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.

See Comments

About the Author

Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission

Comments

  1. Jim W.

    While the advice given is adequate for cell phone users, it is not enoungh for those who also have a landline or ONLY have a landline. In these cases one should arrange to sign up with their service provider for Caller ID and purchase a telephone that will display same. An alternate solution is to buy an inexpensive answering machine (a one time expense) and monitor all incoming landline calls which should not be answered unless the caller identifies him/herself and you wish to talk them.

  2. elaine t.

    Do you want to know phone numbers of people who receive these calls?

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for checking in with us, Elaine. 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.

  3. Shelley R.

    Last night I received a telephone call – caller Id showed BUDA TX *** – ** – ***. I did not answer the call and it went to my voice message. The called said “she is calling from Social Security Administration Office – her name Amanda Barns. She said that a social security number was used on the south boarder of Texas. Stated to press #1 for additional information. (which I did not do)

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Shelley. 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. Thanks, again.

  4. Norma M.

    I have received 7 calls today from 510-112-7901 claiming to be Social Security, they leave a voice mail stating that there has been trouble with my social security number and it has been cancelled and to call back.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Norma. Thanks for letting us know. 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.

  5. Susan V.

    I received a call on my cell phone today (July 1, 2019) that I didn’t answer but they left a voice message (it was a recording) saying: This is the Social Security Administration, please call us at 971-812-1005, there is legal enforcement action filed on your social security number for fraudulent activity. Before you get arrested call us back at 971-812-1005.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for checking in with us, Susan. 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.

  6. M Z.

    We have received robo calls on our cell phones from 475-223-1057. Claims to be from SSA & wants us to enter the last 4 of our SSAN. The message further states that if we don’t respond they will have us arrested.

    • Ann C.

      Hi. 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.

  7. greg p.

    Just fyi, scammer wants to call back at 516-544-8215
    don’t know if you have ways to track or get these scammers. no need to respond. This is information only

  8. Margaret C.

    There is a robocalled from New York saying my SSDI got hacked. I looked up the number and its a robocaller. its repeat message. 1646 491-2683. They need to be reported to the FCC

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Margaret. Thanks for checking in with us. 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. Denise C.

    Is there a link to report the caller ID from the Social Security robo/scam calls? I got one today that went to an automated message. I called back and they tried to identify themselves as Social Security office with an ID. When I told them that I didn’t believe they were calling from the Social Security office they hung up. This is the number from my caller ID 1-800-575-1874. I get these calls pretty regularly.

    • Ann C.

      Thanks for checking in with us, Denise. 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.

  10. MC P.

    I have a robocall just recently saying that I have a refund from SSA and needs confirmation ….. I just hang up and did not give him a chance to say more.

Comments are closed.