Reading: Stop Unwanted Robocalls and Texts
Learn more about FCC Initiatives to Combat Robocalls and Spoofing and download the FCC Report on Robocalls. File a charge with the FCC if you believe you have received an illegal call or text, or if you think you ‘re the victim of a spoof scam. Click the check below for tips, FAQs and resources .
Consumer Tips to Stop Unwanted Robocalls and Avoid Phone Scams
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- Don’t answer calls from unknown numbers. If you answer such a call, hang up immediately.
- You may not be able to tell right away if an incoming call is spoofed. Be aware: Caller ID showing a “local” number does not necessarily mean it is a local caller.
- If you answer the phone and the caller – or a recording – asks you to hit a button to stop getting the calls, you should just hang up. Scammers often use this trick to identify potential targets.
- Do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with “Yes.”
- Never give out personal information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, mother’s maiden names, passwords or other identifying information in response to unexpected calls or if you are at all suspicious.
- If you get an inquiry from someone who says they represent a company or a government agency, hang up and call the phone number on your account statement, in the phone book, or on the company’s or government agency’s website to verify the authenticity of the request. You will usually get a written statement in the mail before you get a phone call from a legitimate source, particularly if the caller is asking for a payment.
- Use caution if you are being pressured for information immediately.
- If you have a voice mail account with your phone service, be sure to set a password for it. Some voicemail services are preset to allow access if you call in from your own phone number. A hacker could spoof your home phone number and gain access to your voice mail if you do not set a password.
- Talk to your phone company about call blocking tools they may have and check into apps that you can download to your mobile device to block unwanted calls.
- If you use robocall-blocking technology already, it often helps to let that company know which numbers are producing unwanted calls so they can help block those calls for you and others.
- To block telemarketing calls, register your number on the Do Not Call List. Legitimate telemarketers consult the list to avoid calling both landline and wireless phone numbers on the list.
FCC rules ban text messages sent to a mobile call using an autodialer unless you previously gave consent to receive the message or the message is sent for emergency purposes .
- For commercial texts, your consent must be in writing.
- For non-commercial, informational texts (such as those sent by or on behalf of tax-exempt non-profit organizations, those for political purposes, and other noncommercial purposes, such as school closings), your consent may be oral.
The ban applies tied if you have not placed your mobile phone number on the national Do-Not-Call list .
Tips for avoiding unwanted texts
- Do not respond to unwanted texts from questionable sources. Several mobile service providers allow you to block the sender by forwarding unwanted texts to 7726 (or “SPAM”). Check with your provider about options.
- Be careful about giving out your mobile phone number or any other personal information.
- Find out if any company you do business with has a policy that allows it to sell or share your information.
File a charge with the FCC if you receive :
- An unwanted commercial text message sent to your mobile phone.
- An autodialed text message sent to your mobile phone if you didn’t consent to the message previously (or it doesn’t involve an emergency).
- Any autodialed text message from a telecommunications company or advertising a telecommunications company’s products or services, if sent without your prior consent.
Spoofing and Caller ID
Caller ID spoof is when a caller intentionally falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Spoofing is frequently used as partially of an attack to trick person into giving aside valuable personal information so it can be used in deceitful bodily process or sold illegally, but besides can be used legitimately, for case, to display the toll-free act for a business .
- What is neighbor spoofing?
Robocallers use neighbor spoof, which displays a phone number exchangeable to your own on your caller ID, to increase the likelihood that you will answer the call. To help combat neighbor spoof, the FCC is requiring the earphone industry to adopt a robust caller ID authentication system .
- When is spoofing illegal?
Under the Truth in Caller ID Act, FCC rules prohibit anyone from transmitting misleading or inaccurate caller ID information with the purpose to defraud, cause damage or incorrectly obtain anything of value. Anyone who is illegally spoofing can face penalties of up to $ 10,000 for each misdemeanor. however, spoofing is not constantly illegal. There are legitimate, legal uses for spoofing, like when a sophisticate calls a patient from her personal mobile call and displays the office count preferably than the personal earphone count or a business displays its toll-free call-back number .
- What can you do if your number is being spoofed?
