What are Collin County Area Codes?
Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) are telephone service areas designated by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). An NPA is indicated by a three-digit sequence at the start of every phone number in America called an area code. Each area code represents an NPA and indicates where a phone call originates. The Public Utility Commission of Texas manages area codes in the state including the four assigned to Collin County.
Area code 214
Area code 214 was one of the original area codes implemented in 1947 by NANP. It originally covered Texas’s entire northeast but has gone through several splits because of Dallas’s dramatic growth. It currently serves Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Johnson, Kaufman, Navarro, Rockwall, and Tarrant counties. Cities in Collin County covered by these area codes include Allen, Celina, Plano, McKinney, Melissa, Murphy, Anna, Princeton, Dallas, and Frisco.
Area code 972
Area code 972 split initially from the 214 NPA to cover the areas outside Dallas County in 1995. In 1997 both NPAs were recombined, and area code 972 became an overlay area code for the new 214 NPA. Overlay area codes are area codes introduced to NPAs to accommodate a growing population and more telephone numbers.
Area code 469
Area code 469 is an overlay area code for the 214 numbering plan area. It was introduced in July 1999.
Area code 903
Area code 903 is an area code for the northeast corner of Texas. It was split off from area code 214 in 1990 to cover the northeast Texan border counties. Locations in Collin County covered by this area code include Blue Ridge and Farmersville.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Collin County?
Data from a 2018 National Health Interview Survey show that wireless telephone services are now the most widely used telephone service in Texas. According to the survey report, among residents over 18 years, wireless-only telephone technology users were 67.9%. In the same demographic, landline-only users were only 2.5%. For residents under 18 years old, wireless-only telephone users were 76.6%, and landline-only users were only 1.4%.
All major phone carriers have decent network coverage in the state. AT&T has the best coverage with 96.6%, Verizon is next with 91.1% followed by T-Mobile with 85.9%. Sprint’s network coverage is the least with 56.3% coverage. The major networks also provide infrastructure for Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). These are small network operators that use the major networks’ coverage to offer limited services at lower prices.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a form of telephone technology that allows voice and other telephone services to be transmitted over an internet connection. It makes these services cheaper because it provides all the same telephone services over broadband internet connection. Many companies offer VoIP services for both home and business users within the state.
What are Collin County Phone Scams?
Any fraudulent or criminal scheme performed through the use of telephony technology is a phone scam. Scams like these usually target citizens of the county with the goal of defrauding them or stealing their personal information. Law enforcement agencies like the Collin County Sheriff Office and the Texas Attorney General's Office are in charge of combating scams in the county. They provide regular alerts on common scams and guides on how to avoid them. Some of the common scams prevalent in Collin County are discussed below.
What are Emergency Scams?
This type of scam involves a call from a scammer pretending to be a relative or a friend in trouble and in need of emergency assistance. They claim to be in some trouble, either an arrest or a medical emergency and need immediate financial aid. It is a type of Elderly or Grandparent scam, and it preys on emotions by creating a situation where an immediate response is necessary. The scammer may use an identity gotten from social media or disguise their voice claiming injury or illness. The call usually ends with the scammer trying to prevent you from confirming the situation with others by claiming fear of embarrassment. Do not give any money out over the phone and never agree to meet these scammers anywhere. If you get such a call, try to confirm the person’s identity on the phone call. Ask personal questions or contact mutual acquaintances to verify the caller’s story.
What are Tech Support Scams?
In a tech support scam, the target receives a call seemingly from the technical support department of a reputable company like Microsoft or an antivirus company. The caller claims that the target’s device requires an urgent update or is infected with a virus. They insist that they can fix it and the repair must be immediate before a system crash costs the target all their valuable data. They then ask for remote access to the device or ask the target to download an update from a website. This allows them to seize control of the device and either steal personal information or install spyware that will enable them to do so later. Never give access to your devices to anybody, especially over a call you did not initiate. Tech support from any company will never call you if you do not report a problem to them.
What are Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
The Collin County Police Sheriff’s Office has alerted residents to scammers impersonating deputies of the Sheriff’s Office and county constables. These scammers call residents claiming that they missed jury duty or have unpaid tickets, so arrest warrants were issued. The callers threaten imminent arrest if the targets do not make payments. They ask for payments in untraceable forms like western union transfers, bitcoin, and prepaid credit cards. Sometimes meetings are set up for cash payments, and targets are assaulted.
