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

I get many of these type calls a day. It should be criminalized and fined heavily.

These calls are harassment!!!

They sure are harassing

I've got no solicitations on my phone and I don't get spam callers anymore! It's great!!!

More than fed up. Reporting to the do not call list just advertises my number, not again. Yesterday after two months of 2 to 4 calls a day after putting up the do not disturb 24 hour a day, and not answering; I complained to the carrier of harassment and threatened to terminate service, so far the calls have stopped.
My current blocked numbers are 3032412640, 8007872190,7192421411, 2104015317, 2107773456, 6788461291. With the fake numbers some will not be real. Suggest political action against the carriers who allow fake calls.

Hi millerf1. If you have only 4 numbers blocked, your lucky. I hVe over 50. I think it takes a period of time before phone numbers are activated in the Do Not Call List. It was nice when scammers couldn't access cell phone numbers. Whomever has a cellphone plan pays a lot of money for that service. Telemarketers and scammers should not be able to access our cellphones . Good luck!!!

I totally agree. I placed our cell phone numbers on the DNC list and the calls have multiplied since then. We get at least 3 a day.

I have my phone set to DO NOT DISTURB All other calls are silenced and go straight to voicemail. I check my phone all the time so I won't miss any emergency calls and if they don't leave a message, it's most likely spam.

Something needs to be done, I think anyone purchasing a cell phone should be required to register it in their name with some form of ID, no more burner phones because this is what is allowing this to happen. It's about time government steps in to stop this BS from happening, I'm sick of 3-4 calls a day, every day. Even after 9pm and now on weekends too.

In early 2017 my daughters cell number was taken over , when she called the provider they confirmed giving her number on assignment three weeks prior to her inquiry. When she asked if they could simply disconnect the other individuals phone , their reply was NO ! She asked why she couldn't keep her 4 year old phone number and they said it was issued to another individual . My daughters phone bill was not delinquent and when she noticed the home phone being forwarded with all incoming calls , she requested help to no avail. Strange numbers and controlled devices are the most irritating to deal with without assistance.

My new phone in a new STATE has become an nightmare.
MY phone has a Block number button up in the ::: on top right of recent calls - but it does NOT stop them it just stops them from ringing.. it still registers them as a call that was missed/BLOCKED.
IT is ridiculous.

seems that way you at least have the number to report and ad to blocked #'s

thanks for the tips.I have a message on my phone that goes on after 3 rings I wait a few min then check my machine and find out they did not leave a msg.

I get unwanted and scam calls on my cell every day and it is consistent calling. How do I report these calls?

Thank you!

Reporting local spoofed numbers helps no one, in fact it just ads insult to injury as the first victim is the owner of the spoofed number. Don't call that number back and be abusive to the person that owns the spoofed number, that just makes you just as bad those spoofing numbers.
A legit caller will leave a message.The best advice is to just not answer if you don't know the number and let your answering service/machine take the call.

Totally agree! If a number comes up and not a name, I look not answer. If they know me, they leave a message. Everyone who has my number that I know is programmed in my phone. Pretty simple.

So true. Wish they would’ve added a sentence recognizing this in the post.

I use the Canned text message " I'm busy at the moment. Please text me." Since most people have a smart phone, if it's legit, they will. If it's family borrowing a friends phone, they can still reach you. When I used this one texted back asking who I was since they didn't call me, I could warn them someone was spoofing their number.

What good would it do to warn them someone is spoofing their number? They can't do anything about it. The person spoofing their number is using VOIP, which can allow them to enter any phone number they wish to show up on caller id.

What good would it do to warn them someone is spoofing their number? They can't do anything about it. The person spoofing their number is using VOIP, which can allow them to enter any phone number they wish to show up on caller id.

You've got that right!! Mh cell # has been spoofed and it's much more annoying than the scam calls. People return calls and swear I called them, bless me out and turn my # over to the police.

What is the FTC doing to stop these scam calls? When will the FTC stop them? If not the FTC - who is responsible to protect U.S. citizens from these KNOWN attempted scams?

These scam calls are coming from digital sources outside of the U.S. As someone who works in telecommunications with access to the tools to do so, I can tell these numbers are impossible to track down, any attempts to do meet dead-ends. So they may be KNOWN attempted scams, but good trucking luck tracking down even which network on the INTERNET(Not phone line or cellular) that the calls came from, let alone which entities are leading the scams.

YOU are responsible for protecting you from SCAMS. The FTC has done wonders in stopping and preventing some of the most elaborate scams to this day. Be appreciative that your government even cares to put together a task force to stop idiots from being scammed out of their money.

I still don't see how this is a scam? A scam usually means money is involved. The urge to answer? What? Of course your going to answer even if you recognize the number or not. If you don't know the person or they threaten you for money. Like pretending that there the IRS. FTC are you fake. xD

The scam comes in when they ask you a question and you answer yes. Then they use your "yes" answer to manipulate certain situations in business dealings (scams) wherein you said "yes" and then they claim you said yes to this or that arrangement on tape and it is hard to dispute when they have your "voice" on tape.

This actually hasn't happened yet. It's speculation that scammers are working toward this. They do however, prey on people who may not be scam saavy to try to get personal information from them.

Yes Barb. This has happened. Back when they deregulated the phone system, comm companies used this technique to "slam" customers. They would call inviting people to change long distance to their service and if you used a key word that they recorded, they would coopt your phone number and then charge you outrageous rates for long distance calls. Its an old scam, but it works.