If you get calls from people saying your number is showing up on their caller ID, it ‘s probable that your act has been spoofed. We suggest first that you do not answer any calls from obscure numbers, but if you do, explain that your call issue is being spoofed and that you did not actually make any calls. You can besides place a message on your voice mail letting callers know that your number is being spoofed. Usually scammers switch numbers frequently. It is probably that within hours they will no long be using your number .
- What is blocking or labeling?
If a telephone number is blocked or labeled as a “ likely victimize ” on your caller ID, it is possible the number has been spoofed. several telephone companies and app developers offer call-blocking and tag services that detect whether a call is likely to be deceitful based on call patterns, consumer complaints or other means .
FCC rules do not prohibit call stuff or label technologies, however the FCC is identical concerned about ensuring that lawful calls are completed and has encouraged providers who block calls to establish a means for a caller whose number is blocked to contact the supplier and remedy the problem .
You can legally block the transmittance of your call count when you make calls, so your count will appear as “ strange. ” Doing then is not spoofing .
- What are the caller ID rules for telemarketers?
FCC rules specifically require that a telemarketer :
- Transmit or display its telephone number or the telephone number on whose behalf the call is being made, and, if possible, its name or the name of the company for which it is selling products or services.
- Display a telephone number you can call during regular business hours to ask to no longer be called. This rule applies even to companies that already have an established business relationship with you.
Political Calls & Texts
political Campaign Robocalls & Robotexts
During election seasons, consumers will probably experience an increase in calls and texts from political campaigns. While campaign calls and texts are excuse from the Do not Call list requirements, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act contains specific rules they must follow .
In general, robocalls and robotexts to mobile phones require prior accept and calls to landlines are allowed without anterior consent. But there are exceptions detailed below .
Political Robocall Restrictions
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political campaign-related autodialed or prerecorded voice calls, including autodialed live calls, autodialed text, and prerecorded voice messages, are prohibited to cell phones, pagers or early mobile devices without the called party ‘s prior express accept. The same restrictions apply to protected telephone lines such as hand brake or toll-free lines, or lines serving hospitals or like facilities .
political campaign-related autodialed or prerecorded voice calls are permitted when made to landline telephones, even without anterior express accept .
All prerecorded spokesperson message calls, campaign-related and otherwise, must include certain designation information :
- The identity of the business, individual, or other entity initiating the call must be clearly stated at the beginning of the prerecorded message.
- If the calling party is a business or corporate entity, the entity’s official business name must be stated clearly at the beginning of the message.
- The telephone number of the calling party must be provided, either during or after the message.
Robotexts – textbook messages generated through autodialing – are besides considered a character of call and fall under all robocall rules .
As text messages generally go to mobile phones, robotexts require the called party ‘s prior express consent. however, political text messages can be sent without the mean recipient role ’ sulfur prior accept if the message ’ south transmitter does not use autodialing technology to send such texts and alternatively manually dials them .
Report Unwanted Calls and Texts
If you think you ‘ve received a political robocall or textbook that does not comply with the FCC ’ sulfur rules, you can file an informal complaint with the FCC at fcc.gov/complaints. If you are receiving texts that you didn ’ t ask for, report the transmitter by forwarding the text to 7726 ( or “ SPAM ” ). Campaigns should besides honor opt-out requests if you reply “ STOP. ”
Call Blocking Resources
Web Resources for Blocking Robocalls
Call stuff is a instrument used by earphone companies to stop illegal and undesirable calls from reaching your phone. A recent FCC report found that by partnering with third-party analytics companies, providers are able to block billions of unwanted calls to american consumers each year .
earphone companies sometimes block calls connected to fishy calling patterns proactively for their customers. many telephone companies besides enable their customers to block extra undesirable calls by enrolling in a service or installing an app. Consumers can besides adjust certain settings on their phone, sign up with a third-party serve, or download a third-party app to block suspected unwanted calls .
Depending on your serve provider, a blocked call may go straight to your voice mail, you may hear a single gang and get caller ID information from the blocked bid, or you may get no poster at all .
many call companies are taking advantage of FCC rules that allow consumers to be enrolled mechanically in call blocking services, but you can opt-out if you are concerned about missing wanted calls. A number of companies besides offer call tag to help consumers determine which calls they want to answer. Labeling services expose categories for potentially undesirable or illegal calls such as “ spam ” or “ victimize probable ” on the caller ID expose .
