What are Ector County Area Codes?
An area code is a part of the telephone number that routes long-distance calls to their destination. When the area code is combined with the first three digits of a seven-digit local telephone number, a geographic address is formed that routes call through the telephone network. You can find the area code of any geographical area in the United States by using an area code lookup tool online.
Currently, only one area code covers Ector County – Area code 432
Area Code 432
Area code 432 was created from area code 915 and was first used on April 5, 2003. It is the only area code serving Odessa, Midland, and Big Spring. Other locations covered by this area code include Andrews, Pecos, Fort Stockton, Monahans, Seminole, and Alpine.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Ector County?
A 2018 National Center of Health Statistics Survey estimated that 67.9% of persons aged 18 and above in Texas used wireless-only telephony services, while only 2.5% used landline services exclusively. By contrast, among persons aged under 18, 76.6% used wireless telephony services exclusively with just 1.4% of individuals in that demographic using landline-only telephony service. These statistics indicate wireless telephony service to be the dominant means of telephone communications in Texas.
Many Ector County residents use cell phones to serve different purposes. They often make voice calls, access the internet, and engage in texting. When you subscribe to a cell phone plan, you need to consider several different limits. Separate caps are assigned to voice minutes, text messages, and data transfers from wireless carriers. Hence, you need to ensure you sign up for a plan with enough minutes and data to fully meet your communications needs.
However, finding a wireless provider with good coverage in your local area should be even more important than the minutes and data on offer from a provider. After all, if calls do not complete, the features on any plan become unprofitable. You can choose from many different carriers in Ector County as they all offer decent coverage in the cities and communities in the county. All four major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and several lesser-known carriers, or Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) offer telephony services and multiple phone plans in Ector County. MVNOs may not be well known in your local area, but they operate under the MNOs' networks, so there is a good chance that they have decent coverage as well.
In the county seat of Odessa, AT&T has the best overall coverage with a score of 92%. Sprint's coverage is rated 72%, Verizon has a 68% coverage score, while T-Mobile's coverage is rated 48%.
Wireless telephony adoption in Ector County is strengthened by the widespread use of VoIP telephony services within the cities and communities in the county. Many residents are turning to plans from VoIP service providers to cut down on telephone bills. VoIP stands for Voice over Internet Protocol, a technology that allows users to make calls over the internet or IP networks wherever broadband internet connections are available. Using VoIP-enabled applications to make internet calls, residents are only charged for data usage.
What are Ector County Phone Scams?
Ector County phone scams are cons conducted over the phone to defraud Ector County residents. Scammers may conduct phone scams using text messages, live calls, or robocalls. Using robocalls, scammers may target thousands of residents within a few minutes by sending recorded messages delivered through bots. They also Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to make cheap calls to targets. The Ector County Sheriff's Office publishes information on recent phone scams in the county on its website. Residents can also use free phone number lookup services to determine if incoming calls are coming from scammers. The most prevalent phone scams in Ector County include IRS scams, tech support scams, missed call scams, and jury duty scams.
What are Ector County Tech Support Scams?
In a tech support scam, the caller contacts you out of the blue, claiming that your computer has been infested with worms, malware, or viruses. The caller purports to represent a known tech company such as Microsoft and Apple. To fix the infestation, the caller requests remote access to your device and payment for the services to be rendered. You may be asked to provide your credit card details or bank account information to make the required payment.
Thereafter, the caller attempts to run some diagnostics on your device by opening up a terminal through the remote access granted. You may see a few pop-up windows display on the screen of the computer with the scammer claiming to fix the issue in the processes involved. However, during those processes, the scammer installs spyware, malware, viruses, or ransomware on your device. Hence, the scammer may steal sensitive information off your computer or demand that you pay a ransom to access the files on the device. Phone lookup applications can help uncover the true identities of scam callers.
What are Ector County IRS Scams?
In the IRS scam, an individual purporting to be an employee of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) contacts you and claims that you owe back taxes to the IRS. The fraudster may claim that you have been sent several reminder letters, which you have ignored. This is part of the plan to appear real to you. Indeed, the real IRS first contacts taxpayers by sending them bills through the U.S. Postal Service, to let them know that they owe taxes.
In order to appear legitimate, the caller ID information on your phone's display may be falsified to appear like the real IRS is calling. These con artists are able to achieve this imitation through caller ID spoofing. Typically, the con artist threatens to arrest, jail, deport, or revoke your driver's license if you do not cooperate. To avoid these consequences, targets are required to pay by wire transfers into unverified accounts, or through gift cards and prepaid debit cards. Reverse phone number lookup applications can prevent residents from falling victim to IRS phone scams.
What are Ector County Missed Call Scams?
This scam involves calls in which the scammers ring targets' phone numbers but immediately hang up in the hope that recipients will call back. While some of the missed calls may reveal calls coming from local areas, targets soon find out that they are connected to expensive numbers, such as international numbers which are charged at premium rates. This leaves them facing costly charges for the calls made. You can use a reverse cell phone lookup tool to verify if a caller’s identity matches the name given.
