Your top 5 questions about unwanted calls and the National Do Not Call Registry

1. How can I make it stop?

You signed up for the Do Not Call Registry ages ago, but you’re suddenly getting a bunch of unwanted calls. What can you do?

Hang up. When you get illegal sales calls or robocalls, don’t interact in any way. Don’t press buttons to be taken off the call list or to talk to a live person. That just leads to more calls. Instead, hang up and file a complaint at donotcall.gov

Investigate whether call blocking can help.

If you’re getting repeated calls from the same number, your phone company may be able to block that number, but first ask whether there’s a fee for this service. 

If you’re getting unwanted calls from a lot of different numbers, look into a call blocking solution. There are online call blocking services, call blocking boxes, and smartphone apps that block unwanted calls. Do an online search to look for reviews from experts and other users, and find out whether the service costs money.

2. Why me?

Your number is on the Do Not Call Registry, so why are you still getting calls?

Because of scammers. Most legitimate companies don't call if your number is on the Registry. If a company is ignoring the Registry, there’s a good chance that it’s a scam.

We’ve seen a significant increase in the number of illegal sales calls — particularly robocalls. Advances in technology have made it cheap and easy for scammers to make illegal calls from anywhere in the world, and to hide from law enforcement by displaying fake caller ID information.

3. What are you doing about it?

The FTC has sued hundreds of companies and individuals for placing unwanted calls. The FTC also is leading several initiatives to develop technology-based solutions. Those initiatives include a series of robocall contests that challenge tech gurus to design tools that block robocalls and help investigators track down and stop robocallers. We’re also encouraging industry efforts to combat caller ID spoofing.

4. Is anyone listening?

You filed a complaint — or several complaints — and you want to know when you’ll hear back from the FTC.

Due to the volume of complaints we get, we can’t respond directly to each one. But please keep the complaints coming because the FTC and other law enforcement agencies analyze complaints to spot trends and to take legal action against wrongdoers. To date, the FTC has brought more than a hundred lawsuits against companies and individuals for Do Not Call violations.

5. But I gave you the phone number of the company that called me?!

Current technology makes it easy for scammers to fake or “spoof” caller ID information, so the number you reported in your complaint probably isn’t real. Without more information, it’s difficult for us to identify the actual caller. Nonetheless, the FTC analyzes complaint data to identify illegal callers based on calling patterns. The agency also is pursuing a variety of technology-based solutions to combat illegal calls and practices.

Still have more questions? Check out the FTC’s updated FAQs about the Do Not Call Registry.

Comments

If I don't recognize the number, I often don't pick up. Unfortunately, my Medicare provider leaves a number/message. I return the call. On occasion, I answer and the caller is a spammer.

I got a call this afternoon and my caller ID showed I was calling myself, my name was on the screen along with my phone number!! It was a call to lower my cc interest rate.

this happened to me and my daughter to.

This has happened to me several times. I have traced area code back to 3 different locations in mexico, along the border.

This also happen to me. How in the world can anyone do this. I don't understand.

Caller ID spoofers send whatever number they want. If they use your own number then they are basically just harassing you, showing you how powerless you are to stop them from calling over and over again. You must have told them off, made them angry and now it’s all about driving you crazy. Your phone company can retrieve the actual number of the caller so you can include that in your FTC complaint, but they will refuse to so without a court order. Good luck in getting one of those when someone is ONLY trying to scam and or harass you.

I never even answered and I've had 10 random unknown name callers today alone

Wow I am new to this, I'm randomly getting all kinds if phone calls and this has never happened in the 2 years I've had this phone. They keep calling about a free cabin or something and hang up when I say anything. I got multiple calls from the same numbers from 4 different numbers within 5 hours. They must have made a new development since we are having the same issue only a few days apart.

Cell phone carriers can also block telemarketers and their own advertising calls - just call them and tell them you want those calls blocked. The biggest problem for me is the spam robocalls. There's just no recourse. Support the search for quantum computing - that's going to be the only true cyber security.

No, pray against quantum computing, although it's inevitable. I prefer linear computing versus quantum. All current security will be useless and during the transition beyween the two technologies our data is vulnerable/exposed (currently, with no recourse), beyond a bummer

Actually not all current security will be useless. There are lattice based cryptographic protocols that have not been broken by quantum computers (at least not yet). Our digital infrastructure would just need to evolve to using these methods rather than the traditional factoring based crypto systems. Bottomline: Yes pray for quantum computers!

9 the other day.

therein lies the problem..the govt and lack of laws to protect you. WHY can't they pass a law that mandates your phone has the ability to allow you the option (before it rings to allow you to record a message....for example...Dear caller, by proceeding with this call you agree to allow the phone company to release your phone number and identity to the owner of the phone number you sre calling.)
and then mandate the phone company to do so.
This is a simple program for the phone company to do..not some multi million dollar fix as I am sure they would claim.
Also, the consumer should get half of the fine as an inducement to persue these claims.

Some unwanted landline calls might be from the companies making the caller block systems to force people to buy caller block systems. Do you think this is possible and who can we notify???

