What are Tulsa County Area Codes?
Area codes are the strings of three-digit numeric codes instituted by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). They appear at the start of North American phone numbers and identify the numbering plan areas (NPAs) where the phone numbers were registered. The NANP divided telephone service territories under its purview into NPAs to streamline long-distance calling. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission administers area codes in Tulsa County.
Two area codes cover Tulsa County. These are:
Area Code 918
Area code 918 is a telephone area code in the NANP serving northeast Oklahoma, and this includes Tulsa County and several surrounding counties. It was created from a split of the 405 NPA in 1953. Municipalities in Tulsa County covered by this area code include Bixby, Broken Arrow, Collinsville, Glenpool, Jenks, Lotsee, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Skiatook, Sperry, and Tulsa.
Area Code 539
Area code 539 is the NANP telephone overlay code for the 918 numbering plan area. It became active in 2011.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Tulsa County?
In 2018, about 66.7% of adults (over 18) in Oklahoma exclusively used cell phones for their telecommunications needs while only 3.6% used landline phones. This was established by a 2018 CDC survey report, which concluded that cell phones had surpassed landlines as the preferred choice of telecommunication for Oklahomans.
Telephone service coverage in Oklahoma is reliable, and all the major phone carriers offer service in Tulsa County. AT&T claims the most comprehensive coverage in the state, followed closely by T-Mobile. Verizon provides the third-widest network reach in the state, with Sprint a distant fourth. There are also several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) that also render telephone services to county residents. These MVNOs use the major carriers’ infrastructure to offer telephony services that are cheaper, though limited, to residents. Telephone services in Tulsa County are typically stronger in urban areas than in rural and remote areas.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) uses IP networks to provide traditional telephone services. These services are cheaper, more flexible, and more efficient than regular telephone services because the medium of transmission is the internet. VoIP services are available to Tulsa County businesses and residents from the numerous companies offering these services.
What are Tulsa County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent acts, committed with telephone services, with the goal of stealing money or confidential information from Tulsa County residents. These scams are committed primarily with phone calls and text messages. Residents can look up information on the phone numbers used to perpetrate these scams with reverse phone number search services.
The following are the agencies that provide Tulsa County residents with information and resources to deal with phone scammers:
- Oklahoma State Attorney General (OKAG)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Federal Communication Commission (FCC)
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Local law enforcement agencies
Victims can also file reports of successful and attempted phone scams with these agencies. Some common phone scams in Tulsa County are explained below.
What are Arrest Warrant Scams?
In these scams, the callers impersonate employees of local law enforcement agencies, usually the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) and municipal police departments. They claim their targets had missed jury duty or court dates or had unpaid tickets and that warrants were issued for their arrest. They, however, claim that they will rescind the warrants if the targets pay them off. They claim sheriff deputies are on their way to arrest their targets and can only be recalled if payments are received before they arrive. Prepaid debit cards, gift cards, and cash deposits into local CoinFlip Bitcoin ATMs are the payment channels favored by these scammers.
Tulsa County residents should be wary of unknown callers demanding payment in this manner. The TCSO, or any county law enforcement agency, will not call residents to request payment to avoid arrests. Neither will they ever insist on payments by prepaid cards or bitcoin. If you receive such calls, hang up immediately and report them to the TCSO on (918) 596-5601 or your local police department. Residents can verify if they have outstanding warrants using the TCSO online warrant search tool. Reverse phone number lookup applications can retrieve information on phone numbers used to commit these types of scams.
What are One-Ring Scams?
With these scams, targets receive phone calls, usually at odd hours and from unfamiliar area codes. These calls ring once or twice and then cut off. The tactic behind these scams is to get the victims to call back. Sometimes when targets refuse to call back, the scammers may leave voicemails, urging them to do so for various reasons. Calling back these numbers incurs international connection fees and per-minute toll charges that show up on phone bills as premium services. This is because these calls originate from foreign countries that also use three-digit codes. Typical country codes associated with these scams include 232- Sierra Leone, 222- Mauritania, and 809- Dominican Republic. Phone number searches can verify international numbers and their countries of origin. If you do not have contacts in these countries, there is no reason to return such calls.
What are CoVID-19 Scams?
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the proliferation of scammers trying to take advantage of the uncertainties and conflicting information surrounding the virus. There are several variations of CoVID-19 scams, and these include:
- Scammers pretend to be representatives of legitimate organizations and call to solicit donations for medical research or charitable causes.
- Scammers pretend to be health department officials and inform their victims that they have been in contact with persons who tested positive for the virus. They then try to steal money or personal information from their targets under the guise of providing test kits and other medical expenses.
- Scammers pretend to be government agents and offer to accelerate the processing of stimulus payments for fees.
- Scammers offer bogus coronavirus medications, treatments, test kits, and vaccines for certain fees.
These scams aim to deceive the victims into parting with money or sensitive information used to commit identity thefts. Authorities warn residents to be wary of unknown persons calling about the coronavirus.
