Area codes differentiate the Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) in the country and are indicated by the first set of three digits of American phone numbers. These codes are provisioned by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). The Florida Public Service Commission (PUC) is entrusted with area codes administration in the state of Florida.
The only active area code in Duval County is 904:
Area Code 904
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Duval County?
A 2018 CDC survey showed that many Floridians no longer used landline phones for telecommunications. The survey report confirmed that an estimated 60.9% of the adult population had adopted only wireless devices telecommunication services. About 4.0% of them still used only landline phones for telephony services. A closer look at the report also showed a similar trend among children in Florida that year.
The leading cell phone carriers in the United States all provide network services in Duval County. Network coverages and strengths, however, vary across the cities and coastal areas of the county. In Jacksonville City, all four phone carriers offer excellent services. Verizon has the highest coverage of 96% followed closely by T-Mobile at 88%. AT&T offers 76% coverage while Sprint covers 74% of the city.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has been widely adopted in Duval County for telephony services. With VoIP, phone calls are routed over the internet at little or no cost to end users. However, residents must have internet-enabled devices to use VoIP services.
What are Duval County Phone Scams?
Duval County phone scams are fraudulent acts staged by unsavory characters using telephone services and targeting residents of the county. Individuals engaging in phone scams do so to steal money and obtain their targets' information. However, phone scammers' identities can be uncovered by reverse phone lookups.
The primary consumer protection agency in the state is the Florida Office of the Attorney General (FOAG). It educates residents on the several ruses employed by phone scammers to steal money and identities. Duval County residents who fall prey to phone scams can file reports with the FOAG online. The FOAG also issues scam alerts on its website to notify residents of the current phone scams and how best to avoid them. The FTC online complaint assistant is accessible to persons who have fallen victim to phone scams in Duval County. Some common phone scams being perpetrated in Duval County include:
What are Arrest Warrant Scams?
Scammers engaging in Duval County arrest warrant scams usually demand payment by gift cards and wire transfers from their targets. They pretend to call from the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) and inform targets of outstanding arrest warrants in their names. Scammers spoof Caller IDs to convince unsuspecting targets that their calls are from the Sheriff’s Office. They then give their targets the option of paying to cancel the warrants or risk being arrested immediately.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office warns Duval County residents that its officers do not engage people over the phone concerning arrest warrants. The Sheriff's Office further advises residents never to pay random persons over the phone. Arrest warrants cannot be paid off by wiring money or sending gift cards. Similarly, fines authorized by courts of law are not paid directly to law enforcement officers. Duval County residents who have fallen victim to arrest warrant scams can file reports with the JSO by email or calling (904) 630-0500.
What are Kidnapping Scams?
If you receive a phone call from an unknown person who requests ransom in exchange for a kidnapped relative or friend, be very cautious. You may be dealing with a scammer. Applications that provide free phone number lookup services by name and address can help you identify who called.
This type of scam is usually perpetrated at odd hours when it is difficult for targets to reach out for help. When they call, targets will hear voices of screaming persons, and then the "kidnappers" make their demands. The demanded ransom is always huge, and they want it paid while still on the phone by wire transfer or prepaid card. Sometimes, they request payment by cryptocurrencies. They threaten to kill their "hostages" if payment of ransom is delayed and will sometimes negotiate.
Duval County residents are advised to reach out to friends and relatives to confirm the callers’ claims if they receive such calls. Persons who have been scammed this way can report to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office by calling (904) 630-0500. Complaints can also be filed with the Federal Trade Commission online.
What are Utility Scams?
In these types of phone scams, scammers claim to be representatives of local utility companies and request payment for delinquent bills. Utility phone scammers pressure their targets to pay by threatening to disconnect services to their homes. In many cases, they demand that payment be made immediately or risk disconnection. Their preferred means of receiving payments are gift cards.
Duval County residents should know that utility companies do not request outstanding bill payments via suspicious channels. If the caller threatens you with immediate disconnection, end the call and contact your utility company on their official phone number to verify their claims. Do not pay money or disclose bill information to unknown persons over the phone. Residents can report incidents of this type of scam to the Florida Office of the Attorney General by calling 1 (866) 966-7226.
What are Court Fees Scams?
