The Federal Communications Commission Helps Consumers Avoid Scam CallsReading Time: 2 Minutes
Last Updated: June 20, 2019
You know those robocalls from scammers that you keep getting on your phones? We get them at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), too.
Scammers use a technique known as spoofing to mask their caller ID on your phone and disguise their identities to steal valuable personal information, including your bank account passwords and Social Security number. In one recent case, the toll-free number of the FCC’s Consumer Center was used to disguise the actual incoming call number.
We’ve alerted the public to the problem and have taken measures to prevent this from happening again. We’re aware that the same thing happens with Social Security’s phone number. Some callers may pressure you for personal information or immediate payment; others offer deals that seem too good to be true. The number of calls is daunting, but we are taking action to turn the tide against spoofed robocalls.
The first line of defense is consumer awareness. The FCC provides guidance about spoofing scams and robocalls, including consumer resources for call-blocking apps and other services. We also post timely articles on the FCC Consumer Help Center website to alert you to the latest scams and amplify consumer warnings from Social Security and other government agencies. Consumers can keep track of these alerts by following @FCC on Twitter.
We recommend the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of a call scam:
- Don’t answer calls from numbers you don’t recognize.
- If the caller is not who you were expecting, hang up immediately.
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, passwords, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, or other identifying information if a call seems suspicious.
In its continuing efforts to help stifle malicious phone scams, the FCC empowered phone companies to aggressively block by default unwanted and illegal robocalls before they reach consumers.
It’s all about safeguarding the American public. We’ll continue to partner with Social Security, the Federal Trade Commission, and other federal agencies to get the job done.See Comments
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I have gotten up to 20 phone calls a day. Even if I block them all they do is change the last digit on the number and call again. Not answering doesn’t help, they keep calling, blocking doesn’t help. Have gotten a call from a Dr’s office and answered it thinking they had the wrong number, it was a robo call. They seem to get around any blocks. It gets annoying. If I’m on the phone, there is one number that will call every 1 to 1 1/2 minutes annoying beeping in the ear, and once off the call will end up with sometimes 5-7 phone calls. Something really needs to be done to stop this. Know people need work, but there must be something that can be done. help!!!!
The one scam call I get constantly is from Nancy and the other one is from Jason. They call about 3 times a day on my cell phone.
My cell phone is useless for business purposes. I no longer trust cell phone calls/notices supposedly from my bank; instead, I go to the bank in person when I need to make a transaction. Yes, I live close to shopping where the bank is located. At first, I would give my bank account number and credit card number to prove I was an honest customer of the bank. No more; scammers are too frequent and have ruined any hope of cell phone companies to provide a safe avenue for banking customers.
also, don’t push any buttons.. like “push 8 if you don’t want to
hear from us again!”
I START RECEIVED THIS CALLS AFTER RETIRED..I THINK SOMEBODY INSIDE SSI..SELL INFORMATION…I TIRED WITH THIS..AND INSPECTORS FROM SSI NEVER ANSWER..PLEASE STOP THIS..
I have several scam calls saved on my land line phone. Do you still encourage people to report the numbers and conversation to the Do Not Call website?
I have been getting them on my Comcast phone. Some using more then 6 numbers. I have a phone that blocks the calls if we do not answer. But they start using false names to use another number.
I received 2 different phone calls this morning (June 20,2019) with the same exact voicemail. Both have stated that they are from the Department of Social Service and had just suspended my social security number due to suspicious activity. It should be noted the caller ID is presented as “United States” and the phone numbers are +1(510)112-7561 & +1(510)112-7585
Hi Be. Thank you for letting us know about these calls. We do not usually make random calls. If you or anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams here. We hope this helps.
Not just phone calls. Beware of messages from friends telling you you can receive federal Grant’s. As much as $160,000. They just want you to pay a delivery fee of $700 to ship you the check. Sign off and call the authorities. They have hacked your friend’s social media account and are contacting everyone on the friend list.
I got two calls just today the same number shows up from North Carolina and said I need to contact there agents right away. An got a few before said he was social security an then said he was from Kentucky fried chicken to have free delivery
Hi Donald. Thank you for letting us know about these calls. We do not usually make random calls. If you or anyone receives calls saying that they are from Social Security, do not give out any personal information. Suspicious calls should be reported to the Office of the Inspector General at 1-800-269-0271 or online. You can also report these scams to the Federal Trade Commission through a new site specific to Social Security scams here. We hope this helps.
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Patrick Webre, Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission
Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission