What are St. Johns County Area Codes?
An area code is a three-digit number that precedes every phone number in North America. They are used to identify telephone service areas in North America. Area codes were introduced in 1940 as part of the North American Numbering Plan. The North American Numbering Plan was established to unify all phone numbering plans in North America. The North American Numbering Plan Administrator assigns phone numbers to all telephone subscribers and telephony endpoints in the United States. The Florida Public Service Commission regulates all telecommunications issues in the State of Florida.
Area code 904
Area code 904 is the only area code that is officially being utilized in St. Johns County. Area code 904 was brought into service in 1965 and was created from a split of the area code 305. It was further split to create the area code 352 in 1995, area code 850 in 1997, and area code 386 in 2001. Area code 904 serves the northeastern part of Florida and includes cities and communities like Lakeside, the City of Jacksonville Beach, and the City of St.Augustine.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in St. Johns County?
The Wireless Substitution: State-Level Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2018 shows that most Floridians prefer wireless phone services to landlines. The research detailed that amongst adults living in the State of Florida, 60.9% used wireless phone services exclusively. The study also shows that only 4% of the adults in the State of Florida used landlines exclusively and 11% of adults used both landlines and wireless phones. In contrast, 72.9% of minors under the age of 18 in the State of Florida used wireless phones exclusively. While 1.7% of minors used landlines exclusively, and 5.6% of minors in the state used a combination of wireless phone services and landlines.
There are various telephone service providers in St. Johns County. These phone service providers offer a range of telephony services to St. Johns County residents. The services include voice telephone services, data services, and Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP). AT&T and T-Mobile are the major telephone service providers in St. Johns County, providing service coverage ratings above 50%. AT&T and T-Mobile offer varying coverage areas, telephony service solutions, and service plans.
In terms of coverage area rating, T-Mobile offers 98% coverage, making it the service provider with the widest coverage rating in St. John County, while AT&T offers a 68% coverage area rating. Other phone service providers in St. Johns County, generally do not provide up to 50% coverage area rating. AT&T and T-Mobile also provide 4G services within St. Johns County.
The telephone service demands of St. Johns County residents align with the mobile lifestyle of its residents. This is shown in the county residents’ preference for mobile wireless phone services. There is also a great affinity for data-based telephone services among the St. Johns County residents. One of such data-based telephone services is Voice Over Internet Protocol. VOIP leverages the reliability and affordability of data communication to provide voice calls over the internet. Over the years, it has gained great acceptance amongst St. Johns County residents.
What are St. Johns County Phone Scams?
St. Johns County phone scams target county residents and are initiated by fraudsters to defraud the residents. They also attempt to obtain personal and financial information from residents, while impersonating credible businesses, government agencies, and sometimes, relatives of residents to commit these scams. These fraudsters also use sophisticated techniques, such as phone spoofing to mask their phone numbers and robocalls, to reach a large number of residents in a short time.
Note that fraudsters’ scam schemes are continuously evolving. For this reason, relevant authorities in St. Johns County, like the St. John County Sheriff's Office and the State’s Attorney General’s Office constantly provide information on how residents can avoid being victims of these scams. Residents are advised to use number lookup and free reverse phone number lookup services to identify unknown callers.
What are St. Johns County IRS Tax Phone Scams?
In the IRS tax scam, the fraudster poses as an IRS officer and calls a St. Johns County resident. During the call, the fraudster claims that the resident owes back taxes or has incorrectly filed their tax returns. The fraudster will then use intimidation tactics and threats of legal action or arrest to scare the resident. While the resident is still scared, the fraudster will offer the resident possible solution options that often require them to make payment for the unpaid taxes. However, the payment options that will be shared with the resident would be unconventional payment platforms, such as western union, money gram, or a cash app.
The IRS has notified residents that their primary means of communication to residents is by mail. Many times fraudsters also use this scam to obtain personal information from residents. Residents that receive such calls should call the IRS directly on 800-829-1040 or file complaints with the Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration (TIGTA) online or by calling 800-366-4484.
What are St. Johns County Grandparents’ Scams?
