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When your phone rings and it looks like a local call, you may be more likely to answer. Scammers count on this and can easily fake caller ID numbers. They even can match the first six digits of your own number, which is called “neighbor spoofing.” The urge to answer can be tough to resist, since you might worry it’s a neighbor who needs help, or the school nurse.

If you see a number like this on your caller ID, remember that it could be faked. Letting it go to voicemail is one option. If you do pick up and don’t recognize the caller — hang up.

But what else can you do? Call blocking services that block or flag unwanted calls can help. These services include mobile apps, features built into your mobile phone, cloud-based services, call-blocking devices, or services provided by your phone service carrier. Some are free and others cost money.

You also can register your number with the Do Not Call Registry. The Do Not Call Registry is designed to stop sales calls from legitimate companies, so it won’t stop calls from scammers. But it could make it easier for you to spot scam calls. If a company is ignoring the Registry, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.

You also can help by reporting unwanted calls. We take the phone numbers you report and release them to the public each business day. This helps phone carriers and other partners that are working on call blocking solutions. Your reports also help law enforcement identify the people behind illegal calls.


It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

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

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.

September 05, 2018
They use the first 6 digits of "Actual" phone numbers in your (or an) area! There is no way to stop them!!! Only the last 4 digits are different from previous calls. I actually texted a number back once saying to stop. It was an actual person who didn't know that her number was being used.
September 08, 2018
Even if you don’t answe, the caller gets paid! From the WSJ. Even if you ignore that annoying robocall, the person behind it might still be making money off the call. It has to do with caller ID services. When a call is made, phone companies query caller ID databases in an attempt to identify the person calling; the companies pay small fees (typically between $0.0025 and $0.005) when a match is made and a name is displayed. Some caller-ID databases then pass along some of those fees to the company that controls a caller's phone number or the company making the call. Scammers can purchase blocks of unused phone numbers, submit fake names and addresses for those numbers to caller-ID databases, and watch the pennies trickle in. With millions of robocalls made per day, those pennies add up
September 08, 2018
They seem to have something new now. I think they know what calls I've answered recently. I have a 703 number, but had a call from a 505 area code that I knew was legitimate, so I answered. Now I get 6 or 7 scam calls a day from the 505 area code.
September 11, 2018
I believe these neighbor calls are phone numbers cancelled by landline customers who went cellular only. The telephone companies found themselves with all these numbers not bringing in any revenue and sold them to a third party who most likely sold them off to telemarketers. The government won't do anything because the telephone companies have done nothing wrong from a business standpoint. Ethics? There are not ethics in business. Only the bottom line.
September 12, 2018
I accept every call. I cut them off from the beginning, and continue to ask HAVE YOU ACCEPTED JESUS AS YOUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR? I will continue to ask this question until they hang up. I will call back, if they answer I will begin the same question again. If they say yes, which is rare, I demand that they tell me their "testamony". The calls have nearly disappeared.
karma integra
October 17, 2018

In reply to by Mandi

excellent idea my dear, I have to say that one is impressive.
September 14, 2018
September 17, 2018
I just sent this to someone who texted me and told me that the scammers used their number on the scammers outgoing caller ID! It really pisses me off. My mom just passed away so I’m in her house for the past couple years and I can not believe the number of calls she gets all day long! It’s insane!
September 17, 2018
What do I do if some one cloned my number and is actively calling people?
September 20, 2018
A scammer keeps scrolling through all the numbers within the area code and exchange that's local to me. They use 540-212-####. I must have blocked at least 50 to a hundred within that range and they come up with new ones every day.
September 22, 2018
Also getting many spoofs a day. I understand that the technical solution would be expensive, but this is beginning to make these mobil devices more annoying than useful. FCC must do their job and mandate a fix. Otherwise it's time for a big class action.
September 26, 2018
Where are we getting this nonsense about scammers not leaving messages? That hasn't been true for a long time. I get 3 or 4 robocalls a day from the same cheerful American-sounding female voice trying to sell me health insurance, using an ever-changing array of spoofed numbers, changing a few digits at a time, so blocking does nothing. So, to the arrogant person who says only we can protect ourselves, I'd say stop bloviating and educate yourself, already.
September 28, 2018
I keep getting calls from phone numbers with the same prefix as mine. I used to answer but the caller would hang up. When I didn't answer there would be no voice mail message. Now I just block them but the calls just come from a different number with the same prefix as mine. It doesn't stop; I get the calls at least 3 times a week sometimes two on the same day. I've been registered on the do not call list and resubmit my number every year. It doesn't help
October 05, 2018

