Skip to main content

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.

March 22, 2019
Hello Bridget I have been getting calls using my own name and number? I don't want to block myself and am surprised my unlisted number has been spoofed. It would be nice to see this resolved as the scammers are getting more sophisticated and what a shame that you can't feel safe enough to answer your own phone. We need a helpful resolution other then discontinuing all phone services. What's next quit the internet too? Thank You
Nothing Works
February 13, 2019
I have been on the Do Not Call List for years!!!! And have made sure that my numbers are still registered, and they are. Still get these calls every day!!! Have reported, and reported, but the numbers being used to call are fake. Unless you want to do without a phone, there is no way to stop it!!! Until the carriers and lawmakers decide to do something about it, we are all screwed. But what else is new.
February 17, 2019
Blocking numbers is ineffective -- spoofers rotate the last four digits, giving nearly endless number combinations. Here's one solution: I have a cell phone area code, 971. That makes it easy to spot spoofed calls, because those always have your home area code. Buy a phone with a non-local area code.
February 18, 2019
I am listed w DNC and still receive so many telemarketer calls from listed and unlisted numbers. It is so bad, I have to keep my phones on silent. If I answer and tell them Do Not Call, they hang up before I can finish saying it. I block the numbers and get calls from the same places, different numbers. It is out of hand.
February 18, 2019
There has to be something out there can STOP all this ! It is a WASTE of my TIME having to block and reporting all calls everyday to the FTC! It seems to me that FTC is not helping out one bit. It is just a WASTE of TIME! Also how do they even use my phone number to call other people? This has to STOP!
February 19, 2019
I think the phone carriers need to be charged a fine or pay the people that they call and when you call back it is no longer in service. If they would get charged a fee they would be losing money and might reconsider scamers using non working numbers. The fcc needs to fine the phone carriers and make them pay all the people the scammers have called.
February 21, 2019
With all these complaints,it does not appear the gov. will fix the problem.
March 22, 2019
Can't anything be done about these calls 2, 3 or 4 a day? When I've answered they say something about back or knee brace. Sometime same number is used, but most of the time different number Some of the numbers: 425-365-0389 931-269-4728 865-0940-8009 931-455-2346 931-788-5125 '931-302-6150 731-461-1316 931-258-6532 615-933-2235
March 03, 2019
Just got a message with 18 other#s for what I feel is porn. Usually I can block from my phone but since this was a mass message, I guess I couldn't. They had a group of #s matching first 6 digits of my plus 10 #s in NC area code 336-470. But at the top of the message it had 424-571-3057, so I blocked it thru my online acct.
Justin Seine
March 05, 2019
My VOIP provides me with an electronic phone book where I store annotated entries of those I know and wish to take call from. It also allows me to create rules about how it should treat incoming calls. I simply set up a rule that says: If the areacode + the exchange (the first 6 digits of the calling number) is equal to mine but the complete 10 digit calling number is not in my phone book then the call is disposed of as the rule outlines. My options I have for disposing of the call are many and varied. For example: I can send them directly to voicemail. I can have them type in a random digit (0-9) that is automatically generated if they wish to complete the call. I can give them a busy signal or I can route the call anywhere in the world I choose. My favorite is routing them to "Lenny the Bot" which is a piece of software that dialogues with them attempting to keep them on the line as long as possible. I had one go on for 38 minutes (which I can find out by looking at my call logs). My phone does not ring and I would be unaware of any of these calls it if I didn't periodically look any my phone logs. If an unwanted call does get through I just associate it with an existing rule or write a new one. Examination of the logs tells me that I usually trap between 100-200 calls per month. Most of them now coming in from my area code exchange combination.
My son died. H…
March 07, 2019
I am sick to my stomach I am so upset. My son was 29 years old when he dies unexpectedly while he was at work. He worked for the Federal Correctional agency. He died at work. Today I got a call from a scammer and it was my son's name that came across the caller ID> SOmething has to be done to stop these scammers. If I knew where the person was that made the call I would have the police arrest him.
March 22, 2019
Do not call list is 100% worthless. Don’t even bother. Never answer ANY calls from numbers you do not know, people! Seriously!
March 17, 2019
The only way I found to block calls reliably on my land line was to use an old modem and laptop and list the numbers I want allowed through (my whitelist) and block everything else, phone rings modem detects the number and looks it up in a database if the number isn't there it hangs up. I tried using the call block on the phone but soon ran out and had to start over again.
March 26, 2019
I've been getting threatening voicemails from people who are being repeatedly called "from my number" and are going to "track me down personally." So not only do I get these calls, but my number is being used to make them. I reply with a text message telling people to block my number, but that doesn't always help. I've had my number for over 12 years, so I don't want to change it. This has to stop.
