Tired of getting endless robocalls? We are too. Robocalls aren’t just a pain to get, they’re often pushing scams for things like fake auto warranties and debt relief. But scammy robocallers can’t do it alone. That’s why the FTC is taking action against Stratics Networks, a company that supplied the technology for telemarketers to make tens of millions of robocalls. But that’s not all — the FTC is also suing the debt relief companies that hired Stratics to make robocalls for their illegal debt relief services.
The FTC says that Stratics delivered illegal robocalls for a variety of telemarketers promoting offers for things like credit card and student debt relief, home buying, health insurance, cable TV discounts, and for telemarketers playing on concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Many robocalls were “ringless voicemails” — where your phone doesn’t ring but you get a voicemail with a robocall message.
Here’s what to know: a robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless the company has your written permission to call you that way. Scammers use robocalls to get your money or your personal information so they can steal your identity. They might try to convince you the call is from the government, tech support, or your auto warranty company. Don’t buy it. Even if the name or number on the caller ID looks real, it could’ve been faked.
If you get an illegal robocall:
- Hang up or delete the voicemail. Don’t press any number or call back.
- Get call blocking and call labeling apps or services. This will help you get fewer robocalls.
- Report it. Tell the FTC at DoNotCall.gov.
Watch this video about robocalls:
Share this video using the links in the player above or use the YouTube version.
Learn more at ftc.gov/robocalls.
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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Its about time. Politicians a and the phone companies should be held accountable. I block all robocalls, and still get 20 to 30 per day. I block one number, then the next day they call back on another number. If our politicians were not the "Best Money can Buy" by the phone companies and telemarketers, they would take the side of the consumer. However, democracy is being slowly destroyed by the greed of the politicians. All involved in this activity must be held accountable.
In reply to Its about time. Politicians… by Sam Smith
I used to block the robocall numbers, but hit my phone's limit of numbers I could block. For some reason it allows me to save about 10x the number of numbers I can block. The Do Not Call registry seemed like a good idea at the time. Makes me wonder of it got hacked and we're being targeted.
In reply to Its about time. Politicians… by Sam Smith
This is out of control starts at 6:00 a.m. right into the evening and on weekends the calls come in you can't call them back the phones are disconnected or sound as if they've never been a working number. So how do they get these numbers what good is it for me to block these numbers I do it all day I have a 93 year old mother who I need to answer the phone when I call and she won't because they're all scams the recorder is never have as any recordings because they hang up and they do it all day all night and I cannot get them to stop and even when I stay on the line to try to get the company name they'll hang up they've lied about how they've gotten the number or they do not tell me this number is not in the directory and we have already changed your landlines to a Cox cable line and pay for it to be out of the Yellow Pages or White Pages and still they find a way and on my cell number and I can't take it any longer how is it that I get one number and they have hundreds and hundreds same companies energy Medicare vacations I don't give out my number and I have tried every way to find where it is at to remove it the Federal Trade has a number to call that says that they will be penalized for calling this number and it doesn't make a difference I don't feel like we need any more phone call sales I used to work telemarketing they shut them all down and that was 30 years ago so what's going on now internet text messages emails I don't know a valid from a scam the bank needs three types of verification it's time consuming aggravating and they should just not be able to call it all because they've abused the system hire a massive team to look at these numbers find out how they have these numbers to call from and start penalizing them I've had my Allstate car insurance call me and it said potential scam so I'm reluctant to block them all I block so many numbers I hope that they're all truly scams because I'm going to miss my important phone calls because I've blocked so many and I can't keep blocking everyday 10-15 calls . It must be big business because nobody's found an answer but when I make a phone call it can be traced it gets billed it's taxed and yet somebody must have a thousand phone numbers at their disposal to call out on and yet when I call in they're no good they get a recording that's been disconnected or it's not in service or I've dialed it incorrectly and I want to know how they get that and who is going to stop it it's ridiculous sorry I don't have a secretary it's harassment undo unnecessary wake up at 6:00 a.m. Non-Stop
In reply to Its about time. Politicians… by Sam Smith
You've nailed it! The FTC must push Congress to take action against robocalls. It makes NO sense that you can continue to be harassed when you have clearly indicated that you're not interested by blocking numbers.