In reply to by Angela

Scammers do not care whether or not you are on the Do Not Call registry, because what they are doing is already illegal. What we as customers need to do is: a) Call our phone service provider and ask to speak to the supervisor and tell them we do not pay the phone company to have our phones used as advertising media, but only for two-way communication between individuals and that is it. If we complain enough they will get tired of our calls and take action. b) Unceasingly complain to the FCC . Tell them we are tired of scammers and companies using our phones and our time to advertise or solicit and this is not what we pay our phone companies for and this is unfair to us as consumers. c) If you have a smartphone, use an app like 'Calls Blacklist' that has the ability to block entire area codes such as 201, 202, 203, 323, etc. This will prevent spoofers from using the same area code but a different number to call you. If we complain unceasingly to the phone companies, FCC, and FTC, they will take action to quiet us down.
October 03, 2018
Blame the phone companies for allowing numbers to be manipulated and used. They could do more to stop it but won't since the more their lines get used, the more money they make.
Fed up by inaction.
October 03, 2018
I worked for many years as the telecom manager for my company before retiring. Telecom companies have the technical capacity to block calls where the circuit id or IP address of the caller does not match the Caller ID being transmitted with the call. Doing so would require spending money. There are currently insufficient political or legal reasons to do so. No customer of a telecom company should assume that it has their best interest at heart.
October 08, 2018
I am on the do not call list since 2005. I get calls on a daily basis from telemarketers and robo calls. Today has been the day of all days. I have thus far received 16 calls from various #s 369-745-2568(4xs), 369-745-2578, 369-854-6541, 369-854-6532(3xs), 369-785-4632, 369-745-3565 (4xs), 369-856-5965 and last BAHRAIN 973-858-4589. I have set my iphone to do not disturb and only to accept calls from contacts and still the calls come through. When I pick up; there appears to be no one on the line. When I tried to call one of the #s back ; I got a recording stating that my call could not be completed as dialed. I pay a lot of money for a cellphone and should not be harassed. I should not have to pay to block callers. How do I stop this?
October 09, 2018
I received multiple scam calls per day. They show fake caller IDs and they change their numbers everyday. It can be from a state police ask for donation, DHL, UPS said a package was not delivered, insurance company, consulate, you name it. I did register my number at DNC and I block those numbers and still receiving multiple phone calls EVERYDAY. And I'm a sales, I cannot choose not to answer my phone. It's very annoying and to a point it is disturbing my life.
karma integra
October 17, 2018
More like a question? how do i no if the person calling is a scam. im having trouble with my windows comp. and out of the bvlue this Global Voicecom calls and says that i am in serious risk of get my comp, wiped iof i dont call back. should i call from my Obhama phone since all things are copied and they are sprint and seem to be fairly secure? please help if you can.
October 22, 2018
This already happened to me as well and this morning 2 calls came from two different numbers having both same first 6 numbers matching with mine ( scaring ). I called them back and those numbers belong to regular people saying that they ever called me. How that can be possible? how stop them besides blocking the numbers? it can't be reported as well because the numbers are legitimate numbers belong to people unaware that that numbers are being used. And what about my number? they can do that with my number as well ?! How to prevent?
Upset Cell Pho…
October 23, 2018
I keep receiving calls from both local numbers that have been spoofed and also AT& T 800 service #s that are being spoofed. Back last Fall the FCC gave the telecoms new powers to block spoofed calls but they won't! Every time a number is spoofed the telecom should have to pay a fine! At $50 or $100 per call, I bet they would stop it or help the Treasury fund our debt!
October 24, 2018
The do not call registry is the biggest joke in the world. I've been registered with them since the nineties and I keep registering my numbers and still I get phone calls. It's a waste of time .
October 25, 2018