The phone companies can stop this REAL easy but they get paid lots of money to hand out these numbers. They eventually get shut down and then the phone companies reissue new numbers. Is ALL a scam. Sad!

Scammers use internet technology to make phone calls. When they do, it's easy for them to fake the Caller ID information. They might display your number or the number of a government agency. If you get a call from someone demanding money or personal information, it's best to hang up -- no matter what the Caller ID says. If you owe money to a company, contact the company using a number from your billing statement or the company's website.

I also got the same thing and so did my husband. I thought it was my husband calling since our numbers on the same cell bill and he thought the same of me unfortunately it was a lower interest cc call...

It happened to me also.

I'm getting calls for Andrew Wilkenson, Gary Swanson and Anthony no last name at Mediator Law Group. Apparently they are using my home phone as the one that shows up on the caller ID when they solicit. Other than changing my phone number is there anything I can do?

I keep gettn calls from 6143359146 and thy are calln every member common with my last name saying thy are a investigator wont gv me nothg

I am getting similar calls. What is the point?

I have received text messages that say I've sent them to myself, yet it will be for some competition or prize

I have received the same things numerous times. Just received 5 calls for Solar Panels for my house. I blocked the first call and they get back to you on another number. My Block list is getting longer and longer. It has been getting worse every day.

I've had that happen too! Answered and called the scammer/spammer out on it! He tried to deny knowing anything about that. The first time I learned about "spoof" callers, Arkansas Childrens Hospital and number came up on caller ID. I'd missed the call. Having grandkids I was worried something happened and called Childrens Hosp. back. They had no record of anyone calling my number from that number and investigated it for me. Called me back and explained about spoof calling.

This sort of thing happened to ME recently as well. The caller ID was my recently deceased hubby! It was shocking to see as you might well imagine. Then I collapsed into tears. And, lastly, I became ENRAGED that someone would DO THIS TO ME!!

gwanna, this also happened to my mother-n-law. My father-n-law recently passed away and later she received calls from her number with him listed as the caller. She (and I) were pretty upset. I cannot believe the phone companies will not release the originating number of a spammer like this to the victim! It makes me mad as crap.....if I could ever get my hands on one of the "dirt-bag low life spammers" I expect they would not be able to harass anyone again. My sympathies out to you:-)

Sorry for your loss and that you had to put up with that BS.
I had a similar problem when my brother died. I was able to access his email account and wanted to check it in case he got emails from friends that did not know he had died. Then w/in a very short time some one else was able to access it and changed the password and added their phone number to the account so I could no longer access his account, because I do not know the number and I do not have it anyway to get the text to change the password. Yahoo, would do nothing to help or fix the problem .

I never answer my phone, never. If it is a legit call, they will leave a message.
I also do not go on web sites that promote who is calling me etc. They all want money to find out who the spammer may be. I do take a picture of each call that comes in on my phone, log it and the date. Then I send it to the Attorney General's office of our state that takes the numbers and if they are on the spammer list, shuts the companies down.
If the calls persist, take a copy of the number, picture, your log book and file a complaint at the police department.I use to get a ton of calls even though I am on the registry, now....rare that they call and when they do....I follow the steps... Hope this helps you...

This is a GREAT solution. Using layman's technology against the "professional" technology. I am going to start doing this too!!! Everyone else should too - come one people; success happens in droves.

then get a pager....

do u take real photos or u take pictue of number with tablet and email info with pictue as attachment to Att. Gen office? Photos would be expensive to show all pictures.

This wouldn't work if they spoofed their number. You'd just be taking pictures of a fake number not related to them at all. They could be off in Brazil or Canada but the caller ID could say California.

But if you know they haven't spoofed the number, which can be difficult to determine unless you get spam calls all the time from different numbers, then it would be beneficial.

I've been doing that, but I'm still getting calls. I've been getting calls at midnight and later from calls. Once I answered thinking it was a family member but it was a recorded messages saying that I was inboxing her boyfriend on Facebook!!!! Can you imagine how made I was, I had to get up for work a few hours later!

I NEVER ANSWER BLOCKED CALLS FROM NUMBERS I DO NOT RECOGNIZE. On my answering service my message states this. It says if you are calling from a blocked number you must hang up, unblock it and call again. If I do not recognize your name and number I will not answer so leave a message please. They rarely leave a message. Not warm and fuzzy, but have had my ID stolen and currently being used. It is a nightmare beyond anything I have ever gone through. Trust NO ONE, ONLINE. PHONE EVEN MAIL. Sad but true.

Ha! I NEVER pick up. When you do, you already told them that they got a live one. Don't even give them that, folks. I Google the number. If I don't see a legit bznz, it's probably a SPAMmer. As for spoofing... same problem exists with emails. Anyone can send an email from any email address they want to make up. There are some services that intercept and require authentication. There may be something for phone numbers. If not, hopefully soon.