The grandparents’ scam exploits the affection and vulnerability that grandparents and senior citizens have towards their grandchildren. In these scams, a fraudster calls and pretends to be the grandchild of a St. Johns County resident. During the call, the fraudster pretends to be in some kind of trouble that requires urgent assistance. The fraudster often uses claims of incarceration or medical emergencies. The fraudster then requests the St. Johns County resident to send some money to them to resolve the emergency. The payment request is often to a third-party account or the payment is made through unconventional methods. The Better Business Bureau has advised on the importance of educating senior citizens and grandparents about the prevalence of this scam as the best approach to limit the success rate and vulnerability of residents of St Johns County.
What are St. Johns County Investment Scams?
An investment scam involves a fraudster presenting a bogus investment opportunity to residents, offering them extraordinarily high returns on the investment with little risk involved. Typically, the fraudster uses a caller ID spoofing technique to make their Caller ID appear to be legitimate.
Residents of St. Johns County are advised to be wary of “once-in-a-lifetime business opportunities.” Anyone who receives a call for such a business offer or investment should make sure to do their due diligence and verify the legitimacy of the business offering the opportunity, else they might just be investing in a scam or a Ponzi scheme.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are calls that use auto-dialing software to deliver pre-recorded messages to a large number of people in a short time. Although robocalls are often associated with scams and illegalities, it is important to note that there are also legal robocalls. Legal robocalls include calls from political campaigns, telemarketers, and nonprofits. These entities are permitted by law to robocall individuals without prior consent. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 requires private businesses and organizations to get prior consent from end-users before they can robocall them. The consent may be in written or recorded form. The act also specifies that debt collectors, health providers, charities, and informational messages are all exempt from this consent requirement.
On the other hand, spam calls are unwanted and unsolicited calls often made by random parties to a large number of individuals. Spam calls are illegal. Fraudsters take advantage of the anonymous and automated nature of robocalls and use them to defraud St. Johns County residents. Fraudsters also use telephone spoofing to make their caller IDs appear to be local St. Johns County caller IDs. However, residents should conduct phone number lookups by address and phone number lookups by name to find out the identities and locations of the callers.
Dealing with robocalls and spam calls is often difficult as they often dial randomly programmed numbers. However, when St. John County residents are confronted with illegal robocalls or spam calls, their best options to deal with them include;
- Getting their phone numbers registered with the National Do Not Call Registry
- Deploying call blocking solutions to stop unwanted calls
- Ignoring calls from suspicious and unknown numbers
- Using tools like reverse phone number lookup, phone number lookup to identify who called.
- For calls from unknown numbers do not respond to prompts and questions
If these calls persist, St. Johns County residents are advised to file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
How Can You Spot and Report St. Johns County Phone Scams?
The scams committed by fraudsters are constantly changing as they usually come up with more sophisticated ways to defraud St. Johns County residents. The best way for residents of St. Johns County to spot phone scams is by staying informed and abreast of all the new techniques fraudsters use to defraud residents. In general, residents are discouraged from picking up calls from unknown numbers. However, avoiding calls from unknown numbers could sometimes lead to residents missing important calls. Therefore residents need to use reverse phone number lookup services to identify unknown numbers. They also need to be educated on some of the key indicators to be able to identify calls from fraudsters. Some key indicators that residents of St. John County should look out for to identify fraudulent calls include:
- The caller is evasive with details about their company and the specific products and services the company offers.
- The caller uses threats and intimidation tactics to convince or deceive the resident.
- The caller uses high-pressure sales tactics to pressure the resident into committing to an investment without giving enough time to analyze the opportunity
- The caller offers business and investment opportunities that are too good to be true.
- The caller seems to continuously ask the resident to verify personal details. The caller may do this by offering to guide you through an identity verification process.
- The caller proposes that the resident pays through alternate payment channels that businesses never use. For example, cash, money gram, gift cards, wire transfers, and bitcoins.
St. Johns County residents are advised to look out for scam pointers during calls and report them to any agency that handles cases of phone scams. Some of these agencies include:
2300 A1A South
St. Augustine, FL 32080
Call 8am - 5pm (904) 471 3600
4015 Lewis Speedway
St. Augustine, FL 32084
Call 8am-4pm 904-824-8304
FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) website - Complaints can be filed by residents who have been defrauded directly on this website
The Florida Chief Financial Officer - Complaints can be filed online or in-person at:
The Office of the Florida Chief Financial Officer
Division of Customer Division
Edwin A Larson Building
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, Florida 32399
Call 8 am - 5 pm 1-877-MY-FL-CFO