Hello... I am being harassed by these peopleei all day , every day. I just got one of their fake calls 2 minutes ago and this is every day , many times a day or night. Each number is a familiar area code and each is blocked after the call. Please help cause I feel like a target every single day. For months now.!!!

When I got too many of these calls, I called back and asked them not to call. They did have the same prefix as my number. I directly told them I was not the person they were looking for and never to call again. I was firm. I never received a call from them again. Don't let them intimidate you. Someone who engages in passive aggressive activity to harass people like this is usually paranoid.

Don't answer the calls unless you specifically know the number and let it go to voice mail, simple!

Get a recording device, call a fax number and record the sound it makes. When you answer an unknown number, play the fax sound. If it is a robot call it will hang up and automatically remove your number from the data base. These people exchange data bases and soon your number will be gone from all databases.

Tried that on our unlisted, unpublished former Home number which was turned into the phone from hell. So tried the fax machine routine. It did not work. They just kept calling. Finally in desperation we pulled the plug on the phone so it does not ring anymore, doesn’t go to leave a message, just a non functioning phone anymore. We only use for out going calls and faxes. Interestly they now call my wife and my cell phone. We just don’t answer calls we do not know. Verizon caller ID is not worth a wooden nickel. Had free 10 day trial and not one number that called showed a name and number. Worthless and they want $3 a month not to get any info on who is called my. Too much money being made to stop spoofers from calling to steal from you.

Trident Surveys/ marketing etc., keep calling a telephone number that we had to receive from our internet company to keep down our already costly fees. We have never used this number; we never will ( unless as a fax number dedicated for this use only ( but we don’t need a fax number anymore, so we won’t ever have the ability nor the desire for the landline number ). We use only our mobile devices for our phones, and that is never going to change; it is easier to not answer the Unknown caller, regardless of the number that is in our area. No ID- no answer. Like this article indicates, a voice mail might be answered by us if we want to have contact with the caller. Plus it is easier to block numbers on the mobile than a landline that has a do not call status, which is of no use when disreputable companies call regardless.

Good to see this article for those who are being disturbed by disingenuous, scammers especially!

On our mobile phones e receive many calls from various numbers starting with 215-771- ..... Our mobile phones are both 215-771 #'s.

Spam calls are major annoyance. It seems to me that a very simple solution would be to have a simple screening app on a mobile phone - or maybe carriers could do this. It would work like this:

1. Consumer creates a whitelist of all allowed callers (usually the contact list on a mobile phone).
2. If a call is received from a whitelist caller, it is put through.
3. Any other caller would be asked a relatively complex question that they must answer correctly (this could be a Turing-type question to test for robots, or a question (or series of questions) that will help deter human marketers. An incorrect answer will cause the phone not to ring and go to voice mail (or reject the call).

With enough varied questions, I think we could eliminate virtually all unwanted phone ringing. For people who are legitimate callers, they will leave a voice mail.

I have reported many numbers to the Do Not Call Registry several times but they continue to call. Very frustrating

patk, Do Not Call Registry is designed to work with legitimate companies only. So, you and I will continue to receive calls from scammers.

The Do Not Call List is designed for you to report your number to be removed from calling lists. It is not designed for you to report numbers that you don’t want calls from. That doesn’t help anything.

Actually, we do want people to report unwanted calls. When you report unwanted calls to the FTC, we take the phone numbers people complain about and release them each business day. This helps telecommunications carriers and other industry partners that are working on call blocking solutions.

But this doesn't work when we ae getting calls that are spamming a local phone number illeglally.

Actually it does work for spoofed numbers too. This FTC article about our release of consumer Do Not Call complaint data explains that telecommunications companies use the call detail information 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.

I receive these pretty much on a daily basis. I never answer. Super annoying.

So, my friends in Government, why don't you fix this?

I get 3 to 4 calls a day. I block the numbers from calling again but in 3 or 4 days they start again. I never answer

One finds it hard to appreciate what the FTC is completely helpless in stopping this problem. We are retired and receive at least 5 of these scam calls each day. DO SOMETHING for pete's sake!!!!!!!!!

If you new something about the technology you would understand how costly what you ask would be. Just what we need another gazillion dollar government program. When you can figure out how to do this without reaching into my wallet, have at it. In the mean time, deal with it. 5 calls a day is nothing, live with it like the rest of us or turn you phone off for pete's sake!!!!!!!

I thought the unwanted calls would go away when I dropped my home phone service, but they haven't. I get neighbor spoofing calls on my cell phone all the time. I got the APP True Caller and it helps.

Regarding neighbor spoofing, I got a call that caller ID said was from my own cell phone.

Question: Are the criminals spoofing active phone numbers? Are they calling my number, when I don't answer turn around and call someone using my number? I've had voice messages from people I don't know saying they were returning my call. I've tried returning a call to a unknown number and get someone who says they never called.

Been getting calls from "Senior Care"...they disconnect as soon as I tell them I am on the DO NOT CALL REGISTRY and that I am reporting them to the FTC. When I call the number back, I get City Elementary in Dalton, GA. I have reported these calls to the Dalton Police Dept. and I have spoken to the City Elementary Administrator in Dalton.

I have Do Not Call. I get numerous calls from supposedly local numbers every day. Some appear to be from the library, a local resident, a business. How does it help to report these numbers and get those entities in trouble? I have made the decision to let ALL calls go to voice mail, if it's a real call, I pick up, if it's a dishonest telemarketer, they won't leave a message. I absolutely do not want to let the jerks know they have reached a valid number so they can keep calling over and over.

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