What are Beaver County Area Codes?
Located in southwest Pennsylvania, Beaver County comprises two incorporated, third-class cities and 52 boroughs and towns. The county has an estimated population of 163,929, and its seat of power is the Borough of Beaver. Beaver County occupies a total area of 444 square miles.
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) was established to eradicate the complexities of making phone calls. The NANP created the telephone service regions known as Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) and designated each using area codes. Beaver County area codes are the first three digits that precede ten-digit Beaver County telephone numbers. As delegated by the FCC, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) manages and implements Pennsylvania area codes, including those of Beaver County. Two area codes currently serve Beaver County. These are:
Area Code 412
Area Code 412 is a Pennsylvania telephone code. It was put into service in 1947 as one of the original 86 area codes, serving western Pennsylvania, including Beaver County. In Beaver County, the 412 NPA includes Beaver Falls and Rochester.
Area Code 724
Split from the 412 Pennsylvania NPA in 1998, area code 724 covers Beaver County and parts of several other counties in the state. Beaver County boroughs and cities under area code 724 include Ambridge, Beaver, Monaca, Rochester, Beaver Falls, Baden, and Aliquippa.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Beaver County?
The four major phone carriers in the United States provide services in Beaver County, although at varying degrees of coverage. These carriers are supported by several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), especially in locations that do not have the presence of all four. They leverage the infrastructure of the major carriers and offer county residents affordable and reliable network services. Verizon and AT&T cover the Borough of Beaver with a network spread of 98% and 82%, respectively.
As reported by a CDC survey in 2018, about 43.4% of adults in Pennsylvania had adopted cell phones exclusively for telecommunications, while only 4.3% still used landline phones. Wireless telephony services adoption was more pronounced among the under-18 population. The report had it that over 50.0% of the children population lived in wireless-only homes, while less than 3.0% resided in households with landline phones as their sole telephony devices.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that allows communication over IP networks, and it offers Beaver County residents alternative telephony services. VoIP routes information over broadband internet connections and supports all forms of telephone services, including voice calls, text messaging, and video calls. The technology converts voice into digital signals, enabling users to make calls from internet-enabled devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers. VoIP also works with landline phones but must be connected with Analog Telephone Adapters (ATA).
What are Beaver County Phone Scams?
In Beaver County, phone scams are deceptive acts conducted over the phone to cheat county residents out of their money. These scams also aim at obtaining unsuspecting residents' information for financial and identity theft. Phone scammers are aware that convincing residents into doing their biddings is hard, and as such, they spoof their targets' Caller IDs while preying on them. When scammers employ phone spoofing, they usually take on the identities of legitimate businesses and government agencies, a ploy to fool naive residents into answering their phones. Beaver County residents can use reverse phone number lookup applications to identify spoofed phone calls and avoid scams.
The following agencies provide Beaver County residents with phone scams awareness and protect them against phone scams:
- Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General
- Federal Communications Commission
- Federal Trade Commission
- Beaver County Sheriff's Office
Some of the prevalent phone scams in Beaver County include:
What are Beaver County Kidnapping Scams?
Kidnapping scams can be targeted at any Beaver County residents, but the commonly targeted are elderly residents who will go at any length to ensure the safety of younger ones. In these scams, fraudsters will call unsuspecting targets in an attempt to rip them off and inform them that they hold their loved ones hostage. The scammers will demand immediate payment of ransoms, usually tidy sums, to secure their release. To scare their marks and get them to pay, they will threaten to take hostages to unknown places far away from town and kill them if the ransoms are not paid in due course. They sometimes use background noises that depict unbearable pain and violence to make this scam scheme and their claims appear non-fictional. These scammers usually ask to receive payments by wire transfer, cryptocurrency, and retail gift cards. These are all payment channels favored by fraudsters. In most instances, they keep their targets on the phone to dissuade them from contacting others and ensure payment.
The Beaver County Sheriff's Office warns residents of these scams and encourages them to report such encounters if unknown persons contact them with these types of claims. Beaver County residents should never succumb to these threats or pay scammers without confirming the actual whereabouts of their said kidnapped relatives. Phone search applications can reveal identifying information about these scammers, including their addresses. If you get this type of call, make sure to gather a few information, hang up afterward, and report it to your local law enforcement.
What are Beaver County IRS Scams?
In a bid to cheat them out of their money, scammers are pretending to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and calling to inform unsuspecting Beaver County residents that they have unpaid taxes. The IRS scam is one of the prevalent phone scams in the United States for stealing taxpayers' sensitive information and money. They often ask their targets for personal information such as social security numbers, dates of birth, and addresses, seemingly for verifications. The scammers will insist that overdue taxes be paid immediately to avoid arrest or going to jail. They typically request payment by wire transfers, preloaded debit cards, iTunes cards, and sometimes request credit card details to complete payment. If you are contacted by persons who claim to be IRS agents, asking you to disclose or verify your personal information, end the call. Do not attempt to engage in further conversations to avoid falling victim to a scam. Applications that offer phone number lookup services can help uncover the identities of unknown callers.
Beaver County residents should know that legitimate officials of the IRS will never call residents to request payments or threaten residents for whatever reason over the phone. Also, note that they do not initiate phone calls except requested by residents. Persons who receive these calls and are uncertain of their tax statuses can call the IRS on 1 (800) 829-1040 to verify the callers' claims. If you believe you do not owe taxes, report such a call to the TIGTA online or by calling 1 (800) 366-4484.
What are Beaver County COVID-19 Contact Tracing Scams?
