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Untangling a robocaller web

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Sick of getting robocalls and other unwanted calls? You can learn more about how to block them at ftc.gov/calls.

You also might know that the FTC continues to go after the people and companies behind these calls. Case in point: today the FTC announced a case against a group of defendants that it alleges are responsible for billions of illegal robocalls.

According to the FTC’s complaint, Jamie Christiano and his companies acted as a one-stop shop for illegal telemarketers, providing autodialing software, VoIP phone service, servers to host autodialing software, and space to house the servers. Known as TelWeb, Christiano’s bundle of services was used to make illegal robocalls in at least eight other FTC lawsuits, and by the other defendants in this case. For years, Christiano and his companies ignored warning signs that TelWeb was being used to make illegal calls without putting a stop to them.

Robocalls that try to sell you something are illegal whether you’re on the Do Not Call Registry or not, unless a company has your written permission to call you that way. If you get an illegal robocall, report it at ftc.gov/complaint.

The FTC releases the phone numbers you report each day to help companies that are working to block these calls. Your reports also help law enforcement find the people behind illegal calls and stop them.

 

Tagged with: do not call, robocall

Comments

This is great info, thanks! And, I do report many calls, but they generally spoof a legit number. So how does that work since it may be someone's legitimate number. I know I've gotten calls that showed my own number on the caller ID.

I agree. I keep getting annoying calls from $69 carpet cleaning. They all come from "local" numbers. Why can't they find out who is responsible for these calls. I have filed several complaints.

Thank you very much!

I have been getting a substantial number of ROBO calls from Irvine, CA all with a 949 area code and always a 697 prefix. Request you investigate as you are able.

Good. Am getting fewer robos since I started reporting them to NOMOROBOS. Thanks.

This type of information was greatly needed and appreciated. Good to see the FTC going after these people

How do we trip up these morons?

We will never find a technological solution. There will always be some way to spoof a phone number and disguise the origin of the robocall. The problem is that it is too cheap to phone millions of people every day. The only solution is to add a little "friction" to the system. If there was a tenth or hundredth of a cent charge for each phone call, the robocallers would no longer be able to make money and the cost would be trivial for legitimate phone users. It might require government action to ensure compliance, for example, a tenth of a cent tax on each phone call.

I get calls everyday to get a new home doctor, Medicare takes care of them. Do to my illness they feel a home doctor is necessary. in one month I've gone thru 4 doctors because they only stop by once then then never return.

So are these calls unwarranted? I don't understand the comment in the context of spam / scam telemarketing

Have been getting many of these

I used to report numbers as often as possible, but now with all the spoofing calls, does it even help anymore? Are these companies able to figure out where the original call came from that did the spoofed call? Otherwise I don't see how it helps to report calls anymore??

I would like this question answered as well.

Same here. I am home all the time as a disabled vet. I get these spoofed calls on my landline and cell phones every day and at least 3 or 4 a day. I keep blocking them on my phone, but only can block 250 on my home phone (which I need because my cell service at home is shotty many times). When they keep using a local number that is a non-working number when you call it back, it is frustrating. I answer them to see if someone loc may be calling, especially when I'm expecting a call. This gets me so stressed out. You can't take a nap without one or two waking you up or watch a TV show in peace. There has to be a way to stop them. When there is someone on the other end, they always have an Asian accent.
Between these robots calls, spoofed calls, politician robo calls and charity calls, I am inundated with phone calls.

I feel helpless with these calls. I can't use properly my phone anymore. They change numbers and mimic local numbers. I installed an application and now is a little bit better.

I get robocalls all day long every day . I use ATT and have asked them for their help in stopping them, but they refused. Apparently ATT is the only company who won’t advise their paying customers how to stop these nuisance calls. What can I do?

ATT service/phones allows you to BLOCK calls/texts/

Yes, but the scammers spoof new numbers as often as they need to, so how does using the ATT service to block a number help?

I get calls all the time, dont answer but they are annoying.I am on the no call list, now days that seems to be the call list.

I have noticed that since I registered with the Do not call list I have been getting crazy about of Robo calls and Robo texts. This morning alone I have gotten 3 texts and a dozen calls one right after the other 2 while I type this. It almost feels like the FTC sold my number

several calls over the last two days threatening legal action if i don't call back in 24 hours.
929-268-0542 and 747-200-9547

I have also had many of these texts. I have to power my phone off every morning because I receive 25-30 robo calls and Illegal text. HELP !!

