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Calls from scammers are annoying and can cause a lot of trouble when you realize, too late, that they’re scams. What’s even worse? When they target a client or loved one you’re caring for. So today, as part of National Family Caregivers Month, we’re talking about how to spot and block scam calls.

Scammers might pretend to be with the government, a grandchild, tech support, or a potential love interest. Listen to this call from a scammer pretending to be with the Social Security Administration:

The real Social Security Administration won’t threaten people or suspend their Social Security numbers and won’t ask for payment this way. It’s a scam.

Here are some steps you can take to help your loved one get fewer scam calls:

  • Look into call-blocking. There are technologies and devices that can stop a lot of scam calls and illegal robocalls before they reach you. Cell phones, home phones that make calls over the internet (VoIP), and landlines each have their own call-blocking options. Just know that call-blocking services could block some legitimate calls.
  • Sign up for the National Do Not Call registry to stop calls from real companies. But know that the registry can’t stop calls from scammers.
  • If you answer one of these calls, hang up. If possible, tell the person you’re caring for to do the same. If the call is a robocall, don’t press any numbers or it could lead to more calls.
  • Warn your loved one about scams. If possible, talk to the person you care for about different types of scams that can happen over the phone.
  • Know when to report identity theft. If you find out the person you’re caring for gave their personal information to a scammer, go to to report it and find out what you can do next.

Learn more about unwanted calls at And learn more about scams targeting older people at

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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

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Two Ton
November 15, 2021
I have had the do not call and nothing has stopped the calls. I also have a block on my phone which doesn't stop them. What a joke l
November 15, 2021
I have tried call blocking and they just use a different number. I registered for Do-Not-Call and they ignore it and you do not enforce it. Why can't the FTC find these people and send then to jail???
November 15, 2021
I get at 20 calls aday .have been for 2 years .I block them,they call from a different number.
November 15, 2021
Scammers are also in text messages. I got a text from Netflix around the time my auto payment comes due. They said they would have to shut down my account. But I called Netflix. There was no issue with my account. They gave me a phishing email so I sent them a screenshot as it has the message and what phone number it came from.
November 15, 2021
This does not take into account loved ones who have Alzheimer's. You need to be even more careful in those instances.
November 16, 2021
I read your record above, and I have "Do Not Call" and "Call-Blocking" but I still get unwanted calls. I just don't answer the phone, if they leave a message on the answering machine alright. None of the other places above, have contacted me, in anyway. I'm trying my best to "NOT" get scram, by another "scrammer".
November 15, 2021
I report phone # and name if possible to Fraud. Gov FTC will investigate
Don't Joseph y…
November 15, 2021
I'm very well aware of scammers and when I get these calls I automatically block them
November 15, 2021
I keep getting calls about extended car warranty coverage. I block the calls every time and they keep calling back from a different number. I'm not kidding, I blocked at least 50 different numbers. This is complete harassment. Is there anything I can do about this nuisance?
Tired girl!
November 15, 2021
I get 45 Robo calls a day on my land line. Unless someone familiar speaks or leaves a message, I never answer my phone. I made a list of the dates, times and numbers that had called my home for one week and took it to my provider "Spectrum" and they said that they couldn't do anything about it. I have been on the Do Not Call List since it was first offered and I update it every year to no avail. I just hate these calls. Can't someone just put them in jail for doing this to people? Lock them up and throw away the key. I know, I crimes and no consequences in the USA anymore. What an awful country we've become.
CAINAN1 Don't …
November 15, 2021
November 15, 2021
If I don't recognize the number, I don't answer. I feel if the call is legitimate the caller will leave a message. If the caller doesn't leave a message, I feel that the call must not have been important.
November 19, 2021
I recently got an email from what was purported to be Microsoft and a service fee. It said that I should call this certain number to get a refund within 72 hours or it would be taken out of my bank account. So wanting my money i called. Big mistake. They got into my bank account and scammed me out of $3500 and was trying for another 3500 when the bank became alarmed and closed my account. They were slick. They ask me to check to see if the money was there. Yes, it was, but it was pulled from my savings. They were kiting my money. Now I have a closed bank account and have to inform all the businesses that my account has been changed. I considered myself careful but when I got a threat of fraud, I lost it. Stupid mistake.
November 20, 2021
We have done all of suggested resolutions and NOTHING works. We invested in caller id , if name is not person or entity we recognize, we let call go to answer machine. Usually they will not leave a message, so probably robot. If they do identify themselves then we can weed out and/or get information necessary to report to FTC.
Concerned family
November 21, 2021
This article is nice but when your family member won’t realize a scam and continues this signal app texting after a lawyer, police officer, and every family member tells her it’s a scam we are left with no option but to sit back and watch. It’s her money she can do what she wants is the bottom line. $100+ already gone. Leonardo DiCaprio your identity has been compromised and scammers got it!!