What are Berkeley County Area Codes?
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) was initiated in 1940 to divide the telecommunication landscape of America and concerned territories into numbering plan areas (NPAs). Each NPA is characterized by a unique three-digit prefix known as area code. A standard American phone number has ten digits. As such, area codes precede the remaining seven digits of every phone number. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the North American Numbering Plan administrator that coordinates the assignment of area codes in the United States. However, the South Carolina Public Service Commission (PSC) manages all area codes in the State of South Carolina.
There are currently two area codes that cover Berkeley County and all its communities. The area codes also serve the eastern third of South Carolina, including the Lowcountry, the Sandhills, the Grand Strand, and the Pee Dee.
Area Code 843
Area code 843 was established on March 22, 1998, in a split from area code 803. Major communities within the service area include Florence, Hilton Head Island, and Summerville. The North American Numbering Plan administrator determined that area code 834 would run out of numbers in 2015. Consequently, the State of South Carolina was given an overlay area code (854) to control the expansion.
Area Code 854
Area code 854 is the first full-service overlay code in the State of South Carolina. It was approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC) on December 16, 2013, and went into full service on March 14, 2015. Major cities in Berkeley County within the service area include Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, and Charleston. While calls within Berkeley county will have area codes 854 or 843, calls outside of the county may bear other area codes. When in doubt of the genuineness of calls, you may use an area code lookup service, or a reverse phone look up service to determine the location of the phone number and the identity of the caller.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Berkeley County?
Based on a 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey, 55.7% of South Carolina adults in Berkeley County exclusively used wireless telephone services. By contrast, only 4.9% of South Carolina adults exclusively used landlines as their preferred telephony services. 15.1% of adults in the state chose wireless telephone services as their most preferred choice, while 8% used landlines as their first-choice telephone service. 13.3% of adults in South Carolina used landlines and wireless telephone services, while 3% did not subscribe to any telephone service.
Among minors, the difference was wider. 67.2% of minors in South Carolina used only wireless services, while 1.9% used only landlines. 16.7% of minors in the state used wireless telephone services as their first choice service, while 2.1% chose landlines as their most preferred choice. 9.1% of South Carolina minors used both wireless and landline telephone services. These figures infer that cell phones have displaced landlines as the preferred telephony service in Berkeley County.
Berkeley County has four primary phone carriers, which are Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Their services are complemented by the various Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) in the state. Verizon has the best service among the four carriers, with a score of 92% network coverage. AT&T is second with 84% network coverage, while T-Mobile and Sprint follow closely with 78% and 70% coverage, respectively. These four providers offer relatively good coverage for the residents. However, the overall network coverage and quality can be improved.
Residents of Berkeley County may choose from several wireless services in South Carolina. One of such services is the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP allows users to deliver phone calls and other multimedia messages using broadband connections, instead of regular phone lines. Several private businesses offer VoIP telephony services for both residential, and business uses. Although VoIP has gained popularity, the technology is not regulated in the state. However, residents may file VoIP-related complaints with the Federal Communication Commission.
What are Berkeley County Phone Scams?
Berkeley County phone scams are perpetrated against the county residents through phone calls, texts, emails, and social media. The main goal of the scammers is to steal money and personal information from the targets. Since many of these scams are initiated through phone calls, residents may use phone number search tools to identify potential scam calls. Victims of Berkeley County phone scams may contact their local law enforcement agencies for help. Common phone scams in Berkeley County include:
What are Berkeley County Social Security Scams?
In these scams, residents of Berkeley County receive robocalls from purported representatives of the Social Security Administration. The automated voices tell targets about problems linked to their social security numbers. The voices claim that the targets’ social security numbers would be frozen, blocked, or revoked if the problems are not resolved. The scammers also threaten targets with arrest and ask victims to call back.
Residents are advised not to call back in such situations as scammers use these avenues to confirm their identities. Most times, the scammers ask their victims to make payments by gift cards, bitcoins, and prepaid debit cards. Residents must know that the Social Security Administration will not request personal information over the phone. More so, social security numbers cannot be blocked, frozen, suspended, or revoked. Ensure to use reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true identities of callers.
What are Berkeley County Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams?
Lottery scams target middle-class citizens in Berkeley County. In these scams, scammers contact their victims with claims that they (the victims) have won lottery tickets, prizes, or money. Victims are told to pay upfront fees to be able to claim winnings. Scammers try to steal money from unsuspecting citizens by making promises they never fulfill. Most phone calls requiring residents to pay upfront fees to claim their winnings are scam calls. Scammers may contact victims even when the victims' did not apply for lotteries. It is recommended not to partake in discussions with suspicious callers. Once you have reasons to believe that a call is from a scammer, end the call immediately. You may conduct a suspicious phone number lookup to know the true identity of who called you.
What are Berkeley County Credit and Loan Scams?
Residents of Berkeley County are often contacted by scammers who claim to work with debt collection companies. Victims typically receive phone calls from scammers asking for payment of loans they did not receive. Scammers may threaten victims with jail if payments are not made immediately or that the money will be deducted from their salaries monthly. Residents of Berkeley County should disregard such threats. Debt collection companies cannot deduct salaries or send debtors to jail without court orders. To be sure, residents may use reverse phone number lookup services to verify who called them.
