What are Dorchester County Area Codes?
Area codes are three-digit numbers that identify a particular telephone service area. The three-digit Numbering Plan Area (NPA) codes usually appear at the beginning of telephone numbers and form an integral part of the 10-digit dialing sequence. Area codes were introduced in 1947 as part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) to help callers in determining the destination or source of their calls. The Public Service Commission (PSC) in South Carolina determines which city or county gets a new area code whenever an existing area code is exhausted.
Currently, there are two area codes in Dorchester County. These are:
Area Code 843
Area code 843 is the North American telephone area code serving Dorchester County towns like Summerville and Harleyville. It was introduced in 1998 after a geographical split of area code 803 created mainly for South Carolina.
Area code 854
Area code 854 is a South Carolina telephone area code created in 2013 as an overlay for the NPA code 843. Dorchester County communities like North Charleston and Saint George covered under area code 854 must use the 10-digit dialing system.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Dorchester County?
Telephone users in Dorchester County enjoy quality network service from the four major networks in the US (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile). Verizon provides the best network coverage with 98%. AT&T comes next with 88% coverage, while T-Mobile offers 68% coverage. Sprint, on the other hand, provides a service coverage of 60%. Apart from these four networks, county residents may choose to use Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). These alternatives offer cost-effective services as they function under the network of the four major national carriers.
A 2018 Survey on Wireless Substitution reveals that mobile phone users of South Carolina are more than landline users. Published by the National Center of Health Statistics, the report shows that 53.7% of South Carolina adults only used cell phones, while 4.3% only used landlines. The same report revealed that 68.2% of minors (persons below 18) only used wireless telephones, while 1.8% only used landlines.
Dorchester County residents also use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services to make calls. With VoIP services, residents can make local and long-distance calls at rates cheaper than traditional telephony services. Individuals using VoIP services must have computers and high-speed internet services.
What are Dorchester County Phone Scams?
In Dorchester County, phone scams are initiated by fraudsters aiming to steal individuals' financial and personal information. These con artists deceive county residents by impersonating approved governmental agencies and legitimate businesses in the county or state. These fraudsters, also known as scam callers, make false claims over the phone using spoofing techniques to conceal their identities. Individuals can avoid losing money to scam callers by using tools like reverse phone lookup applications or area code lookups to find out who called them.
Law enforcement agencies in Dorchester County like the County Attorney and Sheriff Department, provide residents with helpful information and tips for combating phone scams. Individuals can also get assistance from state agencies like the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs. Generally, individuals are advised to look up businesses or service providers on the Better Business Bureau platform before patronizing them. Victims of scam calls can file reports with the Federal Trade Commission. Below are some of the widespread scam calls in Dorchester County.
What are Dorchester County Arrest Warrant Scams?
In arrest warrant scams, fraudsters disguising as law enforcement officers call residents, claiming that they have warrants for their arrest. Imposters carry out these scams to steal county residents’ money or private information. Most scammers spoof their caller IDs, making them appear to be from the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office. Apart from these innovative methods, the fraudsters also use jail and arrest threats to persuade their targets. Some phone scammers may join forces with other imposters acting as lawyers to make their threats look real.
These coordinated techniques are designed to ensure that individuals pay immediately. County residents can protect themselves from these scams by using reverse cell phone lookup apps. Individuals can find all information about scam callers by using these applications to perform phone number searches by address or name. It is also essential to call the County Sheriff's Office on (843) 832-0300 or (843) 563-0259 to confirm warrant claims made by strangers on the phone. It is also important to report arrest warrant scams and other impersonation scams to the FTC.
What are Dorchester County Online Shopping Scams?
Online shopping scams are targeted at persons looking for easy shopping experiences online. Before shopping online, note that anyone, including fraudsters, can open online stores that may seem to be legitimate. Scammers who carry out online shopping scams often send emails to individuals informing them of new products or services found on their sites. Most of these scammers tweak their websites, making them look like websites of legitimate merchant stores. On their fake websites, these fraudsters offer cheaper products and services to visitors. These tactics aim to steal credit card details or personal information from customers who purchase these products.
County residents are advised to check online shopping websites very well before buying from them. They should also make sure they read reviews of the online stores on the Better Business Bureau platform. Confirm callers’ claims by calling the correct phone numbers of online store companies found on the BBB platform. Alternatively, use free reverse phone lookup apps to find who the strange callers are. The credit cards used in making transactions should be reviewed frequently to avoid recurring payments from online stores. Victims of online shopping scams in Dorchester County should call the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs on (800) 922-1594 or send emails to the department.
What are Dorchester County Sweepstake Scams?