Today (6-5-18) I received a call from a man identifying himself as being fron the I.R.S. Telling me I was to be arrested for not paying taxes . Aim so tired od fake calls from scammers I could scream . Please isn't there something that can be done to block calls from other country's.

The FTC has some tips about how to handle unwanted calls.

The phone companies choose NOT to block robo-calls. They probably benefit financially from these. The FTC has little money to go after scammers. I still get calls from Rachel (who will fix my credit problems for me!) Congress could pass a law and these would stop. Trump's executive order (a while ago) declared it is OK for robo calls to be set to go directly to my voice mail. It takes me 3 minutes to erase the message and alert each time. I have CenturyLink which allows me to block 25 calls (altogether.) I get 25 scams in less than a week. I no longer answer my phone - MY phone - the one I pay for. Congress thinks scammers are Businesses and they are permitted to solicit us as customers, but we are just their "marks".

I was getting calls from all over the country. Lately it has been local numbers, probably election calls that I do not appreciate.

I have listed my home phone and two cell phone numbers but we still get unwanted calls. The DO NOT CALL LIST doesn't work for me.

How can you stop spam text messaging? they are annoying and you cannot block or stop them.

The FTC needs to meet with the FCC and cajole the FCC to pressure telecommunications carriers not to accept incoming signaling information on their customers’ trunk circuits showing calls originating from number prefix blocks their customers are not authorized to use. Until ingress filtering of signaling data of call origin is done, spoofing will be rampant, and it will be a losing battle to spammers. The sad truth is telecommunications carriers make money from phone spam, thus there is little incentive to fix the problem even though a technical solution to spoofing could be within reach.

I called my telephone carrier and they put a block
on my phone and i finally have a quite house. A
spoof call will get by at times. The FTC is doing a great job. I dont know how they can catch those criminals over seas. A Out of State area code number or number i dont reconize will not get a answer from me.

I get so many of these calls each week.

Everyday multiple times I receive robo calls. Many are spoofed using a local number. Telephone companies need to take action. They currently take no responsibility for these calls. They know the real numbers that are spoofed.

We have gotten 109 calls since Feb from a company claiming we have a 2002 Corvette and we the warranty has expired. We need to buy theirs now. We have told them time and time again not to call and we are on the DNC but it doesn't matter. Besided they keep using different numbers all the time. NOTHING helps. They are relentless. sometimes 3 and 4 times a day!Most of the time we don't answer but at times when they use our prefix we do because we don't think about that Warranty company !!!!!!!!! They get nasty also!

I'm tired of robocalls, scam calls, and spoof calls. You can't sit in your house without one of these calls bothering you daily. They get you on your landline or cellphone. I have Verizon for both services and they do block some calls and also nomorrobo.com is also a very good service to block some calls. I read an online article that one of the big phone company's sell blocks of unused phone numbers to these robocall companies.

well, it seems that Rachel is back to her old trick again. I have started keeping tract of how many time she call. May 3rd till June 6th it is 425 time and there are different numbers. I am tired of these calls. I have given up on any help.

well, it seems that Rachel is back to her old trick again. I have started keeping tract of how many time she call. May 3rd till June 6th it is 425 time and there are different numbers. I am tired of these calls. I have given up on any help.

I get at least 10 robocalls, spoofing calls, and out right scam calls everyday. I immediately block those calls on my cellphone, however the same scams about auto warranties, student loans, decrease in credit card interest rates, IRS and Social Security threats for legal action and arrests, and even my computer sending malware signals to Microsoft. I initially entertained the caller by being nice and respectfully telling them I'm not interested and to please stop calling. They usually hang up on me mid-sentence. I no longer listen to these type calls and I make it a point to hang up on them mid-sentence. I'm the one paying good money to the telephone companies that choose not to help consumers or assist the FTC or FCC with stopping the robo and scam telemarketers. I would love to not have a phone if these are the only calls I get each day, but then I will invariably miss the legitimate calls. My blocked call list is almost as long as my contact list. Something has to change!

