What are Oklahoma County Area Codes?
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) divides telephone service territories into numbering plan areas (NPAs). A string of three-digit numeric code, commonly referred to as an area code, identifies each NPA. Area codes are the strings of three numeric digits that begin North American phone numbers and identify the origins and destinations of telephone calls. In Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission implements and manages area codes.
There is only one area code currently serving Oklahoma County. This is:
Area Code 405
Area code 405 is the telephone area code in the NANP that serves Oklahoma County and the rest of central Oklahoma State. It was one of the original area codes put into service in 1947 and initially covered the entire state. Oklahoma County cities served by this area code include Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Harrah, Jones, Luther, Midwest City, Oklahoma City, The Village, and Warr Acres.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Oklahoma County?
In Oklahoma, about 66.7% of adults (over 18) in households across the state adopted cell phones as their preferred choice for telecommunications. In this demographic, only about 3.6% retained landlines as their preferred choice. For children (under 18), about 75.7% used cell phones as their only means of telecommunication while 1.2% used only landlines. These figures are from a 2018 CDC survey that suggested that wireless telephony had surpassed landlines as the dominant means of telecommunication in the state.
Several telephone networks provide services in Oklahoma County. These include all four major phone carriers and numerous Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). The MVNOs use the major carriers’ networks to offer cheaper, but limited, telephony services to residents. Among the major carriers, AT&T claims the widest coverage, closely followed by T-Mobile and then Verizon while Sprint provides the least coverage in the county. Telephone service is typically better in the cities than in remote rural areas.
VoIP offers traditional telephone services that are more efficient, flexible, and cheaper than wireless telephony and landlines. This is because VoIP uses IP networks, mostly the internet, to deliver services rather than radio waves and copper cables. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is available to Oklahoma County residents from numerous companies.
What are Oklahoma County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent acts perpetrated using telephone services to obtain money or confidential information from Oklahoma County residents. Reverse phone number lookup services can retrieve information on the phone numbers used for these scams.
The Oklahoma Attorney General seeks to ensure a safe and fair marketplace by providing consumer education, outreach, and enforcement against individuals involved in deceptive practices. Residents can submit reports on scams to the Oklahoma AG’s Office by calling (405) 521-2029 or submitting complaint forms by email. County residents can also file complaints with their local police departments or the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office. Common phone scams in Oklahoma County include:
What are Jury Duty Scams?
Scammers call residents, impersonating court officials or employees of the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), to steal money or confidential information. The callers inform the targets that they missed jury duty, and consequently, bench warrants were issued for their arrests. They, however, claim the warrants can be rescinded if the targets make immediate payments. The scammers request payment through prepaid debit cards, gift cards, and wire transfers or ask for their financial information. Complying with the callers’ requests leads to financial losses and identity thefts.
Residents of Oklahoma County should be aware that court officials or employees of the OCSO will not contact them about outstanding warrants. They will also neither request payments over the phone and through such unconventional channels nor ask for their confidential information. If residents are unsure about jury duty summons, they should contact Oklahoma County Jury Clerk on (405) 713-1102. Phone number lookup applications can ascertain if phone calls are from legitimate sources. Residents who receive these calls should report them to the OCSO or call their local police departments.
What are IRS Scams?
Oklahoma County residents are warned about scammers calling and claiming to be agents of the Internal Revenue Service. These callers contact residents about bogus overdue balances or tax debts and demand immediate payments. To coerce their targets, they threaten punitive actions such as audits, arrests, and prosecutions. The scammers insist on payment by wire transfers and reloadable debit cards or ask for personal financial information.
These are scam calls, as the IRS does not make direct calls to residents about outstanding debts without sending mail notices. The IRS will not insist on payments without providing taxpayers the option of contesting the debts. The IRS will also neither insist on payments via wire transfers and reloadable cards nor request taxpayers’ personal financial information. Report calls of these sorts to the Treasury Inspector General on 1 (800) 366-4484 or your local police department. Reverse phone searches can retrieve information about persons running IRS tax scams.
What are Coronavirus Scams?
Taking advantage of the uncertainties surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, scammers have devised new ways of scamming Oklahoma County residents. There are several variations of these scams, such as scammers creating fictitious charitable organizations and soliciting donations to combat the pandemic. Another variation has scammers contacting residents and offering home test kits, treatments, medications, and vaccination for fees. Residents have also been contacted by scammers claiming they can facilitate the collection of stimulus payments for fees.
The most popular variation involves scammers informing residents that persons they have been in contact with have tested positive for the coronavirus. The scammers pretend to be health department officials and ask for payments or financial information for testing kits and other medical expenses.
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office provides warnings and information about coronavirus scams to county residents. Residents should always be wary of unknown callers who ask for payment by wire transfers and prepaid debit cards or request their personal information. Legitimate organizations will not do this. Also, there is no approved vaccination or home treatment for the coronavirus. Therefore, anyone offering one is a scammer. Residents should also always verify charities they send donations. The Better Business Bureau provides information to verify the authenticity of charities and other business organizations. Reverse phone number lookups can also help determine the legitimacy of these types of phone calls.
