What are York County Area Codes?
Area codes are the three-digit numbers that begin every North American telephone number. It was introduced as part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) scheme to help determine the origin of calls and divide each member nation into numbering plan areas (NPAs). The Public Service Commission (PSC) of South Carolina is responsible for the administration and regulation of area codes in York County.
Prior to 2020, two area codes covered York County. However, in May 2020, a new area code was introduced to overlay area code 803.
Area code 803
Area code 803 was one of the earliest 86 area codes designed by AT&T and the Bell System back in 1947. The initial plan was to have it serve the entire state, however, this changed and other area codes were introduced into the system. Area code 803 covers a larger part of central South Carolina, including the very large cities of Rock Hill, Aiken, Columbia, and Sumter.
Area code 864
Area code 864 was introduced after area code 803 was split in December 1995. Within the county, it serves the cities of Hickory Grove, Sharon, and Smyrna. Currently, area code 864 remains the last area that has not been overlaid in South Carolina. The implication is, subscribers under this service area may still make calls using just the seven-digit dialing.
Area code 839
Area code 839 was the NANP telephone code that overlayed NPA 803. It became active in May 2020 and covers most parts of Central South Carolina. While the adoption of the new code implied that new subscribers had to call using the new code, old subscribers were, however, allowed to retain the previous code. This improvement implied that subscribers in the 803/839 service area had to call using the ten-digit dialing (NPA + seven-digit number). The reason being that different homes could have the same seven-digit phone numbers.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in York County?
A 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey estimated that 55.7 of adults in South Carolina households rely primarily on wireless telephone services. In contrast, only about 4.9% of adults exclusively relied on landlines in the state. Amongst children who were below 18, the difference was even more striking. 67.2% relied exclusively on wireless-only service and only about 1.9 preferred landlines. These statistics are suggestive of the fact that cell phones have dominated landlines as the preferred choice of telephone service in York County.
York County utilizes four major phone networks along with several Mobile Network Operators (MVNOs). The primary phone carriers and their alternative MVNOs offer impressive coverage for the cities under the county. Verizon and AT&T offer the best service with over 94% coverage. On the other hand, T-mobile offers 74% coverage, while Sprint offers the lowest coverage with 72%. However, service availability may drop in populated places, rural communities, spaces between tall buildings, and on the interstate.
Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology that allows businesses and residents to make calls using a high-speed internet connection. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services are fast dominating the telecommunication space in South Carolina and are shaping the way calls are being made in the state. Its major perk is that it offers a reliable, flexible, and affordable way to make calls, especially long calls and long-distance calls. Presently, several companies offer VoIP services in York County.
What Are York County Phone Scams?
These are scams carried out by unscrupulous individuals who call and target residents of York County in a bid to fraudulently obtain money or other financial or personal information. Reverse phone look up services are adept at identifying phone scammers.
Some common phone scams committed in York County include:
What Are Covid-19/Medicare Scams?
York County residents are warned to protect themselves from scammers contacting them and posing as Medicare officials. These scammers call residents, asking about their ailments. They then request the private information of their target, claiming that it will be used to create their Medicare card. Usually, they tell the victims that the Medicare card is necessary to cover their COVID-19 related expenses or other health-related expenses. Other times, they threaten their victims that they will lose money if they fail to cooperate.
In situations like these, victims are advised to immediately contact the real Medicare office and the Inspector General’s Office to investigate the calls and file reports. The OIG can be contacted at 1-800-447-8477. Reverse phone number lookup searches help determine whether such calls are actually from Medicare.
What Are Impostor Utility Scams?
Here, the scammer identifies himself as a representative of the resident’s utility company, which could be the local water, gas, or electric company. The scammer will contact the resident, asking them to pay their utility bills with a credit card immediately. Sometimes, the scammer may ask their victim to provide their card details to refund them for excess payments or install or replace a utility-related device. They may also request a service fee to restore power to them if there was an outage. Phone number search services can verify if these types of calls are from legitimate businesses.
What Are Impersonation Scams?
Here, the caller poses as someone they are not to deceive their target into giving them personal or financial details. The most common is where an imposter poses as a sergeant or deputy at the York County Sheriff’s Office. In one instance, an impersonator took on a fake identity and claimed to be Sergeant Jason Cook. It later turned out there was no one with such an identity. Anyone that experiences such a free reverse phone lookup service to identify who called easily. However, scammers may go as far as spoofing the official phone number of the Sheriff’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office advises residents to exercise caution when receiving such calls, as they never call to demand money or residents’ personal details. In such instances, residents should not follow any command prompt; instead, they should cut the call immediately. They may also call the official line of the Office immediately to make inquiries.
