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Unwanted Calls

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Here’s how they work:

You pick up the phone and hear a recorded message — a robocall — or a live person selling something. Maybe it’s not who your caller ID said it was. It’s frustrating, and you just want it to stop.

Recorded sales calls are illegal, unless you give a business written permission to robocall you. If your number is on the Do Not Call Registry, you’re not supposed to get any sales calls — live or recorded. But scammers ignore the rules about when and how they can call you.

Scammers can use technology to make their calls look like they come from anywhere: the IRS, a business you know, a neighbor, or even your own number. Because phone numbers can be faked, you can’t trust your caller ID. So now what?

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Hang up. Don’t press a number. Just hang up the phone on unwanted calls. Consider call-blocking services to reduce the number of unwanted calls you get. Ask your phone carrier about call blocking and read expert reviews about your options. Learn more at ftc.gov/calls.
  2. Pass this information on to a friend. You may know what to do about unwanted calls, but chances are you know someone who doesn’t..

Want to know more?

Sign up for FTC Consumer Alerts at FTC.gov/subscribe.

Unwanted Calls Resources