Thank you for keeping us all safe! It died not go unnoticed. :)
Do not call registry does not work at all. Have been on it for years and I get more robocalks than anyone I know
In reply to Do not call registry does… by Sue Hoffman
I agree the registry does not work. FTC needs to use the registry to hold the ISP responsible. Better regulation and better enforcement would help.
In reply to Do not call registry does… by Sue Hoffman
I totally agree with you!!!!!!! For years I use to report every single robo call I got and their protection wasn't worth the time and effort that I used. I stopped and started blocking calls myself and getting a program thru my cable and cell phone companies. All free!! I still get some calls but not half as many as when I left it up to the Do Not Call People!!!!
17 February 2023. Thank you for this timely information and reminder, I will pass it to my family and friends! I understand that the "Do Not Call" list may need checking as friends inform me that they believe they were removed?
If the FTC wants to get serious about stopping robocallers than it's time to name the people behind these scams along with mug shot photos and places where they reside so that the communities know who is amonst them. In addition, the AT&T local exchanges and other backbone networks on our landlines can easily determine which systems are calling/ sending heavy voice and data packets and suspend any services by disconnecting their phones thus blocking services. So we have to ask, why isn't this being done if we really want to be serious about stopping these criminals and providing Americans relief? If the issie is supposedly coming from offshore as well than consider the same traffic monitoring and disconnects could apply to the Trans Atlantic Cable/Trans Pacific Cable hubs. They all enter via an exchange that could be used to block bad actors. So why aren't we seeing these mug shots, bad call center employees arrested, and taking the actions suggested?
In reply to If the FTC wants to get… by Captain America
I need to agree with Captain America. If national networks, e.g. AT&T, can control our outgoing calls then why can't they stop the robocallers? They must know who they are; in comparison to legitimately registered commercial businesses. The same goes for the Trans Atlantic and Trans Pacific cable hubs.
Thank you for the continued work of the FTC to protect all US consumers from the clutches of these dragons!
Thank you FTC for the work you do on our behalf. Very much appreciated.
In reply to Thank you FTC for the work… by Ken
Yes, Thank You FTC! Keep up the good work!
Go for it - I have stared screening all my 'landline' calls 'cause almost all my calls are 'robo'
They also call using someone else phone number. I've had some of them too.
FTC for President!
Here's whats been working for us for a few years. When someone(something?) calls, weather we're here or not; our answering MACHINE (not some application) picks up after 4 rings and states the following. "Hello, if you are a person or entity that we do not know, then don't bother leaving your message just hang up as we will not respond, just go away, thank you." Since then, we have gone from countless calls and messages to an average of 4 calls daily that are hang-ups! By the way, this is a home house line connected by wire from our street. My wife has noted that these "hang-up calls" come within the same hour - every time.
In reply to Here's whats been working… by Ron Sarner
I’ve set my ANSWERING MACHINE to pick up on the 3rd ring, and the playback starts with the Tritone “do, dooo, doooot... the number you have reached...” the tone one hears when you dial a non-working number. Friends know about it, and if I am giving out my number to someone who must call me, I warn them about the machine. Over time, my garbage calls have gone from 10-12/day to 2-3 week. PS, this is for a landline, not a ‘”schmardtfone”’.
From my experience the do not call registry does not work. I have received a constant increase of Robocalls and scam calls each year. So it's getting worse instead of better.
I appreciate the effort but it's too little. constant of scam calls is putting US citizens at risk of doing their hard earned money. More needs to be done. Thanks
Thank you for the lawsuit. Gov’t should consider funding RoboKiller since it does us no good to report the scams since they spoof phone numbers and do not call list has been useless.
Surely the telecom companies have the technology to determine that there is a large volume of calls being generated from a particular source, and then block that source.
I get some 6 - 10 calls unidentified per day which are from someone not on my contact list. I block them, delete them. ignore them. The problem is some vendors I deal with use unlisted phones so I don't pay attention to them either. If I expect a call from a vendor I add them to my contact list but that only works for listed phone numbers.
