Reporting Phone Fraud

Many phone sales pitches are made on behalf of legitimate organizations offering genuine products and services. Unfortunately, scammers also use the telephone to commit fraud. That's why the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) encourages you to be skeptical when you hear a phone solicitation and to report it if you think the call may be fraudulent.

Your complaint counts! Fight telephone fraud. Report telephone scam artists to the FTC and to your state Attorney General. When you report phone fraud to the FTC, your complaint is entered into a secure database that is available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. By reporting telemarketing fraud, you are providing important information to help law enforcement officials track down scam artists and stop them.

Reporting Telemarketing Fraud

  • Where to report: If you get a call you suspect is fraudulent, report it to the FTC and to your State Attorney General.
  • What information to provide: When you report telemarketing fraud, your information may help local and federal law enforcers investigate the scammers. Provide the telemarketer's name or phone number, as well as the date and time of the call.
  • Why: Your complaint is entered into the FTC's Consumer Sentinel system: a secure, online database used by more than 1,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies.

The National Do Not Call Registry

The National Do Not Call Registry gives you an opportunity to limit the telemarketing calls you receive. Once you register your phone number, telemarketers covered by the Telemarketing Sales Rule have up to 31 days from the date you register to stop calling you. You can register your number here or by calling toll-free 1-888-382-1222 from the number you wish to register. Registration is free.

Placing your number on the National Do Not Call Registry will stop most telemarketing calls, but not all. Calls from or on behalf of political organizations, charities, and telephone pollsters are still permitted.

Organizations with which you have an established business relationship can call you for up to 18 months after your last purchase, payment, or delivery - even if your number is on the National Do Not Call Registry. And companies to which you've made an inquiry or submitted an application can call you for three months.

If your number has been on the National Do Not Call Registry for at least 31 days and you receive a call from a telemarketer that you believe is covered by the National Do Not Call Registry, you can file a complaint at the registry's website or by calling the registry's toll-free number at 1-888-382-1222 (for TTY, call 1-866-290-4236). To file a complaint, you must know either the name or telephone number of the company that called you, and the date the company called you.

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