What are Bexar County Area Codes?
Area codes are the 3-digit number sequences at the beginning of North American phone numbers. An area code establishes a particular Numbering Plan Area (NPA) in a state as provisioned by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) has the responsibility of administering area codes in Texas, as authorized by the FCC.
There are presently two active area codes in Bexar County. These are:
Area Code 210
Area Code 210 is a Texas telephone area code that covers the major cities in Bexar County. Some of these cities are San Antonio, Universal City, Alamo Heights, Converse, and Live Oak. Others include Kirby, Selma, Wind Crest, Shertz, Helotes, and Castle Hills. The 210 area code also serves locations in other Texan counties.
Area Code 830
Area Code 830 is a split from the 210 area code. It came into active use in July 1997 to accomodate more phone numbers for area code 210. The only location it covers in Bexar County is Fair Oaks Ranch. This area code also covers cities in a few other Texan counties.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Bexar County?
Residents of Bexar County generally prefer to use cell phones for telephony services. A 2018 CDC survey showed that only a small part of Texas’ total population still used landlines as their only means of telecommunication. The CDC survey revealed that only about 2.5% of the adult population (above 18 years) used only landline for telephone services. An estimated 67.9% of them had adopted wireless-only means of telecommunication. According to the review, children (under 18 years), who used wireless-only telephone services made up 76.6% of the total children population. Only about 1.4% of them still lived in homes that exclusively used landlines. These findings underscores the shift in phone usage and preferences in the state.
Bexar County is served by all four major phone carriers. These phone carriers have varying coverage strengths in the county. Residents of its cities enjoy better network services than those in the coastal and remote locations. T-Mobile offers the best service in San Antonio City with about 94% coverage. AT&T delivers about 84% coverage, while it is about 80% for Verizon. Sprint provides about 78% coverage in San Antonio City.
Businesses and government agencies in Bexar County are rapidly adopting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology for telephony services. VoIP allows digital voice calls across networks for internet-enabled devices. It is a more affordable means of telecommunication but requires the internet to function effectively.
What are Bexar County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are frauds perpetrated using telephone services as the medium of contact. Phone scammers target unsuspecting individuals to commit financial and identity thefts. They typically pose as representatives of government agencies and businesses, or acquaintances of the targets. It is possible to find the details associated with their phone numbers using reverse phone lookups.
The Bexar County District Attorney educates residents on precautions to take to avoid falling prey to scammers. If you have fallen victim to a phone scam, you may file a complaint with the Bexar County Sheriff Department by calling (210) 335-6010.
Common phone scams in Bexar County include:
What are Process Server Scams?
Scammers call and pose as "process servers" in the employ of the Bexar District Clerk's Office. They contact residents claiming to be acting on instructions from the County Clerk to verify Social Security Numbers (SSNs) and dates of birth. They also request your financial information to check for debts owed to the county. It is all a ploy to steal from their victims. The County Clerk cautions residents to be careful as Bexar County Clerk's Office does not hire or use Process Servers. The Office also reiterates that none of its employees will request such information over the phone. If you receive such a call and are wondering who called, a reverse phone lookup can help you identify the caller. You may also contact the Bexar County Clerk's Office to verify their claims by calling (210) 335-2113.
What are IRS Scams?
In this fraudulent scheme, scammers call and pretend to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). They insist that their targets owe taxes that require immediate settlement. They claim failure to do so will lead to arrest and jail time. Usually, they ask for payments via preloaded cards and wire transfers. Sometimes, they request credit card numbers for the payments. IRS scammers often work in groups. Another person calls posing as an employee of a law enforcement agency to corroborate the initial claims of the fake IRS employee and threaten arrest.
The IRS will never ask for tax payments by such unusual means. If you receive such a call and are unsure of your tax status, do not panic nor yield to threats. Contact the IRS on 1 (800) 829-1040 to verify their claims. You may file a complaint with the FTC if you have fallen victim to this scam. You can also report it to the Inspector General of Tax Administration on 1 (800) 366-4484. Search engines and applications that provide good reverse phone lookups will help you find the names and addresses linked to the numbers used by IRS scammers.
What are Open Code Violation Scams?
The Bexar County Environmental Service Department (BCESD) works to improve Bexar County residents’ health and welfare. It also enforces code compliance. Fraudsters pretend to be employees of BCESD and claim that targets have open code violation cases. They request payment from unsuspecting persons over the phone and threaten arrest if their targets fail to comply immediately. They often demand payments via wire transfer or gift cards.