Contact your call company to learn more about the obstruct and tag solutions that may be available to protect you from unwanted and illegal calls. There may besides be apps you can download for your mobile device – at little or no monetary value – to block or label potential spam calls. In addition to call-blocking and pronounce services, you should besides check with your radio device manufacturer about built-in features you can use to block unwanted calls from specific numbers using your cell telephone ’ mho settings .
The resources listed below * provide information on many of the call forget and pronounce tools presently available to consumers .
- AT&T: Mobile security and call protection services.
- Google Project Fi: Call blocking options for Project Fi wireless service.
- Sprint: Call blocking options using My Sprint.
- T-Mobile: Call-protection options to identify or block potential scammers.
- U.S. Cellular: Automatic network call identification, labeling, and blocking app options.
- Verizon: Call Filter FAQS for screening and blocking unwanted calls.
- AT&T: Information on Digital Phone Call Protect service, call blocking, and other features.
- CenturyLink: Customer tips and tools to block unwanted calls.
- Comcast: Call blocking options for XFINITY Voice subscribers.
- Frontier Communications: Consumer options for call blocking tools and services.
- Spectrum: Guide for using Nomorobo service to block robocallers.
- Verizon: Customer options for stopping unwanted calls to residential lines.
Third-Party Analytics Resources
- First Orion: Tools and services for mobile customers and businesses.
- Hiya: Tools and services for mobile phones; Hiya Connect for businesses.
- Nomorobo: Tools and services for VoIP landlines and mobile phones.
- TNS Call Guardian: Call analytics solutions for businesses.
- YouMail: Tools and services for individuals and businesses.
Wireless Device Solutions
- Apple iPhones have an opt-in “Silence Unknown Callers” call-screening and blocking feature.
- Google Pixel phones have a “Call Screen” call-screening and blocking feature; Google offers several free, opt-in, call-blocking tool apps for Android phones; and Google Voice users can use a call management tool to block unwanted calls.
- Samsung partners with Hiya to offer a call-blocking solution called Smart Call to label potentially unwanted calls.
Trade Association Consumer Resources and Information
- CTIA: Consumer resources for stopping robocalls.
- US Telecom: Consumer information on illegal robocalls.
The resources listed are provided for informational purposes. The FCC does not endorse any products or services listed, and is not creditworthy for the capacity, accuracy, completeness, or opportuneness of non-FCC websites .
Do Not Call List
The National Do not Call number
The national Do not Call number protects land line and radio telephone numbers. You can register your numbers on the national Do not Call list at no cost by calling 1-888-382-1222 ( voice ) or 1-866-290-4236 ( TTY ). You must call from the earphone number you wish to register. You can besides register at donotcall.gov .
Telemarketers must remove your numbers from their call lists and stop calling you within 31 days from the date you register. Your numbers will remain on the list until you remove them or discontinue service – there is no necessitate to re-register numbers .
Under FCC rules, telemarketers calling your home must provide their mention along with the diagnose, telephone numeral, and address where their employer or contractor can be contacted. Telemarketing calls to your home are prohibited before 8 am or after 9 phase modulation, and telemarketers are required to comply immediately with any do-not-call request you make during a call .
Whether you are on the National Do not Call Registry or not, order undesirable callers that you do not consent to the call and to put you on their home do not call list. Make a commemorate of the caller ‘s number and when you made your request not to be called, and file a complaint with the FCC if the caller does not comply with your request.
What is a telephone solicitation?
A telephone solicitation is a telephone birdcall that acts as an ad. however, some earphone solicitations are permissible under FCC rules, including : calls or messages placed with your express anterior permission, by or on behalf of a tax-exempt non-profit organization, or from a person or administration. however, having an established commercial enterprise relationship no longer meets the rules for permissible unasked calls to your land line earphone. Companies and telemarketers must have your express license to call .
Are there any other lists I can register my number with?
Yes. additionally, many states now have statewide do-not-call lists for residents. Contact your state ‘s populace overhaul commission or consumer security office to see if your state has such a list, and to find out how to register your number or numbers. For contact information for your submit populace service commission, check the government listings or blue pages of your local phone directory .
If I continue to receive such calls, what can I do?
If you receive a telephone solicitation that you think violates any of the FCC rules, you can file a complaint with the FCC. The FCC can issue warning citations and impose fines against companies violating or suspected of violating the do-not-call rules, but does not award individual damages .