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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.

Comments

My husband's name came up on my sister's phone in her car but it was a spoofed call so they must have used his entire number. How do you prevent this?

I get at least 20-30 weekly. Neighbor spoofing seems the popular thing at the moment. I've also had a lady call me a few times screaming down the phone to stop calling her. I tried to explain to her, but I don't think she got it when I informed her I was not calling here and my number had been spoofed

They piggy-back off of real people's phone numbers. They'll call me and when I don't answer, I'll call that number back and the person of the number is confused because it shows no call to my number on their end. How can we get these scammers to stop using other people's phone numbers???

Our home is being harassed by these unsolicited telemarketers and scammers. My out going message now says "Due to the high number of unsolicited telemarketer phone calls, we are screening all phone calls. Friends and family and legitimate business, please leave your name and number and we will call you back as soon as possible. We are very sorry for any inconvenience, but we refuse to talk to unwanted callers. Thank you for your understanding."
What we've noticed is that calls that are telemarketers or scammers hang up before the answering machine picks up. We have a screen on the phone and any call that has a number we don't recognize does not get answered.
Our thought is that eventually the calls will reduce and we'll regain some level of peace.

recieved 1 call to a mobile device from a 3 digit number "348" thats the entire number. Did not answer the call,but since then when a text is sent out to m family it says unable to deliver but they are having 11 to 13 texts of the exact same few words. Is this a malicious app? I deleted the number from my call log today.

I get at least 10 calls every day from robo calls or no response when I say "Hello" at least 3 times from local phone numbers.

It seems the FAA is unable to help.

My hubby and I love answering these calls. He is a law enforcement oficer in our area and he will answer it accordingly. I answer mine and tell them not to call back. The phone # is registered to law enforcement. They call back next day and he calls them. Tells them he is calling on behalf of my number and tells them not to call that number again. So far.....it works!

I think there should be a gov app which allow you to simply tap to report the number to the FTC so the number can be added to their list.

Been receiving calls. They are using computers to spoof other cell numbers. I recorded on my computer 4 ip addresses coming from a West palm beach cell number. This is ridiculous. They wanted my credit card information and my social security number. Scam scam scam. I wish the FBI would look into this

The FTC has to stop spoofing.

Bridget Small - FTC...you keep saying report the numbers, there is no way i'm going to sit through the page and do them 1 at a time considering i get about 10 per day. that is just not feasible. So unless you have a bulk solution, that will not happen

The problem with blocking them is they are also spoofing other "well known" numbers. For example my Caller ID listed my place of work and the front desk number BUT it was completely spoofed by a scammer. If I would have blocked the number, then my work calls would have been blocked.
This needs to rise to the level of the FCC and force the Telecommunication Carriers to standardize and securely manage the Caller ID process!

520-320-1423 SPAM- when call the number back, it says it's disconnected.

I guess if the ftc is criticised the comment gets dumped. Like jack Nicholson said in "mars attacks" 2 out 3 branches of the gov. is still running and that ain't half bad. When you release our do-not-call numbers who gets them? Anybody and everybody. who needs to buy a call list the fcc, ftc gives our do-not-call list to someone. When you're a thug who cares. Why doesn't the ftc just say we're screwed. If you want everyone to believe you're doing something (ftc) show us all of the cases where you have prosecuted anyone, LATELY. I did see one in 2013. It would help to do a little pr showing us what you're doing to stop the crap besides this lame blog. I did get a roboto voip call from a politician, just another thug. Not that they lie, cheat, mislead or embezzlement but who better to give our numbers to. The politician did say they were for the people and were going to get rid of special interest, maybe they were talking about the telecom conglomerates. How's that att and spectrum merger coming that's a win win for all of us no special interest there. Anytime someone is ripping off the honest in the babillions I would think that would be somewhere on the top of the list. Well good luck with your spin.

Every website says to report these calls to the FCC. Yet there is no form for 'Phone Scamming'

The only form that relates is "Unwanted Calls" and this form is long, and wants a plethora of details that have nothing to do with simply reporting phone scams.

Scammers know this. These guys are not idiots. It's the same reason so much identity theft goes unpunished, and the statistics are so bad for "unreported" because the reporting methods are invasive, impractical and sometimes what you need to make a report you are not given.

When you report all robocalls to DoNotCall.gov, you must give only:

  • your phone number
  • the date you received the call.

All other information is requested, not required.

We got a call from our own phone number once!

They spoofed my cell number that I’ve had for 8 years! Over 30 pissed off people calling and texting me and I was like wth? I never called any of these people. I called Verizon to report it and the rep said she couldn’t see the numbers calling me and that it showed that I had called my vm?! She said be careful with apps or 3rd party websites that could also be the culprit? The rep said Pinterest had been hacked? Anyway I got a spam/blocker app from Verizon, I don’t want to have to change my number, good luck to anyone going thru this also!