FTC should catch at least a few companies that are making robocalls and give them exemplary fines, and punishment which may discourage other companies from using robocalls to harass consumers.
Following FTC advice, we obtained a new phone system that blocks all calls unless they are "in our system" or they enter a numerical number/code. For the robo calls, it rings once and that is the end...
If legit companys, that really want our business or even do business with, they should sign up for ID calling, there company name should come up on our ring call. Like our doctors office, DR Stevens xxx-xxx-xxxx, that way we won,t mistake our doctor and not answer and put under block. we call see right from beginning whos calling me.Names and numbers used to not be so secretive back when we had phone books. need to catch these scammers, robos, spammers, whatever and jail them. Let us know who is really calling us.
RoboCalls have been going on for years! Where's the FTC Been ??
Thank you FTC. No one should have to endure the endless robo calls from unsolicited sources. I have done everything I can to stop the calls for years with some success. However, there is little I can do to stop the most persistent offenders. It takes government action against those who gain economically by enabling illegal activity. I hear a lot these days about "government" restricting their freedoms. Well I for one applaud government restricting people from engaging in activities that violate other peoples freedoms. Those who employ Robo calls and those who enable the practice have no regard for the rights or freedoms of those they target. Making a living by harassing those who are told "DO NO CALL" is not a legitimate job.
Thank goodness. I get those auto lease/warranty calls A LOT! So glad they are taking notice. :)
This is way past due. The fact that this situation was allowed to get so out of control in the first place is an epic demonstration of government failure. Protect us! Do better! I pay almost $100 a month for my mobile service and I can't even answer the phone because of all the scammy junk that is abusing our communications infrastructure. Verizon, AT&T, ect. are the biggest most powerful companies in the world. They haven't adequately addressed this issue because they don't want to! Incentivize them to fix it!
Tons of robot calls and medicare solisitors, also tell them to take my name off the list and they never do that either. Wish I could turn in all these phone numbers that call here.
These calls are so disturbong every day all day long. I turn my phone off because of them. Very annoying. Thankful you are handleing this problem.
oh THANK YOU! FINALLY some RELIEF! They start here on the west coast at 5am. (3 hr later than NYC) THANKS jerks. FINALY we get some reprive from these greaseballs. They targed DO NOT CALL list. So PERHAPS you should be more careful where you send it and what information you give out for that number. Ive said from the gettyup you should go after the companies that allow these apps. GOOD MOVE and THANK you Ive been waiting for this for 15 years.
Thank you for the effort on the robocalls. Most times, the caller can be blocked only to have the same scammer call back on a different number. Another area to investigate is unwanted or unsolicited text messages. I receive a couple of those texts per week. Those cannot be blocked only deleted.
Like most people, I never answer my phone if I don’t have the number in my contacts. And guess what, I will miss those important call-backs from doctors’ offices because they do not call you back from their listed phone number. Do not call lists don’t work. At the end of the article, it says to report this to the FTC. Report what? A robocall that doesn’t provide enough information to report?
Don't stop there... telephone providers should offer their Robitaille protection for FREE. Verizon has an upcharge. Are you kidding? Why in today's technology should a provider benefit more for a service to protect their customers?
It is about time, robocalls are more than a nuisance. They are or should be illegal.
My phone is constantly full of calls, texts, emails that are robo
Dear ftc.gov webmaster, You always provide great examples and real-world applications.
I am glad the FTC is taking action against these companies. With so many low-cost wireless service providers who do not have or cannot afford the technology to deal with robocalls, this situation is getting out of hand.
Kudos to the FTC for at least trying to do something about it.
What about the companies that have the computer generated phone numbers, if you block one they just call from another? what if they aren't in the United States?
I get phone calls from PAF! Over and over again! So, I looked them up and sent an email for them to stop calling me but they said it wasn't them! They don't call anyone! So, these other PAF are scammers and spoofing the real PAF's phone number!
Hello ftc.gov admin, Your posts are always well organized and easy to understand.
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