What are Travis County Area Codes?
The current telephone numbering system, the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), assigns area codes to pre-defined geographic locations. Area codes identify the different Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) created by the NANP and are the three numbers that start telephone numbers. The Public Utility Commission of Texas implements and manages Travis County area codes.
Travis County is presently served by two area codes, which also cover surrounding suburbs and counties within the state.
Area code 512
Area code 512 is the Texas telephone area code in the NANP for the City of Austin and its nearby suburbs. Originally introduced in 1947 as one of the original 86 area codes, it initially covered most of Texas’ south-central regions down to the Mexican border. Some municipalities under this area code include Bee Cave, Manor, and Lakeway.
Area code 737
Area code 737 is the NANP overlay code for the 512 numbering plan area in Texas. It was activated for service in July 2013.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Travis County?
Data from a 2018 National Centre for Health Statistics survey implies that Travis County residents rely more on wireless telephony services than on landlines. The survey reported that 67.9% of Texan adults (above 18 years) depended solely on cell phones while about 2.5% used landlines only.
Given its status as a tech hub, the City of Austin enjoys exceptional network coverage from all four major phone carriers. Numerous smaller phone carriers, known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) running on the major carriers’ networks, also provide stellar service to residents. AT&T and T-Mobile both claim 100% coverage in the city. Although Verizon and Sprint do not provide complete coverage, they still provide excellent coverage and serve 99.9% and 99.4% of the city’s territory respectively.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone subscriptions have continued to rise in Travis County. This growth is fueled by the activities of various tech firms in Austin and Google’s high-speed fiber networks. VoIP uses broadband internet connections to deliver cheaper, more efficient, and more flexible telephone services.
What are Travis County Phone Scams?
Travis County phone scams are schemes enabled by telephone services and used by con artists to defraud county residents. The Travis County Sheriff’s Office regularly alerts locals to trending scams within the county. Residents can report scams against themselves or others to the Consumer Protection Division of the Texas Attorney General’s Office or the FTC. Residents can also use phone number lookup free services to return information on the identities of scammers. The following scams are prevalent in Travis County:
What are Impersonation Scams?
Scammers pretend to be employees of the Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) or other local law enforcement agencies to pull off these scams. They often target older residents with calls informing them about unpaid fines, missed jury duties, or uncleared warrants. Sometimes, they manipulate caller ID information to convince their marks that the phone calls are from the TCSO. Offering to help clear the warrants, they direct their victims to make immediate payments by buying prepaid cards and providing them with the card numbers.
The Sheriff’s Office advises county residents to hang up whenever they receive these calls as TCSO deputies will never call residents to demand payment. A resident who is suspicious of the identity of a caller claiming to be law enforcement should hang up immediately and contact the TCSO directly. Reverse phone number lookups may be able to find out “who is this number registered to?” Victims of these scams can submit reports to the Sheriff’s Office by calling (512) 854-9770.
What are Shopping Spree Scams?
In these types of scams, victims are baited with free shopping offers by fraudsters attempting to steal sensitive information or money. Although these scammers feign legitimacy by posing as representatives of well-known organizations, reverse phone searches can expose their real identities. Scammers usually tell victims that their financial information and certain fees are required to complete the processing of their offers. Using the information provided, they proceed to steal money from their accounts and commit identity theft. To avoid falling for these scams, always ignore phone solicitations for your confidential information from unfamiliar persons.
What are Emergency Scams?
Grandparent scams, as they are also known, target senior citizens and capitalize on their affections for their grandchildren. Scammers push their marks into making hasty decisions by disguising as stranded grandchildren caught in desperate situations. Regardless of whatever emergencies scammers fake, their goal is simple: milk hapless grandparents of as much money as possible. Scammed grandparents are often told to send money by wire transfer and gift cards as quickly as possible.
To sound more credible, scammers may change their voices, spoof their numbers, or share familiar information obtained from social media accounts. The scammers always ask that the matters be kept secret from other family members, and such requests should be viewed as red flags. Victims of these scams can file reports online with the TAG’s Office. Reverse phone lookup tools can be used to shed light on unknown callers’ identities.
What are Tech Support Scams?
Fraudsters impersonate tech support representatives of well-respected IT firms, such as Microsoft, to execute these scams. Using phone calls or computer pop-up triggers, they falsely alarm computer users about virus infections and imminent system crashes. The pop-ups instruct residents to dial the numbers displayed on their screens for immediate assistance. The fraudsters request remote access to the targets’ computers to assess the issues properly. Heeding these instructions grants the scammers access to their marks’ computers for their nefarious purposes. Once in, scammers scour victims’ computers for confidential information like passwords, PINs, and social security numbers. Scammers sometimes trick their victims further by pretending to run diagnostic scans and carrying out repairs for which they later present huge bills.