I have had the same cell number for 11+ years. Within the last few months I've been receiving several calls from Kansas numbers (I have a KS number, but don't even live in the state anymore). I answered the first couple calls, but it was just recorded messages. I would hang up immediately and block the number. The very next day (sometimes even the same day) I would just get more calls from different numbers. I no longer answer the calls at all. Never any messages left. Now I have someone texting me going off because "my number" keeps calling them. I told them I haven't and they sent me screenshots of their call history. Sure enough, my number was listed on it. I told them my number had been spoofed and told them to just block it. Hopefully that helps, because I really don't feel like getting texts and calls from angry people every day. My number has been on the DNC list for years (I update it every few years to make sure it continues) so I don't see how they can still get access to it. Super frustrating, as I have way too many things tied to my number and do not want to change it. I also do not want to deal with this every day... Not only am I getting calls from telemarketers, but I've gotten texts also!
October 26, 2018
I disagree with the FTC or authorities not being able to track these scumbags! If they are coming from a computer, there is an I.P. address. If from Google, Google can track them. If from landlines or cell, carriers can track on both ends. All should be held responsible! These calls go far beyond harrasment! With that being said, what good is the FTC if they claim they can't protect us. Can't and won't are completely different! Think of it this way......IF THE PRESIDENT RECEIVED A CALL THREATENING HIS LIFE/MONEY/FAMILY (which when the spoofers get nasty, they say anything and everything to us), THE FBI WOULD BE AT THEIR DOORSTEP! I GUARANTEE THAT! The FTC just doesn't waste time on little people like ourselves. I'm sure all of us on here are tech smart enough to smell the scam, along with background noise and the "click" a few seconds after you answer. But imagine your grandmother, or mother being taken advantage of......or spoken to in that manner. They have said some words I can't even repeat to my dog. At this point, the FTC is probably getting a fat check from these fools!
October 26, 2018
It's going on 4 months that scammers have been using my Google Voice number to spoof callers in my area. It's been going on for 4 months now. I've submitted 3 complaints to the FCC about it with detailed information about time and phone number so they could be traced. I've received no response from the FCC except for the automatic email response stating my ticket number. Do they ever do anything? I'm sure at least a few of the callers that have complained to me have done as I've asked and submitted a complaint to the FCC also. It's frustrating!
Buddy B
October 27, 2018
But you can't report spoofed calls because that's not the actual number they are calling from. I'm getting spoofed calls all the time..
November 02, 2018
Virtually 95% to 100% incoming calls every day are spoofed numbers, robo scammers. Remote and neighbor numbers. Please stop this activity. That is with Nomorobo and community blacklists with a voip landline. I'm ready to disconnect.
Telecom Expert
November 15, 2018
The FCC can stop these illegal calls. Require call originating carriers to validate that their customers own the numbers listed in the ANI field for every call. Also, require all switching carriers to add their id code to the call as it gets connected to the destination. Then, consumers can report the call and the logs will show who originated the call. Then, fine the originating carrier $1000 for each fraudulent call they connected. This money will be divided in thirds between the reporting consumer, the connecting carriers and the FCC. Implement this and fraudulent calls will disappear in a month.
Is this the re…
November 22, 2018
So we're supposed to just block all the calls for numbers that are scammers. However there are numbers that belong to people that aren't scammers that are being used by scammers. Several times over the past couple years I've gotten calls and called back only to find that the person who is using the number said they never called. Is this what we're to expect for our children? This is the fix? Block the numbers rather than finding a way to catch the people who are "borrowing" other peoples phone numbers to do their dirty business? Sorry but I'm upset, how is it that my phone can say one number is calling but it be another unless the systems in place are either not secure enough, or just completely faulty.
Don't use your…
November 28, 2018
Received a call from a Cab company tonight. I did not call them. Not sure how they even got my number. I don't even use cab service.
December 03, 2018
When I get an unrecognized caller ID, I answer with "Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Fraud Division". Result is an immediate hangup.
Julie R
December 05, 2018
The problem I’m facing is someone is using MY NUMBER on the caller ID. So people are blocking ME or calling and threatening me to stop calling them when I’m not calling anyone. It’s terrible. I contacted our local AG and got nothing useful. I can’t complain about my own number!!
Happened to me too!
January 28, 2019

