Nobody likes getting bombarded with robocalls. Not only are they annoying, but they’re often pushing scams for things like fake auto warranties and credit card debt relief programs. The FTC and law enforcement agencies from all 50 states are taking action to stop them. And you can help, too.
Today, the FTC and its federal and state law enforcement partners announced Operation Stop Scam Calls, the latest joint effort in the fight against illegal robocalls. Today’s announcement outlines the enforcement actions to stop multiple dishonest telemarketers, the companies that hire them, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers that supply the technology for telemarketers to make millions of scammy robocalls.
Here's how you can help:
- Know your rights. A robocall trying to sell you something is illegal unless the company has your written permission to call you that way. Read the article Robocalls for more.
- Spot the scams that use illegal robocalls. Many illegal robocalls lead to scams. They might try to convince you the call is from the government, tech support, or your auto warranty company, but it’s not. It’s a scam. Listen to some examples of robocall scams.
- Hang up on phone scams. Some scammers will call you and say you won a prize but you have to pay to get it. (Don’t. It’s a scam.) Or the scammer may say that you’ll be arrested for money you owe and that you have to pay immediately. (That’s also a scam.) Hang up or delete the voicemail. Don’t press any number or call back. For more advice, read Phone Scams.
- Report scams and illegal robocalls. Reporting helps law enforcement and investigators stop scams and illegal robocalls. Report scams at ReportFraud.ftc.gov and report illegal robocalls at DoNotCall.gov.
For more advice on how to stop unwanted calls, check out ftc.gov/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.
- 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 ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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.
They should stop all of them, expeciall Spam Risk and those that come in with just Brooklyn, or Staten Island or another State on it. I get 10 Span Risk calls a day and I have given some numbers to the "Do Not Call group" where I gave my number again, but still get ten calls a day from them. I tell them I am on a "Do Not Call List" and they still call again and again.
I never answer any calls. After they hang up, I block them.
So when I report a scam call - what does the FTC do? Is there some action in the wings, or am I just wasting my time reporting scams?
In reply to So when I report a scam call… by Margaret Stringer
To learn about Operation Stop Scam calls, click on the words underlined in blue in the second paragraph. Go to the press release that explains: The Federal Trade Commission and more than 100 federal and state law enforcement partners nationwide, including the attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, announced a new crackdown on illegal telemarketing calls involving more than 180 actions targeting operations responsible for billions of calls to U.S. consumers.
The initiative targets telemarketers and the companies that hire them and takes action against lead generators who deceptively collect and provide consumers’ telephone numbers to robocallers and others, falsely representing that these consumers have consented to receive calls. The effort also targets Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers who facilitate illegal robocalls every year, which often originate overseas.
What do I do about text messages. I get several a day.
In reply to What do I do about text… by Gisela Drew
Instantly block them. Don't open their text and moreover don't press the link (don't even sub click to see source info).
In reply to Instantly block them. Don't… by KH
1) How could I know it's a SCAM text, if I don't Open the message? How could simply Viewing -- but *not* tapping -- a text message initiate any harmful event? Just looking? And (2) I thought the very *Reason* for the Source information button itself is so my browser can show me *Who* sent it!?!?
I had to buy an answering machine with a telephone for my brother Billy Phillips. They call his aid says Mon. Thru Fr. Non Stop. What else can I do??? He is on the not call list. But I am not there.
My iPhone is set to send all callers who are not in my contact list to voicemail. Unknown callers are silent calls. My phone does not ring. Then my voicemail greeting says if the caller wants to me to call them back they must leave a voicemail message. "All callers who do not leave a message will have their numbers blocked." I never receive robo callers now. They do not leave messages. I only get voicemail messages from legitimate callers. Then I can add those legitimate callers to my contact list, and their calls will then bypass voicemail and ring my phone. Spam/scam/robo callers are no longer a problem.
In reply to My iPhone is set to send all… by Thomas Carlucci
Thank you, great idea!
I still get solicitor calls and I’m on the state and federal do not call lists. Can’t understand why
I have all calls go straight to voicemail. That helps. But I do get numerous emails about accounts being locked and payments over due. Can I forward these emails to someone who can use them to use them to stop fraud?
I NEVER answer any call from a number not in my contacts list. If it's someone genuinely calling for me, they'll leave a message and identify themselves!
In reply to I NEVER answer any call from… by Shariys
this will never work until you penalize the phone companies who make million on these calls.
me notifying a government agency has no impact on reducing these calls .
Thank you for taking action
I am Kedrian Hambrick i had a serious problem with robo calls and transparentcy phone interuption and unknown contacts unauthorized phone access expanding four different phone carriers and over 1500 unauthorized contacts link to my phone acount, The carriers were Boost Mobile Metro pcs At&t and straight talk wireless whivh caused a loss to personal and finacial credentials and information. The 1500 + contacts linked to my At&t icloud were all boost mobile contacts and accounts that were unknown to me and unauthorized.Making my iphone xr transparentcy vonerable and allowed the violation of privacy loss of personal information and finacial with a large sum of money lost from Greendot Wells Fargo And Cash app
it has all been disputed with the FTC and identidy theft reports causeing bills for credit montering and identidy theft protection and insurance with 7 different agenceies but still no compensation also A postal mail and email issue with no resolution up till present day the disputes and identidty theft is still being investigated
My Name is Kedrian Hambrick
I've been complaining about this for years. The FTC's "Do Not Call" list is a joke.
