What are Comal County Area Codes?
There are three area codes serving the communities in Comal County. These are area code 830, 210, and 726. Area codes are three digit designations for numbering plan areas (NPAs). When AT&T introduced the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947, it created 86 area codes alongside NPAs corresponding to these numeric designations. The NANP made call switching and routing more efficient across North American telephone networks and also made it easier to pinpoint the origins of phone calls. In a 10-digit phone number issued in the United States, the first three digits represent the area code corresponding to the geographic unit (NPA) where the number was assigned.
Area Code 830
Split from area code 210 on July 7, 1997, area code 830 covers the north-western part of Southern Texas including most of San Antonio suburbs. Most communities in Comal County are served by this area code including New Braunfels, Spring Branch, Bulverde, and Schertz.
Area Code 210
An enclave code, the NPA designated by area code 210 is completely surrounded by the 830 NPA. This area code was created on November 1, 1992 from a split from area code 512 and covers the San Antonio area. It serves the part of San Antonio in Comal County.
Area Code 726
Put into service in October 2017, area code 726 was created in an overlay plan of the 210 NPA. This overlay code is also an enclave code and covers the same communities as area code 210.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Comal County?
Most Texans have made the switch from landline phones to wireless phones. This is one of the conclusions of a 2018 wireless substitution survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. The survey indicated that 67.9% of adults in Texas indicated they solely used wireless phones for their telecommunication needs while a tiny 2.5% of this population still used landline phones exclusively. Among minors in the state, the divide between wireless-only and landline-only phone users was even wider. While 76.6% of the residents of Texas under the age of 18 indicated they solely used wireless phones, only 1.4% of them were landline-only phone users.
Residents of Comal County enjoy cell phone services provided by major carriers as well as smaller regional carriers. Among these cell phone service providers, AT&T has the most extensive network with 96.6% coverage of the state while Verizon and T-Mobile cover 91.1% and 85.9% of Texas respectively. Regional carriers are usually MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators). They share and lease network infrastructure provided by major carriers and buy network services in bulk from them. MVNOs can offer cheaper cell phone plans than national carriers because they pass on some of the savings of their bulk phone service purchases to their subscribers.
VoIP is a third phone service option for residents of Comal County as well as organizations located there. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a network communication technology that makes voice transmission over the internet possible. VoIP carries text, voice, and video over the internet as data packets. For residents and businesses with broadband internet access, VoIP phone services are more affordable than landline and wireless phones. They are also easier to deploy and more flexible. VoIP phone users can make calls from their phones, computers, and tablets.
What are Comal County Phone Scams?
These are telephone frauds reported in Comal County. They include fraudulent schemes perpetrated in the county and targeting those living and working there. Phone scammers call and text unsuspecting phone users as they look for targets for their scams. These con artists also use other phone tools and services including caller ID spoofing, phishing, robocalls, and spam calls. To counter the efforts of phone scammers, residents of Comal County should learn how to effectively use call blocking and reverse phone number lookup.
In addition to fighting and avoiding phone scams, Comal County residents should also know about commonly reported telephone frauds in their communities and sign up for scam alerts. The Office of the Attorney General of Texas identifies some of the common scams in the state. These include advance fee scams, tech support scams, emergency scams, and government imposter scams.
What are Comal County Advance Fee Scams?
These scams involve fraudsters promising unsuspecting residents certain benefits and asking for upfront payments to cover the cost of providing these benefits. When they call their targets, con artists running these scams may claim to be able to provide loans and government grants to their targets or repair the bad credits. They may also claim their targets won foreign lotteries or are due inheritance from some recently dead distant relatives. Regardless of the claims presented by the scammers or the benefits they are offering, the common thread of these scams is advance fee.
