What are Wichita County Area Codes?
Area codes are the strings of three-digit numbers established by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). They precede ten-digit American phone numbers and identify the Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) of the telephone service territories in which phone numbers were registered. Wichita County is currently being served by area code 940, the only one within the county. The Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) administers area codes in Texas, including Wichita County.
Area Code 940
Area code 940 is a Texas telephone code in the NANP created from a split of the 817 NPA and put into service in 1997. It operates in many counties in Texas, including Wichita County. The major cities in Wichita County within area code 940 include Wichita Falls, Electra, Burkburnett, and Iowa Park.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Wichita County?
Wichita County enjoys excellent wireless telephony services by the four major carriers. Each of them has a different level of coverage in the various parts of the county. Verizon boasts 88% coverage in Wichita Falls, followed by AT&T at 78%. T-Mobile offers a spread of 70%, while Sprint has no significant network coverage in the city. Smaller prepaid carriers, also known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), equally offer telephony services in Wichita County at affordable rates than the major carriers. MVNOs rely on the major carriers’ network infrastructures to provide telephony services.
A 2018 CDC Survey suggests that more residents are embracing wireless telephony services. The data obtained reported that Texan adults who still used landline phones as their sole telephony devices made up only 2.5% of the demographic. An estimated 67.9% had adopted wireless-only telephony services. The rate of wireless telephony adoption is more apparent among the Texan under-18 population. According to the report, 76.6% of them represented those that used wireless services exclusively, while only 1.4% used only landlines.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) uses broadband internet connections to provide affordable telecommunications in Wichita County. It is gradually replacing traditional phone systems in the county. VoIP supports voice calls, video calls, and text messaging. Most Wichita County residents who use internet-enabled devices have adopted VoIP telephone services for business and personal use.
What are Wichita County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are frauds that are conducted over the phone with telephone services such as text messages, human-initiated phone calls, and automated calls. In Wichita County, phone scams aim to cheat county residents out of their money and unlawfully obtain their information. Ignorant residents who disclose confidential information to unknown persons over the phone are easy prey for identity and financial theft. Generally, phone scammers conceal their real identities in their attempts to rip county residents off using a technology known as phone spoofing. Phone spoofing helps fraudsters impersonate legitimate businesses and evade tracking by law enforcement agencies. Residents who suspect that incoming phone calls are scam calls can use reverse phone number lookup services to verify the identities of unknown callers and avoid getting scammed.
The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) educates residents, including those in Wichita County, on preventing phone scams. It is the principal consumer protection agency in Texas, working jointly with the others at the county and federal levels to combat phone scams in Texas. The Wichita County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) also contributes its bits in fighting phone scams and ensuring residents' safety from fraudsters. They provide regular updates on current scams to keep residents abreast of trending scam schemes.
The common phone scams in Wichita County include:
What are Wichita County Utility Scams?
Phone scammers cheat unsuspecting Wichita County residents out of their money by calling and instructing them to pay their unpaid utility bills. They often impersonate employees of targets' local utility providers when contacting them and accuse them of being far behind on utility bill payments. The callers can also spoof their targets’ Caller IDs to make their calls appear to be coming from their local utility providers. Number lookup applications can help residents identify spoofed calls and avoid these scams. Many residents fall victim to these scams for fear of getting shut out from enjoying services such as power, gas, water, and telecommunication. The scammers are aggressive and often threaten to disconnect services to targeted residents who do not show a willingness to make immediate payments. Their preferred mediums of receiving payment include wire transfers and gift cards. In some cases, they may instruct targets to share their credit card details to complete payments. Legitimate utility companies do not request bill payments via these odd methods.
Law enforcement warns residents to be careful with unknown callers claiming to be with utility companies and contacting residents for payment of delinquent bills. Reverse phone lookup applications can assist residents in uncovering the actual identities of such callers and help them verify if they are with local utility companies as claimed. In practice, utility providers must notify consumers owing them with written notices before disconnecting service. If you receive this type of call without prior written letters, disregard the caller's threat and hang up your phone. You can contact your utility provider on their official and verified phone numbers to verify the caller's identity and claims.
What are Wichita County Loan Scams?
Scammers impersonate employees of legitimate small money lenders to extort Wichita County residents. Although they usually trick residents out of their money, these scammers have a greater interest in obtaining targets' financial information. The targeted group of people in these scams are residents with poor credit histories who are desperate to access loans by all means. Scammers fool unsuspecting persons by advertising low-interest rates loans and mostly initiate the scheme via text messages to their targets. Such text messages will leave call-back phone numbers and instruct recipients interested in such loans to contact them.
When contacted on such phone numbers, the scammer will inquire about the targets' confidential information. The fraudsters will then send loan application forms via email to their targets, which they are expected to complete and return promptly. Included in these forms are fields for credit card information, phone number, name, SSN, bank account number, and address. The fraudster may also instruct the targets to pay non-refundable application fees, which they often collect by gift cards or wire transfers. Instead of getting such loans, residents who share their information end up as victims of identity and financial theft. Residents, who receive such text messages are advised to search the reverse phone lookup of the phone numbers left in the texts to probe: "who is this number registered to?" The authorities warn residents to guide confidential information possessively and caution them against sharing such with unknown persons over the phone.
What are Wichita County Arrest Warrant Scams?
