What are Tom Green County Area Codes?
The only area code serving Tom Green County is area code 325. An area code is a numeric designation for a numbering plan area (NPA). The introduction of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947 led to the creation of 86 area codes to cover the US. While some area codes cover entire states, some were assigned to a few counties and cities. The NANP made call routing and switching more efficient across phone networks in participating countries. It also made long-distance calls more reliable. Every phone number issued in the US has an area code denoting where it was registered. In a 10-digit American phone number, the first three digits represent the area code.
Area Code 325
Created in a split plan that divided area code 915 and produced two additional area codes (325 and 432), area code 325 was put into service on April 5, 2003. It serves 28 counties including Tom Green County. Communities in the county covered by this area code include San Angelo, Christoval, and Carlsbad.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Tom Green County?
Most Texans have made the shift from landline phones to wireless phones. This trend was confirmed in a 2018 wireless substitution survey conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. The results of the survey showed that 67.9% of adults in Texas solely used wireless phone services for telecommunication while 2.5% of them were landline-only phone users. Among minors in Texas, the survey found that 76.6% of residents under the age of 18 only use wireless phone services. In contrast, a very small 1.4% of this demographic still relied on landline phone services.
Texans living in Tom Green County can sign up for cell phone plans from national carriers as well as regional ones. Among these phone service providers, AT&T has the most extensive network in Texas. It covers 96.6% of the state while Verizon and T-Mobile offer 91.1% and 85.9% coverage of Texas. Regional carriers usually have smaller coverage areas and mostly rely on the network infrastructure of bigger, national carriers. These mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) also buy network services in bulk orders from major carriers and pass on some savings to their subscribers by offering cheaper phone plans.
VoIP phone services are also available in Tom Green County. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a network technology that enables voice communication over the internet. It carries voice signals as data packets and relies on fast internet access. Therefore, residents with broadband internet access at home and their workplaces can enjoy VoIP phone services. VoIP phone service providers usually offer cheaper phone plans for those with pre-existing internet access. VoIP service is also more affordable than cell phone service for long-distance calls and teleconferencing calls.
What are Tom Green County Phone Scams?
These are frauds perpetrated using phone tools and services and targeting residents of and businesses in Tom Green County. Fraudsters usually rely on phone calls and text messages to establish communication with their victims. Most scams are conducted over the phone, often with scammers and their victims in different cities, states, or countries. Scammers also use spam calls and robocalls to recruit new targets for their fraudulent schemes. They may then switch to caller ID spoofing and phishing to impersonate authority figures and loved ones in order to gain the trust of their victims.
Residents of Tom Green County hoping to avoid phone scams must learn to use anti-scam phone tools and services such as call blocking and reverse phone number lookup. Furthermore, they need to learn about commonly reported phone scams in their communities and how these scams are used to defraud unsuspecting victims. The Texas Attorney General’s Office publishes a list of prevalent phone scams in the state. These include emergency scams, overpayment scams, IRS scams, and tech support scams.
What are Tom Green County Emergency Scams?
So-called because they involve fraudsters attempting to defraud their targets by claiming to require emergency help. Sometimes also known as grandparent scams because elderly residents are the most likely targets and scammers pretend to be their victims’ grandkids. An emergency scam starts with a stranger claiming to be a loved one calling to ask for urgent financial help. They may claim to need the money to get out of jail, come home from a foreign country where they are stuck, or pay for hospital bills after an accident. The scammer often asks their victim to keep the help a secret from others, claiming they will be embarrassed if everyone knew about their predicaments.
The Texas’ Attorney General asks residents to educate the elderly on how to deal with such calls. If you receive a call for immediate financial help from a friend or family member you have not heard from in a while, do not rush to send money to them. Call the loved one with the number you have saved on your phone or call people you both know to corroborate what you heard. A free phone number lookup can also help determine whether or not the caller is lying about their identity and location.
What are Tom Green County Overpayment Scams?
These start with victims receiving checks for amounts in excess of what they expect from senders. Often fraudsters will use such checks to pay for products or services rendered. They will then instruct their victims to wire back the excess amounts while they deposit the overpayment checks in their accounts. However, the victims soon learn that they have been defrauded when their banks return the presented checks as fake.
Residents of Tom Green County should be wary of overpayment checks. Do not wire back the excess amount on such a check until it clears into your account. If you receive an overpaid check, do a background search on the sender by submitting their number for a reverse phone lookup. This search may reveal that they are a scammer or indicate that the number has been used in previous scams.
What are Tom Green County IRS Scams?
IRS scams are usually impostor scams involving fraudsters pretending to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service. While impersonating IRS employees, fraudsters may demand their victims pay back owed taxes or ask them to verify their banking information in order to receive tax refunds. When scammers are demanding owed taxes, they are usually rude on the phone and threaten their victims. When they are offering tax refunds, they sound helpful.
