What are Jefferson County Area Codes?
An area code is a three-digit number that is prefixed to every North American telephone number. It identifies a location as a numbering plan area within a state and reveals where a phone call originates. Area codes were introduced as part of the North American Numbering Plan to divide regions of the country's member nations into geographic numbering plan areas.
There is only one area code covering Jefferson County. This Code serves Jefferson County and some surrounding areas. The area code serving Jefferson County is area code 409.
Area Code 409
Area code 409 covers Eastern Texas and its environs. Area code 409 was introduced on November 1, 1982, as a creation from area code 713. Area code 409 was split in the year 2000, creating the need to update some phone numbers to area code 936. In later years, area code 409 was split again to create area code 979. However, area code 409 remained the only code that served Jefferson County. Jefferson County cities covered by this area code include Beaumont, Port Arthur, Galveston, Nederland, Groves, etc. Residents of Jefferson County can use area code lookup services to determine where the calls they receive originate.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Jefferson County?
A 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey revealed that 67.9% of Texas adults used wireless telephone services only. By contrast, only 2.5% of Texas adults used landlines as their first and only choice for telephony services. 15.1% used wireless telephone services most times, while a total of 3.7% opted for landlines over wireless telephone service. The survey further revealed that a total of 7.5% used both wireless telephone service and landlines.
Among children (under 18s) in Texas, the disparity was more evident, with over 76.6% preferring wireless telephone services alone. Only 1.4% of the children in Texas used landlines as their preferred telephony service and 3.5% of the children used both landlines and wireless telephones. These figures infer that cell phones are more prevalent among children in Texas compared to the use of landlines.
There are four major phone carriers in Texas. They include AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. The four offer reasonable service within the Jefferson County area. Texas has over 1,983 zip codes and AT&T offers the best service with about 96.62% coverage. Verizon offers the second-best service with about 91.11% coverage. T-Mobile ranks third with about 85.92% coverage. Sprint is the last in terms of service with about 56.32% coverage.
Texas is broadly covered by 3G and 4G network technology. 3G is compatible with older phones and 4G LTE-capable devices fall back to when unable to reach a primary network. Texas has several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). These operators purchase network service from major providers at wholesale prices, then resell to consumers at cheaper rates. The State of Texas admitted changes to the Public Utility Regulatory Act and the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996. The changes required local telephone companies to permit new companies to connect with their networks in providing competitive local phone services.
Phone carriers in Texas are doing enough in terms of service. However, some new telephony services are becoming widespread. One of such services is VoIP, meaning Voice Over Internet Protocol. VoIP is a type of telecommunication technology that converts analog voice signals from phones or headsets into digital data that are transported over the internet. The State of Texas recognizes three types of VoIP service.
- VoIP based on local public telephone networks such as traditional phone service. However, in this case, the calls are converted into data and sent over internet networks.
- Peer-to-Peer (P2), which provides software applications for computers that do the analog-to-digital conversion. Calls under this type are also transmitted over the internet.
- Hybrid VoIP, stands out as the only type of VoIP that works with both the internet and public phone network. As such, it allows users to call anyone who has a phone.
What Are Jefferson County Phone Scams?
Phone scams include any attempt to defraud or steal money or sensitive information from residents of Jefferson County over the phone. Scammers use different tricks to coerce victims into giving up money or some vital information. Reverse phone number lookup services are useful in identifying scam calls. Institutions of the State of Texas and some federal agencies provide residents of Jefferson County with the right information about how to deal with phone scams. Some of these institutions include:
- Jefferson County State's Attorney - Consumer Protection
- Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
- Better Business Bureau
- Federal Trade Commission
Victims of phone scams may contact any of these agencies to register complaints. Common scams committed in Jefferson County include:
What are Tech Support Scams?
This is a very popular scam in the country. In this scam, the victim receives a call from someone claiming to be a support staff for a reputable tech company. The caller usually informs the victim about a tech problem on their computer and how it could be fixed. The caller then asks the victim for sensitive information such as their password. Tech support scam is usually perpetrated to gain access into the victim's computer to steal more sensitive information or money. The Jefferson County Sheriff encourages residents not to give anyone access to their computers to anyone. Tech companies will not call people out of the blue. Individuals may also use free reverse phone lookup services to identify the origin of calls.
What are Emergency Scams
Emergency scams also known as grandparents scams target the elderly in Jefferson County. This type of scam involves a call or email from a stranger claiming to be a family member or friend in dire need. Scammers often invent stories to play on the victims’ emotions and get them to send money immediately. Con artists can use voice apps or spoof caller IDs to make it difficult for victims to recognize the real callers. Residents must ensure that such calls are verified before any money is sent. Individuals may use the 'who called me' service to identify the callers. Residents may use the area code lookup services to identify the locations where the calls were placed.
