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.
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.
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In reply to This is wonderful, but what by Concerned Citizen
Today I got a call from saying they were from the Federal Government, immediately I knew it was a scam because no one who calls from the Federal Government do not say that they say which Department they are from (IRS,FBI,FTC,of education, of Commerce, etc) and the first time the number (917)117-1311 well he(Mario Stevens or Stephens) was saying about giving me a grant then when I got him angry(I am very good at pissing people off) he started threatening me with calling the police on me and having me arrested. So I set the phone down and ignored him. After a couple minutes he gave up and hung up, immediately another call came in from number (585)296-1630 and I answered it low and behold it was the same voice who I also told not to call me again, so I set the phone down without talking to him, well again he kept talking and I believe I heard police again then he hung up, and immediately the same number called again and I did the same thing answered and set it down but he immediately hung up when there was no answer. The one thing these scammers hate more than anything is not having someone on the line and wasting their time because some of these calls are being made from overseas out of Mexico or South America and even Asia, and what they do is use internet phone numbers which can be set to any area code you would like, because the numbers are available are listed on there. When you call it comes up as that number even if you are calling from Ghana. These scammers are predators and should be treated as severely as any predator even the child predators.
+47 7889 80 08 is the tel. number use by Scammer alexius feliciano, Sr.human resource generalist of Viva Ellenor Inc.Norway, with the cooperation of CLAYLAND TRAVELS PERSON IN THE NAME OF ALICIA MILAN (ASST. MANAGER,NORWAY),FATI NADINDIN OF PORTUGAL.
Greetings from the UK. Had a call today.. "I am from Windows." "No you're not" "I am from Windows there is a fault with your computer" No, you are a scammer after my money" "I am frm.." "Piss off " "You have very bad manners" "Piss off clown" That seems to work
My husband recently rec'd a call from MY cell number, the thing was MY CELL PHONE was turned off at the time and not even on.....HOW is this possible? Called Verizon to complain they say there is nothing that they can do, just don't answer the phone......So they are telling me that I shouldn't answer my phone when my husbands calling me (or at least I think he's calling me or vice versa)....Since we have become a technical/digital age this stuff happens when it shouldn't.
Hello sir, i am gtting continously blank calls from internet number and the location is showing diffrent countries of US. The person calls me and when i receive the call nobody says anything and the call automatically gets disconnected in 10-20 seconds. I have gone through many reviews but none of them got this problem. Please help me and if someone is getting same problem then please tell me what to do. I am really very afraid of this. Thank you
In reply to Hello sir, i am gtting by Mohammad
Sometimes scammers use a computer program to make telephones call many people at the same time.
However, there are only a few scammers working together to make the calls. When many people answer the phone calls, the scammers talk to a few, and can't answer the others. Your phone rings, but when you pick up, the scammer is busy talking to someone else, and you don't hear a voice. Eventually, the call will disconnect.
In reply to I got called by unknown and by LoneGunMan
I received a phone call from a New York number +1 (646) 396-8331 which was a recorded message saying there's been an arrest warrant out for me from the IRS! I've also received other phone calls from weird numbers I don't answer if it's not someone I know... Other Numbers - New York - +1 (212) 345-6738 Seattle Washington - +1 (206) 693-4360 And my favorite: Unknown - +1 (888) 10
In reply to Yesterday I had a call that by No More
Yes, you can report the calls to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.