Robocalls are automated phone calls with prerecorded or artificial voice messages. Many are legal and just simply unwanted calls while others can be illegal as the sole intent is to defraud a party of money.

Robocalls are automated phone calls with prerecorded or artificial voice messages. Many are legal and just simply unwanted calls while others can be illegal as the sole intent is to defraud a party of money.

Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise their identity. Spoofing is not always illegal. There are legitimate, legal uses for spoofing. For example, a doctor calls a patient from her personal mobile phone and displays the office number rather than the personal phone number or a business displays its toll-free call-back number. Spoofing is illegal when the caller falsifies the caller ID display information to disguise their identity with the intent to defraud, cause harm or wrongly obtain anything of value.


A few types of robocalls are allowed without your permission, those calls include but are not limited to:

  • Political calls about candidates running for office
  • Surveys
  • Robocalls that are purely informational
  • Flight cancellations
  • Appointment reminders
  • Delayed School Openings


Debt collection calls. A business contacting you to collect a debt can use robocalls to reach you. But robocalls that try to sell you services to reduce your debt are illegal and are almost certainly scams.

Calls from some health care providers. This includes a robocall from a pharmacy reminding you to refill /pick up a prescription.

Charities asking for donations. Charities can make these calls themselves. But if a charity hires someone to make robocalls on its behalf, the robocalls can only go to members of the charity or prior donors. They also must include an automated option to let you stop future calls.



The Federal Trade Commission is encouraging consumers to follow these three key steps to help reduce unwanted calls: Hang up. Block. Report.

Hang up. If you pick up the phone and get a recorded sales pitch, hang up. The call is illegal. Don’t speak to them. Don’t press a button to supposedly remove your name from a list. (That could result in even more calls.) Hang up.

BlockYou can reduce the number of unwanted calls you get by using call-blocking technologies. Visit for advice, depending on the type of phone service you have. Ask your service provider about blocking services

Report. After you hang up, report the unwanted or illegal call to the FTC at The more information we have about the call, the better the FTC can target their law enforcement efforts.

Report the number on your caller ID and any number you’re told to call back, which helps us track down the scammers behind the call. Even if you think the number on your caller ID is fake, report it. The FTC analyzes complaint data and trends to identify illegal callers based on calling patterns.

The FTC takes the phone numbers you report and releases them to the public each business day. This helps phone carriers and other partners that are working on call-blocking solutions. Your reports also help law enforcement identify the people behind illegal calls.



Neighborhooding – Calls from numbers that resemble your own – the area code and Prefix (next three digits) match your number. If you don’t recognize the number, and you’re not expecting any calls, let it go to voicemail.

Mirroring– Spoofing of your telephone number to trick you into answering the phone

One Ring – Scammers ring your phone once and hang up. The hope is you will call the number back. The call back often results in per minute toll charges – similar to a 900 number- on your phone bill.

‘Yes’ Call – Scammers will attempt to have a called party state “Yes” during a call. The question will be asked by a live person on the line or by sending a recorded message. This is an attempt to trap the customer into an unwanted purchase or commitment.



FTC Complaint weblink

FTC educational videos you can share with customers

FCC Complaint weblink







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