I am disgusted by these idiots truly!!
It is like you are not allowed to have a phone, or an Email because some criminal piece of garbage from wherever got your number, or Email address....
For me it is like an alarm clock of sorts because I get these spam calls starting EARLY every morning, and once they start calling the REFUSE TO STOP.
HOW IS THIS LEGAL AND WHY????
The Internet, what would be a wonderful tool for mankind, has been destroyed by these people to the point where you have to be paranoid to ever open a browser anymore, and now you cannot even have a telephone. When does it end??
I am SICK TO DEATH of getting calls telling me I have been randomly selected for an all expense paid this or that, or that my PC (I use a Mac) has viruses and NEEDS to be fixed.
Another one that is horribly frustrating is when you answer a call, and it just beeps at you because you know that this call will continue for ages, calling you over and over again every 5 minutes, almost DEMANDING that you respond, which is ALWAYS a mistake because now they know they have a live one and will distribute your number throughout the criminal underworld!!

Zlloyd, there 3 things that I've done that work -- most of the time:

(1) Use Call Blocker apps. You can register your phone # online with NOMOROBO; it works for me almost always. Use the website for your telephone provider to block the #calling you -- TWC & Verizon definitely have this. MrNumber is an app that will block calls on your cell.
(2) Once you've got blocking apps in place, some phones will have instructions re: how to cut the ringer off if a call is blocked. You may get no rings or one that's instantly cut off.
(3) Register complaints with the DNC, FCC, and Treasury's Federal Inspector General websites if one or the other fits the call. You can google the call/number & find out what it's about & then google the correct agency's website. I did that with several of those overseas "You owe taxes and will be prosecuted" calls that got through; a few months later, the government arrested a whole ring of them.

The other thing sounds a little paranoid -- but if you notice a correlation between a call to a Federal agency's 800 number and a series of spam calls, report it. I noticed on three different occasions in the past year that if I called one of those numbers for SSA or M/C, I'd get a string of bogus calls during the following several days. I don't know if it's someone using data from the company that records the calls, or government employees who are making a little money on the side by providing numbers, but: I contacted the DNC website and lodged a complaint about getting these calls at all hours of the day & night -- & within 24 hours, they dried up. ALL of them. Even the ones that were getting blocked and that I'd see later on Caller ID.

Good luck.

I never answer the phone unless the contact is saved already. I've never been annoyed by all the unwanted calls simply because my phone's turned off almost all the time. Perhsos I'm fortunate in that I simply hate talking on the phone. I always have. If anything I don't even want a phone. So when it is on, and it rings, and it's a block or some weird number. I just laugh and think what a freaking idiotic way to make a living.

Anyone knows the name of the software, or company, or Internet service they are using? These "calls" are triggered after we dial "certain numbers only" not when we call the supermarket...

If you are getting the calls on a cell phone from Medicare, Make a contact in your phone out of the number they are using, name it Medicare and it will then pop up with the name Medicare when they call you.

Hello Judy I'm sorry that you get the calls the FTC is not doing their job I'm getting an average of three phone calls a day everyday even Sunday. I talked to a couple of them spammers and I told him that I was registered with the FTC and this guy started laughing he says they don't do nothing to us it's just a game. I think it's the government's responsibility to go after them besides the government is broke they need money why don't they take them to court and sue them every one of them if need be given jail time.

Why doesn't the FTC cite the statute making calls to numbers on the Do Not Call List illegal? Nowhere can you find the law or any reference to it.

Is all this happening on cell phones also ??? I have read phone companies do not want to service their land lines any more and wounder if this is a ploy to have people ( drop, all the hard wire, ) because of the unwanted calls !!! ???????

Obviously the spammers are scared to death of enforcement. I have been called by insurance , alarm system. lawn services, etc etc etc. This law is a joke and if it isnt going to be enforced, shut it down, lower my taxes, and send the employees to the unemployment office. Maybe they can get a gig as telemarketers.

What is the point of no call list if they simply ignore it and call daily anyhow??? I usually answer the phone as: "Pizza Hut, can I take your order?"

Getting a call from Scarborough for a survey for radio tv etc: They are calling at 7:20 am & as late as 9:40 I ask them to stop and stated they could not take me off of the do not call due to privacy act but I could call a toll free number to ask and when I called that number I get a recording of there hours and leave a message Who is this and I have never heard of for a survey they can't. take phone number off of list due to privacy act ? Isn't there a certain time that one can or cannot call your home ! But really calling all most at 10 pm or before 7:30 am and not just once a day but 3-4 times a day

Putting your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. Sign up for the do not call registry at donotcall.gov. After you register, you might still get calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities and telephone surveyors. The Telemarketing Sales Rule restricts the times they can call to between 8 am and 9 pm. You can tell individual telemarketers to stop calling, and ask them to put you on their company’s do not call list. If your number is already registered, you can file a complaint at donotcall.gov.

No, it really doesn't. All of our numbers have been on the list for years and we are now getting at least 3-4 robocalls per day. I have received 2 in the last hour. None of them identify themselves. The instructions on the messages say to press one button for more information and press another button to be removed. I didn't press anything, of course, but just hung up We stopped answering our home telephone some time ago, but our answering machine is full of voice messages from people selling financial products and other things. I did a check and the FTC website confirms that our numbers have been on the registry for years and still are. Seems there is no way to stop this harassment.

You hit the nail on the head!! I don't see any way to stop it either. It's horrible.

the do not call list is a joke. It doesn't work.

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