Everytime I get a call from a number I do not recognize, I call it back. It is always a number not in service at this time. Where are these people getting all these not in service phone numbers?

Just got a call from an irate gentleman who cussed me out royally for calling him over several days. When I advised him it wasn't us that it was neighbor spoofing. Then I had to explain neighbor spoofing to him. He lives probably 6 blocks from me and we had a lovely conversation (after my explanation). He's still going to report our number to the FTC...like that will help! Of course now I wonder if all the calls we receive are actually neighbor spoofing or are the ACTUAL neighbors calling to find out why we called them. I'd love to dump the landline, but it just moves to your cell phone after that. We usually don't answer the landline unless it is family and they never leave a message

If I don't recognize the incoming # I let the call go to voicemail. My recording says, "You have reached a # that is no longer available."

They don't own the numbers that they are using. The numbers are mirrored. I've followed up on a few and I get listings for real people, and if you do call that person back, he has no idea what you are talking about. Unfortunately, any report you make will go against the owner of the number, not the company initiating the call and mirroring that number

Verizon does this all the time - the caller ID number that shows up is local or at least within the state, but ends up registering on my call log as an 866 number. Why is this even legal? Verizon = scammers. They lie about their service, they don't disconnect you when you ask them to and then they try to bill you for services you never received. And now this!

It's really outrageous. The DNC list has NEVER worked, and it's been around for years so they've had their chance, but it's even worse now. Plus I get scam texts that pretend to be part of a "group" conversation so that if I "opt-out" it shows the scammers they have a live #. Just today I had a "ringless voicemail", no ring and no missed call, just a VM about a Vehicle Warranty for a car I don't even own. Also getting more text messages, same subject. These people are the scum of the Earth, and lately, they don't even have foreign accents. One I found was PA and another CA, I had to make BBB reports to get them to stop calling me.

These are computers using other people's phone numbers to fake you into picking up. If you call back you get someone's grandma or some other random person. It makes no sense to block those numbers. It's very unlikely they will ever attempt a specific combo again -- it's all randomized.

I am starting to play along to get the company name out of them and waste time with them. Once I have a company name, I wonder if anything can be done. The person that called me was either in the US or using a voice simulator.

My phone let's me know if it is spoofed and I laugh when they call me and I do not answer and just send them a text of it saying that this number is spoofed

I am so sick of these people pretending to be from my area only to say nothing and leave me some stupid voicemail like "(first two or three words cut off because it's definitely a scam) your car insurance! Pay up or you get arrested" or some bs like that, and it's starting to get on my last nerves! Oh, and all these apps saying they block these calls won't work on my cell because I use a basic LG flip phone. When I call these idiots back (which is actually a bad idea) I get a message saying the number is no longer in service, proof that these numbers are fake! What a bunch of cowards!

Also, to all of you people saying, "Oh, legit callers will leave a voicemail," well, here's a news flash for you - scammers caught up with this and ended up leaving threatening voicemails as well if you reject their call! If you do get a voicemail within 30 seconds to 2 minutes of rejecting a scam call, delete it immediately.

Wow. As usual FTC is inept. Great, we report the numbers and you let the carriers know. THE NUMBERS ARE SPOOFED. Reporting them does nothing since it is not the actual number the call is coming from.

My very own personal cell phone number is being used to spoof caller-ID by these criminals. I know because I got contacted by the victims.
This is plain IDENTITY THEFT and FTC and phone companies are not doing enough to stop this serious crime.
My cell phone has a SIM card in it, and SIM means “Subscriber Identification Module”. AT&T needed to check my ID card when I got the SIM card with that number. So that SIM card and number represents me.
All that is required to stop this crime is for phone companies to block all calls spoofing my number that do not originate from my SIM card. Then trace back to the source and prosecute them for identity theft. The technology is available. Just make it a requirement by law.

I keep getting calls from local numbers. And people are contacting me that I don’t know saying that my number shows up for robocalls to them!

I answer "polk county sherrifs fraud department" but i say it to any number i dont know

I get them all the time for Sirius but what makes me even more mad is them spoofing MY phone # to solicit others. Then those people call me asking what I wanted. This has to be illegal.

ATT has afree service called call protect which seems to stop these calls at their office level. After using it for a month calls coming from anywhere but my telephone exchange (2nd 3 digits of number) have stopped. Those that get through are usually labeled "Telemarketer".
The problem is that if I report those with my exchange number ATT may add them to thir blacklist and make it difficult for those people who own those numbers. A quandrey.

