What are Denton County Area Codes?
Area codes were established by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) when it divided regional service territories into numbering plan areas (NPAs). The NPAs were assigned three-digit codes as identifiers commonly referred to as area codes. They are the first three-digits dialed when making long-distance phone calls within North America. The Public Utilities Commission in Texas administers Denton County area codes.
Six area codes currently cover Denton County. These area codes also serve several surrounding counties in the State of Texas. These are:
Area Code 214
Area code 214 was one of the original area codes established by the NANP in 1947, initially covering Texas’s entire northeastern quadrant. It currently covers locations in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, including parts of Denton County. Denton County cities under this area code include Carrolltown, Celina, Flower Mound, Frisco, Highland Village, Lewisville, Little Elm, Prosper, and The Colony.
Area Code 940
Area code 940 was created in 1997 in a split of the 817 NPA. Cities in Denton County under this area code include Argyle, Aubrey, Corinth, Denton, Justin, Krum, Lake Dallas, Pilot Point, Ponder, and Sanger.
Area Code 817
Area Code 682
Area code 682 is the telephone area code that overlays the 817 NPA. It became active in 2000.
Area Code 972
Area code 972 is a telephone area code introduced in 1995, initially as a split of the 214 NPA. It was, however, converted to an overlay of the 214 NPA in 1999.
Area Code 469
Area code 469 is a telephone area code activated in 1999 as an additional overlay of the 214 NPA.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Denton County?
Information gleaned from the 2018 National Health Interview Survey shows that wireless telephony has become the most widely used telephone service in Denton County. The survey established that 67.9% of Texan residents, 18 years and above, used wireless telephony services exclusively while landline-only users made up about 2.5% of the adult population. Among Texan residents under 18 years, 76.6% used wireless services only while only about 1.4% of this demographic was exclusive landline users.
All four major carriers provide decent service in the State of Texas, though with varying coverage levels. Verizon claims the best service in Denton County, followed by AT&T, and T-Mobile, while Sprint’s service in the county lags behind the others. The reliable service offered by the major carriers allows various MVNOs to operate in the county. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) use the major carriers’ network infrastructure to offer cheaper, though limited, telephony services to county residents.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) enables the transmission of telephone services via IP network connections, the most popular of which is the internet. This medium of transmission enables VoIP networks to provide telephony services that are cheaper, more efficient, and more flexible than traditional telephone services. Numerous providers of VoIP services are available in Denton County for both commercial and residential users.
What are Denton County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent schemes or deceptive practices committed using telephony services and targeted against Denton County residents. These schemes are aimed to steal money or confidential information from the targets. Suspicious phone number lookups conducted using phone search services can identify phone numbers used to perpetrate such scams.
Public agencies such as the Texas Attorney General, Denton County Sheriff, and municipal police departments in the county are charged with combating phone scams. These agencies also issue alerts and provide resources to residents. Victims can contact any of these agencies to report scam incidents. Common scams in Denton County include:
What are Law Enforcement Impostor Scams?
Scammers call Denton County residents and impersonate county law enforcement employees, typically the Denton County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO). The callers inform their targets that they have outstanding warrants for offenses, such as missed jury duty, unpaid traffic tickets, and missed court dates. Consequently, they claim, deputies are on their way to arrest these targets. However, these scammers also claim warrants will be rescinded and the deputies recalled if the targets make immediate payments.
The callers typically ask for the payment in prepaid debit cards or Kroger gift cards and want these purchased immediately and the card numbers sent to them. In some instances, the scammers impersonate actual DCSO deputies and spoof caller IDs to show official DCSO phone numbers.
The DCSO informs county residents to be wary of supposed Sheriff deputies making unsolicited payment requests. The DCSO (or any law enforcement agency) will not call to warn residents about outstanding warrants. DCSO employees will never solicit payments over the phone or ask residents to purchase prepaid cards to make payments. If you receive these calls, hang up immediately. Victims of these scams should contact the DCSO on (940) 349-1600 or their local police departments.
What are Utility Scams?
Power utility companies, such as Denton Municipal Electric, warn about fraudsters posing as their employees to defraud consumers. These scammers call residents and inform them of fictitious overdue bills and threaten to disconnect their homes and businesses if the debts are not settled immediately. The scammers typically spoof caller IDs to display official phone numbers. They also always insist on payment by prepaid cards and wire transfers or ask for the victims’ financial information.
Residents should be aware that utility companies are required by law to provide customers with several written notices before disconnecting them. Also, utility companies will never insist on payments by such unusual methods. Residents who receive these calls should hang up and contact their utility providers directly to make inquiries. Reverse phone lookups can retrieve information on persons running these scams.
