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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.


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.

Very Annoyed
May 23, 2017
913-270-4102 is another number
Very Annoyed
May 23, 2017
570-301-6238 probably a number they have gotten from someone who has this number as a true number
May 27, 2017
The FCC and FTC has done little to thwart these activities. We've learned that the NSA has extraordinary capability to track calls from anyone including scammers from overseas. I suggest that our cognizant government agencies utilize the NSA to halt scamming practices from overseas.
I am tired of …
May 30, 2017
I have been getting spoofed calls and a victim of spoof calls. I am tired of people calling me back, saying my number was on their phone and I called them repeatedly. I never reported calls but wish I had sooner. I wonder does it help to report them. Unfortunately I am changing my number but want to know how this can be stopped for the future.
Imin Torrance …
June 06, 2017
This number 323-238-4307 has called my landline for two weeks Monday to Sunday at all hours of the day now I have another number calling 9 times today 310-340-2385. I allowed 6 calls to go to voicemail no message and 2 calls were clicked off. Here we go again 20 minutes later I answered this call its regarding student loan debt forgiveness the message gives you an option to speak with someone yeah right its busy then the message asks you to leave your info "name and number." The internet look-up states this number to be high risk!! The caller i.d displays Hawthorne or Torrance, Ca.
Tennis guy
June 12, 2017
Add 314 207 6258 to the list
June 13, 2017
IRS Scam - received a call from 301-307-1776, 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 301-307-1770. Call as soon as possible
June 14, 2017
Add these numbers 401 293 2664/ 347-470-1182/ they had me scared to death they got me for 180.00 and tried to get me for 1,000 more and when I told him I didn't have it he wanted me to get in debt for it and when I got angry and told him I can't he told me fine then you'll get your 180.0 and go to federal prison for 2-5 years plus law suite . I just hung up. Still haven't got my money back
June 17, 2017
Just had a scam ,caller Id was Dish network, told me my equipment was outdated, knew how much my monthly bill was, told me to mash menu button twice and asked for some info on my menu and password for account. Was talking so fast in Indian language , I told him I didn't understand, and I was going to call tech support, he hung up. I called Dish network and they immediately put mr through to fraud dept. and secured everything for me, whew-- didn't know scammers can mask other numbers.
June 19, 2017
Add this number to your list (610) 904-1141 and I received a call today May 19, 2017
June 22, 2017
Just received a call from 219-215-5265 for Tax Fraud. Said I would be arrested within the hour if I did not call them back. Really?
June 23, 2017
Add this number.772-205-6596. This guy said there was an arrest warrant out on me. I hung up and called back in 5 minutes and he answered with a simple hello. When I told him that I know the Irs doesn't operate this way he started to tell me all kinds of crap so I said I was calling to report him and his number he immediately hung up.
Hello love
June 23, 2017
Irs fraud the number to scammers is (206)414-1327
June 28, 2017
GI Joe
July 04, 2017
I received a rash of calls 765-491-8428 requesting my personal information. Won't tell me who they are and have hung up on me many times when I insist on them telling me who they are, they call constantly.
July 06, 2017
Here's a list of the numbers from the calls I have received in just the past 10 days. They have threatened me,even called back from another number JUST to cuss me because I told him he was a scammers and I don't have time for his games. 830-215-0615, 512-717-0132, 917-398-9308, 202-999-9999, 409-965-5762, 407-519-2753,443-675-8877, 760-550-8266, 425-356-0879, 624-675-2143, 267-30+-2974, 949-201-2330, 201-434-6405,469-646-4405
April 27, 2018

In reply to by DDBMom

Thanks, I got almost the same #'s as you do. I have a block on non contact numbers

Rosie 12
July 07, 2017
Here is another scam number from Chicago 312-554-2425. I am tired of this and there should be away of stopping this kind of harassment. Senior citizen
July 11, 2017
Here is another scam number for IRS saying you owe money. 305-422-9709
July 12, 2017
My sister & I have been getting them for years - each in our current (different) area codes. If you block a particular number or let it go to voicemail, they call back later with a different but similar number. I recently called two of the numbers - one lady was overseas on vacation, one was stunned when she called after getting my vm and I answered "STOP CALLING ME"! (Of course I apologized profusely to both!) Today I started answering them to make them put me on the DNC list - the robo msg says to push 9 to do that. Instead I got a person with a thick middle-eastern accent who put in a great deal of effort to convince me it wasn't a scam or sales call - obviously reading from a script. After I repeatedly said "Put me on your Do Not Call List", he put me on hold to get someone else. The call disconnected. I created a single contact on my phone for every number with notes/date/time. Then I'll call the FTC to report this.
Betty boop
July 12, 2017

Phone numbers calling me I answer they state its a very important matter involving the IRS and I need to call them ASAP! Or its either I have a warrant out for my arrest due to unpaid something but I can take care of it now over the phone and it'll all go away! Phone numbers also calling and hanging up when I answer I call number back it says its been disconnected or no longer in service! Here's the numbers that call me: 914-241-5160 972-497-1400    1-701-380-4626   857-304-9018    580-307-6487 480-570-8421    And here in my area my cell phone area code is 434-xxx and i keep getting this number call hang up you call back but it says it's disconnected or no longer in service... 434-xxx-3816