What are Grandparent Scams?
These scams are so called because they target elderly residents of the county. Scammers call their targets claiming to be relatives, usually grandchildren, who are in desperate need of financial assistance. They typically claim to have been arrested, hospitalized, or stranded in far-off locations, usually foreign countries. The callers ask the targets to wire money immediately to resolve these situations. They also insist the help provided be kept secret from other family members. Sometimes, they have their targets speak to accomplices who pretend to be police officers or attorneys and confirm their stories. These scams are reliant on the targets taking impulsive actions to help relatives they believe are in distress.
Residents should be cautious if they receive calls from persons claiming to be relatives in distress. Always take time to verify the claims by asking pertinent questions or contacting others before responding to the requests. Reverse phone number lookups can retrieve information on fraudsters running grandparent scams and verify such calls’ legitimacy. Victims of grandparent scams should file reports with their local police departments or the Oklahoma State AG’s Office.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are auto-dialed phone calls that deliver pre-recorded messages to multiple recipients. Legitimate entities such as political and telemarketing campaigns, non-profits, and government agencies use robocalls to quickly reach several consumers. Scammers favor robocalls for their cons because they can target a lot more people with minimal effort. Also, robocall numbers can be changed easily, enabling the scammers to hide their true identities from the receivers.
Consumers are used to receiving robocalls from the aforementioned legitimate entities and consequently are more receptive to them than to calls from unknown live callers. This increases the scammers’ chances of deceiving them into divulging personal information or making payments. If illegal robocalls beset you, your best options are:
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry which restricts legitimate organizations from using robocalls to contact listed phone numbers. The State of Oklahoma also operates a Do Not Call List. Residents can add their numbers to this list online or by calling (405) 521-3921.
- Terminate a call once you realize it is a robocall. Ignore its messages and prompts to avoid indicating that your number is active which only increases the number of robocalls received.
- Ask your carrier about apps for blocking spam calls. Inquire about these services from your network provider and use them if they are cost-effective. Phone manufacturers also include features for blocking spam calls on most of their devices. Use these features to identify and block robocall numbers.
- Use reverse phone number lookup free services to identify incoming robocalls.
- Report illegal robocalls to the FTC online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222. You can also file complaints if you have added your number to Oklahoma Do Not Call List and still receive spam calls.
Use the information available on the FTC website to learn how to block unwanted calls on any platform.
How to Spot and Report Oklahoma County Phone Scams?
Information and awareness are the best means of identifying potential phone scams. Scammers do not discriminate and will target anyone. They also modify their tactics frequently to deceive unsuspecting and uninformed targets. Keeping yourself aware of the prevalent scam tactics in the county and remembering you could be a target goes a long way in spotting a phone scam.
Indicators that an unknown caller is a potential scammer include:
- The caller claims to represent a reputable business organization or government agency and requests your personal information. Legitimate organizations will not request your personal information on unsolicited phone calls.
- The caller claims to be law enforcement and demands immediate payment for offenses you are unaware of. They also insist on payment through unusual channels such as prepaid debit cards, gift cards, and wire transfers. Scammers favor these channels because of the difficulty in tracking funds sent through them.
- The caller uses threats to force your compliance. Legitimate government agencies and law enforcement will not threaten you, especially over the phone.
- The caller presents attractive investment opportunities but insists you make an immediate commitment. They do not allow you time to conduct research, insisting the offers are time-sensitive.
- The caller informs you of prizes or winnings and then insists on advance payments for you to collect them. Any prize or winning that requires advance payments to collect is a scam.
Being able to perform phone number searches by name, number, and address also assists in spotting phone scams. Several free and paid applications exist for conducting suspicious phone number lookups that answer questions like “who called?” and “who is this number registered to?” These applications can help in spotting and reporting phone scammers.
Public institutions that assist Oklahoma County residents with phone scams and other fraudulent practices include:
Oklahoma State Attorney General (OKAG) - The Consumer Protection Unit of the OKAG’s Office provides consumers with the tools to make informed decisions and spot the warning signs of potential scams. Residents can file reports on scams by calling (405) 521-2029 or submitting complaint forms by email.
Local Law Enforcement Agencies - The Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments receive reports about phone scams and provide resources to assist residents. Victims of phone scams should file reports with their local police departments or contact the Sheriff’s Office.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - This is the federal authority that protects consumers from deceptive and fraudulent practices. It issues guidelines on blocking unwanted calls and maintains the National Do Not Call Registry to ensure consumer phone privacy. Phone numbers listed on the registry are restricted from receiving unauthorized spam calls. Report illegal robocalls and other fraudulent acts to the FTC online or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - The FTC regulates the telecommunications sector. It protects consumers from illegal robocalls and phone spoofing scams, and instructions on avoiding these acts are available on the FCC website. Residents who have been victims of these offenses can submit complaints to the FCC.
National Consumer League (NCL)- The NCL is a private non-profit advocacy group that represents consumers. It initiated the Fraud Center to provide consumers with information and resources to combat scams.