What are Shopping Spree Scams?
In these scams, callers contact county residents and offer them free shopping spree opportunities. The callers impersonate representatives of reputable organizations and claim the targets are eligible for these sprees due to their loyalty. They then ask for the victims’ financial information to charge small processing fees for voucher handling and shipping or ask the targets to send payments. Payments are typically requested in prepaid cards or wire transfers. Accepting these requests only enables the scammers to steal money and banking information to commit identity thefts or sell to other scammers.
Consumers should beware of these opportunities as they are scams. Authorities warn consumers never to share sensitive information on unsolicited calls. Reverse phone number lookups can provide information on the identities of unknown callers. Victims of these scams should report them to their local law enforcement agency or the Texas Attorney General’s Office.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are telephone calls made with auto-dialers to deliver pre-recorded messages. They are used to reach large audiences quickly and with minimal human involvement. Robocalls were initially designed for telemarketers and later adopted by political campaigns and public service announcements for these reasons. Scammers have also adopted robocalls for these same reasons. Also, persons behind robocalls can remain virtually anonymous as the phone numbers used can be easily changed, even to the official phone numbers of legitimate organizations. Consumers already used to receiving robocalls from authentic sources may be less cautious when responding to scam robocalls, making it easier for scammers to run successful scams. The following actions can be taken to deal with illegal robocalls:
- Include your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry and Texas Do Not Call List. Phone numbers on these lists are restricted from receiving most unwanted telephone solicitations. If you still receive robocalls after joining these lists, you should treat them as potential scam calls.
- Report robocall abuse to the FTC using the online complaint assistant or call 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Dismiss any phone call you discover to be a robocall. Do not follow any prompts or messages to connect to a live operator or remove yourself from a distribution list. Doing so confirms your number as active and sends more robocalls your way.
- Use tools provided by phone carriers and manufacturers for blocking unknown callers and spam calls. These tools and features are available on telephone handsets and as online applications. Use these to identify robocall numbers and block them. Some of these tools carry fees, so ensure the solutions you choose are cost-effective.
- Use third-party applications to identify and block spam calls. These apps are available in free and paid versions. Also, reverse phone lookup free services exist that can be used to identify and screen robocalls.
Consumers can find guidelines for blocking unwanted calls on any platform on the FTC website.
How to Spot and Report Denton County Phone Scams?
Scammers are out to steal your money and sensitive information, and are most successful against ignorant and unsuspecting residents. You should always be aware that, in these days, an unsolicited call from an unknown person could be a scam. Also, educating yourself on phone scammers’ tactics and trends helps considerably in spotting scam calls. Using online services to run phone number searches can provide answers to the questions, “who called me?” and “who is this number registered to?”
Indicators that unknown callers are running scams include:
- The callers request payments by unusual means, such as prepaid debit cards, gift cards, and wire transfers. Scammers use these methods of payment because funds sent through them are difficult to retrieve.
- The callers make unsolicited requests for personal information and money and get hostile when you do not comply. They use threats of audits, deportations, arrests, and prosecutions to force your hand. Legitimate authorities do not threaten citizens over the phone.
- The callers inform you of prizes, gifts, and winnings that you have to pay to receive. Any prizes, gifts, or winnings that are supposedly yours but requiring advance payments to obtain are scams.
- The callers inform you of opportunities that require immediate attention. They dissuade you from telling others or contacting third parties for opinions or information.
Several online applications exist that run phone number lookups by address, name, and number are available for free and nominal fees. These applications retrieve information that can be used to report phone scams. If you have been a victim of a phone scam in Denton County, you can contact any of these agencies:
Local Law Enforcement Agencies - Local law enforcement agencies receive reports and investigate cases of phone scams in the County. Residents can file reports with the Denton County Sheriff’s Office or their local police departments.
Texas Attorney General (TAG) - The Consumer Protection Unit of the TAG’s Office helps residents deal with phone scams and other fraudulent acts. Residents can file complaints online or call the consumer protection hotline on 1 (800) 621-0508.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - This is the federal regulatory authority that protects consumers from deceptive and unfair practices. The National Do Not Call Registry was established to protect consumers from unwanted telephone solicitations. The FTC also issues guidelines for call-blocking to help against unwanted callers. Report cases of illegal calls with the FTC online complaint assistance or call 1 (888) 382-1222.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - This is the federal authority that regulates communications. It provides consumer alerts and guidelines on stopping robocalls and avoiding phone spoofing. Consumers can file complaints online with the FCC.