and I have to explain I did not call to a disbelieving person on the other end. I get another half-dozen, local calls a day from a number with the same area code and 3-digit exchange. If I block it, it is an innocent person's number. Now, I never answer any of them. If it was important they will leave a message.

We just don't answer unknown or unavailable numbers. If it's somene we know calling from a different number or important, they'll leave a message. I recently blocked some numbers through the Verizon Wireless site. It's only good for so many days, but at least it's been much quieter for about two weeks now. Those numbers are: 231-216-7044, 616-426-8829, and 231-570-5082.
If only there was a permanent solution for these deplorable people!! For starters, phone companies could help making the blocks permanent.

I am responding to one of the older comments about an air horn. I was originally getting calls from multiple numbers at least 10 times a day and i got fed up with it. So everytime somebody called and i didnt know the number and they didnt have a valid reason for calling other then to scam me they got hit with an airhorn in their ear. Quite frankly the government was doing nothing so I did


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