What are Dallas County Area Codes?
Area codes are three-digit number codes positioned in front of local phone numbers. Created by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), they are assigned to particular geographic areas, called Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs), within states. The authority to implement and manage Dallas County area codes is given to the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
Dallas County is currently served by three area codes with a fourth code (954) to be introduced in 2021.
Area Code 214
Area code 214, a Texas telephone area code in the NANP, covers northeastern Texas and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Cities in Dallas County served by this area code include Dallas, Cockrell Hill, DeSoto, Irving, and Duncanville.
Area Code 469
Created from area code 214, area code 469 is a NANP telephone overlay code that covers the same regions as area code 214. It entered service on July 1, 1999.
Area Code 972
Introduced on September 14, 1996, area code 972 is a NANP overlay code in Texas. It overlays the 214 numbering plan area.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Dallas County?
Among Dallas County inhabitants, telephone service preferences have shifted from landlines to cell phones over the past decades. This conclusion is buttressed by data obtained from a CDC report from 2018. Approximately 62.9% of Texans aged 18 years and above used only cell phones. This figure surpassed Texan adults who used only landlines by 60.4%. Also, an estimated 76.6% of the population of youngsters aged 18 years and below used only cell phones. Comparatively, approximately 1.4% of this population were landline-only users illustrating the predominance of wireless services over landline services.
Dallas County generally enjoys excellent network coverage from the top four phone carriers. Verizon and T-Mobile offer 100% coverage along with AT&T, which is headquartered in Dallas City. Sprint, the fourth carrier, has a network that covers 98% of the state.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a form of telephony service enjoying growing patronage among Dallas County residents. Using a high-speed internet connection, VoIP is a more affordable communication alternative to landline and mobile phones, especially for long-distance calls. This option, available for both business and residential customers, is provided by several VoIP operators in Dallas County.
What are Dallas County Phone Scams?
Dallas County phone scams are fraudulent tactics that employ telephony services and are used by con men to steal from the county’s residents. Unmasking the identities of scammers is usually possible with the aid of reverse phone lookup services. The Dallas County Sheriff’s Department offers residents general information on avoiding scams within the county. Residents can file complaints with the FTC or the Consumer Protection Division of the TAG’s Office if they are targets of scams. The following are examples of typical scams that occur in Dallas County:
What are Bogus Debt Scams?
This scam usually begins when a scammer, posing as a legitimate debt collector, contacts a consumer with claims of unpaid debt. Using threats, harassment, lies, or intimidation, the scammer attempts to coerce payment for the debt. This debt may have been canceled, forgiven, discharged, or be past due for collection. Dallas County consumers are advised to first confirm the validity of debts before making payments. You can also verify the status of your debts by obtaining a free annual credit report. Such reports help consumers keep track of their credit or loan histories and identify real debts that they were oblivious to. Credit reports may also alert them to instances of identity theft. Also helpful, is performing a reverse phone number lookup to shed some light on a scammer’s true identity.
What are Advance Fee Scams?
This scam attempts to bait a consumer into paying money upfront in exchange for a loan or other benefit. A variant of this scam requires the consumer to part with upfront fees to receive prize winnings. A scammer may try to lure unwitting consumers with promises like “No credit check required!” or “Bad credit OK!” to access the loan. County residents are warned to reject unsolicited loans offered via phone, especially those that use familiar or reputable company names. Several reverse phone lookup free services can retrieve important caller information and aid scam identification. Also, consumers are reminded that legitimate lenders neither make phone solicitations, request fees upfront nor ignore a person’s credit history when granting a loan.
What are Counterfeit Cashier's Check Scams?
Overpayment scam is another name for this type of scam. Scammers take advantage of consumers’ confidence in cashiers’ checks as a guaranteed means of payment. This payment could be for an online transaction, sweepstakes fees, or even a job. The scammer sends a cashier’s check to the victim to deposit in the victim’s bank account. Under the guise of a refund request arising from an ‘accidental’ overpayment, the scammer asks that the excess is returned via a wire transfer. However, in this case, the check is a forgery that may fool most banks at first glance but would later be discovered. Once discovered, victims lose the overpayment wired to fraudsters and may even face criminal charges for depositing fake checks. Consumers have been warned to be wary of large cashier’s checks from unknown persons. Before accepting checks from unknown callers, they are enjoined to dig deeper and identify these strangers. “Who is this number registered to?” is a question that can be answered using a reverse phone number lookup service.
What are Shopping Spree Scams?
With these types of scams, fraudsters aim to steal their targets’ confidential information or money. A scammer contacts the consumer and offers a free shopping spree. Usually, the scammer will feign affiliation to a familiar and reputable organization to add a false sense of credibility. The next step is to request the individual’s financial information to collect a “processing fee.” Providing this information gives the scammer access to your accounts. Consumers should never share their financial information with unverified or unknown callers. Any person who desires to answer the question, “who called me?” can run the unknown number through a free phone number lookup service.
