Area codes are the sets of three numeric digits that begin ten-digit telephone numbers in North America. The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) uses area codes to designate the different numbering plan areas (NPAs) in the various telephone service territories. The Public Service Commission (PSC) administers area codes in Florida. There are currently two area codes that cover Brevard County.
Area Code 321
Area Code 321 is the telephone area code in the NANP that covers most of Brevard County. It was activated in 2001 as an overlay for the 407 NPA, mostly around the Orlando area. However, since 2003, 321 NPA numbers have been mostly restricted to Brevard County. Cities in Brevard County under this area code include Cape Canaveral, Cocoa, Cocoa Beach, Indian Harbour Beach, Melbourne, Palm Bay, Rockledge, Satellite Beach, and Titusville.
Area Code 772
Area code 772 is the NANP telephone area code that serves the Treasure Coast of Florida, including small parts of Brevard County. It was activated in 2002 in a split of the 561 NPA. Communities in Brevard County under this NPA include Barefoot Bay, Grant-Valkaria, and Micco.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Brevard County?
A 2018 National Health Institute Survey reported that 60.9% of adults in Florida were wireless-only telephone service users while about 4% only used landlines. It also noted that nearly 73% of the state’s minors used wireless telephony services only and 1.7% were landline-only users. This survey suggested that wireless telephony services had become the preferred choice of Brevard County residents for telecommunication.
Florida enjoys outstanding wireless network service and the four major carriers operate in the state with Verizon and AT&T offering almost 100% coverage. T-Mobile covers nearly 90% of the population, while Sprint lags slightly with about 83% coverage. Several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) run on the major carriers’ networks and offer excellent alternatives at lower costs.
VoIP (Voice of Internet Protocol) is a technology that utilizes IP networks for telephony services. Broadband internet connections are typically used to deliver VoIP services and this provides a more efficient, flexible, and cheaper option to traditional telephony services. VoIP services are available in Brevard County for both residential and business users.
What are Brevard County Phone Scams?
These are schemes that steal money or sensitive information from Brevard County residents using telephone services. They are perpetrated using live calls, robocalls, and text messages and rely on deception to succeed. Reverse phone number searches can return information on the individuals behind the phone numbers used for scams.
The Florida Attorney General’s Office issues consumer alerts and provides information to protect residents from common scams. Residents can contact the AG’s Office to file complaints. The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office also offers tips and resources to protect residents from phone scams. Victims of phone scams can submit reports to their BCSO precincts or their municipal police departments. Residents can also submit reports of phone scams to the FTC. Common phone scams in Brevard County include:
What are Sheriff Impersonation Scams?
In these scams, the callers contact residents and claim to be employees of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO). They inform their targets of outstanding warrants, fees, unpaid tickets, or court costs and demand immediate payment. They threaten the targets with arrests if they are hesitant or refuse to pay. The scammers will insist on payment by prepaid gift cards and ask for the cards’ numbers during their call. In some instances, they ask the victims to drop off the payments at specific locations, typically BCSO precincts, to appear legitimate.
The BCSO warns residents that it will never contact them to demand money for payments of outstanding warrants. The BCSO will also never request payment by prepaid gift cards. Residents who receive these calls should hang up immediately and contact the BCSO directly to make inquiries. Reverse phone number lookups can verify if these types of phone calls are from the Sheriff’s Office. Victims of these scams should file reports with their local BCSO precincts.
What are Credit Card Scams?
Usually, with these scams, the fraudsters already have the targets’ credit card numbers. The callers contact their targets, claiming to be from the security and fraud departments of their credit card companies, typically VISA or Mastercard. The callers inform their targets that their credit cards were flagged for unusual purchases and they are calling to verify. They call out purchases, usually under $500 each, and after the targets deny making the purchases, they tell them their accounts will be credited. They then tell the targets that they will be starting investigations but need to confirm the credit cards are in their possession. To do this, they ask the victims to provide the three-digit security number on the back of the cards.
These scammers never actually ask for the credit card numbers since they already have it. Providing the security numbers to the callers allows them to run up charges on the cards. Victims only find out about these charges when they receive the card statements. Credit card companies never call their clients to request any details about their credit cards, as they already have these records. If you receive one of such calls, hang up and contact your credit card company directly for verification. Phone number lookup services can ascertain the true origins of these calls. Victims of these scams can file reports with their local law enforcement agency, the Florida AG’s Office, and the FTC.
What are Computer Repair Scams?