Received a call from this number and the caller ID name display showed "Louisiana Call" as if it was an incoming cell phone call but the Number Network exchange of 725 is a group of land lines in the Ragley area. When I called the number back, I found out it isn't a working number. We are sick of this entity calling as they use a different unassigned number every time that they call to make it impossible to block their calls. We received calls from 337-725-4211, 2770, 7215, 1278, 4272, 0504, 2013, 8967, 6436, 7609, 8376, 5017, 5584, 9246, 6022, 0110, 2795, 1314, 1221, 7640, 1478, 4391, 1951, 1886, 9401, 6544, 3208, 9889, 9012, 4952, 1777, 9808, 8021,and 1564. I told U. S. Auto Care to take us off of there list as most of the previous calls were from them. Today another scammer (if not the same one) is using this method to run the "senior benefits" scam on 337-725-0543. I told them that I did not appreciate them spoofing a land line call as if it was a cell phone call and then I asked; "Do you think that we are stupid?" The caller hung up very abruptly.

A friend just posted online that he got one of these calls but it was spoofing his parents' phone number, so he picked up. So some scammer is correlating data, matching last names and area codes then spoofing that way. So now we have to do the old "ring twice and hang up, then call back" trick to confirm that people are who the display says they are?

The problem with reporting a number is what if it’s spoofed? Then you are reporting an innocent person’s number

The only luck I’ve had is answering the phone in a language other than English. The few times an actual person is calling they sputter the word “sorry” or just hang up. And when I get a call from the same spoofed number repeatedly, and answer this way, I no longer get calls from that number. But they just sell my number down the line and it’s just a different number the next day.

I get this a lot. However, recently, when I call the numbers back I'm getting actual people who claim to not know what's going on. Usually I get a "this phone is not in service" recording. So I guess they're spoofing peoples active numbers?

610-725-4386 / SCAM / Caller ID says PAOLI, PA / Callers says he is in Prospect Park, PA - Ask what is the zipcode? he did not know, Asked to speak to owner about our Merchant Account - we don't have a Merchant Account.610-725-4386

Within minutes of activating our AT&T phones we began receiving fake phone calls. They must have access to AT&T database. We receive more illegal calls than legal calls on our three phones.

DNC Registry is a useless tool, since the problem is that those who already break the law don't care. And since they spoof others' phone numbers, they are well-hidden. Perhaps if the US Govt cracked down on phone companies allowing hundreds of thousands of phone calls from the same source?

I had a call for a fake job offering this morning. They called from a number that is registered as a mobile number instead of a company number. I googled the 'real' company. There is only one location for the company in California and the telephone number is not provided. There is also a dead email link that leads to nowhere. What major corporation operates like that?

A young lady calling herself Kirsten claimed her Supervisor felt I would be a good fit for 'several different positions' at one of their locations in my home state without having ever interviewed me. However, they have NO location whatsoever in my home state. They are located in California only.

This number was also previously on my block list and somehow got removed. I played along and told her the location is too far from my house(which the false one she presented actually IS).

They use the first 6 digits of "Actual" phone numbers in your (or an) area! There is no way to stop them!!! Only the last 4 digits are different from previous calls. I actually texted a number back once saying to stop. It was an actual person who didn't know that her number was being used.

Even if you don’t answe, the caller gets paid! From the WSJ.
Even if you ignore that annoying robocall, the person behind it might still be making money off the call. It has to do with caller ID services.
When a call is made, phone companies query caller ID databases in an attempt to identify the person calling; the companies pay small fees (typically between $0.0025 and $0.005) when a match is made and a name is displayed.
Some caller-ID databases then pass along some of those fees to the company that controls a caller's phone number or the company making the call.
Scammers can purchase blocks of unused phone numbers, submit fake names and addresses for those numbers to caller-ID databases, and watch the pennies trickle in.
With millions of robocalls made per day, those pennies add up

They seem to have something new now. I think they know what calls I've answered recently. I have a 703 number, but had a call from a 505 area code that I knew was legitimate, so I answered. Now I get 6 or 7 scam calls a day from the 505 area code.

I believe these neighbor calls are phone numbers cancelled by landline customers who went cellular only. The telephone companies found themselves with all these numbers not bringing in any revenue and sold them to a third party who most likely sold them off to telemarketers. The government won't do anything because the telephone companies have done nothing wrong from a business standpoint. Ethics? There are not ethics in business. Only the bottom line.

I accept every call. I cut them off from the beginning, and continue to ask
HAVE YOU ACCEPTED JESUS AS YOUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR? I will continue to ask this question until they hang up. I will call back, if they answer I will begin the same question again. If they say yes, which is rare, I demand that they tell me their "testamony".
The calls have nearly disappeared.

Who is she

excellent idea my dear, I have to say that one is impressive.

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