Texans should know that the IRS does not make unsolicited calls to taxpayers. They inform residents of unpaid taxes and tax refunds by mail. Do not send money or release confidential information to strange callers claiming to work for the IRS. If you can see the caller’s phone number, run a quick cell phone number lookup to find their true identity and confirm that it is not a real IRS number.
What are Tom Green County Tech Support Scams?
These are also impostor scams targeting unsuspecting residents. In these scams, fraudsters pretend to be employees of well-known tech companies and offer unsolicited tech support. They scare their victims with tales of viruses infecting their computers or hackers likely to steal information off these machines. Tech support scammers then ask victims to provide remote access to the computers in order to run diagnostics, remove malware, and install computer security software. They may stick victims with huge bills for these bogus and unnecessary solutions.
In other cases, tech support scammers may install adware, spyware, or ransomware on their victims’ computers in order to defraud them and steal sensitive information. Tom Green County residents should not give strangers remote access to their computers even when they claim to work for the tech companies that made the hardware or software used by these machines. Unmask such callers with reverse phone search to find out who called and confirm that they do not work for the companies they claim to represent.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls delivering pre-recorded messages. Spam calls are unwanted phone calls usually delivering scripted telemarketing messages. Both of these are unwanted and unsolicited calls to large numbers of phone users. However, robocalls are usually placed by auto-dialers while spam calls are likely from actual persons.
With the number of robocalls and spam calls sent to American phone users rising every year, there are calls to find ways to curb these unwanted contacts. Residents of Tom Green County can receive fewer robocalls and spam calls by following these steps:
- Do not pick calls from unknown numbers. Let these go to voicemail. Review the messages left to determine if such calls are from genuine contacts, telemarketers, or potential scammers
- Hang up as soon as you realize that a call is a robocall or spam call
- Do not follow instructions given during a robocall or spam call on how to stop receiving further calls. Such prompts are used to find phone users willing to engage with automated calls in order to direct more unsolicited calls to their numbers
- Block calls from unrecognized numbers or blacklisted ones by setting up the call filtering feature on your smartphone. Alternatively, ask your carrier for their call blocking services or install a reputable third-party call blocking app from your phone’s official app store
- Identify unknown callers with reverse phone number lookup. This can help determine whether they are scammers, spammers, stalkers, or real contacts. Reverse lookup searches can also provide useful information to put in police reports when reporting such callers
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry as well as Texas’ No Call Lists. This will stop calls from legitimate telemarketers conforming to the rules of these lists. Report illegal robocalls and spam calls received after joining these lists
How to Spot and Report Tom Green County Phone Scams
Spotting phone scams requires knowing what to watch out for when communicating with strangers over the phone. While there are many types of telephone frauds with lots of variations, all of these retain certain traits that make them easy to spot. Look out for the following red flags when talking to strange callers:
- Callers threatening immediate arrest, prosecution, deportation, revocation of license, or unscheduled tax audits if you do not pay up or provide sensitive information are most likely scammers. Authority figures like law enforcement and government officials do not threaten residents
- Scammers ask for payment by irregular channels. They may ask that you pay them in cash or send payment by wire transfer, mobile app transfer, prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or cryptocurrencies
- Fraudsters keen on closing fraudulent deals push their victims into signing up immediately. They do so by employing aggressive marketing tactics like claiming their no-risk, high-reward business and investment offers are only available for a limited time. Those running consumer scammers will pressure their victims to pay quickly by offering very steep discounts to entice them
- Scammers are reluctant and, sometimes, unable to provide written documentation to support their bogus claims. They also refuse to provide genuine identity documents as they try to avoid establishing a paper trail that law enforcement can use to find and apprehend them
If any of these signs tips you off, gather some information about the caller with a reverse phone number search. Provide these pieces of information when reporting the caller to law enforcement. Scam reports are useful for bringing fraudsters to justice and educating the public. Residents of Tom Green County can report phone scams to the following authorities:
- The Texas Attorney General’s Office - the AG’s office also serves as the state’s consumer protection agency. Texans can report consumer scams and violators of the No Call Lists to this office. They can do so by completing and submitting the AG’s Consumer Complaint Form online
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - the FTC is the federal consumer protection agency. Part of its responsibilities is protecting American consumers from unfair and fraudulent business practices. Residents of Tom Green County can report consumer scams to the FTC by filing fraud complaints online or by calling (877) 382-4357
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - the FCC regulates the communication sector and oversees the activities of the telecommunication industry. It also maintains the National Do Not Call Registry and prosecutes those reported of violating its rules. Residents can report illegal robocalls, spam calls, phishing, and caller ID spoofing to the FCC. Submit a phone scam report to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center
- The US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) - this is the agency responsible for investigating IRS scams. Contact the TIGTA to report an IRS impersonation scam online