What are Galveston County Area Codes?
Area code 409 is a Texas state telephone area code in the NANP. It covers the area of Galveston County. Cities and counties covered by this area code include: Galveston County, Galveston City, Beaumont City, Port Arthur City, Texas City, and Jefferson County.
What are the best cell phone plans in Galveston County?
The best cell phone plans in Galveston County are Sprint, AT & T, and T-Mobile with a 92%, 62% and 74% population coverage respectively. The people of Galveston County have used landline services longer than cell phones due to its quick and easy connections. The landline provides efficient call quality although it limits mobility and can only be used from a home in contrast to cell phones. Due to its high cost, more Galveston County residents have opted for cell phones in place of landlines. The National Center for Health Statistics supports this statement which shows the status of landline and wireless phone users in Texas which Galveston County is part of; adults (18years and above) who only use wireless phones make up 67.9% of the population and landline users make 2.5%; while children under the age of 18 make up 76.6% of the population that use only wireless phones while 1.4% use only landlines.
The Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) is a phone feature that sends phone calls over high-speed internet connections; features of VOIP include caller identification, blocking, three-way communication, forwarding and unlimited domestic calls
VOIP allows customers to use the same phone number at any location that has access to the internet. This service is cost effective for Galveston County business owners and people with multiple homes unlike cellphone and landline users that have random phone numbers assigned to them. Galveston County VOIP customers can pick a desired area code other than that of their county. This feature is especially beneficial to Galveston business owners as the amount of money customers pay to contact business owners will be affected depending on the area code selected by the business owner.
What are Galveston County phone scams?
A prevalent Galveston County phone scam involves a suspect posing as Sgt Bradley from the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office. He tells his victims that a judge has issued a warrant for their arrest unless the sum $1000 is paid immediately.
Another phone scam that has claimed a lot of victims in Galveston County is the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scam. Victims have reported receiving phone calls from fake IRS officials threatening them with deportation, lawsuit, and debt unless they provide them with their personal information and money to resolve the issue.
Robocalls are pre-recorded messages delivered from an automated source instead of a living person to multiple phone users without their permission. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there are legal robocalls that do not require permission which include: political calls, messages from charities, and calls from health care providers.
Illegal robocallers purchase numerous phone numbers from illegal brokers online for a small amount of money. Following this purchase, the robocall spoofs the phone numbers purchased - this is the art of falsifying the true origin of a phone call to make the receiver think the call is coming from an area code other than its true origin using a robocalling software like VOIP. This software can make multiple calls in an hour.
The FTC advises people to hang up immediately, do not try to find out who called, and not press any button that transfers you to speak with a live operator if you suspect the call is a robocall as this could lead to more robocalls.
How Can You Spot and Report Galveston County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are usually associated with scare tactics to make their victims part with their money and/or personal information. Victims are usually threatened with arrests or are told they need to make hasty decisions on the spot. The scammers will claim they are with a reputable institution like a bank and ask victims for sensitive information or are told they won a prize for a competition they never entered. Law abiding agencies like the IRS or financial institutions will not ask for sensitive information over the phone. Illegal robocalls and unwanted calls can be stopped before they reach their destination by using call blocking applications.
People can also use call labelling to block illegal robocalls or phone scams which are offered by some phone companies. Call labeling can also be used as this will identify calls as spam or scam-likely for incoming calls, there are mobile applications that offer this service like True Caller. The National Do Not Call Registry was created to stop unwanted sales calls from law abiding companies. The registry shows telemarketers numbers that do not wish to be called; however scammers do not obey this law, so they can easily be spotted when they ignore the registry. The registry cannot block phone scams or robocalls so using a call blocking application is the most effective method to prevent illegal phone calls.
An official report can be made to the FTC by reporting the number displayed on the phone or any number the scammer was asked to call back, to aid in tracking. The official IRS have reported 90,000 complaints and 1,1000 victims from Galveston County that have lost a total of $5 million. It is advised that Galveston County residents report phone scams to the Galveston County Sheriff Office via phone call using (409) 766-2300 or by visiting the Galveston County Sheriff Office at:
601 54th Street,
Galveston, TX 77591