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What to do about robocalls

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Not another robocall! We’ve all felt that way. Wondering what to do about robocalls? Check out this new video:

The FTC worked with AARP to create a series of videos about imposter scams – including robocalls, IRS imposters and Medicare scams. While the videos are aimed at older Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the tips apply to everyone. For three Fridays, we’ve highlighted these videos: first Medicare scams, then IRS imposters, and now robocalls.

In this week’s video, you’ll hear about imposter scams that come by robocall, and some steps you can take. The robovoice may claim to be a utility, a government agency, or even a foreign consulate. Don’t believe them. Instead:

  • Hang up on illegal robocalls. Is the recording trying to sell you something? Did you give your written permission to get calls from that company? No? Then that call is illegal. No need to feel like you’re being rude when you hang up.
  • Consider protecting yourself with technology like a call blocking app or device. You also can ask your phone provider if it has call-blocking tools. To learn more, go to
  • Report the call. Report robocalls at The more we hear from you, the more we can help fight scams.

For more information about stopping imposter scams, visit

Tagged with: imposter, phone, robocall, scam


I have worked in the Telecom Industry since 1982 and there is no way to prevent Caller ID spoofing. Without going into great detail the problem is that Caller ID is a data field transmitted with the call. Back when everyone had Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) lines over copper wires the Caller ID feature aka Automatic Number Identification (ANI) was provided by the originating Central Office (CO) for billing and they had control of it, end to end, it was passed over digital trunks from CO to CO along with the call and presented to the destination telephone if it had a display (ISDN circa 1986). Later businesses needed to mask their Caller ID on their phone system's outgoing calls to reflect a main company number instead of a bunch of individual numbers, they could modify the caller ID feature on their system and pass it on to the CO over their digital trunks. Large telemarketing companies would often pay for elaborate phone systems and setup call centers to allow them to do this. With the advent of Voice over IP (VoIP circa 2004) service providers the Caller ID could be masked and numbers could be assigned in any area code available. The Caller ID data that comes with the call is implicitly trusted by every downstream connection as that was the original design since it was for billing purposes. Furthermore, the federal laws that regulated US Telecom Utilities cannot be applied to VoIP providers, since the end points are detached from their service locations and can be anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection. The Federal Courts declared these VoIP service providers were exempt "information service providers" which used the internet to transmit voice rather than regulated "telecommunications service providers" that owned and controlled their networks.

These scammers use social engineering to prey on the unwary and not reputable/regulated US Telemarketing companies but are probably outside of the US far from the reach of any federal laws or regulations.

I recorded a weird, spacey sound from an electronic keyboard as the background to my outgoing message, with my voice snarling from within the cacophony, "If you are a robocaller, you are being tracked now!" My robocalls have diminished in frequency and the jerks even hang up before the message ends. Works great, like an aural repellent.

If its illegal, isn't there a way to prosecute these companies that are soliciting through robo-calls and scam calls??

I have finally had it with them. I have to answer the phone because I work from home. I've pulled out my airhorn and whistle. When I know it's a scam I will get a person and use my whistle/airhorn. I'm pretty sure after a few of the calls I will be put on their do no call list

I got a robot call at 7.00am this morning, Saturday 29th! I did not answer, no voice message, and when I tried to call back???

I get 15 scam calls a day, its so irritating. I also use my phone number for business and I have to pick up calls, they call me from my area code numbers. I thing the government have to take action for the companies like that to stop robomaking the phone numbers. I also think its illegal to harrase us like that.

They should have never made cell number public.. It has gotten bad with robocalls and fraud calls but after trying several blocking apps and still having calls getting through I finally found a good one that free. I have it setup where only my contacts come through and all others setup to pickup and hangup. Those calls never ring through. My phone is not blowing up now. Hooray.

I’ve been simply looking at my phone’s caller ID, or if the number isn’t a person/business that I have in my phone’s directory, I don’t answer, letting the call go to my answering machine/VM.
IF I did answer, I would simply put the phone down and walk away, thereby wasting THEIR time.

