Skip to main content

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.

If you’ve received a call from a scammer, with or without fake caller ID information, report it to the FTC and the FCC.

Scams

656 Comments


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 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.

Alcatraz
January 21, 2019
I got a scam call from my own phone number!!!
Jeepgirl
February 06, 2019
When will it end?! I am now getting 10 -15 calls a day from my area code and others. Yesterday I started getting calls from my area code but only 9 digits total, had several of those so you can't google them. Today I got a call that said RAJAT. Now I don't know any RAJAT and at this point I don't want too! Of course all of these calls I put a block on but it does no good when they just go to another number. My realtor today told me they get all these calls as well but have to answer them! Total waste of time!
anonymous
February 11, 2019
IRS Scam - received a call from 503-468-3932, the message stated this is a final notice from the IRS the nature of the call is to inform you that they have received legal petition notice of tax fraud against you and before this matter goes to the federal claims courthouse or before you get arrested give them a call back at 503-468-3932. Call as soon as possible, I call back and informed had contacted my local police department and IRS office then the person hang up and didn't provide me any information on who they where trying to contact me do that these is a generated machine call that did not have my name, be careful.
Bella
February 14, 2019
I was getting calls on my cell phone starting out as (+1)-229 and a number my area code is 229 but when I answer thinking it was a co-worker because I am a nurse it’s a recording or a telemarketer. I got a call today from +1-229-921-1434 and it’s a recording saying that they have limited calls and cannot accept my call. I keep getting calls to lower my mortgage, add home security system, calls saying I won a vacation and I do not enter for any promotions, calls to lower my student loans, calls saying my computer has been detected to have a virus and I need to purchase their virus protection. All calls with the (+1) I learned are not to answer. I work night shift and have to sleep in the day & my cell rings off the hook but I have to watch it if it’s my mom, brothers, or my 3sons calling me. My family doesn’t call unless it’s early in the morning right after I get off work but I have to keep my cell on if any of my family has an emergency. So I get interrupted sleep daily. When I get the (+1) calls I call back & the calls can’t go through so now I block them on my iPhone. It’s aweful all the robo calls. Many of the calls that I do not know who it is if it is not a recording but a person it has been people with a foreign accent with very poor English. Everyone is right about how these people are able to link into other numbers to make you think that you are answering a local number when it is being generated from another source. Just be cautious of any information given over the phone. I tell my mom never give her information over the phone unless it is a company she is calling specifically to review a billing issue or making a payment over the phone for a bill she does have.
magpie
March 27, 2019
this number 262-889-0828 keeps calling me leaves no name or message, I tried calling it back and it comes back as the number of a closed Police Department in the Kenosha Wisconsin area. I don't answer number that I don't know and neither should any one else. It has to be some kind of Scam! Be smart and don't anser these kinds of calls for your sake and others!
no name to be …
April 17, 2019
4/16/19 I got a call from a scammer using name Damian Bryant phone 205 331 6412 . I have got so many calls about health insurance it is not funny ! Scammers needs to stop stealing other people name hurting them . NO one answer we do not know . Scammer will not like message on my answer machine when he or she calls again .
kai
April 20, 2019
I'm not sure if previous messages were sent from this email or another but disregard previous sent messages sorry for the trouble
Katherine bobrowski
April 22, 2019
Today I received a another scammer s call from phone number 716 280 2337 saying that they are from social security and IRS and they are charging me for fraudulent activity and if I don't return their call that they are going to be filled legal action against me and have me arrested I know this is a scammer calling me
So Tired of th…
May 03, 2019
Here is another scammer number 1-628-210-4475
So tired of th…
May 09, 2019
Here are two other numbers who say they are filing a case against your relative, with no information on what it's about. First they called my son and wanted his social security number, she was very rude and he ended the conversation. Then they called me with the same jargon threatening they will come to our place of residence and employment. The first number is 281-786-0361 and the number that called him is 855-217-6873
Tgun
March 23, 2021