In reply to by Julie R

Same here! My number was also being used! On one of the 'return calls' a guy was threatening my 8 year old after she answered.. no one from my home called, but he was certain we did, and was very angry! The police and telephone service providers can do nothing... I had to change my number since it was being used with spoofing.
December 06, 2018
I finally got tired of recieving so many spam calls that i recorded a new missed call message on my phone. If you call and i do not have a name with your number, leave a message or do not expect to be called back. I get tons of calls from a 413 prefix. 413-4988, 413-4967,413-4989,413-4968 and so on. The more i block the numbers, the next (last two)numbers in sequence pops up. 67 ,68, 69, 70 and so on. I just do not answer anymore unless the caller leaves a message.
December 12, 2018
I get these calls several times a day. Fortunately, these fake calls are easy for me to spot. First off, I have only had a cell for almost 20 years. Secondly, I dont live in the same area I lived in. So when I see a phone call from my old area code and prefix, I know its a fake call. I guess I can try to block that area code and prefix in software on the phone, or maybe by the cell provider. I dont have any contacts that use those numbers, but that does seem heavy handed... However, the more I think about it, why not?
Little Sister
December 18, 2018
After over a year of daily calls I decided to let the stress out. I keep a whistle. When I see these calls come in, the caller gets an ear full. I've played with them by asking for more information, playing like I'm a child, telling the caller to hold on while I get a pen (and just never come back). Use your imagination. If the people calling get frustrated enough, they will quit their job. That's one less caller.
December 27, 2018
I’m getting calls from numbers on my call list, ie: MaryAnn. But it isn’t MaryAnn when I answer. It’s someone telling me they are in my driveway with a package. Or some other nonsense. I block calls and don’t answer calls from numbers I don’t know but when it says “MaryAnn “ I can’t block or ignore. Ugh they are driving me crazy.
January 04, 2019
I keep getting calls from a local number. When I tried to return call, it goes straight to voicemail mail. Doesnt say who they are, says leave your name and number and they will call you. I think you should be able to do a reverse look up for free to see who the caller is. If not a legit number then report it. I get 15 calls a day. Sick of it.
January 05, 2019
I am literally sitting in ICU with my loved one on life support. I just received my 18th call today at 11:00 p.m. from, yet again a different number, a company called Retail Riches. I don't know what to do. There is no such company, no one answer the calls back and there are way too many numbers to block. I just want to not have to worry about this now and I can't turn my phone off because of family and friends calling.
January 08, 2019
I get 4-6 calls robocalls a day from Spanish speaking telemarketers selling Obamacare. Being nice and politely asking them to not call me anymore did not work. Now I get real nasty and vulgar with them hoping that if everyone else does the same, they will quit and find another job. Why hasn't the FTC done an undercover investigation to get to the top of this scam yet?
January 11, 2019
I am now getting calls from other who say I just called them. The spoofers are now using random numbers to call people even when it belongs to someone else.
Common Senseless
January 16, 2019
Is it just me or does 47 U.S.C. 227 , 47 CFR 64.1200 PROHIBIT autodialers in the first place? And that law was placed in effect in 1991! HOW ABOUT ENFORCING IT? I get at a minimum 6 of these new spoof calls a day. START FINING THESE TELEMARKETERS!!!
FTC Staff
March 22, 2019

In reply to by Common Senseless

 Robocalls that try to sell you something are illegal (whether or not your number is on the Do Not Call Registry), unless you gave the company written permission to call you. 

January 17, 2019
Today I received 4 calls in the space of an hour that were from different cities and states but the same Caller ID of Dr Appointment.
Ray from NJ
January 22, 2019
I heard that my own cellular number can be spoofed for robocalls as well, which explains why I got a voice mail from a nice but annoyed man asking me why I kept calling him and not saying anything when he answered. I wouldn't want my number being reported to that list.
Happened to me!
January 27, 2019
My home phone number was used in a spoofing attempt. Had the same number for 8 years and just over the last several months I started getting calls from people claiming that I had just called the...ummm, nope. I thought the first caller was nuts but by the second one, I was able to determine my suspicions about the spoofing were true.. I contacted the local police, my service provider in attempt to prevent my number from being used ..but nothing could be done. I had to change my number.. but this seems like it is happening more and more. I get calls from local numbers in the same type of attempt (which I let go to vm)... list frustrating this happens...
mac at nsb
January 31, 2019
Technically, an access code could be required before the phone number would go through. This would require the phone company to reprogram some of their software -no big deal!!. in fact, this system is currently being used - I know because I tried calling my phone from a remote location and was told that I must enter the access code first. I think this was accidental because when I complained about it to the phone provider, they then removed the code requirement and the call went through. I haven't been able to figure out how to get my own access code yet.
fed up with sc…
February 06, 2019
I feel these constant calls are just another government job promotion that pays people via GRANTS. We should not have to tolerate calls to private personal number we must have and pay for. All scams, just like every other business today.
February 11, 2019
The federal government could easily track down these phone calls and shut these servers down their automated calling services OK all you have to do is find the hosting site and shut it down but you think they’re going to do something about it now they’re more interested in impeaching Trump and stupid so frivolous lawsuits against our president instead of doing stuff that actually helps us