What are Impersonation Scams?
In this scam, scammers pose as deputies of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department and contact county residents about unpaid fines. Using intimidation tactics, including threats of arrest and jail time, these scammers pressurize their victims to make payments for these fines with prepaid debit cards. Locals may also be intimidated with active arrest warrants for traffic violations, missed jury duty, or other minor offenses. Scammers may make their phone numbers appear as if originating from the Sheriff’s Office or call with (214) 304-0245 or (214) 838-7777 in other instances. Residents are warned to be alert whenever they receive calls from the Sheriff’s Office. They can also do a reverse cell phone lookup to confirm a suspicious phone number’s true origins.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Initially employed for legitimate ends by telemarketers and politicians, robocalls have become increasingly associated with scams and fraud. They are auto-dialed telephone calls that convey pre-recorded information. Scammers find robocalls particularly convenient because they can easily spoof their true identities and launch multiple calls to several consumers. Fronting as representatives of legitimate companies, scammers utilize various scam scripts to pry sensitive financial information from their targets. Residents can avail themselves of reverse phone lookup services to determine if they are receiving robocalls or getting repeated calls from real persons. Here are some steps to take if targeted by robocalls:
- Cut the call immediately a robocall is confirmed and ignore any suggestion to press any button on your phone. Doing so will verify that the phone number belongs to a real person and increase robocall traffic.
- Request for free blocking tools from your telephone service provider to bar unwanted robocalls. Most service providers offer free anti-scam security features on their networks and these can help limit the number or frequency of robocalls.
- Conduct web searches for sites that offer phone number lookup free services to confirm whether the numbers are linked to robocalls.
- File an online complaint with the FTC. Alternatively, call 1-888-382-1222 to report an illegal robocall.
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to increase your chances of spotting scam calls. The FTC uses this registry to inform telemarketers and sellers that registered numbers must be excluded from their sales calls.
Additional instructions on how to block unwanted calls are featured on the FTC website to assist consumers in dealing with robocalls.
How Can You Spot and Report Dallas County Phone Scams?
As scammers relentlessly devise more tricks to steal from residents, consumers can protect themselves by taking note of some crucial signs. One important step is for consumers to unmask scammers’ identities by querying unknown phone numbers with reverse phone number search tools. Key signs to watch out for to avoid getting ensnared in phone scams include:
- Scammers favor payment channels that are easy to convert and hard to trace. Some examples of these channels include money transfer services, preloaded debit/credit cards, bitcoin, and iTunes gift cards. Payments made through any of these channels are irrecoverable.
- Various threats and coercion methods are employed by scammers to create a sense of urgency and compel victims to give up sensitive information. Posing as local law enforcement or representatives of well-known entities also increases the legitimacy of their threats and ensures compliance.
- Scammers often request payment upfront as a condition for receiving promised or advertised lottery prizes, grants, or free services. It is not free if any kind of payment has to be made in advance.
- Legitimate businesses and organizations do not make unsolicited calls to consumers requesting their personal information. You have no doubts about who is at the other end of the line when you initiate a business call. This is not always the case when you are the called party, especially since caller ID details and email addresses can be spoofed.
- Scammers bait unsuspecting victims with too-good-to-be-true offers like shopping sprees, easy loans, big prizes, and holiday cruises in exchange for nothing. Realize that nobody just doles out large sums of money readily and that scammers are trying to steal your financial information.
You can reduce the chances of becoming a scam victim by just knowing that no one is exempted from being targeted by scammers. Consumers able to perform phone number lookup by name, address, and phone number face fewer risks from scammers. Government’s contribution to tackling the scourge of phone scams is evident in the activities of established public institutions like:
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC was set up to shield American consumers from unfair and fraudulent commercial acts. They achieve this by administering a wide range of consumer protection laws and maintaining the National Do Not Call Registry. Telemarketers and other for-profit entities are barred by the FTC from calling consumers whose numbers are listed on the registry. You can discern suspicious calls if your phone number is registered on the DNC platform because only illegal robocalls tend to ignore this regulation. The FTC also provides Call-blocking guides and an online channel for lodging complaints related to unlawful robocall and anti-trade practices.
Federal Communications Commission - The FCC is the main regulatory body in charge of interstate and international communication in the U.S. They tackle illegal robocalls and fraudulent caller ID spoofing. By initiating consumer-focused policies and implementing more vigorous enforcement, the FCC protects consumers from numerous phone scams. In addition, valuable information on avoiding illegal robocalls and phone scams is made available to consumers. They also provide an online avenue for scam-affected individuals to file complaints and seek possible redress.
Dallas County Sheriff’s Department - This is the principal law enforcement agency within the county borders. The Department, in addition to maintaining law and order, also offers information on common scams to residents. Dallas County locals who have had run-ins with phone scammers should contact their local law enforcement agency to file criminal complaints.