Sir Broke
March 30, 2019
I have been getting these calls like three times a day as well, except unlike what I've been reading here in the comments, I actually DO get voice messages after I don't answer. I know these are indeed scams, because 1, I still love at home and don't have anything to do with what they are calling about, and 2, most messages/calls contain the first 6 digits of my own number. Also, not only am I receiving both calls AND voice messages, I AM ALSO GETTING TEXT MESSAGES FROM THESE PEOPLE! Yesterday, I got a group text message from TEN PEOPLE, in which 9/10 of them share my first 6 digits. (Also, this has happened twice in the past few days.) What do they send me, you ask? A random link. Did I click on this link? Of course not! Never open a link via text, sometimes even from people you already know. It may be spoofed if it's from someone you know, and most of the time it's going to be a virus. (Sorry for the rambling), has anyone else gotten text messages and voice messages from scam callers?
NickyDon't use…
April 07, 2019
I get about 5-10 calls a day and many show up with a long number beginning with a V. I do not answer them now, but when I had, no one replys. What is the reason for the call?
April 12, 2019
I get these neighbor spoofing calls on my landline and cell, what can be done? Can our carriers stop them!? What about our legislators? They are getting out of hand. I do occasionally report them to the FTC No Call Registry. Does that affect the person whose number is spoofed?
April 25, 2019
Pardon me while I vent... :) I'm constantly asking myself why am I paying for a phone, any phone (home/cell), phone service, internet service when I can't even answer my phone, can't open an e-mail etc etcthat because of scams, annoying robo-calls, solicitors & then of course there's good chance of a what ever new & approved virus etc that not only ruins our electronics but makes us vulnerable to identify theft & because of that we have to pay for internet-VPN/wifi privacy, anti-virus oh & my favorite... Identity Protection; so who's scamming who exactly?! I stopped using Facebook & all the others 6 yrs ago & even tried going back to paying bills by check only now Banks charge if you go to a branch instead of using one of their convenient ATM which scammers have access to & use a chip reader along with every card reader out there. You do everything possible not to become a victim & what happens, major retail stores, Facebook, yahoo, google, incl state websites were all hacked & let's not forget the Major Credit Companies whose main responsibility is/was keeping our personal information safe and failed. Thanks to Yahoo, Home Depot, Target, Equifax, State of (..), they have all my information; none of which I myself gave them.... I appreciate the hard work FTC provides to keep us informed, I truly do but why aren't these companies being held accountable? After all, it's not as if I have a choice that credit & government agencies keep my information...
April 29, 2019
How hard it can be to let phone providers to show real phone numbers and caller IDs?
May 02, 2019
Clark Howard has a list of area codes that appear to be US, but are usually Carabean. They result in a high per minute charge on your phone bill.
Tom C
May 10, 2019
If the company is spoofing the number, then how does it do any good to report the number. By definition it is fake. And that is the issue. It is identity theft, which is a crime and should be prosecuted. My number identifies me. I use it with the bank, doctor's offices, my kid's school, etc. When someone else uses it, my name is on the caller ID. The company has stolen my identity for the call. The FTC should be prosecuting as an accomplice any company that makes spoofing possible. There are companies that offer equipment for spoofing, companies that do the spoofing for other entities, and the phone companies may have a means to prevent it, but don't. All of them should be subject to prosecution. As for the phone companies, my landline originates from one provider. The providers could communicate (immediately electronically) to verify that the call came through the registered phone company for that number. If not, it is identified as spoofed and stopped. This may be harder with cell phones because they share cell towers. But to bill me, they have to recognize me. So it's likely simple after all. If it is me, let it go through. If someone not me is using my number, stop it. And if you don't stop it, the FTC should prosecute.
Lady kilowatt
May 23, 2019
Yesterday I flat ran out of patience. After trying to take a nap and repeatedly getting calls from two separate scam numbers, I tried something new. I answered and set the phone down. Tied up their line for up to 90 minutes with the first caller, and over 30 minutes twice with the second. At least they weren't able to use that line to scam others! This may be the answer, if we all do it!
May 26, 2019
We received calls showing our own land line number. 6 times within 2 hours or so?
May 27, 2019
The last few days I’ve received calls with a 206 area code and a 279 prefix. These calls can’t be blocked. Today I have received 8 calls, 9849, 9828 twice, 9805, 9763 twice, 9825, & 9823. With the above area code and prefix!!!
June 04, 2019
Twice this week I was called from my own number. Last week it was my wife's and daughter's numbers. I got the email address for the state Rep here. I'm going to email him every time I get a call. Them I'm going to call his office. Maybe eventually they will get the point that it is harrasment. May they will eventually pass a law outlawing it.
June 09, 2019
My Dad got a call from a spam company. The number came up as his phone number using my deceased mom's name. It's kind of creepy, wrong, and should be stopped.
June 17, 2019
How does reporting the number help?! You’d be reporting a private number, not the telemarketer’s.
annoyed in dur…
June 19, 2019
i am getting up to 12 calls a day from numbers that match my number but the last 4 numbers vary. they leave no message. if i pick up i get an automated" good bye". whats the deal...? whats the goal? if you leave no message and do not answer when i pick up...why bother? this is annoying and reporting 12 different numbers per day to the do not call registry is a chore. guess i have to endure this abuse.