Fraudsters are identifying themselves as officers of the Wichita County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) to cheat Wichita County residents in arrest warrant scams. County residents who frequently perform phone lookups on unknown caller phone numbers are more likely to detect these scams before getting fleeced. The callers will claim that their targets have outstanding warrants, citing various baseless reasons for issuing such warrants. They may say that the arrest warrants were issued for their failure to appear for jury duty and will only have them canceled if targets can pay certain fines. During the calls, the callers will request some information, supposedly for verifications, but that is only a trick to glean confidential information. The scammers typically threaten their marks with arrest and jail if they fail to pay as instructed. These scammers have a preference for wire transfers, cash, and gift cards as means of receiving payment.
Never believe anyone claiming to be with the WCSO, even if your caller ID displays the agency's official phone numbers, especially if they solicit money or personal information. If you receive such phone calls, hang up immediately and contact the WSCO to validate the callers' claims. You can retrieve information about their identities by searching their phone numbers on reverse phone lookup websites. Note that legitimate officers of the WCSO will not notify residents over the phone if issued arrest warrants. Also, they will never solicit money or threaten arrests or jail over the phone.
What are Wichita County IRS Scams?
In these scams, fraudsters contact taxpayers in Wichita County and pretend to be Internal Revenue Service employees. Their primary aim is to steal money or confidential information. The scammers leave voicemails informing their targets that they are getting their final notices, and the IRS is filing actions against them. They will not disclose the reason for such warnings in the voicemails but provide phone numbers for the targets to call back for inquiry. If you get such voicemails, make sure to run the phone number provided through reverse phone lookup applications to ascertain whether they are legitimate or not. Targets who call back are informed of false past-due taxes and threatened with arrests, jail, or other extreme actions unless they make immediate payments. They usually demand payments by gift cards and wire transfers.
The IRS will never request payment via unofficial channels or request taxpayers’ information in unsolicited phone calls. If you receive one of these calls or voicemails, report it to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) on 1 (800) 366-4484. Phone number lookup services can retrieve valuable information on phone numbers used for IRS scams. Wichita County residents should be aware that the IRS always sends several mail notices to tax defaulters and rarely contact residents by phone. In most cases, they will provide taxpayers with opportunities to question tax debts, and the delinquent ones are assigned to debt collectors for recovery.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are phone calls that deliver pre-recorded messages to a mass audience. Although synonymous with scams because they are widely used in scam schemes, robocalls are incipiently designed for legitimate purposes. Political campaign organizations and telemarketers use robocalls in disseminating information to mass audiences at once. Robocalls are also a communication tool by the government for making public announcements. Robocalls appeal to scammers because they are cheap and can deliver recorded information to multiple phone numbers with minimal human effort. Reverse phone number lookup services can help Wichita County residents ascertain whether incoming calls are robocalls or not. Spam calls are irrational calls placed to random phone numbers to pitch sales geared toward defrauding recipients. Robocalls are a variant of spam calls.
The following are some of the appropriate responses to robocalls and spam calls:
- Register your phone number on Texas No Call List and the FTC's DNC Registry to prevent telemarketing calls. You can enlist your number in the DNC Registry by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 from your phone number. Any robocall that comes through your phone after registering on these lists is possibly a scam call.
- Disconnect a phone call once you know it is a robocall or spam call. Do not interact with it, except you wish to end up a regular target for future robocalls and other phone scams.
- Block identified robocalls and spam numbers using third-party call-blocking applications such as Truecaller, Nomorobo, and Hiya.
- Report robocall abuse online to the FTC or call 1 (888) 382-1222.
How Can You Spot and Report Wichita County Phone Scams?
Scammers modify schemes and regularly reuse old scams in new ways to defraud uninformed Wichita County residents. Consequently, staying informed and vigilant are the best ways of spotting phone scams in the county. Applications providing free reverse phone number lookup services can retrieve identifying information on suspicious callers and help you avoid phone scams.
The following are signs that unknown callers are trying to rip you off:
- The callers demand payments for taxes or debts you do not owe via odd payment channels such as wire transfers, gift cards, and bitcoin.
- The callers repeatedly request confidential information and resort to threats if you hesitate to disclose them. A legitimate organization will not ask for such information on an unsolicited phone call.
- The callers offer you the opportunity to invest in profitable businesses that require immediate funding and claim that you will never get such an offer anywhere again once it slips off. It is a ploy to prevent you from doing independent research on them.
- The callers inform you of prizes you have won for competitions you never entered. They persuade you to make certain payments upfront to claim your winnings.
If you think you are a victim of a phone scam in Wichita County, you can file a complaint with any of the following government agencies:
Wichita County Sheriff's Office - Wichita County residents can file phone scam reports with the WCSO by calling (940) 766-8100 or visiting 900 7th Street, Wichita Falls, TX 76301.
Texas Office of the Attorney General - The OAG educates residents on identifying and avoiding phone scams. It takes online complaints of phone scams. Alternatively, Wichita County residents can file phone scam reports with the OAG by calling 1 (800) 621-0508.
Federal Trade Commission - Wichita County residents can reduce the frequency of unsolicited calls by joining the National Do Not Call Registry managed by the FTC. The FTC protects residents from all unfair and deceptive practices. If you fall victim to a phone scam, you can file a report with the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 or online.
Federal Communications Commission - The FTC protects consumers from illegal robocalls and phone spoofing scams and provides guidelines on avoiding them. Wichita County residents can file phone scam complaints with the FCC online.