Scammers impersonate employees of the Duval County Clerk's Office (DCCO) to defraud unsuspecting residents. They spoof Caller IDs, so their numbers appear to belong to the County Clerk's Office to deceive targets. These scammers accuse their targets of having unpaid court fees that need to be cleared immediately to avoid arrest. Sometimes, they instruct targets to call designated persons on other phone numbers who will receive payment. They may also ask for targets' credit card numbers and some financial information to secure payments.
Do not disclose financial or personal information when you receive this type of call. Glean as much information as you can and report to the Clerk's Office by calling (904) 255- 2000. The Duval County Clerk's Office warns that it does not call residents over the phone to arrange payment for fines and other fees. Reverse phone number lookups can help residents to identify these fraudsters. Those who have fallen victim to this scam in Duval County can file online complaints with the FTC. They can also report to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office on (904) 630-0500 to enable them to investigate.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are recorded messages that are delivered by auto-dialers to multiple recipients. They are legitimately used by telemarketers and the government to communicate with a large number of people at relatively low costs. However, more than 50% of robocalls in Duval County are scam calls from fraudsters. For fear of being scammed, some residents have stopped taking calls from unknown numbers. It is possible to confirm that an unsolicited call is a robocall using a reverse phone lookup application. Take the following measures to avoid being scammed by robocalls:
- End the call once aware it is a robocall. Listening further and acting on prompts will lead to recurring robocalls.
- Block robocall numbers if your cell phone has call-blocking features. Otherwise, contact your phone company to block such numbers.
- Register your phone number on Florida Do Not Call List and the FTC's DNC Registry. This will prevent you from receiving unsolicited calls. Robocalls that come through your phone after enrolling in these lists are possibly scams.
- Do not trust displayed Caller IDs to correctly identify strange callers. Robocall scammers spoof phone numbers to make Caller IDs look like those of familiar legitimate entities.
- As a precaution, do not answer phone calls from unknown numbers. The caller will leave a message if it is crucial.
- Report illegal robocalls to the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 or online. You can also report robocall numbers to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office by calling (904) 630-0500.
How Can You Spot and Report Duval County Phone Scams?
Despite efforts by government agencies to stem the tide of phone scams, scammers still find ways of defrauding residents. These agencies educate residents on avoiding phone scams and encourage them to file reports on successful and unsuccessful phone scams. On their part, residents can curb this menace if they look out for certain tell-tale signs when receiving calls from unknown callers. Signs that a telephone call is a scam include:
- Scammers using fear tactics to pressure their targets into yielding to their demands.
- Scammers impersonate employees of government agencies and threaten to arrest targets if they fail to pay. Government agencies will not intimidate citizens with arrest over the phone, irrespective of the circumstances.
- Scammers frighten targets with startling news in a bid to get them to make reckless decisions.
- Scammers insist on payment via unusual methods, and they always want it done immediately.
- Scammers claim you won a lottery and then request an upfront fee payment to claim your winnings. You may not have even entered the lottery in the first instance.
Some government agencies have proven especially helpful in the fight against Duval County phone scams. These agencies educate residents on how to avoid phone scams and allow victims to file reports. These government agencies include:
Florida Office of the Attorney General - The Consumer Protection Division of the FOAG protects residents from entities that engage in deceptive and unfair practices. The scam alerts featured on its website educate residents on how to identify and avoid phone scams. Phone scam victims in Duval County can file complaints online with the FOAG or by calling 1 (866) 966-7226.
Federal Trade Commission - The DNC Registry developed by the FTC is helpful for residents who want to stop receiving unsolicited calls from telemarketers. The FTC also tips residents on how to block unwanted calls to avoid being scammed. Phone scam victims in Duval County can file reports online with the FTC or call 1 (888) 382-1222.
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office - The JSO regularly publishes bulletins on recent phone scams in the county and educates residents on how to avoid falling victim. They identify scammers by using reverse phone lookup websites and investigate phone scam incidents. Duval County residents who may have fallen prey to phone scams can report to the JSO by calling (904) 630-0500.
Duval County Clerk's Office - The DCCO provides scam alerts to protect residents from falling victim to phone scams involving scammers impersonating officers of the court and law enforcement agencies. Residents who are victims of related phone scams can register their complaints with the DCCO by calling (904) 255- 2000.