July 14, 2017
can a caller get any personal info if they just call and dont say anything and then hang up?
Juan Rodriguez
July 14, 2017
Got a call from this number don't know who it was and don't answer.
July 18, 2017
Add this # 1-844-362-7958 automated call threatening arrest warrant if I don't contact them immediately for payment lol.
July 19, 2017
Recently we've gotten several spoof ID'ed calls all from our area code and 3-digit prefix, but with the last 4 digist different each time. The Caller ID will show something like a legitimate business (hospital, government office) but turns out to be a pre-recorded announcement about credit card monitoring. This is totally unrelated to what I would expect on a call from a hospital or other legitimate organization. How do I block these?
July 19, 2017
Please add 646-397-2902 just got a call from New York the man said I would be sued and they were going to arrest me.
July 19, 2017
Received two different calls this week from legitimate caller ID name and numbers I recognized.However, when I answered they both were credit card services. I hung up immediately and am frustrated that now the scammers can spoof with a legit looking caller ID. One of the calls was from a local business so I called the number back just to find out if they were still using that number and they were. We use nomorobo for our Comcast landline and it works great for robo calls but this is a new tactic on the part of the scammers. Somone in a previous post suggested changing the answering machine message to let people know you only answer legitimate calls and to leave a message for a call back. That sounds like what we're going to have to do
July 20, 2017
I have posted many complaints to many complaint boards about all these scammer numbers but no one has been able to help or stop them. Now I use an answering machine to screen all my calls and I tell anyone I give my number to that I will not answer calls but let my answering machine screen them and they all understand and will leave a message. I told them if they don't leave a message then I will not call them back thinking they are scammers because most scammers will not leave a message unless it's a robocall and I know most of those ARE scammers because I am also on that worthless "Do Not Call" list that doesn't do any good either. As a matter of fact I have notice every time I re-register my landline and cell phones for the 'Do Not Call" list I will get a rush of more scamming calls for awhile. After a few months the calling will slow down some, I even will have a week once in a while where I won't get any calls, ( the sweet sound of no ringing lol) which makes me wonder if someone is selling the no call list to these scammers? I still get scammer calls but since I don't answer my landline and I don't hand out my cell number to anyone but family my blood pressure, frustration, and my sanity have been so much better, plus I have been keeping a list of all the numbers that have called my landline and not left messages for the past year just in case the government ever actually decides to do something about it they can have my 14 pages,(and growing), of numbers to start with, but I really don't see that happening anytime soon in my life time. I think I have had about all the really bad scammer calls like the IRS, Microsoft about viruses on my computer, (boy was that one a fun one), calls form Windows tech, and even a computer tech, and recently I got a call from someplace that said I entered a contest, (which I don't do) to win $25,000.00 in cash and I had won, (Whoopee)! Then they asked ,(for tax purposes) what was our yearly income, then told me my middle class income was to poor for this contest, (WOW). I have never heard of such a thing in my life so now I know that one was a new scam. So People who have a yearly income around $50 or $60,000.00 beware! So if there is anyone out there who is sick and tired of hearing from all these scammers, oh and some of the scammers now pretending to be form charities groups like Cancer, Vets support, Homeless Vets, police, fireman's, Children's Cancer,Students Exchange, NRA, United Cancer support FD, Women's Cancer, Autistic Child, AM Heart ASS, Cancer Survivor, US Arm for Assn., to name just a few. I even had one that my caller ID was "Illegal Scam", glad they warned me lol. I think I have even had calls from almost all the states cause the caller ID will say, Texas Call, Minnesota Call, Missouri Call, Mason City, IA., Golden, CO.,Florida Call, New York and so on and so on. I think you get my drift LOL. Any more I don't do business with anyone I didn't call personally myself, it's just safer that way. Well, I know this complaint won't help stop these aggravating calls but I hope my solution and warnings will help someone else's frustration and sanity. Good luck! Sincerely, Beajay
October 18, 2017

In reply to by Beajay

I am having the same issue! I just counted my "recent" scam calls...36 calls in the last 3 weeks. I'm about to lose my mind. They're all texas area codes, and I live in Texas. Weirdly enough, this started after I visited New York a few months. They started out as New York area codes for a while, then switched to Texas area codes. I keep blocking the numbers as they come in but they keep cahnging the number (I think I counted 26 different numbers). If anyone finds a solution, it would be much appreciated.
Prank Call
July 21, 2017
People can prank using prank call applications and fake id application which can be a boon in near future
Liz S
July 24, 2017
I recvd a call too. 607-270-0581 from Almond, NY. Said I Owed 2980.00 and they are sending someone to my house either get the money or take me to jail for tax evasion. I knew it was a scam since they had my address from 10 years ago. But they had my address. Where are they getting this information? Scares me that they would come to my house.
January 18, 2018