Know that the Environmental Service Department will never ask for payment over the phone. Typically, the Department initiates all its payment requests through the Court. If you receive such a phone call, hang up immediately and call the Bexar County Environmental Department on (210) 335-6700 to verify. Applications that provide free phone number lookup by name can help you identify who the caller is.
What are County Sheriff Impersonation Scams?
Scammers impersonate employees of the Bexar County Sheriff's Office (BCSO). They call to inform unsuspecting targets of arrest warrants in their names for failure to attend jury duty and contempt of court. They threaten to effect such arrests if their targets fail to cooperate. The scammers ask that their victims pay the applicable fees via money transfer, cryptocurrency, or gift cards. Unfortunately, many have lost money and confidential information to this scam.
Employees of the BCSO will never demand payment for fines over phone calls. The BCSO cautions residents of the county against falling prey to this scam. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from the BCSO, a reverse phone number lookup will help you identify the callers. Residents who fall victims can report to the Bexar County Sheriff Office at (210) 335-6010.
What are Holiday/Charity Scams?
Occurrences of charity scams typically escalate as holidays approach in Bexar County. Scammers, posing as representatives of charity organizations, call unsuspecting victims to request donations by money transfer. Residents should learn to be wary about making donations over the phone. If you receive a call soliciting donations, confirm it is legitimate by asking that the organization send details to you via regular mail. The County Sheriff’s Office warns residents to avoid falling victim to charity scams by diligently researching them before sending donations. You can identify these scam callers by using search engines that provide phone number searches free.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are pre-recorded voice messages delivered by auto-dialed phone calls. Telemarketers, government agencies, and politicians utilize robocalls in disseminating information to large numbers of people at the same time. Scammers now use robocalls to cast a wide net to snare more targets. They often spoof Caller IDs to make these targets think their robocalls are from legitimate businesses and other reputable entities. If you receive a robocall, do the following:
- Hang up as soon as you recognize it for what it is. Listening to further messages may lure you into getting scammed.
- Identify the caller by using online applications that provide free reverse phone number lookups.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry and Texas No-Call List. Any unsolicited call that comes through your phone after registration is probably a scam.
How Can You Spot and Report Bexar County Phone Scams?
Fraudsters have several tricks for scamming targets over the phone. Search engines that provide reverse phone number lookup services have proven useful in identifying unknown callers. However, the best way Bexar residents can tackle the menace of phone scams is by continually educating themselves. The signs that a telephone call is a phone scam include:
- The caller claims to represent a legitimate organization but wants payment by gift card, wire transfer, and cryptocurrency. These are irregular means of payments and are mostly used by scammers because they are impossible to track once sent.
- The caller wants to obtain your personal and financial information over the phone and makes repeated requests for these records. The caller threatens arrest if you fail to comply. Legitimate organizations will not initiate requests for your personal or financial details on a phone call.
- The caller wants payment without allowing you time to consider their claims, and if you ask questions, they do not provide direct answers.
- The caller asks for details about your Social Security Number. No Bexar County government agency will ask for SSNs over the phone.
- The caller offers you free prizes or services but still requests that you pay some money before receiving them.
To combat the menace of scams, government agencies provide various information for consumer's protection. Some of these agencies are:
Federal Communications Commissions - The FCC regulates communication channels and services in the country and enacts policies for consumers' protection. They also educate consumers on ways to avoid falling victims of phone and internet scams. If you suspect a call is fraudulent or have fallen prey to a scam, you can file a complaint with the FCC.
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC manages the National Do Not Call Registry. Consumers can add their phone numbers to the registry to stop receiving unsolicited calls. If you receive unwanted calls despite adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry, odds are the calls are scams. They also provide consumer protection information and share tips on call blocking, which helps to prevent phone scams. If you fall victim to a fraudulent robocall, complain to the FTC online or call 1 (888) 382-1222.
Public Utility Commission of Texas - The PUC advises residents to add their phone numbers to the Texas No Call Lists to stop receiving unwanted calls. They also educate consumers on staying safe from the ploys of scammers. If robocalls still come through your phone 60 days after registration on Texas No Call Lists, they are potential phone scams. Note who called and email a report to the PUC or call 1 (888) 782-8477.
Bexar County District Attorney's Office - This office also educates residents on ways to avoid falling victims to the tactics employed by scammers. If you have fallen victim to a scam, report it to your local law enforcement agency. They will assist in presenting your case to the District Attorney’s Office for investigation.