What Are Social Security Scams?
Here, scammers contact York County residents, pretending to be officials from the Social Security Administration. Usually, they tell residents that their social security numbers have been tampered with and that they have to make payments to rectify the situation and avoid being arrested. The person contacting the victim may request payment via the victim’s prepaid card, a gift card, or wire transfer. They may also ask for other important financial and personal information. Scammers go as far as spoofing their Callers IDs to display the name or numbers of the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The SSA advises residents not to respond to any instruction or prompts given by such callers. They insist that they never call citizens to solicit for funds or their identity details. Victims of such scams should immediately contact the Office of the Inspector General to report and file their complaints. A free reverse phone lookup service can help to answer the question “who is this number registered?” and identify the actual caller.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated telephone calls that use computerized autodialers to deliver pre-recorded messages. Robocalls are common with political parties, telemarketing companies, and non-profit organizations. They are popular for several reasons, including being cheap and affording their users the ability to stay anonymous.
Scammers use robocalls to impersonate government organizations and other legitimate businesses in an attempt to obtain their targets’ personal and financial information. Reverse cell phone lookup services can help in confirming whether an incoming call is a robocall. Here is what you can do if you receive an illegal robocall:
- Hang up once you realize it is a robocall. Do not follow any command prompt issued over the phone as most times this leads to even more calls.
- Use online services that offer phone number searches free of charge to identify robocalls and block the phone numbers after they have been identified.
- Report the robocall to the Federal Trade Commission at National Do Not Call Registry or by calling 1-(888)-382-1222.
- A good reverse phone lookup can also help in identifying the actual caller of a robocall.
- Register your home and mobile number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Numbers listed here are usually exempted from receiving robocalls from legitimate businesses. While this may not completely stop all unwanted calls from coming in, it will make it easier to identify when a robocall is illegal.
The FTC website also provides other consumer tips on how to block unwanted calls on any platform.
How Can You Spot and Report York County Phone Scams?
Scams of all kinds aimed at stealing residents’ financial and personal information are becoming increasingly prevalent in York County. Organizations that perform reverse phone searches help with suspicious phone number lookups to reveal the actual callers. Nonetheless, there is a need for residents to be aware of what to expect to protect themselves from falling victims. Here is how you can identify phone scams:
- Scammers will always ask you to divulge personal or financial information. Note, legitimate organizations will never ask customers to disclose sensitive information online.
- Scammers usually employ aggressive tactics and use instruments of intimidation and pressure to coerce their targets into timidly providing the requested information. Some of these tactics include fines, suspensions, and sometimes even arrests.
- The caller would usually specify the means for payment outside the legal and regular payment channel. This could be through gift cards, wire transfers, cryptocurrencies, prepaid debit cards. Note that these channels are usually untraceable.
- The caller will propose very attractive investment opportunities, promising huge returns or bonuses with little or no risk involved. This way, their target is swayed into remitting the funds requested.
While it may be impossible to keep yourself off the radar of scammers, tools that conduct reverse phone number lookups by name, phone number, and address help mitigate against phone scams. Public institutions that assist York County residents in dealing with scammers are:
York County Sheriff’s Office - The York County Sheriff Office provides updates about prevalent scams in the state. 21 Residents who may have fallen prey to phone scams can report to the Sheriff’s Office by visiting their website or by calling the Office official line 803.628.3059.
South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (Identity Theft Unit) (DCA)- The Identity Theft Unit specifically handles the protection of South Carolina residents from identity theft and scams. They do this by providing both state and federal resources to members of the state to ensure they are kept up to date with the happenings around them. Residents are advised to report cases and file complaints of fraudulent activities to the SCDCA.
South Carolina Attorney General’s Office - The Office of Attorney General of South Carolina is committed to seeing that York County Residents do not fall victim to scam activities through ongoing consumer education. County residents can register their complaints by filling the complaint form.
Federal Trade Commission- The FTC protects consumers from unlawful and deceptive business practices. The National Do Not Call Registry is one of the attempts of the FTC in curbing unwanted robocalls. If you still end up receiving such robocalls after registering your number on the DNC register, you can most likely attribute it to being a scam call.