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What Do Not Call complaints are telling us

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Have you gotten a call from an imposter, maybe someone pretending to be with the Social Security Administration, IRS, or a tech support company, this year? If so, you’re not alone. Calls from imposters were the most-reported topic of unwanted calls to the FTC over the past year (FY2019).

You can see our annual report on Do Not Call complaints, with state-specific data. But here are some key takeaways:

  • The FTC got 5.4 million complaints about unwanted calls this year.
  • 71% of complaints reported the call was a robocall.

  • Calls from imposters are now the most-reported type of unwanted call, with 574,000 complaints.

  • After imposters, the next most-reported topics were calls about medical issues and prescriptions, as well as reducing debt.

  • The states with the most consumer complaints (per 100,000 population) were Colorado, Oregon, Arizona, New Jersey, and Nevada.

  • The Do Not Call Registry now has 239.5 million numbers on it. More than 4 million of those were added over the past year.

infographic for Fiscal Year 2019 Do Not call databook

Find out more about what’s happening in your state. But remember — you don’t need to wait for our annual report to know what’s happening. As we told you this summer, the FTC’s Do Not Call data is now available in an interactive format at ftc.gov/exploredata, and is updated quarterly.

The FTC continues to go after the companies and scammers behind these calls, so please keep reporting unwanted calls at donotcall.gov (or, if you’ve lost money to a scam call, at ftc.gov/complaint instead). We take the phone numbers you report and release them to the public each business day, which helps phone carriers and other partners that are working on call-blocking and call-labeling solutions. Your reports also help law enforcement identify the people behind illegal calls.

To find out more about how to get fewer calls and avoid scams, check out the articles, videos, and infographics at ftc.gov/calls, and share them with your family and friends.

Comments

The Do Not Call Registry was created to stop sales calls from real companies. The Registry is a list that tells telemarketers what numbers not to call. The Registry can’t stop calls from scammers who ignore the Registry.

You can use call-blocking technology to stop unwanted calls. This FTC article tells how to block calls on a mobile phone, landline phone and if your phone service comes by internet (VoIP).

Hi:

We have our land lines and cell numbers on the Do Not Call for over 10 years. I have called from each number to make sure we are still on that list. Here is my problem. I have a fax machine on one of my land lines. I go through an entire ream of paper every week receiving faxes from roofing companies, investment companies, mortgage companies, life insurance companies etc. etc. I cannot block these numbers because they do not come in with a number from where they are being sent. The information is blank. They give a cell phone number or what I assume is a call back number and when I have called and told them that we are on the Do Not Call list, they tell us they have nothing to do with the faxes and we should call another number to complain. When we call that number, it is a recording or it is a disconnected number. We have the fax for important personal business for our use only, so I cannot shut off the fax, I have tried that and as soon as I turn it back on, we receive these faxes, over and over and over. This is costing us money! Help

I filed complaints, and complaints, and complaints for over a year. It doesn't seem to have done any good. The calls keep coming. What exactly is the FTC doing to stop these calls?

I received a scammer call from the number 661-576-2995 what sounded like a teenager pretending to be a company they really are not. Please consider disconnecting or blocking this number is a scam.

"Amy with medical services" keeps calling and using different numbers some of which I recognize as being a valid number but not the person calling who is a robo caller. I get at least 10 calls a day and asked to be put on a do not call list and now I get more calls. Very frustrating.

I do also and have been getting calls once a week for over a year. Why can't something be done to catch the culprit and stop the calls?

Now that everyone is on quarantine house arrest, that means the scammers are ,too. We are getting calls daily, not the 6-10 we were getting before the Covid-19 outbreak, but we have gotten 5 today. I am tired of getting calls that identify a healthcare facility, I have answered 2 of these. We usually don't answer any numbers we don't recognize, but these are spoofed numbers. I have been on the DONOTCALL list with all my numbers for over 10 years. At 5 years, someone mentioned that I needed to renew my numbers on the list. I don't think that this was necessary, but did it. We are Almost always home. I get phone calls during all times of the day. These people are despicable. I have reported most of these calls and been told a lot of these calls originate in India and Nigeria. If I didn't have health issues and all my healthcare providers had my phone number, I would cancel my home number. But I live in a rural area where the cell service is not always good. I would call these people at 3am, but returning the call gets you a recording that the number is not in service. And the unassigned numbers tell the whole story. And right now, I am getting another one of these calls. If the caller was legitimate they would leave a message, that doesn't happen. My other favorite calls are the ones, telling me that they could do something about my college loan that I PAID off in 1973. And, the ones that say they can find me employment--I retired in 2009. I have had ENOUGH.

Amy with Medical Services must have 100+ phone numbers.
I block each number she calls from, yet she continues to call.
We are older and still sheltering at home and I am so tired of this.
Today it was from 803-779-9940.

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