These scams begin with targets receiving phone calls from persons claiming to be representatives of computer tech firms, usually Microsoft. The callers tell their marks that their computers are infected and that they are calling to provide fixes. They ask for remote access to the computers to be able to do this. The callers walk the targets through opening event logs on the computers and use typical and harmless error warnings as proof of their claims. They use these to convince their victims to grant them remote access to their computers.
Giving remote access to these callers opens residents up to a world of trouble. These scammers can install malicious software (malware) on the computers that steal sensitive information. Some malware can even turn the computers into “zombie systems,” which the scammers can control and use for their fraudulent activities, and incriminate the owners. Also, the scammers always produce exorbitant bills for the services which they supposedly rendered.
Residents should never grant remote access to their computers to unknown persons who make unsolicited phone calls. Reputable computer tech firms do not randomly contact people about computer problems. Though scammers can spoof caller IDs to display legitimate companies’ caller information, phone lookup services can return information that indicates these are scam calls. Residents who suspect their computers have problems should solicit local computer repair services.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is a telephone call, made using an autodialer, that delivers a prerecorded message to the recipient. Robocalls are usually associated with telemarketing and political campaigns but are also used for public service and emergency announcements. Robocalls can deliver messages to multiple recipients with minimal human involvement, and this ability has proven attractive to scammers. Scammers can use robocalls to anonymously contact several potential targets, making it easier for them to run their scams. This is because residents are more receptive to robocalls than live calls from unknown persons.
The best options for dealing with robocalls include:
- End the robocall when you identify an incoming call as such. Do not follow any instruction to connect to a live operator or remove yourself from a distribution list. This just sets you up for more robocalls.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry and Florida Do Not Call List to limit telephone solicitation. Phone numbers that stay on these lists for 31 days are restricted from receiving unwanted telephone solicitations. Spam calls received after joining these registries are potential scam calls.
- Report illegal robocall numbers to the FTC online or at 1 (888) 382-1222. Residents can also file Do Not Call complaints with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
- Use features and apps provided by carriers, smartphone manufacturers, and third-party developers to block spam calls and robocalls.
The FTC provides instructions on blocking unwanted calls on various phone systems on its website.
How to Spot and Report Brevard County Phone Scams?
Education and alertness are proven means of spotting potential scams. While scammers routinely adapt their schemes to prey on unsuspecting residents, most new cons are variations of old scams. Having information on these tactics will help targets identify them before damage is done. Online applications that run phone lookups by name, address, and number can identify potential scam callers. Information returned by these applications will be useful when reporting phone scams to the relevant authorities. These applications are available in free and paid versions and can answer questions like “who called me?” and “who is this number registered to?”
Below are some indicators that unknown callers are running scams:
- The calls are from legitimate organizations but the callers ask for personal information. Legitimate organizations will not ask for personal information on unsolicited phone calls.
- The callers claim to be law enforcement but get hostile and use coercion to make you comply with their demands. Real law enforcement agents will never use threats to coerce your compliance on phone calls.
- The callers insist on payments through unconventional channels such as gift cards and wire transfers. Legitimate entities will not insist on immediate payments and do not ask for payments through such unconventional means.
- The callers cannot provide satisfactory answers to questions you ask and dissuade you from seeking confirmation from other persons.
- The callers tell you that you won prizes or free gifts but request advance payments before sending them.
Brevard County residents can reach out to any of the following agencies for assistance when dealing with phone scams:
Florida Attorney General - The Consumer Protection Division of the AG’s Office issues consumer alerts and protects residents from violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Residents can submit complaints to the AG’s Office online using the Citizen Services Contact Form or call the fraud hotline at 1 (866) 966-7226. Alternatively, they can complete the complaint form and mail it to the Office of the Attorney General, PL-01, The Capitol, Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050.
Local Law Enforcement Agencies - Local law enforcement agencies like the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) and other municipal police departments provide information and resources to help residents deal with phone scams. Victims of phone scams can contact their local Sheriff’s Office precincts or their local police departments to file reports.
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) - The FDACS issues consumer information and resources to combat scams and other fraudulent activities. It also manages Florida Do Not Call List that protects residents from illegal robocalls and provides an online platform for residents to report robocall abuses. Residents can file complaints on other scam activities at (800) 435-7352.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The FTC protects consumers from deceptive and unfair practices in the marketplace. It safeguards residents through initiatives such as the National Do Not Call Registry and other resources such as tips on blocking unwanted calls. Residents can file reports on illegal robocalls and other fraudulent acts with the online complaint assistant or at 1 (888) 382-1222.