In sweepstake scams, fraudsters contact residents, informing them that they are sweepstakes’ winners. Most scammers claim that prize winners can only get their rewards by making payments for handling/processing fees, taxes, customs charges, or other charges. Scam targets are told to make payments immediately or lose their ''once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.'' In sweepstake scams, fraudsters often:
- Ask for credit card details
- Request for personal information
- Use free email accounts
- Send messages with many grammatical errors
County residents are advised to keep their personal and banking information private. Also, individuals can verify the true identities of callers before making transactions. Free reverse phone lookup apps are available to individuals who may need to identify scam callers. Victims of sweepstake scams may be shy to report such crimes at first. However, the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs provides online platforms for victims who wish to remain anonymous. To report scam calls, call 1 (844) TELL-DCA (835-5322) or send a tweet to the official SCDCA Twitter account using the hashtag #TellDCA.
What are Dorchester County Home Repair Scams?
Home repair scams are perpetrated by fraudulent home repair contractors. Individuals in need of services like new window installations, solar panel installations, cleaning services, painting or decorations, and furniture services are often scam targets. Home repair scams are common immediately after natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, or volcanoes. The con artists often offer home improvement services at cheaper rates and promise huge rewards to their customers. Being in a vulnerable position, victims of home repair scams frequently lose money or disclose private information to these scammers.
Regardless of the situation, citizens should endeavor to carry out independent background checks on legitimate home repair contractors and their claims. With the help of free phone number lookup databases, phone users can get more information about strangers who called them. According to the FTC, homeowners should not make any transaction with home repair contractors until all parties sign proper contracts. Before this, homeowners should request contractors' references, licenses, insurance, and written estimates. Victims of home repair scams can file online reports with the FTC or call the SC Department of Consumer Affairs on 1 (844) TELL-DCA (835-5322).
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are pre-recorded messages sent to phone users using auto-dialers. Telemarketers use robocalls to send pre-recorded calls to many phone users at once. Politicians, educational organizations, and any other non-profit organizations also use robocalls to pass vital information to citizens. Generally, robocalls are legal if call recipients give their consents before the calls are initiated. Like illegal robocalls, spam calls are unwanted calls that contain irrelevant information. Fraudsters often use robocalls and spam calls to carry out their fraudulent activities. This is because robocalls provide callers with confidentiality, making it difficult for county residents to know who called. However, individuals can use suspicious phone number lookup services to know the true identities of robocallers.
Other steps you can take to tackle illegal robocalls are as follows:
- Terminate the call once the caller asks you to verify personal details by calling out your social security number or credit card information.
- Decline following any robocall prompt as it may lead to more robocalls.
- Use a good reverse phone lookup tool to find an answer to the question of ''who is this number registered to?''
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call registry.
- If you continue to receive robocalls 31 days from the day you registered your phone number on the NDNC registry, report the robocall to the FTC. Do this by filing a complaint online or calling 1-888-382-1222
County residents can find more information about how to block unwanted calls on the FTC's website.
How to Spot and Report Dorchester County Phone Scams?
According to a 2019 report published by the FTC, phone users lost about $429 million to scam callers between 2018 and 2019. Fraudsters carry out phone scams using innovative methods like voice phishing and spoofing to enhance their fraudulent activities. With these methods, imposters disguise themselves, making it difficult for scam targets to recognize frauds. County residents can avoid falling victims to these scam callers using online platforms that provide reverse phone lookups free of charge. With these tools, phone users can perform free phone number searches by name or address to identify scam calls. Individuals should also be mindful of common techniques used by phone scammers. Note that scam callers often:
- Use all kinds of threats to scare their targets
- Coerce their targets into making payments immediately without asking questions
- Offer rewards that are too good to be true.
- Request for individuals' private or financial details.
- Request for fees in cryptocurrency or gift cards.
Terminate calls immediately if you recognize any of these red flags while speaking to strangers over the phone. Report all scam calls to public agencies in Dorchester County. Below are public agencies that help county residents deal with phone scammers.
Dorchester County Solicitor's Office: The Solicitor's Office in Dorchester County is tasked with prosecuting fraudulent activities. Individuals who may have disclosed their financial or personal details over the phone can contact the office using the address below.
101 Ridge Street, 2nd Floor,
St. George, South Carolina 29477
Phone: (843) 832-0150
Dorchester County Sheriff's Office: The Sheriff's Office is the primary law enforcement agency in the county. Individuals can report criminal and fraudulent activities to the office below:
212 Deming Way
Summerville, SC 29483
Phone: (843) 832-0300
St. George Office
101 Ridge St. Suite 1
St. George, SC 29477
Phone: (843) 563-0259
South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs: This the state's principal consumer protection agency tasked with protecting individuals from consumer fraud. Victims of fraud can complete scam report forms and submit them to the department via mail, email, or fax.
South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs
293 Greystone Boulevard, Suite 400
PO Box 5757
Columbia, SC 29250-5757
Phone: (800) 922-1594
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Generally, the FTC is responsible for protecting US citizens from scams. The risk of falling victim to scams can be reduced by registering your phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC): The FCC is tasked with protecting consumers from fraudulent robocalls and all types of phone scams. It is also in charge of regulating interstate and international communications in the country. Residents can find information on how to avoid unwanted robocalls and phone scams via the FCC website. Phone scam victims can file complaints with the FCC.