Instead of complaining, can someone please provide useful blocking apps, other sources to report these calls to (other than DoNotCall and FTC as I'm using) and articles on what our government is doing to stop these harassing callers!

This article provides you with a great resource: Go there to get links to a list of call blocking apps for mobile phones from the website of the US wireless communications industry.

I have used Entered all my phones, it will ring once and stop if its a robo call.

On iPhone, there is a limit to how many calls you can block. I create contacts titled "Junk" and add unwanted callers to them. Then I mark the "Junk" callers to be blocked. Working great for me.

I get over 30 of these calls a day. It is so frustrating

I got tons of calls and checked to see if I still was on the Do Not Call number was no longer listed so I added my home and cell numbers....Now I get 10 times as many calls day and night....I am so sick of the phone ringing...I have blocked a dozen numbers but they just change one digit and call again....What is the FTC doing to stop this?

I'm grateful the calls have stopped coming six times a day (first a hang up, then another recorded message offering me a "pain-relieving brace"). Every meal interrupted by this noise! And now it has stopped! THANK YOU FTC for taking action against these scammers. They were giving me blood pressure spikes. The peace and quiet is precious. No, we don't have caller ID needed to block the calls. We just let all calls go to the answering machine.

Due to its low operation cost, telephone scam is the most popular one. Even if we don’t fall victim to it, it is annoying. We have to stop it, by having a law against annoyance.
If you think the call is annoying, you dial a special number, and the caller’s carrier will charge the caller $2 or equivalent for the call. The carrier will inform the caller about this. The evidence is that a call has been made from his number to yours. (origin 700 words, This is the simplified form) Where can I send the full text

Honestly not sure this is helpful information anymore. Most robocallers are savvy - they use different numbers so call blocking rarely works, nor does reporting the number to the do not call list, and they use fake numbers. If I don't know the number, IOW, if the NAME or the person or business calling me does not come up on my phone, I let it go to voicemail. If want to accept a call from someone, I will add their name to my contact list.

Way to many calls like everybody else. Been on no-call since 2009 and does not stop. So same results as everybody else. Thanks for nothing. FTC should read the comments.

I finally was able to get the frequent calls to stop by deleting the weather app from my phone. They were selling my location and phone number. The do not disturb 24 hours a day just stopped the phone from ringing, and sometimes prevented important calls from people not on my contacts from ringing.

Wow last night I installed a weather app today so far gotten five robo calls

We used to put my 3 year old grandson on the phone. The caller would always tell him to put his mommy or daddy on the phone; put he would keep talking. They get frustrated and hang up. We don't get that many calls anymore.

The problem is many of these calls are “spoofing” there is no way to stop this! I was at my business & a woman called me screaming for me to quit calling & harassing her & threatened to report me ... I never called this woman! I was the victim of a spoofed phone number then another time what showed up on my phone as my cousin (her picture & ringtone came up) but then when I answered it, the voice on the other end was a foreigner wanting to talk to me about my senior benefits (btw, I’m not a senior) ...... my point is, blocking a number does no good because that number belongs to an innocent victim being spoofed! I obviously don’t want to block my cousin & I could be blocking potential customers! How do we stop spoofing!?!? Those apps will say “potential spoofing” so then ya don’t answer it..... if it is a real robo call they won’t leave a message or it will be a recording of their bs, (Amazon job, work from home, car warranty expiring bull) or when ya do hear the recording, it will be a missed important call from your doctor or some of these apps don’t allow any potential spoofing calls to come through so you miss that important call! The FTC, phone carriers, government, gotta figure some way to stop this! These scammers are not even in this country so they do not care about our threats!

I registered with do not call registry in 2014 and get constant garbage calls. any help out there?