The Texas Attorney General warns residents from believing strange claims promising them windfalls and asking for upfront payments. Truly free gifts, government grants, loans, lotteries, sweepstakes, and inheritance do not require beneficiaries to pay to receive them. If contacted by a stranger asking for an advance fee for a benefit, dig deeper and investigate the caller using a free phone number lookup service. This search may reveal that the caller is an imposter and a scammer.
What are Comal County Tech Support Scams?
Tech support scams are also imposter scams. In these, fraudsters impersonate employees of reputable technology firms when calling their victims. They claim certain errors or viruses have been detected on their targets’ computers and these need quick fixes to save the machines from crashing. A tech support scammer usually asks for remote access to the victim’s computer. They claim to need this to fix the error or remove viruses from the machine.
In the least damaging tech support scams, the fraudsters simply charge their victims for bogus repairs and internet security software they do not need. However, most tech scammers go beyond this and install malware on their victims’ computers. These can be viruses, spyware, or ransomware. They use these malicious software to steal confidential identity and financial information from their victims’ computers or lock them out of their machines until they pay ransoms.
Comal County residents should never believe strangers calling to offer tech support. Tech companies do not provide unsolicited tech support. Residents should also refuse to provide strangers with remote access to their computers. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be tech support, run a suspicious phone number lookup to determine who called. The search will likely show that the caller is not an employee of the firm they claim to represent.
What are Comal County Emergency Scams?
Emergency scams are also imposter scams and they mostly target elderly residents. Sometimes they are called grandparent scams because grandparents are the most common victims of these telephone frauds. An emergency scam begins with a caller impersonating a loved one, usually a family member, and claiming they are in dire need and require immediate financial help to get out of an emergency. Imposters running these scams often claim to need money to get out of jail, pay medical bills, or come home from foreign countries where they are stuck.
Emergency scammers usually ask their victims to keep their cries for help a secret from other family members. The Texas Attorney General recommends residents to talk to their elderly relatives about emergency scams and how they succeed because of such pleas for secrecy. Targets of these scams should call the relatives in need directly to confirm that they indeed require financial help. They should also call other family members to confirm what they heard. Lastly, they can identify the callers and confirm their locations with reverse phone lookup searches.
What are Comal County Government Imposter Scams?
Fraudsters running these scams impersonate employees of various government agencies. The most commonly impersonated agencies include local, state, and federal law enforcement, the IRS, and Social Security Administration. Of these, IRS imposter scams are the most common with scammers claiming the targets owe back taxes or qualify for tax refunds. Fraudsters selling owed tax pitches want to defraud their targets while those offering bogus tax refunds want to steal confidential identity and financial information such as banking account and credit card details as well as Social Security numbers.
Comal County residents can avoid government imposter scams by keeping in mind that legitimate government and court officials as well as law enforcement officers do not call citizens to ask for payments or confidential information. They also do not ask for payments sent directly to them. If you receive a call from someone claiming to represent a government agency and asking for money or sensitive information, hang up and report the call and caller. You can try to identify such callers with phone number searches to confirm your suspicions.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls delivering pre-recorded messages to lots of phone users. When they were first introduced, robocalls were used to deliver public service announcements, telemarketing pitches, and political messages. However, these days, most robocalls are from scammers and dubious telemarketers. These con artists use robocalls readiy because they are cost-effective and low-cost mass communication tools. Robocalls are easy to set up and require very little human input to keep running.
Like robocalls, spam calls are also bulk phone calls sent out to large groups of phone users. However, while robocalls are placed by auto-dialers and deliver messages recorded with voice synthesizers, spam calls are likely placed by actual humans reading sales pitches from prepared scripts.