Until the FTC bans the sale of spoofing machines it will continue.
The last few weeks I've been receiving calls allegedly from Spectrum a telecom company. I've kept a record of the numbers and traced them . Yesterday I called Spectrum and filed a complaint. I should NOT have to spend hours of my personal time doing the government's job. The FCC and the FTC are wasting taxpayer money and who knows how much they are "compensated" to ignore the problems.
Just HOW does one report calls from UNASSIGNED / INVALID / NO OWNER telephone #s which have been obviously spoofed???
Such as: 253-737-1934 ; 253-518-1642 ; 253-218-3791 ; 253-203-7024 and many many others.
We screen our calls w/CID and Whitepages.com, thus, we do not answer every time the phone rings. Therefore, we seldom have any details to report on the DoNotCall.gov and ReportFraud.ftc.gov sites; however, we do report when we've substance to share.
In reply to Just HOW does one report… by Larry G Hardison
You can also report calls and text messages from unassigned, invalid, and no owner telephone numbers to www.DoNotCall.gov
You can provide as much information as you have, for example: did you get a call or text? What phone number got the call/text? What date and time did you get the call/text?
Given recent efforts by the FTC and private phone carriers, I am happy to say I am receiving far less robocalls than in past years.
I use an app named ActiveArmor. It is an ATT&T app. I am an ATT&T telephone service user.
Our Sheriff’s Office has advised not to answer call’s unless you know the number. Good advice. Only a few calls actually leave message.
From my perspective at times it is more difficult to recognize a scam sent by text or email or FB.
Thanks for all you are doing.
It seems to be working! We used to average about a scam call a day; & it's now down to just a few a month. Good advice on how to handle 'em. Thanks Uncle Sam (FTC) & my WA state AG. Everyone take care!
I am hard of hearing and use a caption phone. The number of unwanted calls I receive daily is unbelievable. I called the contact number and was told that my phone provider (Verizon.com) is supposed to eliminate these calls; however, when I checked, Verizon charges its customers for this kind of oversight. That doesn't seem right. So I just keep deleting these calls.
For years you’ve been saying you’re going to stop the calls. What happened to the technology that verifies caller id announce a few years ago? The government is impotent against them. They keep finding ways around whatever you do. The calls keep coming.
Thanks for sharing
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Now what can you do about the phoney CBD scams using famous people as their "gotcha". I see them daily advertising. I was almost caught by one recently, but my bank called me from their fraud unit to verify what was a $35 purchase, was turned into $198 charge.
Thanks for your help in finding these people.
I was hurt badly by a scam in July 2020. They stole over $26,000 from my bank account. Everything I had in savings. I am 70 years old. They scared me into giving it to them via wire fraud and said they'd return it because it was a mistake. I filed claims with NYS Attorney General, TDBank Fraud and the FTC Fraud. No help from anywhere. I have given up because I believe claims of "contact us for help" are scams too.
These scamming companies use genuine phone numbers and info so they cannot be traced. My own name and number has even come up before when I have been called. Not sure how you can trace them if this happens .
Why hasn't anyone put an end to spam calls yet? & ESPECIALLY spam TEXTS!!!! I'm beginning to think there's money involved or it would've been stopped a long time ago. So sad!
I am a victim too
Send the call to voice-mail or leave for your answering machine. If the caller leaves a valid effort to contact you, call them back or don't.
My best weapon is to very quickly decline the call, no message then block number; robocall message then block their number.
I have more blocked numbers than contacts,
IF YOU ANSWER then your number is listed as Active then they call more often and pass your number along.
Until you force American telecommunications companies to completely block these spam calls coming from overseas, we will still be inundated. We get 20 or more calls a day where the caller ID is either "Unavailable", or they spoof some person's or company's name.
I can't tell you how many calls I have received for auto warranty and others advising me I will be approved for $36,000.00 if I just call them back!!!! They will continue to call from different phone numbers. I just keep blocking ever number I am not familiar with. They do leave messages, so you know blocking the number was the right choose. The calls seem to have slowed down.
I have received 6 Scam Calls today. These are the Numbers:423-466-5754, 239-342-1273, 321-410-3877, 305-508-3755,727-945-5396, 407-863-4033. I tired of scam call all day long. Thank if you can help.
I receive at least a dozen scam calls a day. This is not an exaggeration. Using a call blocker as the FTC website suggests is useless because the overseas scammers are using phone number spoofing software. About ten years ago the FTC shut down several overseas phone call service providers. I believe there were a total of four of them from Arizona and Upstate New York that were providing volume overseas calling services for these scam call centers. The FTC has done nothing meaningful to combat or stop these scam calls since then. About two and a half years ago, former NASA scientist and current youtuber Mark Rober was able to infiltrate and prank several scam call centers in India that were operating as "legitimate" call centers, yet the FTC is apparently sitting on its hands and unable do anything even with the power of the US Government behind it? This is pathetic to say the least.