What are Webb County Area Codes?
Area codes were established under the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) to help route calls through geographical areas. Under NANP, telephone numbers were separated into different geographic distributions to simplify telephony communications for a growing population. Area codes were formed as three-digit prefixes placed at the beginning of seven-digit telephone numbers to help identify where telephone calls originate and terminate. You can find the area code of an area in the United States by using an area code lookup tool online.
Two area codes serve Webb County, Texas: 956 and 361
Area Code 956
Area code 956 is the only area code serving Laredo, Brownsville, McAllen, Edinburg, and Mission. It was created from area code 210 and was first used on July 7, 1997. Other cities served by the area code include Pharr, Weslaco, San Juan, San Benito, Alamo, and Donna.
Area Code 361
Area code 361 is the only area code serving Corpus Christi and the surrounding areas. It was created from area code 512 and was first put in service on February 13, 1999. Notable cities served by area code 361 include Alice, Portland, Beeville, Port Lavaca, Victoria, and Kingsville.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Webb County?
Typically, Webb County residents prefer cell phone plans that offer the right number of minutes, text messages, and allow them to use data on the go. Choosing a wireless service also depends on the quality of coverage for each of the network operators. Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, and AT&T all provide wireless service in Webb County. However, these major carriers are not the only options available to cellphone users in the county. Many lesser-known providers use the networks of these Major Network Operators (MNOs). These smaller carriers are also referred to as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). Hence, residents can use the MNOs or the MVNOs for a wide range of choices to compare.
In the county seat of Laredo, T-Mobile has the best overall coverage with a relative score of 92 compared to other providers. Sprint has 86% coverage, AT&T has 78%, while Verizon has 72% coverage.
VoIP is also another wireless option for telephone users in Webb County. VoIP refers to Voice over Internet Protocol, a technology that leverages IP networks, such as broadband internet connections, to provide telephony services. Users can place short and long-distance calls at nominal rates which are cost-effective when compared to the charges and rates on plans from cellular phone service providers. VoIP makes this possible because service providers do not expend resources on laying communication cables to erect base stations to make calls possible.
In all, wireless telephony service has experienced wider adoption than wired telephony among phone users in Webb County. According to a 2018 study conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, 67.9% of persons above the age of 18 in Texas used wireless-only telephony service, while 2.5% used landline-only telephony service. Among persons below the age of 18, 76.6% used wireless-only telephony service, while only 1.4% used landline telephony service exclusively.
What are Webb County Phone Scams?
Webb County phone scams are fraudulent activities of con artists perpetrated using phone calls to defraud unsuspecting county residents or obtain personal and sensitive information from them. The obtained information is then used to perpetrate identity thefts. Phone scams include all illicit activities carried out using text messages, live phone calls, and robocalls. Phone scammers attempt to gain the trust of residents by using spoofing technology. Also referred to as caller ID spoofing, the technology allows users to falsify the caller ID information displaying on the phone screens. Reverse phone number lookup applications can recognize spoofed phone calls and prevent residents from falling victim to phone scams.
What are Webb County Jury Duty Scams?
Jury duty and law enforcement scammers pose as representatives of the Webb County Sheriff's Office or local police departments in order to rip off unsuspecting residents. The caller in this scam claims that the target failed to appear for jury duty service or was involved in an offense or fraudulent activity. The scammer informs the target that the Sheriff's Office or the local PD has issued an arrest warrant to bring the offender in. To avoid arrest, the scammer asks the target to make immediate payment by purchasing a gift card or prepaid debit card. To help verify that callers are who they say they are, you can use good reverse phone lookup tools online to quickly do a number lookup or reverse number lookup.
What are Webb County IRS Scams?
In an IRS scam, the caller poses as a staff of the Inland Revenue Service, sometimes even calling out their own IRS badge number and part of the target's social security number to sound legitimate. These scammers may even use spoofing technology to make their calls appear like they are really coming from the IRS.
IRS impostors accuse their targets of owing taxes and threaten court actions or immediate arrest if they do not pay immediately. They tell targets to make payments with gift cards, wire transfers, or prepaid debit cards, such as Green Dot cards. Once payments are made, funds go into the scammer's account and not the IRS'.
Note that the IRS will not call about tax owed without first having mailed a bill to you. The IRS will also not demand that you pay taxes without having given you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed. The IRS does not receive payment by prepaid debit cards or gift cards. Many IRS scam calls do not originate within the United States. You may conduct a “reverse phone lookup international” search online to verify the source of such calls. A “reverse phone lookup USA” search will help track the origin of a call placed within the United States.
What are Webb County Lotteries and Sweepstakes Scams?