In reply to by Liz S

SPOKEO probably that site is truly a potential menace to society
July 24, 2017
Add these 3#s: 646 809 9705 646 809 9647 516 217 9473
July 28, 2017
Many individuals do not realize that "FAKE" caller IDs exist, or that these scammers get individuals' names from their social media account. That's why some of these "FAKE" caller IDs appear to be from their friends, family, & from local businesses. It's important to keep every potential victim informeed.
July 31, 2017
pls add this to list. getting calls non stop 844-206-8573
Cher W
July 31, 2017
I get so many of these calls that I am thinking about changing my number or dropping my land line and using my cell phone, but my cell phone number was spoofed last week.
August 01, 2017
It seems to me that, if the FCC or FTC wanted to stop these calls, they would have been stopped long ago. I used to report them as suggested, to no avail. The govt could not organize a 3 car funeral procession. I use a referee's whistle and blast their ear, especially Card Services. Delivers great satisfaction.
August 02, 2017
My husband's cell phone received a call from my cell number and I did not call him. It shows in his caller id. We are AT&T customers. Changing number isn't guaranteed to stop this spoofing. Any other solutions?
August 03, 2017
scam phone number 772-448-3402 (probably a burner phone) - said he was from Fed. Govt. and that we failed to appear in court - that a Judge issued a warrant and would be arrested if we didn't get a certain amt. of money and to keep phone line open as we went about it - took this phone call to Sheriff's Office.....
August 11, 2017
Today i got a call from a number w my area code and same first 3 digits. I called it back to see what they would say, and it was the hospice wing at the local hospital. Very weird and creepy.
August 16, 2017
I received a phone call from this (DAVID MARTINIZE) saying his from the F.T.C. in Washington D.C. and it was very important that he talks to my Mother right-away. so I told him I have (P.O.A)Doc's on her and you could talk to me, he was persistent that he talks to her only about a package being delivered and that he would need me to fax the copy to him. so I said I'll get my attorney to get all the info. you need. than his reply was O.K. I just read you Quality Procedure for the shipping details.PH#(202)836-9696
August 16, 2017

In reply to by DES1

Thank you for sharing your experience.

We’re hearing from our colleagues that those pesky government imposters are at it again, using the FTC’s name to try to con people into paying them for something. Whether it’s to clean up your credit report, give you a prize, resolve a complaint against you, or pay off a debt you owe, they’re all lies. The message may be a call or an email, but it isn’t from the Federal Trade Commission, or any other federal agency. For more details, please see the FTC blog post, Spread the word about government imposters.

August 17, 2017
Phone companies don't care or they would fix this never ending problem.
August 17, 2017
Some company (or scammer) is using my cell phone number as their caller ID. I've received two calls from people very angry using foul language to take them off their calling list. This is so frustrating!
August 19, 2017
Add these numbers: (862) 227-8468; (847) 756-8708; and (317) 644-4368.
Driving me crazy
August 19, 2017
Just received a call from 1-844-807-7555 a male Indian scammer stating he was a tech calling from Microsoft and "My computer was sending them an error message that someone is trying to hack into your emails". When I told him "No it's not, my computer was fine", the person preceded to tell me "Really well if your computer is working fine then why is your email" and proceeds to tell me my email address is sending them a message that someone is trying to hack my emails". I let them know that they are trying scam and they need to stop it. Of course the male acting innocent says he's not trying to scam anyone and doesn't know what I'm talking about. I hung up of course pissed off that these individuals are continuously making these ridiculous calls on a daily bases scamming hard working Americans out of their money. When will the government catch these people and put a stop to all these scams once a for all.
August 21, 2017
I'm on a dating site, how can I tell if this persons phone number is a spam number. I just want to know if this person is for real. Because one time I trusted and thought this person was who he said he was. But my daughter found out I was talking and getting texts from some man . She found the number on my phone and was able to check it out and found out this was a spam number. She said it's easy to do and anyone can check and it doesn't cost anything. She said there is a way to check a number just by punching some number in on her cell phone and then put in the number you might think is a spam number. But she never told me how to do it. Could you tell me how?
Lourie Jonas
August 21, 2017
I'm on a dating site, how can I tell if this persons phone number is a spam number. I just want to know if this person is for real. Because one time I trusted and thought this person was who he said he was. But my daughter found out I was talking and getting texts from some man . She found the number on my phone and was able to check it out and found out this was a spam number. She said it's easy to do and anyone can check and it doesn't cost anything. She said there is a way to check a number just by punching some number in on her cell phone and then put in the number you might think is a spam number. But she never told me how to do it. Could you tell me how?
August 28, 2017

In reply to by Lourie Jonas

I just Google strange numbers. Many times there are multiple reports of abuse. Other than that, you can call the number back (block your ID) and see who answers. I just don't answer calls from numbers I do not recognize - especially if they begin with my area code and prefix. Perhaps your daughter knows some other way? Ask her.