What are Ector County Jury Duty Scams?
Jury duty scams are prevalent in Ector County. Here, an unsolicited caller claiming to be from the Ector County Sheriff's Office (ECSO) or a local police department says a target has failed to appear in court and will be arrested. The caller may use the name of a present or past employee of the ECSO or the local PD to appear real to the target. To avoid arrest, the target is asked to send gift cards or prepaid debit cards. Jury duty scam perpetrators may also leave their targets with callback numbers to contact for more information. When targets call back, they are tricked into believing that they have reached the official telephone lines of the law enforcement agencies. Note that the ECSO does not call residents to waive arrests by sending gift cards. Phone lookup applications can help uncover the true identities of scam callers.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are calls delivering pre recorded messages delivered through automatic announcing dialing devices (ADADs). ADADs are devices that can store and dial telephone numbers automatically. They may be used alone or with other equipment to deliver synthesized voice or pre-recorded messages to telephone lines.
Millions of robocalls are made monthly in Texas with phone users considering them a nuisance. However, robocalls can also be used to provide useful information such as appointment reminders and flight cancellations. As the number of robocalls continues to skyrocket in the United States, residents of Ector County and Texas have also felt the hit. In 2020, over 5.1 billion robocalls were placed to Texas residents. Between January and April 2021, these residents had received over 2 billion robocalls - an average of 63.7 robocalls per resident.
These calls are often extremely malicious in nature, attempting to scam targets out of their money or bank data. Many residents have claimed to have lost money ranging from a few hundred dollars to entire life savings. A reverse phone number lookup free service can identify an incoming robocall.
The under-listed guidelines may be followed to curb the spate of the rising number of robocall scams:
- Do not answer calls with an unfamiliar caller ID. Let the call go to voicemail. Only return the call after determining that the caller is legitimate
- If you answer any call and you hear a pre-recorded message, do not press any button. Hang up immediately.
- Contact your telephone service provider to inquire about any available tools to block robocalls. Such call-blocking options may already exist in your current service plan. If they exist, ensure the functions are activated on your device. Additional robocall blocking protection may also be on offer from your service provider for a fee.
- Install third-party call-blocking applications on your phone, such as Truecaller, YouMail, Hiya, and Nomorobo. These are available on mobile phone online application stores.
- Register your telephone number with the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Do not Call List.
- Be on alert for caller ID spoofing. Scammers now have access to technology to make their caller ID look like those you trust or know. If a caller pressures you into divulging sensitive information, hang up immediately and report such.
- Get regular updates on current phone scam trends via the FTC website or sign up for free email alerts from the FTC.
How to Spot and Report Ector County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are getting harder to trace with the use of robocalls and other modern technologies. Recent scams are targeted and complex, employing modern techniques and technologies. Regardless of their tricks used or the origins of scam calls, the clear motivation remains to steal money or other valuable information. It has become paramount to stay abreast of scam tricks and protect oneself from falling victims to these crooked individuals.
Reverse phone lookup services help combat phone scams. You can also beware of the following red flags when you receive unsolicited calls:
- The caller creates a sense of urgency: Scammers try to create a sense of urgency to encourage you to act quickly. Do not rush. Take your time to do your research and consider whether the information provided is real.
- The deal is too good to be true: The offer may be enticing, however, remember that scammers often present deals that are really too good to be true.
- The caller asks you to make payment through a non-secure payment method: Con artists often ask targets to pay by non-secure payment methods such as wire transfers, money orders, pre-loaded gift cards, and cryptocurrencies. These methods are difficult to trace, while it is also rare to recover money sent this way.
- There are upfront costs to consider: A scammer may claim that you are due a refund or have won a prize. However, you need to pay an upfront fee to cover transport, insurance, tax, or custom costs. Do not transfer funds in upfront fees to unknown callers.
- The caller threatens or intimidates you: Fraudsters use varying tricks to get targets to cooperate. Some intimidate targets with threats of arrest, fines, deportation, and revocation of licenses. Do not give in to threats. Reputable organizations do not issue threats to call recipients.
You can file complaints if you have fallen victim to a scam or have been contacted by a scammer to any of the following local, state, and federal agencies:
- Ector County Sheriff's Office: Contact the Sheriff's Office at (432) 335-3050 if you have been targeted in a phone scam.
- Local Police Departments: If you believe you have been contacted by a scammer, you can file a report at the local police department nearest to you. In the county seat of Odessa, you can contact the Odessa Police Department at (432) 333-3641.
- The Texas Attorney General’s Office: File a complaint online to the Consumer Protection Division of the Office or call the Office’s toll-free line at (800) 621-0508.
- The Federal Trade Commission: If you receive unsolicited calls 31 days after adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry, you can file a complaint online with the FTC.
- The Federal Communications Commission: The FCC allows you to file a complaint online if you believe you have received a call from a spam call, or if you think you are the victim of a phone scam.
- The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA): Report IRS imposters to the TIGTA. To report by phone, call TIGTA at (800) 366-4484.