They may also infect their victims’ computers with malware or install spyware to steal from them in the future. Residents should never grant unverified tech support staff remote access to their computers. Running callers’ contacts through reverse phone lookup services can help verify their legitimacy. Authentic tech support staff do not make unsolicited calls to consumers about computer errors and repairs. Victims of this scam can file online complaints with the TAG’s Office or report to the TCSO.
What are Robocall Scams and Spam Calls?
Robocalls originally served legitimate ends and were mostly employed by telemarketers, charities, and political campaigns. These organizations used them to deliver pre-recorded information over auto-dialed telephone calls. However, scammers adopted robocalls for their fraudulent schemes because it allowed them to target larger audiences and anonymously. Scammers have enhanced their operations with robocalls as they enable them to deceive unsuspecting residents into believing they are legitimately affiliated with reputable institutions.
Nevertheless, residents can use phone number lookup free services to differentiate between robocalls and live calls. They can also tackle illegal robocalls better by heeding the following suggestions:
- Cut a call as soon you discover it is a robocall. Do not stay on the line to listen to a live operator or follow any direction to be taken off their call list. Doing this will only invite more calls in the future.
- Search and download a call-blocking app from your phone carrier. The major carriers offer anti-spam apps and services that detect and block unwanted calls.
- Forward all robocall complaints to the FTC online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to block unwanted calls from sales agencies and telemarketers. Also, add your number to the Texas No Call List to avoid automated calls from businesses soliciting within the state. Businesses employing telemarketing are mandated to maintain quarterly or annual subscriptions for updated DNC lists. The FTC also offers instructions on how to block unwanted calls to phone users.
- Search the web for a site that hosts a phone number search free to confirm the robocall.
How To Spot and Report Travis County Phone Scams?
As phone scammers continue to target consumers with various schemes, reverse number lookup tools come in very handy for identifying them. A consumer can use these tools to retrieve information on the real identities of the unknown callers. Nevertheless, education and vigilance are always the best defense against phone scams.
Look out for following clues to tell if a phone call is a scam call:
- Fraudsters use threats to pressure their victims into sharing sensitive information or making payments. Typical threats employed include arrests, prosecutions, and deportations.
- No scammer wants to be apprehended, so they typically demand their payments through irregular channels such as cryptocurrency, gift cards, and money transfer services.
- Scammers con with grand promises and lucrative offers that entice their victims with significant rewards. These victims are often too taken in with these promised gains to realize they are being scammed.
- Cold calls from people asking for confidential information while claiming to represent reputable organizations are typically scams. Legitimate institutions never initiate requests for sensitive information over phone calls.
- Scammers will often ask their marks to make upfront payments before receiving advertised gifts and free products and services. It is a scam if you are asked to pay first to get a gift or free offer.
Travis County residents can equip themselves against phone scams by learning how to do phone number lookup by phone number, name, and address. However, getting regular updates and information about scammers’ ever-changing tactics is a more effective weapon against consumer fraud. Local, state, and federal government agencies that provide help in combating phone scams include:
Travis County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) - The TCSO warns residents of rampant scams in the county. Those who have encountered phone scammers should file reports online or via phone by calling (512) 974-0845.
Texas Attorney General (TAG)’s Office - The TAG’s Office protects Texans from unfair business practices and provides alerts and updates on current scams in the state. Consumers affected by scams can report online to the TAG’s Office or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1 (800) 621-0508.
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC ensures that American consumers are adequately defended against dishonest and unfair business practices. They help protect consumers from phone scammers’ threats by offering call-blocking instructions and anti-spam resources and also by maintaining the National Do Not Call Registry, The FTC guarantees that registered phone users are exempted from sales calls by telemarketers and commercial organizations. Consumers can call the FTC at 1 (888) 382-1222 or go online to complain about dishonest trade practices and unwanted calls.
Federal Communications Commission - Set up to oversee interstate and international communication in the U.S., the FCC also protects consumers from phone spoofing scams and unwanted robocalls. One way they achieve this is through the introduction and enforcement of specific consumer protection laws. Consumers interested in avoiding phone scams and stopping unwanted robocalls can visit The FCC’s website. They can also lodge complaints with the FCC if they receive robocalls or suspect phone spoofing activities against them.