Yes, California is a two party consent state, which means it is illegal to audio record anyone without their consent and doing so carries with it civil as well as criminal penalties. You have to notify each and every person and get each every one of their consents in advance. After you get the consent (before you start recording) I would have them re-confirm their consent on the recording so they can not later deny it. California has some of the strictest laws on the nation on this issue. Be very careful.
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You are in a Two Party Consent State (CA). Here, you always have to obtain consent from each party you speak with before recording their conversations over the phone. Not following proper procedures may subject you to liabilities.
Your particular situation may be different. This answer is intended for information purposes only. No Attorney-Client relationship has been established. I am an attorney in the Bay Area.
The other answers provide good advice. As for the last question, you can bluff about recording all you want.