Frauds & Scams

The Federal Communications Commission Helps Consumers Avoid Scam Calls

June 20, 2019 • By

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.

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About the Author

Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission

Comments

  1. Shirley J.

    Received call from a man claiming to be through investigative office in re : misuse of my social security number. Am suppose to have 7 bank accounts plus credit cards totaling $147,000. Said my account was being frozen for 48 hours. Any funds that were in it would lost. Is this legit?

  2. Gail P.

    The following phone number called me as a scam: 281 084-5531. It was a male’s electronic voice that said my social security had been canceled due to a security breach and wanted me to press “1” for further information. I hung up.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Gail. 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. Thanks again for helping us fight fraud.

  3. Dee G.

    Please stop insulting us with your generic, copy and paste (adding our name to your reply does not fool us at all): “Thanks for letting us know. We do not usually make random calls. If 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.”
    We want a REAL and PERSONAL reply to our complaints!! I, too, am fed up to HERE with over 40 calls per day of CRAP!

  4. Nancy G.

    I have received 3 phone calls this morning, all different #’s from people pretending to be from SSA. One # even had a name

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Nancy. Thanks for checking in with us. We do not usually make random calls. If 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.

  5. Martin A.

    Today at 1130am I received the robo call from the phone number 281 845-3539. Also my wife from number 813 285-4082. My aunt and cousin also have received this call. Please investigate.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Martin. 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. Thanks, again.

  6. Joe K.

    Keep getting calls from this number 202 746 9759 Washington D C saying I have arrest warrant for fraudulent activity. J

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for checking in with us, Joe. We do not usually make random calls. If 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. Thanks, again.

  7. Terry

    I received calls from these numbers claiming to be Social Security today with voicemail threats to my account. I call SS and learned about the scam.
    281-503-4789
    281-105-9606
    877-668-6789
    877-736-7843

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Terry. 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. Thanks, again.

  8. Ray M.

    My Son, Raymond J Marx, Jr, just got a call from 800 293 940, which told him that his social security number was blocked due to “some suspicious activity” AT&T blocked the number but, it come from his Google Voice number and they were able to leave him a message, if you’d like more information, contact him about it.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Ray. 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. Thanks, again.

  9. richard e.

    I recently received an fraudulent call of someone representing ssa. What should I do

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for checking in with us, Richard. We do not usually make random calls. If 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.

  10. Brian S.

    Scam call from 201 473 4991, left message, was answered by an Indian claiming to be “Harry Smith”.
    3:49 PM 6/26/2019.
    I have saved the voicemail if anyone wants it.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for letting us know, Brian. We do not usually make random calls. If 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. Thanks, again.

Comments are closed.