In reply to by So tired of th…

I received a call just like this. They also called my husband and mother in law about me and a case against me. The first was from my former area code and they use my former name from 4 years ago. Threaten to call my employer and come to my residence or place of business. The second is from an 855 number. When I called they want the last 4 of my social and my birthdate. I refused. When I asked them to send me something in writing they said we have your file but need the last 4 of my ss and birthdate to unlock my file. I just hung up. Next call to me was more aggressive with the threats.
Cant scam this girl
May 18, 2019
I am Looking for a house to rent and some guy text my number claiming to have a house (which he didn’t ) asked me to send money I said No and he then told me to go somewhere to die lol. 1-512-305-1043 is the number
Fed up
May 27, 2019
Does anyone recognised phone 02554 721671 - called my uk number - says from Amazon
Tim
May 30, 2019
They called my number @ 10:34 a.m. I didn't answer it I'm on the do not call registry they keep breaking the rules I have had different numbers calling me it's getting very annoying 910-387-9903 called my number from rockingham n.c. They're violating the law it's time to end the calls from different numbers they're trying to get your personal information from you like bank account number debit card number social security number Medicare number to anyone beware of these so called phone calls there are a lot of scams going around
Alex
June 01, 2019
Unfortunately you need great capacity and training to work in the system American and the system internet because we are facining a system full of fraud
olbuck321
June 26, 2019
How are these scammers able to use different phone numbers and area codes ? The phone companies must have some way to prevent scammers from being able to use this method.I would hate to think that Verizon and others collude with scammers in order to sell call blockers.
Peanut Sanders
July 16, 2019
Can only a letter like the letter N only show from a spoof call, or does it have to be a number?
David RF
July 18, 2019
I once received a call on my cell that used my phone number on caller ID. These low lives need to be caught, So much out there with so little control. Everything is so easy for the crooks!
scambusters
August 06, 2019
516-269-6010 and 917-710-5411 are scam calls. they are trying to steal your identity and money. just block their numbers. even if you tell them to stop calling you they will keep calling. hang up right away and don't stress yourself out.
Bright Idea
August 15, 2019
When will calls with SPOOFED CALLER ID be made unlawful and BLOCKED by carriers? If a call has falsified caller id, I don't want it reaching my phone. At the VERY LEAST, I want to see the country of origin on my caller id display. If a call coming into my landline is from India (or any other foreign country), I want to see an appropriate CNAME field on my caller id display (i.e. "INDIA") so I can take appropriate measures to block these calls with my own hardware/software. Back in the 80's & 90's spoofing wasn't even possible. Now, with the advent of the Internet and VoIP (Voice Over IP) service, fraud has become rampant. Carriers have the ability right now to detect and block internationally spoofed calls, yet they route the calls anyway to collect revenue. The "Stir/Shake" nonsense does not work as it does not detect international calls. We are now banding together to boycott ALL phone carriers that allow these calls through. NO MORE TOLERANCE!
LION
September 11, 2019
478-242-0409 IS A SCAM FOR SSI !!!!!!!!!!
concerned citizen
September 17, 2019
I can't find a good location to report spoofing on your site.
Irriated
September 27, 2019
Received several calls from Hartford WI, ph. 262-457-7577, stating they from Social Security Administration message left each time, they called three times before 1000 am, again after 12 noon, the last one at 1426 hrs.
Madlady
October 09, 2019
I receive a call at least once a day from a +N on my caller ID. And of course since its not an actual phone number it wont let me block it. Has anyone else experienced these calls?
Trj
November 06, 2019
469-467-6176 Robocalls 4 in a row, leaves message Claims suspicious activity on my social security number
K. Williams
November 12, 2019
robocall from 816-569-2886 says: Your number is being used in fraudulent activity and press 1 to speak to an officer.
DB
November 12, 2019
I got 2 calls on home phone with my home phone number. What is this?
Anonymous
December 17, 2019
Hi this number is from somewhere in Africa +234 812 420 1042 please becareful because the owner is a conman and identity thief who steals people's savings, puts you in debt and causes you problems with your bank and all that.
Isaac
January 27, 2020
got a call on my cell from 843-333-2444 it was to lower the interest rate on my credit card. I only have a Visa debit. when I told him i had no credit card on debit he hung up. When I called back it went to a voice mail system.
