Your phone rings. You recognize the number, but when you pick up, it’s someone else. What’s the deal?
Scammers are using fake caller ID information to trick you into thinking they are someone local, someone you trust – like a government agency or police department, or a company you do business with – like your bank or cable provider. The practice is called caller ID spoofing, and scammers don’t care whose phone number they use. One scammer recently used the phone number of an FTC employee.
Don’t rely on caller ID to verify who’s calling. It can be nearly impossible to tell whether the caller ID information is real. Here are a few tips for handling these calls:
- If you get a strange call from the government, hang up. If you want to check it out, visit the official (.gov) website for contact information. Government employees won’t call out of the blue to demand money or account information.
- Don’t give out — or confirm — your personal or financial information to someone who calls.
- Don’t wire money or send money using a reloadable card. In fact, never pay someone who calls out of the blue, even if the name or number on the caller ID looks legit.
- Feeling pressured to act immediately? Hang up. That’s a sure sign of a scam.
Want more tips for avoiding scams? Check out 10 Ways to Avoid Fraud.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
In reply to Has anyone received by Kim
In reply to I just got a call from a by Marine232
In reply to I just got a call from a by Marine232
In reply to latest number I am getting by Fed-Up
here's my list of bothersome phone call--AREA CODE 310-283-8168,273-4672,463-1390,237-6837,773-4065,747-7475,747-6096,828-1877,693-4430,326-5212,441-5877,693-4430,463-9149,AREA CODE 213-985-0858,255-1143,AREA CODE 323 694-7028 ,239-7368, 800-5505, 694-6568, 239-7368, 255-3143, 276-3921, 302-1755, 317-8047-, 318-4301,350-0408,698-4473,715-7074,7227372,727-1271,821-1920,821-5151,864-5575,928-6463, AREA CODE 914 246-3014,AREA CODE 949 286-3973, AREA CODE 949 2863973,AREA CODE 906 255=6114, AREA CODE 909 285-6114,AREA CODE 951 824-1047,732-9430,852-4496, AREA CODE 989 244-9050,AREA CODE 818 638-7270,296-0006, 930-5379, 989-6539, 314-5035, 785-1301, 830-8310,555-5555,AREA CODE 469 424-2174, AREA CODE 699 863-1109, AREA CODE 408 560-1694, AREA CODE 714 776-9169, 776-8569, 463-6060, 555-7631, 5550842, 5410068, 5435327, AREA CODE 424 316-9474, 999-7297,234-7023,231-8285,234-7052,AREA CODE 805 203-0293,AREA CODE 894 904-1313,AREA CODE 989 244-9050,AREA CODE 484 541-8017,AREA CODE 562 389-6088,277-9829,273-3688,280-7946,206-2960,AREA CODE 615 657-6954,AREA CODE 619648 0993, 846-7119, AREA CODE 469 424-2174,AREA CODE 699 863-1109,AREA CODE 855 961-047, 509-2378, 731-7499, AREA CODE 702 815-2394, 546-7288,AREA CODE 216 282 0367 AREA CODE 209 463-3721, AREA CODE 202 436-9791, AREA CODE 206, 200-3579,708-2849, AREA CODE 347 215-6325,560-5677, AREA CODE 502 210-2612, AREA CODE 504 416-9276,704-5720,AREA CODE 512 714-8520, 340-2618, AREA CODE 530 347-1396, AREA CODE
In reply to 202-792-3235 IS A SCAMS , by stefb82
this month i decided to fly from Somalia to Kenya in order to got my documents but i did not receive my tickets and visa the only way to block these scammers. thank you and thanks our God.
+1 (206) 336-3407 Seattle, WA Called today. I asked to speak to supervisor. He said there was no need. Don't call back again, they are paid "scammers" I couldn't understand the word, so he spelled it for me.
In reply to I live in a retirement by Russell W.
Thank you for sharing this information and watching out for your neighbors. You could order free print copies of information to share too, and they'll be delivered to your door at no cost. We have a series of one-page fact sheets about different scams that are designed for older adults. Order on the bulkorder site.
Here's another # to report: 510-443-0044. Same IRS scam saying they're suing you and that you'll be arrested if you don't pay; they also said that there is an embezzlement charge. It's a robo call---I called the number and said that I was reporting them to the authorities. They hang up as soon as you do that, or if you ask them what their REAL name is, because it's obvious that these people w/Indian/Pakistani accents are NOT named "James Brown" or "Joe Smith", "Steve Jones", etc. Ask for their badge number and then tell them that "Officer Steve Jones" isn't their actual name.
I'd like to report Notification Warehouse Center 1-800-208-4460. I've been trying for two years to get an elderly relative off direct mail databases. The only positive comment I have is that after calling 35 other businesses, at least their hold music was Chopin and Beethoven! I spoke with Patrick, who claimed the call was being recorded. He took my relative's name (didn't bother to check spelling) and zip code & glibly said done!
When I asked for clarification, he got snippy, & said he had everything. I called back and spoke with Alex. HE at least claimed the reason my relative got the post card was something else that my relative ordered from another company. Then when I asked for clarification, he got rude, & told me he didn't have to listen to me tell him how to do his job! My relative will STILL be getting these cards asking him to pay $12.95 shipping and handling for "$297" worth of jewelry. Does anyone at the FTC actually DO anything with the complaints on this board? I sincerely hope so.
In reply to I'd like to report by StopTheJunk
The comments you put here on the consumer blog are not added to the database of formal complaints that law enforcement uses for investigations.
If you want to inform law enforcement of a problem you're having with a business, go to FTC.gov/complaint and file a complaint.
In reply to I have received calls and by Caller ID and …
This might be happening becuase a scammer pretended to use your phone number when he called or texted people. Scammers will hide the phone number they are really calling from, and make a different number appear in the caller ID of the person who gets the call or text.
If you're worried that someone has interfered with your actual phone line, you could contact your phone carrier to see if there is any unusual activity on your phone.