Among the scam calls I am still getting was 'Credit Card Services' aka 'Card Services' aka 'Card Holder Services' and lately 'Credit Card Help Line.' They seem to spoof the same four or five numbers often. All of those numbers are '...not in service' when called back and call return (*69) reports that the call cannot be returned. Now, instead of the recording from 'Vivian' or 'Lisa' or Melissa,' the latest is from 'Gary' who is male. (Hey!... Gender Equality!) Now all the bureaucracy needs to do is figure out how to disconnect these disconnected numbers.

When answering these calls I have done 4 different things that get them to hang up quick. 1: answer and say this is "Wayne" county sheriff dept fraud unit, what is the fraud you want to report. 2: when they start talking ask them to hold on while you transfer them to you team of attorneys. 3: answer and blow a bugle horn in the phone and hold it for several seconds. 4: let the caller know you are glad they called because you haven't had anyone to talk to in several days. Then say let me tell you about my 19 grandchildren. You will get disconnected from the caller quick.

Answer the phone and pretend to be speaking in a foreign language or answer and talk like a 2 or 3 year old and keep asking the caller "what's your name" or "do you want to talk to my baby sister" . Quickest hang up you'll ever get.

I had one local company that called once a month and despite repeated requests to remove me from their database, they ignored my request. The last phone call from them I told them if they didn't stop calling me I'd refer it to an attorney and sue them for harassment! Never heard from them again!

Spam from pastor

i'm wondering when they are going to crack down on robo calls that spoof the caller id so you think it is a local call and pick up ? I get these a lot and they are very difficult to block. I consider this wire fraud since the caller id is falsified and sent over wires , how about prosecuting these people ?

When I get a robocall I answer it without saying a word . I turn my speakerphone on , tap my mute button , then I press #9 and wait for them to hang up ! I then go to my recent calls and tap on the number that just called. I scroll down to where it says "call details", tap on that then tap "block number" then "yes". At the top of the page is a garbage can I throw that number away in that garbage can and after awhile those robocalls finally end !

The more calls I block the more calls I keep getting, including the telemarketers

The technology exists to stop this intrusion when I am working at home, resting during the day when I feel bad, enjoying a hobby or visits with friends and family, . . . doing anything other than answering yet another annoying phone call from a number that has called me dozens and dozens of times in the past few weeks. Blocking the calls and ignoring the calls are very different from prosecuting the people who are behind this illegal activity. When will something be done, and who is going to finally do it?

Hello, I have been getting a lot of these scam calls for a year or so now. But today, I started getting one that displayed a name of a family member and did not show a number, it said "restricted". Have you heard of anyone else getting these calls that have one of your contacts name on it and does not show a number? I am wondering if this is just happening to me?

a tow company in queens ny with name edd ie from fast e ddie s keeps givign my phone number to these scammers as a way to threaten me and harras me

I just received a robo call from Statham, GA and they left this message :

Just press one _⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_⁠_ this call is from the Department of social security administration the reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you that we just suspend your Social Security number because we found some suspicious activity so if you want to know about this case just press one thank you…”

Has anyone received something similar?

Same script today 7-18-19

Especially if you get a foreigner in a phone room, telling you that your PC has been hacked and they need remote access to fix it. They claim to be Microsoft.

I pick up the phone, usually know immediately it is a fake or a robot call and instantly slam down the phone. Effective and quicker than using aps, blocking, etc. Consider the exercise of getting to the phone healthful (not my first choice, but helpful!)

What I do is I let it ring twice, then I just lift the receiver and immediately hang up! I assume, if it is a legitimate call, that the caller will just immediately try again, so I field any call within a few minutes of that first call.