Received a call from some one not listed in your contact list. Is a scammer. Use you're call blocker function. There is a sucker born every minute. Don't be that sucker

I am getting at least twice a day from a guy in jamaica saying I have won millions in a lottery and even after I have talked with him and TOLD HIM not to call me back he still calls each and everyday including weekends how can I get him to stop

I KEEP GETTING ROBO CALLS TO 'FIX' MY CREDIT CARDS "THEY HAVE BEEN MONITORING". THEY HAVE DIFFERENT AREA CODES, BUT ALL END WITH NUMBERS '1562'. HOW DO YOU STOP THIS. I BLOCK EACH NEW ONE BUT THEY COME UP WITH A DIFFERENT AREA CODE.

Nothing helps, except don't answer ANY. Answer one and your get more calls...

No matter what we do it is not going to stop as there are too many people making money off these calls by the few that fall for them. Just like most of Our politicians long as they get paid for nothing then they will not need to do anything about it. All this spoofing of calls will never stop as that is way around their being traced even though the equipment used can be traced it won't be cause like I said the ones supposed to stop it make too much. It is all about that almighty dollar or what ever the exchange is there.

One day I realized that I was able to get the telemarketers to stop calling me by just making a new greeting on my answering machine that has a long pause after I say “Hello".
What you have to do is say, “Hello” and then wait 2 seconds.
Then I say “I am sorry but we are unable to come to the phone right now, so after the tone would you please leave a message ".
The "Hello" with the long pause will cause their computers to think there is a live person on the phone and then it connects you to a real person - A phone solicitor.
Then after they hang up on you by pressing "Release" on their phones 2 or 3 times, their computer system will automatically take your number off of their auto dial list.
" Hello " ------ I am sorry but we are unable to come to the phone right now , so after the tone would you please leave a message ".
Also if everyone would do this the telemarketers will go out of business in a few weeks. The reason this will happen is because their computers dial hundreds of numbers at a time looking for someone to say Hello and now hundreds of answering machines will say Hello. :)

Our kid did this with his number. He still recieves robocalls and other SPAM calls. I’m not sure this really works anymore.

I keep getting calls from fake phone numbers offering to lower my interest rate on credit cards: 3+ calls a day. They identified their company as "The Credit Bureau Experience" after I pressed "1" for more information. He claimed they are happy that I pay all my credit cards on time (I only have two). When I asked him if he even knew my name, he hung up. I have zero faith in the "do not call" list and feel it may have been a simple conspiracy for all of us to match up our names and info with our cell phone numbers so BB could create their own cellphone directory under the guise of helping us: which it has not.

What do you mean "For years, Christiano and his companies ignored warning signs...? Why did he have that much time? The ftc isn't doing nearly enough to stop robocalls!!
Congress should ban autodialing systems.
The telcom companies who own the phone numbers the spammers are using should be held accountable ( very heavily fined). According to the ftc, these unwanted calls are the biggest compliant they receive. Over the years the calls have increased not decreased. This is the best they can do?? Shameful!

I agree. with all the "billions" of calls and with all the technology from phones, money made from robo callers by phone companies, the Do No Call Registry, and FTC- no one can do anything about this?
Consumers have no rights nor recourse to get this stopped. I have written my representatives but that too is like talking to a dead horse. Disgusting that America is bombarded with unwanted mail, calls, emails, etc.

Robocalls to my cell phone are coming in from all over the U.S. It appears the caller id/call back numbers are spoofed. When I answer, a computer voice says "This caller found your business through SJ CA1 (difficult to understand, could be SJ KA ONE, or something else). When I answer with hello, no one is there. When I do not answer the calls - voicemails are left and every single message is exactly 3 minutes and 59 seconds. Over the last month I have received at least 150 calls like this. Hopefully this helps to track down these people wasting time and making everyone's life difficult!

I have been receiving crazy amount calls I requested my number removed

Constantly receiving calls DAILY (about 10-12 a day) about insurance & warranties & lowering credit card debt, & IRS bs scams, etc., etc. The DNC list is useless & I also now receive about 15-16 junk texts a day. The latest is about carpet cleaning. I’ve now employed 4 apps on my phone & now I’m reasonably sure that not only having your number on the DNC list AND using call blocking apps may actually spread your number out for sucky telemarketers to use!!!

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