In a lottery or sweepstakes scam, the scammer informs you that you have won a lottery or a big prize in a contest. You may also be informed that you have been specifically chosen as the winner of a contest. However, to access the money or prize, you must make a payment supposedly for tax, shipping, or processing. Lottery and sweepstakes scammers deliberately ask for amounts that sound trifling compared to the amounts the targets are said to have won. You will be asked to make payment by wire transfer, prepaid debit card, or gift card to redeem the prize. The prize is never going to come, so the victim loses any money sent to the caller. You can use free reverse phone lookup tools to verify the identity of the person behind a call.
What are Webb County Utility Scams?
Persons who perpetrate this scam claim to work with reputable utility companies in the county, such as water, power, and gas service providers. They claim that targets are behind on their utility payments and must immediately or have the services disconnected. To avoid disconnection or termination of service, county residents are asked to make payments immediately through specific payment methods. In recent times, con artists have revised their tricks by informing targets they overpaid on previous payments. To obtain a refund, a target may be asked to provide sensitive utility account information such as full names, birth date, address, and account password. This will later be used in identity theft. Webb County residents may use reverse phone number lookup tools online to uncover the real identities of callers in order not to fall victims to utility scams.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is a phone call, where instead of conversing with a real human, you hear a pre-recorded message via an auto-dialer. Auto dialers are popular with robocalls because users can dial telephone numbers from a large pool of phone lines with minimal human effort. Businesses use robocalls to get in touch with their consumers, send notifications, reminders, and information. Businesses that have obtained the express permission of telephone subscribers can also reach them legally. Political organizations also find robocalls useful during political campaigns.
However, many robocalls are spam calls aimed at defrauding Webb County residents. Robocallers use technology such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and caller ID spoofing to hide their identities and locations from law enforcement. Also, many calls originate overseas, where it is difficult to enforce state or federal law. A reverse phone number lookup application can identify if an incoming call is a robocall and help you avoid scams. Other steps you can take to avoid robocall scams and limit robocall intrusions include:
- Do not answer unrecognized callers. If you are unfamiliar with a phone number, do not hesitate to let the call go directly to voicemail.
- Hang up on robocalls. Do not press any numbers. Scammers usually ask you to press a number to speak with a live operator. Pressing the number indicates to the scammer that the line is active, which in turn means that more robocalls can be made to the phone line. If you press the button to speak to a live operator, the operator doubling as the scammer will eventually ask for money or say they will remove you from their list, which ends up being untrue.
- Do not call any number or go directly to a website that you are directed to on the call. Always do your research and verify any number, persons, or website online, rather than relying on any information you are given.
- Subscribe to the FTC's Consumer alerts.
- Contact your phone service provider if it offers call-blocking services
- Install a third-party call-blocking app, such as Hiya, Nomorobo, and Truecaller
- Register your number in the National Do Not Call Registry.
How to Spot and Report Webb County Phone Scams?
Scammers are inventive, dogged, and daring in their efforts to get people to fall for their tricks. They call thousands of phone numbers using automatic devices to get a few hits which can fetch them hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Some scammers are as wily as to scour the internet for information about their targets that would lend more credence to their stories or assumed characters.
Being aware of the tricks used by these con artists will go a long way in helping you identify fraudulent calls. Also, reverse number lookup tools can help you spot phone scams. Other signs to watch out for when you receive phone calls include:
- The caller informs you that you have been specifically selected as a winner in a prize or lottery but you need to make a small payment to redeem the prize. The payment is usually described as for tax, shipping, or processing.
- The caller poses as an employee of a reputable agency but intimidates you to release personal information or make a payment
- The caller asks you to make payment in a specific way. The caller insists you cannot make payment any other way. Such specific means include prepaid debit card, gift card, cryptocurrency, and wire transfer
- The caller tries to lure you into some sort of get-rich-quick scheme with a promise of a high return if you invest a little.
- The caller insists you have to make a decision on the spot. No trusted business operator or government agency will deny a chance to conduct your own research or consider other options where necessary. If you have to make an immediate decision on the phone call, you are most likely on to a scammer.
You can file complaints with any of the following public bodies if you have been contacted by a scammer:
- The Webb County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments: If you have received a call from a scammer, you can contact your local police department or the Webb County Sheriff's Office at (956) 523-4500. In the county seat of Laredo, you can contact the Laredo Police Department at (956)795-2800.
- 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.
- Federal Communications Commission: If you receive unwanted robocalls and text messages, you can file a report online with the FCC.
- Federal Trade Commission - The FTC protects consumers from deceptive and fraudulent practices. You can file a phone scam report with the FTC by completing the online complaint form.