Residents should also beware of unknown callers soliciting payment or asking for their personal information as legitimate organizations do not do these. There are no approved medications, treatments, and vaccines for CoVID-19, and callers offering such are scammers. The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office provides residents with warnings and information about coronavirus scams. Residents can verify the authenticity of organizations that solicit charitable donations from the Better Business Bureau. Reverse phone number lookups can also help determine the legitimacy of these types of phone calls.
What are IRS Scams?
In these scams, callers contact county residents pretending to be Internal Revenue Service agents. These scammers inform the residents about fictitious tax debts and overdue tax bills and insist on immediate payments. They use threats of audit, deportation, arrest, and prosecution to coerce their victims into making the payments. Typically, these scammers demand payment by wire transfer or prepaid card, or ask for the victim’s financial information.
The IRS warns taxpayers that such calls are scams. The IRS does not initiate contact with tax defaulters by phone. Rather, they send mail notices. Also, they will always provide taxpayers with the option of contesting the amounts quoted. The IRS does not accept payment methods like wire transfer and prepaid card, and they never solicit taxpayers’ financial information on unsolicited phone calls. Reverse phone lookups are capable of retrieving information about persons running IRS tax scams. If you receive these calls, report it to the Treasury Inspector General on 1 (800) 366-4484 or your local police department.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls deliver prerecorded messages to multiple recipients through autodialing services. These phone calls are facilitated by automated services that use computer software to dial numerous phone numbers to disseminate the messages. Robocalls and autodialers were created for telemarketers that wanted to reach mass audiences and were later adopted by politicians and organizations making public service announcements. These entities were able to use robocalls to get their messages across to large audiences with very little effort.
Scammers have also adopted robocalls for this reason. Robocall numbers can be easily changed, ensuring the persons behind them remain anonymous. Residents routinely receive robocalls from legitimate entities, so they are more receptive when answering them than accepting calls from strangers and unknown phone numbers. This makes it easier for robocall users to pull off their scams. Take the following actions to deal with unwanted calls;
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry and Oklahoma Do Not Call List. Phone numbers on these lists are restricted from receiving unwanted telephone solicitations.
- Report illegal telephone solicitations to the FTC online or call 1 (888) 382-1222. If you added your phone number to the Oklahoma List, file complaints on illegal calls online or by calling (405) 521-3921.
- Hang up once you realize you are on to a robocall. Do not follow provided prompts to speak with a live person or remove yourself from distribution lists. These just set you up to receive more robocalls.
- Ask your phone service providers for tools that can identify and block spam calls. Phone manufacturers also include features that can be used to identify and block spam numbers in their devices.
- Identify the individuals registered to the numbers used for robocalls and spam calls with reverse phone number lookup free services.
Information is available on the FTC website that offers guidelines on blocking unwanted calls on any platform.
How to Spot and Report Tulsa County Phone Scams?
Anyone can be a victim of scammers seeking to defraud ignorant residents and steal sensitive information. Scammers modify their schemes and frequently recycle old scams so staying aware and keeping yourself informed are the best ways of spotting potential scams. Online applications that perform phone number lookups by number, address, and name can answer questions like “who called?” and “who is this number registered to?” These tools can also help in spotting potential phone scams.
The following are indicators that unknown callers are trying to run scams:
- The callers repeatedly request for confidential information. A legitimate organization will not ask for confidential information on an unsolicited phone call.
- The callers get aggressive when you do not comply with their requests and use intimidation and threats to coerce you.
- The callers demand payments for things you are not aware of, and always by unusual payment methods. These methods include wire transfers, prepaid cards, and bitcoin. Funds remitted via these channels are almost impossible to trace and retrieve.
- The callers inform you of prizes you have won, usually for competitions you never entered. However, they require advance payments before you receive these prizes. If you have to make an upfront payment to collect a prize or winning, it is a scam.
- The callers inform you of lucrative business and investment offers that are supposedly quick-moving and require immediate responses. Fraudsters use this tactic to prevent their targets from seeking other opinions and discovering their scams.
Applications that run phone number searches are available for free and for nominal fees. Information retrieved by these applications can come in useful when reporting scam callers. If you have been a victim of a phone scam in Tulsa County, you can contact any of these agencies for assistance:
Local law enforcement agencies - Law enforcement agencies such as the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) and the various municipal police departments receive complaints about scams. Residents can contact the TCSO on (918) 596-5601 or visit their local police departments.
Oklahoma State Attorney General (OKAG) - The Consumer Protection Unit of the OKAG’s Office provides information and resources to residents to deal with fraudsters. Residents can report scams by calling (405) 521-2029 or submitting complaint forms by email.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - This is the federal authority that protects consumers from deceptive and fraudulent practices. It issues instructions on blocking unwanted calls and maintains the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce unwanted telephone solicitations. Report illegal robocalls and other fraudulent acts to the FTC online or call 1-888-382-1222.
Federal Communication Commission (FCC) - The FTC regulates the telecommunications sector. It protects consumers from illegal robocalls and phone spoofing scams and issues instructions on avoiding these acts. Residents can submit complaints to the FCC.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) - The BBB provides resources to assist residents in dealing with the threats of scammers. Information and contacts details for legitimate businesses, charities, and organizations are available, as well as details on prevalent scams in the county.