What is Shopping Spree Scams
In this scam, the victim receives a call that some amount of money has been written in their name and they can shop with it. The caller claims to be working with a reputable business or a government agency. After this, the caller requests for the victim's account number to withdraw a small token for shipping the items and handling their vouchers. Once the money is removed, the victim stops hearing from the scammer. Residents can avoid falling for these scams by identifying the caller IDs of the scammers using free reverse phone number lookup tools.
What is IRS Scam
In this scam, the caller informs the victim of back taxes that they must pay immediately. Scammers use the threat of arrest and withdrawal of license to coerce victims into giving up their money. Individuals who have been contacted by IRS impostors should contact the County Sheriff. Residents should know that the IRS and its affiliates will not call to demand immediate payments over the telephone.
What are Employment Scams
An employment scam often involves a call that seems like a job interview, after which the job seeker is supposedly hired. The caller then informs the job seeker of a certain condition that must be met. One of the tricks is to tell the job seeker to pay for a training or background check. Residents should disregard such calls as legitimate businesses would not require job seekers to pay for any of these. A resident may verify whether such a call is from a legitimate business using either the phone number lookup by address service or the phone number lookup by name service.
What Are Advance Fee Scams
In this scam, the caller promises the victim some kind of benefit- a loan, no credit check, foreign lottery prize, an opportunity to work from home, or more. The caller then requests for payment upfront before the victim can access benefits fully. As the name suggests, victims are persuaded to pay in advance for the benefit they were promised. Advance fee scammers usually ask for payment by wire transfers, online payments, or gift cards. The State of Texas has asked citizens to disregard any caller that requests for money upfront before a promise is fulfilled. Residents can trace the origin of suspected scam calls using reverse phone lookup services.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are recorded messages delivered to recipients’ phones through automatic dialing devices. On the other hand, spam calls are unsolicited calls sent to a large number of people without permission. A robocall can be a harmless telemarketing sales pitch, a public announcement, or a campaign message. However, the use of such calls to defraud innocent citizens is not new. Scammers use robocalls to target victims as these calls allow them to impersonate legitimate businesses or organizations. Illegal robocalls are usually used to steal confidential information from victims. A reverse phone lookup service can be used to confirm whether or not an incoming call is a robocall.
The best options, if you receive a robocall are to:
- Hang up the phone immediately. Do not wait until there is a call to action from the message.
- Contact your phone provider to block the number as soon as you hang up.
- Use online services that offer free reverse phone lookup to identify robocalls.
- Report illegal robocalls to the FTC online or call 1-888-382-1222.
- Enroll your number in the National Do Not Call Registry. Adding a phone number to this registry exempts you from receiving robocalls and other sales calls from telemarketers and businesses. However, this may not stop you from receiving unwanted calls completely.
How to Spot and Report Jefferson County Phone Scams
Scammers are always in search of new ways to steal from unsuspecting individuals, but despite the introduction of new methods, most scam calls share similarities. Reverse phone number lookup or phone number search tools help identify potential phone scams. Indications that a phone call is a scam include:
- The use of higher pressure sales tactics and limited-time offers
- The caller acting reluctant to answer questions about an advertised business or offer
- Personal information is requested
- Insisting that payment is made by means other than a credit card, including cash, gift card, wire transfer, or private courier
- A strange voice claiming to be a friend or relative in need of money. In which case the caller does not give you time to think about it or contact others
Companies that provide number lookup services are very important in the fight against phone scams. Residents may also get good reverse phone lookup apps. Most of these apps can answer the question, 'who is this number registered to?' each time there is a suspicious call. Public institutions in Jefferson County are committed to curbing the menace of phone scams within the area. These institutions include:
Jefferson County State's Attorney Consumer Protection Unit - The unit is a section in the State's Attorney's Office that protects and provides relevant information on how to deal with phone scams in the state. Residents can report cases of phone scams or suspected scam calls to the unit using the consumer protection hotline at 1-800-621-0508. The Unit can help individuals identify scam callers using reverse phone lookup tools.
Jefferson County Sheriff's Office - The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office provides updates and information concerning phone scams in the county. Residents may report suspicious calls to the office for investigation. The Office can be reached by phone at 409-835-8411.
Better Business Bureau - The Better Business Bureau is the source of information on legitimate business entities registered in Jefferson County. The BBB also provides information about scams perpetrated by illegitimate businesses in Jefferson County.