What are Berkeley County IRS Scams?
IRS scams are perpetrated by individuals claiming to be employees of the Internal Revenue Services. In these scams, residents of Berkeley County receive calls from the impersonators, who use different tactics to trick the victims into parting ways with money or sensitive information. Sometimes, scammers inform their victims that they owe back taxes that must be sorted immediately, or they will face repercussions. Scammers claim that the IRS had sent messages, and they are calling to know why the victims have not replied. Most times, the tactics peak at the threats of arrests and jail if immediate payments are not made.
As a means of maintaining their anonymity and reducing their chances of being traced, the scammers request that payments be made either through gift cards, bitcoins, or reloadable prepaid cards. Citizens of Berkeley County must know that the IRS will not call their phone lines to request tax payment. Citizens who receive such calls should hang up immediately and call the agency using their office numbers. Residents may also use reverse phone lookup services to identify where phone calls originate. More so, the IRS does not accept payments through any of the media mentioned above.
What are Berkeley County Charity Scams?
In Berkeley County scams, scammers posing as representatives of legitimate charities call unsuspecting victims to ask for donations. While charitable organizations and their members call and solicit donations, residents of Berkeley County should be aware that scammers are doing the same, using verifiable information of legitimate charities. As a result, it becomes difficult to ascertain the genuineness of such calls. However, a major distinguishing factor is that scammers are always in haste and tend to create urgency. The goal is to extort their victims before they realize they are being scammed. Also, scammers present account numbers that are not in sync with the names of the agencies.
At other times, the scammers may ask the victims to make donations using gift cards and cryptocurrencies. As convenient as these payment options may seem, you need to know that they offer anonymity to the scammers, making it difficult to trace the donations to anyone. When you receive such calls, do not be coerced into making immediate decisions. You may use reverse phone number lookup tools to know who called you and verify if the callers are from legitimate charities. The Internal Revenue Service’s Tax Exempt Organization Search Tool is also helpful in identifying legitimate charity organizations.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are phone calls that deliver prerecorded messages to large audiences via auto-dialers. These types of phone calls are often associated with telemarketers, political campaigns, public institutions, and non-profit organizations. Due to the technology’s ease of reaching several people at the same time, con artists use robocalls as tools for making spam calls. Spam calls refer to unsolicited or unwanted calls. This means that robocalls that are made indiscriminately without the express consent of the receivers are tantamount to spam calls. Another reason that makes robocalls attractive to con artists is that robocalls enable them to mask their true identities. At other times, scammers may spoof their caller IDs to impersonate the names of legitimate organizations or government agencies. The endpoint is to steal money and confidential information from unsuspecting residents.
Some of the best ways to respond to the potential threats of robocalls are:
- Avoid receiving calls from unfamiliar phone numbers. Allow such calls to go to voicemail.
- Block unwanted numbers, especially numbers that call you repeatedly.
- Ask your phone service provider for tools you may use to block phone calls from anonymous callers.
- When you realize you picked up a robocall, hang up immediately.
- Do not press any number when a robocall prompts you to do so. The aim is often to identify whether you are a live receiver and then target you with coordinated scams.
- Use premium or free reverse phone number look up tools to identify where unsolicited calls originated.
- Download robocall blocking apps as they provide defense against unwanted calls.
- Do not share phone numbers on social media profiles or pages.
- Report illegal robocalls to the FTC online or call 1-888-382-1222.
- Enroll your phone number in the National Do Not Call Registry. Inclusion in this registry exempts you from receiving robocalls and other sales calls from telemarketers and businesses.
How to Spot and Report Berkeley County Phone Scams?
Scammers are always inventing new tricks to defraud unsuspecting citizens of Berkeley County. The best ways to deal with such menace are vigilance and education. You may always use phone number lookup services to identify potential scam calls. Indications that a phone call is a scam include:
- Bogus offers that appear too good to be true.
- Requests of payments or release of confidential information from purported employees of government agencies.
- The use of pressure tactics, such as arrests, fines, audits, and jail to coerce you into giving up valuables
- Requests for upfront payments and taxes to claim prizes or offers.
- Requests for payments through untraceable mediums, such as cryptocurrency (bitcoins) and gift cards.
Companies that conduct reverse phone number lookups are essential in dealing with suspicious phone calls. Several public institutions in Berkeley County are committed to fighting against phone scammers too. The institutions provide relevant information to residents and mediums for reporting phone scams. Such institutions include:
Berkeley County Sheriff's Office: The office provides quality law enforcement performance and updates on the prevalent phone scams in the county. The office may also assist you with reverse phone number searches. Victims may file phone scam complaints to the office using (843) 719-4466.
South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs: The department provides consumer protection to residents of Berkeley County. The department also provides information on how to avoid identity theft. To report a situation, call the department at (803)734-4200.
Better Business Bureau: The Better Business Bureau is the source of information on business entities registered in Berkeley County. The BBB also provides information about scams prevalent in the county and the entire nation.