Did not know
June 21, 2019
I didn't know anything about spoofing and I got scammed. I have all kinds of blocks on my phone and they didn't work. If the number is legit it won't be blocked if they have your area code they can fake your local government number such as the police department there should be certain designated area codes for robo calls and telemarketing also government numbers should have a recording telling you who's calling and how u you can call them back that way if you don't hear a recording you know it's fake. The government should be more proactive in this area. If they can't make better lews then make better solutions. I'm not as concerned about the Middle East as I am about paying my bills which I can't now because they took ALL my money and the bank says they can't help the FDIC insurers your money when the bank is robbed but not when you're scammed and gives you no tools or information to help you be aware. Technology is moving just as fast in illegal activities as it is in the legal areas. I'm retired and can't keep up with everything. Now there's virtual money what the heck is that???? So new seniors, seniors and super seniors the best response to anyone asking for money or personal information is to say "NO" and hang up and call a love one. Because your phone number is being sold everywhere Good Luck
Whistle blower
July 01, 2019
So far today I have received 13 nuisance calls - some numbers as below: 001411 74149553; 01867 553998; 01272 367679; 01252 505926; 019487 26472; 01543 842666; 0014411 741495 and so it went on. Eventually recorded message said my internet being disconnected!
July 02, 2019
How come it is so hard to reach the fraud line on the phone? My report is simple This phone number called me saying "Hi, I'm calling from the office of Social Security" While I know that SS does not call people, I wanted to see what they wanted- of course personal information to verify my identity there phone is 206 923 9395. Would somebody report this to the right person? Thanks
July 06, 2019
Unfortunately, the do not call list only works with companies that are interested in following the law. Too many companies are not and people get frustrated with the do not call list. The problem is that it's virtually free to place these calls and they can change numbers in a split second.
July 15, 2019
I got a call that had my area code. I answered thinking it was a doctor office. The guy used my first name then I said ‘yes’ then a women’s voice came in and said !end’ I believe and it was disconnected. So what will happen now?
fed-up with de…
September 27, 2019
Un-solicited Telemarketing calls are invasive and annoying. When "they" disguise their location by using a LOCAL APPEARING phone number (be it area code, or local exchange) that is DECEPTIVE, and illegal pursuant to Consumer Protection Laws. They INTEND to mislead you, in hopes you'll answer their sales call.
October 18, 2019
I have registered on the do not call list I don’t know what good it does. I get calls constantly on my cell phone and home phone there should be an end to this. They do it because they can!
phil griffith
November 27, 2019
so many unwanted calls every day it has created a safety issue for us. something more should be done by the government (FTC, FDIC,FCC, etc)!!!!!!!
Russell M.
November 30, 2019
Recently recieved multiple calls from various Ohio numbers. When I call back it's not real or whoever answers didn't make the call.
December 04, 2019
Also, call blocking doesn't help because these thiefs use a different number each time. If I ever reach a real person to complain, they are totally unaware of the scam! Hope my number isn't used but who knows? What do they want really, or just to harass us?
December 21, 2019
Scammers asking for bank information 189 469 7829 can’t call them back fake numbers
January 14, 2020
I get these exact spoof calls, multiple times a day, for a few years now. I decided to stop blocking them when first realized they were spoof, because they could turn out to be someones real phone number. Confirmed for me when another lady were connected and discussed the annoying calls. She recieved a spoof call, from my actual real phone number, and was fed up this particular day and decided to text the number and call later. we chatted. Our phone numbers are all rotated. its not only unoccupied phone numbers. its so frustrating.
January 19, 2020
I have been getting what comes up as a "private number" call me at unusual times and days, like, Sunday at 9 am, and Monday night at 11 pm. When I go to my actual phone app it first shows me an "N" and when I click on it to see more information is shows me the number "6", is this a person who is intentionally hiding their number from me? I refuse to pick it up, and they don't ever leave a message, and of course, there's no way to block it, even though I have that feature.
Mr. Lee
January 30, 2020
I get a call at least once a day from a company or person my phone identifies them every time as "PORTFOLIOCO" I must have at least 100 numbers from them blocked, they change the number and call again, there seems to be no stopping them. I have all my numbers on the do not call list, it makes no difference they call me anyway. I wish I could block them by name maybe that would help, sick and tired of them calling me, they call early morning and late into the evening, highly annoying. I need help.
Fed up
September 06, 2020
None of this info was helpful. I pay for my phone. I pay for the minutes on my one has a right to use all my minutes by sending texts trying to get me to but something or call me to get me to donate $$. This is MY phone.
February 02, 2021
These callers seem to generate random legitimate local numbers to get you to answer. If I am not expecting a call and am not familiar with the number even if its a local number I do not answer. The best way to stop this stuff is to not answer these calls. Some people just can't seem to help themselves. Anything important and people will leave a message. Just refrain from being tempted to answer every call you get. Occasionally, I do like to answer them and mess with them. Maybe get them pissed off enough to never call me again. Like to waste their time like they do mine.
April 09, 2021
I would rather our government take action against criminals than tell me how to avoid them
May 24, 2021
How do you stop someone from using your business phone number as a scam