Jmac
January 31, 2020
The number that called me was 213 830-7000
Shelia
March 16, 2020
Date: 3-11-2020 Time: 2:11 p.m. # 1-800-412-8673 Called my home about my Apple account then hung-up on me. Instead of calling back, I looked up the number. Glad I did it is a scam...
Lyn820
May 26, 2020
Received call from 914-863-7816. Once I confirmed my name they asked for my SS# and DOB. Wouldn't tell me where they were calling from.
J.shupe
May 28, 2020
I received a call on May 27th I did not answer it I sent it to voicemail. The number was (206)587-7172 . The voicemail that they left stated that somebody was trying to make a purchase for $14.10 did I wanna authorize it. And that's all it said I called the phone number back does not accept calls. I call my bank and credit card companies to double check and they said no they will not call you and ask you that information. I did research on the number and it is a Scammer. So do not give them any of your information or name.
Concerned citizen
May 28, 2020
I just received phone call from (334) 660-3416 and it was listing as coming from Newvile, Alabama. Normally I don't answer calls coming from an unknown number, but, I did today and the person on the phone asked who did he have the pleasure of speaking with and as soon as I said my name, he hung up the phone. I've heard that this is scammers way of using an audio recording to confirm payments. They used Marriott Hotels name in the beginning prompt, saying that it was a promotional add. Be careful and don't answer if you receive a phone call from this number!
Cautious.
June 30, 2020
I have received two messages from Olive Garden in Inverness that my table is ready. I did not call for reservations. I looked up the number 513-823-2571, and it's not even a Florida number. Guess it a new kind of scam. I started to message them that I didn't make a reservation but deleted the message and looked up the number to see if it was Olive Garden.
Mary
July 04, 2020
Supposedly BT Transport texted me from (657) 385- 9550 & says " Is this Mary? We tried to deliver a package for you but you weren't home. Please go to "And then there's a link. I'm scared to click on it.
Scammers
July 14, 2020
1(516)557-3724 This number is a scam they steal your number and claim it’s with fedex
MC
August 03, 2020
I was unfortunately hit by a scammer spoofing my bank number. At this time I had no idea scammers could do this and gave out my info. This was about a week before I was to go on vacation. They took half my money from my account. When I called my bank, they confirmed they never called on that day, and that scammers can hide their number under a number you’d normally recognize. She said if you’re unsure, just hang up and call back the actual number that called you to confirm that it’s really them. I was able to get my money back right before vacation started. I’ve obviously learned my lesson and won’t be making that mistake again.
Don't use your…
August 11, 2020
Scam call: 412-465-1921 It claims my SSN is being used in an unspecified fraudulent way....
Badripudasaini
August 18, 2020
I had a messege from dhis no +1(832)844-0954 telling me dat he will provide working visa to me in New york (pepsi company)also he told me to pay 300$ for my documentation fee , how should I response to him ?
kai goshi
August 20, 2020
I'm not sure if previous messages were sent from this email or another but disregard previous sent messages sorry for the trouble
charleen
September 03, 2020
I received a call from my own landline , knew it was a scam. the call back number is 1-712-220-9883. hopes this helps someone.
miami
September 14, 2020
‭+1 (312) 423-0117‬ spam a robot speaking in chinese
smartand savvy
December 21, 2020
What will it take to stop this nonsense? Scam call 562-273-9675
Ashish Jain
February 24, 2021
Somebody is spoofing my number to call others and posing as people from social security. As per my call logs, I never called them. Who can I report this to?
lily cream pie
April 13, 2021
3438013079 just call me and hang up 18 time
KGDS
May 22, 2021
These scammers don’t care what number they use to spoof. I received a call today and they used the Name and number of a Funeral Home in PA. I blocked my number and called back and made the receptionist aware that their number was being used as part of a scam.
Dansih
May 24, 2021
One person was telling me i am from best buy and i send you mobile accessories items so you must be send some money addvance i was ask him you call me on video i see your office and my items and your company so he told me there are not allow video call i just text in Facebook on the best buy company page this number is fake +15012912953
Dansih
May 24, 2021
Add this number was scam +15012912953
rybarra889
June 12, 2021
I reservd a phone call saying something about my SS number and I could go to jail if I didn't contact y'all .