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.
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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- 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.
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Consumer Need: A Sense of Mindfulness on Consumer Thought & Concern Note that the article presumes wrongly, omitting essentially important information and, at the same time, it is misleading. The article provides, in part: .... You also can register your number with the Do Not Call Registry. [ http:// www.donotcall.gov / ] 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. [ http://complaints.donotcall.gov/ complaint/complaintcheck.aspx ]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. Upon reading the above, The Do Not Call Registry does'nt cover scammers, and anyone who has called their number or visited their site already knows you can file a complaint with them too. Shifting to the paragraph that follows, one should have some mindfulness the consumer is often still searching for essential help because scammers are'nt covered in the preceding paragraph on the Do Not Call Registry. Perhaps in hope to some degree, positive thinking, a consumer can almost naturally perceive the underlying link to "reporting unwanted calls", is to a form of reporting other than the Do Not Call Registry. Too often, the results are inevitable: unfortunate wasted effort, in consumers making no progress and discovering they're wrong.
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The FTC shares the phone numbers people report to the Do Not Call registry with telecommuncations providers.
The telecommunications providers are working on call blocking solutions, and many of those solutions rely on blacklists (databases of numbers that have been reported as the source of illegal calls). Companies use the information the FTC provides to help identify which calls should be blocked or flagged. Even if a scammer fakes caller ID information — so the number you see isn’t the scammer’s real number — reporting it can make a difference. Call blocking technologies also can help prevent this kind of spoofed traffic.
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No one released cell phone numbers.
You might have seen a spam email, or heard a rumor about cell phone numbers being released. That is not true. The truth about cell phones and the Do Not Call Registry is:
- The government is not releasing cell phone numbers to telemarketers.
- There is no deadline for registering a cell phone number on the Do Not Call Registry.