The Sheriff’s Office and its deputies will never make threatening phone calls or ask for payment via unofficial channels. Any resident that receives such a call should hang up and contact the Sheriff’s Office on (972) 547-5133. Residents with questions about warrant processing can contact their nearest constable precinct or check for active warrants in the county online.
What are Coronavirus Scams?
County officials and law enforcement are alerting residents about scams related to the Covid-19 pandemic. In these scams, targets are contacted by scammers pretending to be from local health departments or agencies like the Center for Disease Control. They offer home testing kits and bogus vaccines and try to get money or medical information in exchange. Sometimes targets are directed to a website to download free virus information and local updates. These websites may look real but are designed to infect your computer with viruses or steal information directly.
There is currently no vaccine for Covid-19, so anyone selling one is a scammer. Do not make any payment to these callers and always try to verify the callers’ authenticity. An excellent way to do this is by using a free phone number lookup application to answer the question “who called me?”
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are recorded messages delivered via automated calls to lists of phone numbers. Robocalls are used by legitimate organizations and marketers to reach target audiences but scammers also use them to reach many potential targets anonymously. Residents can put robocall numbers through phone number lookup applications to verify the identities of individuals registered to them. Doing so will also allow residents to screen these numbers or block them outright.
Below are some steps to use to deal with illegal robocalls:
- Cut the call as soon as you identify it as an illegal robocall. Do not follow any instructions and prompts because this simply verifies your number for more robocalls.
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry and the Texas do not Call List. If you still receive robocalls after registering, they are most likely from scammers.
- Download and install free phone number lookup applications to help screen and block these calls.
- Contact your network provider about blocking these forms of calls. Most network providers provide a version of this service for free.
- Report any form of robocall abuse to the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Communications Commission.
How Can You Spot and Report Collin County Phone Scams?
Scammers continuously come up with new ways to defraud and steal sensitive information from unsuspecting residents. An excellent way to protect against scams is to know about scam tactics and what to look out for. Telltale signs that unknown phone calls are scams include the following:
- Calls are from organizations asking for information they already have. Utility companies, banks, and debt collection agencies already have all the information about your accounts. They will not randomly call and ask for those details.
- Calls are from government agencies using threats and coercion to collect payment or private information. Government agencies will never threaten residents with arrest, litigation, or any other forms of punishment to collect money.
- Government agencies are trying to collect payment through untraceable and unofficial channels. Government agencies will not ask for fees in bitcoin, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, and meetings outside their offices.
- Receiving robocalls when you are registered on a do not call registry. These calls are most likely illegal robocalls, at the least, and potentially from scammers.
- Free offers, prizes, gifts, and even employment but payment upfront is required to claim them. You do not have to pay for jobs or genuine free gifts and prizes.
Government and local law enforcement agencies are dedicated to protecting residents and consumers from scammers. They send out regular alerts about common scams and provide justice to targets of scams. Some agencies to contact if you have been targeted by scams are listed below:
Local Law Enforcement
The Collin County Sheriff’s Office is the main branch of law enforcement in the county. It provides regular alerts of scams in the county through the local news and social media platforms. Victims of phones scams can report them at the Sheriff’s Office or any municipal police departments.
State Division of Consumer Protection
The Texas Attorney General Office serves as the consumer advocate for the state. It seeks to protect residents from fraudsters. It also provides alerts and information about common scams in the state. Residents that have been targeted by scams can file reports online or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1 (800) 621-0508.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The Federal Communications Commission is the body in charge of the communications industry nationwide. It issues regular scam alerts and tips on stopping unwanted robocalls and how to spot and avoid phone spoofing. Report any encounters with scams by filing complaints online.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The Federal Trade Commission is the federal body that enforces fair business practices throughout America. It provides regular warnings and information about phone scams. It operates the National Do Not Call Registry and provides guides on how to block unwanted calls. To reports any scams or illegal robocalls, consumers can file complaints online or call the FTC on 1-888-382-1222.