I have two phones, one for work and one for personal purposes. My work phone must remain live since sometimes i get calls from numbers that are not listed in my contacts, but are people that I actually need to speak to. At first, my phone would ring nonstop. I downloaded app after app to try to reduce the number of calls i typically receive. At any given minute during the course of my day, i would receive 7 phone calls from the same number. It was becoming ridiculous. I picked up one call, it was from some Indian guy. I pretended to go along. He asked me for my SSN, I gave a fake one. Then my address, I gave it to him as "10 Lala Land Lane, Nowhere, USA." At that point, he started to pick up on the fact that i was playing him. He took it upon himself to thoroughly cuss me out. When he was done ranting, I asked him if this were someone he cared dearly for, would he still try to scam them? Did he have any compassion? He proceeded to promptly hang up on me.

I feel that, seeing so many red numbers on my call logs daily just isn't right. The government can put a stop to this but chooses not to. All the cell phone carriers also could do the same. Still nothing gets done. This cannot continue. Receiving calls and voicemails that tells a person that there is warrant out for her arrest, or that IRS has requested that i call them back, or to report to a prison somewhere, just isn't ok.

Someone, anyone, do something.

FTC, please make the complaint form simpler. I am trying to report these calls as I receive them (I get these calls every day).

My number is on the Do Not Call list, yes. I also block the numbers they are calling from, but as many are from my zip code I am afraid I will eventually block most numbers in my zip code! These calls could destroy our telephone infrastructure- please do more to make these calls easier to report and prosecute the people/companies doing this.

I don't answer unless I recognize the number.

The best idea I've heard yet to to charge a tiny fee for every originating phone call--say two or three cents--earmarked only to bring fast internet to the underserved. I'd gladly pay that much on each outgoing call to be sure the criminals that make millions of calls a day are charged enough to make their business model unprofitable.

I do not have caller ID or long distance or voice mail service on my land line. I have an answering machine connected to my phone.
I have basic local service plan which is $40.00 a month.

I asked my service plan for list of incoming calls numbers....for I am being harassed, and I NEED to report phone numbers...I was told their system does not have incoming phone numbers.

Hmmm, 2000, I had their local and long distance service plan (additional $6.00 a month)...with no no caller ID or voicemail service (I have my answering machine, I do not need voicemail) phone numbers appeared on my monthly bill...
They got rid of that plan which in 2014 (my basic local service plan increased even though I no longer had long distance).

I continue being harassed...and can’t feel safe in my home.

Not everyone has caller ID...or long distance service. You forgot about us.

Tell me FTC, what am I to do?

I got rid of my home phone because telemarketers were calling at least 20 + times a day...
I wish I could get rid of my cell phone also and my poor mom believes everything theses dogs tell her when she answers her landline..
Will it ever end? Are the scammers the only ones with technology??? Please protect America!!!

I block robocalls but they just call from another number. It's inconvenient to hear my phone ring all day with robocalls and scam companies.

I cannot handle these calls ALL day long from all different numbers. I have blocked about 50 DIFFERENT numbers so far from multiple different states, etc. They are leaving messages and filling up my voicemail inbox. I’m waiting on important calls and I feel like a prisoner not being able to answer my own phone without screening my calls first. This needs to stop. It’s really ridiculous to have it go on this long without anything being done about it except for posting about it online. I have had this same number since iPhones were even made. I can’t change it because I am waiting on extremely important calls. Some people are really sick, waiting for multiple doctors to call. This is affecting my health and making me feel like a prisoner in my own home. Please Do something about it now!

I received a robo call warning me of my Social Security number had been compromised and asking me to call back. The number they called from was 906-212-6351. Just wanted to report and warn othe

Kind of hard to report every call - I get about 15 per day and most of them say scam likely but it still is frustrating to get so many - and I block them but they find other numbers to call from. There has to be a way to stop or slow down the number of calls. it is out of control

I have been receiving fraudulent phone calls from numbers similar to my phone number and numbers similar to my family members (i.e. same area code, pre-fix and similar number only slightly different). I have long hung up on these phone calls, and placed on my block list.

I recently began to receive ghost calls from callers using my actual phone number on my personal mobile phone. Doing this lists my name. I am able to hang up on these calls, however I am unable to block these calls. Can someone please assist me.


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