The government instituted contact tracing to curb the spread of the coronavirus in the United States. In Beaver County, contact tracing helps the health department identify residents who have been in contact with other persons who already tested positive for COVID-19. If anyone claims to be a contact tracer and requests your social security number and information unrelated to COVID-19, such a caller is a scammer. In this scam, fraudsters pretend to be legitimate contact tracers and call targeted residents to defraud them of their money or obtain personal information deceptively. The callers will notify targets of their exposure to individuals with COVID-19 and warn that they must self-isolate for a few days. They will inform them to monitor likely symptoms within this period and then request some personal details for supposed record taking. Persons who share such information with the callers will possibly become victims of identity and financial theft.
Although legitimate COVID-19 contact tracers may request personal information when they call, they will never question you or ask for any information irrelevant to COVID-19. The Pennsylvania Department of Health (PDH) warns residents to be alert to these scam schemes. It also cautions them never to share confidential information with them to avoid falling victim. Reverse phone lookup services can help you determine if an unknown caller who claims to be with the PDH or local health department is who they are. If you receive this type of call, the PDH advises that you hang up and contact them at 1 (877) 724-3258 to ascertain if the caller works for them and verify their claims.
What are Beaver County Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
Law enforcement impersonation scams are not new, but unfortunately, it is one of the scams that continuously get naive persons ripped off. In Beaver County, scammers keep finding new ways to fool their marks with false claims while pretending to be with the Beaver County Sheriff's Office (BCSO). They often defraud targeted residents by claiming that they have unpaid warrants or informing them that they missed jury duty and must pay fines. In a popular variation of this scam in Beaver County, fraudsters will claim their targets were listed in undisclosed criminal cases and that they are directly responsible for the investigation. They will inform their marks to pay a certain amount of money to strike their names out from such cases and avoid arrest or jail.
In many instances, the fraudsters will keep their targets on the phone, ensuring they do not contact other persons to enable them to get the money requested. Typically, these scammers favor gift cards or wire transfers as means of receiving payments. Conducting phone number searches using reverse number lookup services can retrieve their identities of such callers. The scammers sometimes spoof the official phone numbers of the Sheriff's Office but reverse phone lookup applications can help determine spoofed calls and prevent you from falling victim to scams. The BCSO advises residents to be wary of impersonation scams and warns that deputies will never demand payment from residents over the phone.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls deliver pre-recorded information from auto-diallers to sizable phone numbers. Although designed for the legitimate use of the government, telemarketers, and reputable entities, scammers now use robocalls in extorting naive persons. Scammers sometimes spoof robocalls to make calls appear like those from familiar government agencies and businesses. They do so to increase their chances of success when looking for whom to rip off.
Spam calls work similarly to robocalls. They are unwanted communication sent en-mass to phone users who never gave their consent. Also, robocalls are illegal if used to contact residents without prior permission. Many of such robocalls are targeted at stealing money or obtaining confidential information. The FTC provides tips on how to stop unwanted robocalls. Suspicious phone number lookup services can help identify robocalls and prevent anyone from falling victim to illegal robocalls.
To avoid falling prey to illegal robocalls and their overwhelming nature, you can take the following precautions:
- Hang up immediately a robocall comes through your phone. Never act on voice prompts that instruct you to perform some operations to remove your number from their call list.
- Never trust the caller information that shows up on your phone because scammers favor phone spoofing and sometimes do the same for robocalls.
- Add your number on Pennsylvania Do Not Call List and the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce robocall intrusion. Doing this will stop legitimate telemarketing calls and can help you identify potential scam calls.
- Block all robocalls and spam numbers that come through your phone using the free call-blocking service provided by your phone company. If you cannot get free ones, consider using third-party call-blocking applications available for your smartphone.
- Report any robocall abuse to the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 or online.
How Can You Spot and Report Beaver County Phone Scams?
Beaver County residents who observe the following during phone conversation, especially with unknown persons, should consider such calls as potential scams:
- The caller poses as a representative of a veritable business that selected you for a prize and requests that you share your financial and personal information to redeem such a prize. A legitimate entity does not require such details if you won a gift.
- The caller tactically avoids the questions you ask to confirm their claims.
- The caller threatens you with immediate arrest or jail if you fail to pay or disclose the information they request.
- The caller attempts to sell products or services with a limited-time offer and coerces you into wiring money without giving you some time to think about such an offer.
- The caller claims to be with a government agency and requests payment for varying reasons by unofficial methods such as gift cards, wire transfers, or bitcoins. They may also ask you to share your credit card details to initiate payment.
Services that offer free phone number lookups by name and address can retrieve the identities of scammers and help Beaver County residents avoid scams. Additionally, adhering to the various safety tips provided by some public agencies can go a long way in combating phone scams. These agencies also provide the means of reporting phone scams for county residents. They include:
Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General - The OAG encourages residents to sign up for phone scams alerts to keep abreast of the latest scams. Beaver County residents can report phone scam incidents to the OAG online or by calling (717) 787-3391.
Federal Communications Commission - Beaver County residents who are victims of phone spoofing scams and other phone scams can file complaints online with the FCC or call 1-888-225-5322 to report them. The FCC implements policies that protect consumers from scams.
Beaver County Sheriff's Office - The BCSO uses phone number lookup services when investigating phone scam incidents reported to it. It also educates residents with scam alerts to help them keep up with trending phone scams. Anyone who falls victim to a phone scam in Beaver County can report it to the BCSO by calling 724-770-4602.
Federal Trade Commission - Beaver County residents who have been victims of phone scams may file complaints with the FTC. The FTC manages the National Do Not Call Registry. The DNC registry is a database of phone numbers owned by residents who have chosen to stop receiving telemarketing calls. Such persons have a high chance of avoiding phone scams perpetrated by robocalls.