What are Escambia County Area Codes?
According to the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), there must be a three-digit Numbering Plan Area (NPA) code, commonly called an area code which is then followed by a seven-digit local number. Escambia County area code is 850. For instance, a local number in Escambia County would be (850) 777-888. This area code serves all 7 cities in the county and it includes:
- Pliant City
What are the best cell phone plans in Escambia County?
Different factors need to be taken into consideration when deciding what cell phone provider plan is good or not. The most important factor to consider is the phone provider with the best coverage quality in Escambia County. There are decent phone providers with good quality coverage in Escambia County, which means finding a good plan in Escambia County would not be difficult. Residents of Escambia County can subscribe to the following phone providers plans to AT&T, Sprint, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, MVNOs, and other carriers.
Pensacola City which is Escambia County's major city is the 227th most connected city in Florida as provided by the citywide average based on the Federal Communications Commission. Also, about 97% of Pensacola residents are serviced by one of these phone provider carrier companies. While about 4000 people in Escambia County as a whole do not have access to any wired internet. In the State of Florida, the above-mentioned providers lead the market, with Verizon having 34.9 percent of the wireless market. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint follow with 34.1 percent, 17.5 percent, and 12.1 percent respectively.
The use of Landlines in Escambia County has experienced a decline in recent years. As smartphones have become a handy companion to most residents of Escambia County, landlines are rapidly losing their relevance. Many Escambia residents now use wireless and broadband services. This, for instance, affected the three largest carriers of landline service providers; AT&T, CenturyLink, and Frontier. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in its biannual National Health Interview Survey for the year 2018, provided preliminary estimates of adults and children living in homes with only wireless telephones and those using landlines. In its most recent statistics for adults aged 18 and over living in the state, 60.0% used wireless-only, 15.9% used wireless-mostly, 11.0% dual-use. Also, 4.4% used landline-mostly, 4.0% landline-only, while 3.7% used no telephone service. Comparing the figures provided, it can be deduced that the percentage of the residents of Escambia County using a cell phone is above the percentage of residents using the landline.
Customers as of today have now shifted their focus to another type of internet technology known in the telecommunications world as the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It is a type of communication system using internet protocol as against traditional analog systems. According to the Federal Communications Commission, VoIP converts the user's voice signal from the phone into a digital signal which can travel over the internet. In the state of Florida, there are about 2.9 Million subscribers to the Voice over Internet Protocol according to the Florida Public Service Commission. The Network and Telecommunications Division of the Information and Technology Department in Escambia County completed the use of the first phase of the enterprise-wide voice-over-IP telephone system. The phase incorporated the BCC's downtown and central office buildings along with the Tax Collector and Supervisor of Elections. Based on the general trend of these VoIP lines and the reduction in traditional switched access lines, it is likely that there will be further growth in its future use in Escambia County.
What are Escambia County phone scams?
Phone scams are used to steal money or personal information to commit identity theft, from unsuspecting persons. Phone Scams may come through from real people, robocalls, or text messages. Phone scams can be done using one of the methods:
- Imposter scams
- Debt relief and credit repair scams
- Business and investment scams
- Charity scams
- Extended car warranties
- Free trials
- Loan scams
- Prize and lottery scams
- Travel scams and timeshare scams
According to the Federal Trade Commission, Florida tops the list for the number of fraud reports with about 2.7 million complaints made to the agency in 2017. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the phone scam was one of the top categories of fraud reported. This is because fraudsters prefer to use the phone since their victims usually pay via wire transfer.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) restricts the use of automatic dialing systems, prerecorded voice messages, and unsolicited text messages. In Escambia County today, residents receive a lot of robocalls. A call is said to be a robocall when for instance an individual picks up the phone and hears a recorded message instead of a live person or, if someone leaves a prerecorded message, it is regarded as a robocall. Also, sales messages an individual did not give written acknowledgment of are deemed illegal robocall.
An individual is advised not to give in by taking immediate action on the instructions given on a robocall. To avoid being a victim of a phone scam, individuals should register their phone numbers with the National-Do-Not-Call-Registry. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) established the Do-Not-Call-Registry which applies to interstate and intrastate calls. Individuals can register online or contact the office at 1-888-382-1222.
In their fight against phone scams, the Attorney General’s Office in the State of Florida maintains a reporting platform through the Consumer Alert. Residents of Escambia County can report phone scams through the Consumer Alert by filing a complaint online. Alternatively, residents can report a phone scam by contacting the Florida Attorney General's Office at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM.
How Can You Spot and Report Escambia County Phone Scams?
Today, different incidents of fraud have been on the rise in Escambia County. The Escambia County Sheriff’s office and other law enforcement agencies operating in the county as a way of warning to its residents informed them to be careful when continuing phone scams. Especially, scammers posing to be enforcement officials, call and demand money claiming to be representing the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office or another law enforcement agency. Victims are told they must send money or provide their card details number and other information to the “officer” to avoid non-payment penalties.
Residents of Escambia County are advised to be on the lookout for the common signs of phone scams such as:
- A phone number would not display on the individual's caller ID.
- The caller employs the use of high-pressure sales tactics
- The caller pressures the individual to take an immediate decision.
- The offer usually sounds too good to be true.
- The caller requests the individual's credit card number.
- The caller might offer to send someone to the individual's home or office to pick up a payment, or suggests it be sent by overnight mail.
- The caller claims the investment is "risk-free."
- The caller would usually not provide written information or references to back up their claim.
- The caller suggests that you should buy or invest based on trust.
The Do-Not-Call-Registry established under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) affords the residents of Escambia County to register their phone numbers. This is to help them avoid being a victim of scams, such as phone scams. Another defense against phone scams is the use of call blocking apps. These apps are used to label calls as spam or spam likely. Residents of Escambia County can find a list of call blocking apps for their mobile phones in the U.S. Wireless Communications Industry.
As part of its service to the County, the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has prevention programs to curtail crime. To curb the rate of fraud in the county, there is a fraud prevention program that allows its residents who believe they have been a victim of a scam, contact the County Sheriff’s office. A resident of Escambia County can contact the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office at (850) 436-9620. Alternatively, the individual laying the complaint can visit the County Sheriff’s office during the normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Monday through Friday at:
1700 West Leonard Street,
Pensacola, Florida 32501.
The Sheriff's office through its Economic Crimes Unit provides a handout to help citizens report identity theft that might have occurred through a phone scam and tips on how to prevent it. For more information or to follow-up on an active case contact Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Fraud Investigation Division at (850) 436-9371.
Also, the Attorney General’s Office in the State of Florida provides residents of Escambia County an opportunity to report phone scams through the Consumer Alert. Residents can report a phone scam by contacting the Florida Attorney General's Office at 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or by filing a complaint online.
Residents of Escambia County can also report to the State Consumer Protection Office regarding the relevant fraud that occurred.