With the huge and growing number of robocalls and spam calls sent out to American phone users annually, there are repeated moves to find lasting solutions to these unsolicited and unwanted calls. Before such solutions are implemented, residents of Comal County can cut down on the number of robocalls and spam calls they receive by following these steps:
- Do not trust your phone to currently identify callers. Scammers use caller ID spoofing to make their calls appear coming from loved ones and authority figures just to get their targets to pick their phones
- Hang up a call as soon as you confirm it is a robocall or spam call
- Do not follow instructions given during robocalls and spam calls on steps to take to stop receiving further calls. Such prompts serve only to confirm active numbers and often lead to more robocalls and spam calls
- Do not answer calls from unknown numbers. Let these go to voicemail where you can listen to messages left and decide which ones to return
- Set up the call filtering function of your phone to reject calls from unknown numbers or blacklisted numbers. Carriers also offer call blocking services. Ask yours about these and see if you can add them to your current plan. Alternatively, install a well-reviewed call blocking app from your phone’s app store
- Use reverse phone lookup to identify unknown callers and unmask scammers, spammers, and stalkers. Include the information gathered about such callers in reports submitted to law enforcement
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry and Texas’ No Call Lists to stop receiving telemarketing calls. Note that not all telemarketers obey these lists and scammers definitely do not bother with them. Telemarketing calls received after the grace periods (31 days for the National registry and quarterly for the state lists) following your registration should be reported to the appropriate authorities
How to Spot and Report Comal County Phone Scams
Comal County residents can spot phone scams by being wary of strangers on the phone and looking out for certain tell-tale signs of telephone frauds. While con artists keep evolving their tricks and tactics, they still need to keep certain aspects of their scams the same if they wish to defraud their victims and steal their personal identifying information.
When deciding whether a caller is a scammer or not, consider the following signs of phone scams:
- Use of threat to force compliance - scammers impersonating government employees are quick to threaten their victims with arrests, jail, deportation, loss of their homes, and revocation of driver’s, business, and professional licenses
- Request for payment sent to an individual - legitimate representatives of government agencies and private organizations do not ask for payments by cash, prepaid debit card, gift card, wire transfer, Venmo transfer, or cryptocurrencies
- Request for confidential information - only an imposter will ask for information the organization they claim to represent already have on file. Your bank or credit card company should not be asking for your credit card PIN, checking account details, or password to your online banking profile. Similarly, the IRS or SSA will not request your Social Security number
- Pressure to make an immediate decision - scammers offering discounted vacations, timeshares, and products/services as well as those selling bogus business and investment deals want their targets to sign up and send money immediately. They will use aggressive sales tactics to ensure their victims do not take time to consider their bogus offers
- Refusal to provide documents supporting their claims and confirming their identities - scammers can only take their deceptions so far and often cannot create documents backing their offers and claims. They also want to avoid paper trail and refuse to have written documentation linking them to their fraudulent schemes
Comal County residents tipped off by these signs can investigate scammers further by trying to identify them using reverse phone number lookup. They can then provide the information gathered in their reports to the right authorities. Scam reports help law enforcement agencies apprehend and prosecute telephone fraudsters. They also help consumer protection agencies educate the public about phone scam trends in their communities. Residents of Comal County can submit scam reports to the following agencies:
- The Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas - this state agency protects Texans from shady businesses and unfair business practices. Residents can file consumer complaints online or by completing and submitting the Printable Complaint Form (Spanish) to:
Office of the Attorney General
Consumer Protection Division
PO Box 12548
Austin, TX 78711-2548
- The Treasury Inspector General Administration (TIGTA) - this is the federal agency tasked with investigating and prosecuting IRS imposter scams. If you have ever been contacted by a suspected scammer claiming to work for the IRS, file an IRS imposter scam complaint with the TIGTA online
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - this federal agency regulates trade transactions in the country and protects Americans from unfair and deceitful business practices. It also receives complaints of phone scams involving consumer transactions. Residents of Comal County can report consumer scams to the FTC online or by calling (877) 382-4357
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - this federal commission regulates all forms of communication in the United States including the telecommunication sector. Its responsibility includes maintaining the National Do Not Call and monitoring the use of telephone tools and services. Therefore, residents can report illegal robocalls, caller ID spoofing, phishing, and spam calls to the FCC. They call also report all forms of telephone fraud to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center