What are Alameda County Area Codes?
Located in the northern part of California, Alameda County is the 7th-most populous county in the state. A population of over 1.5 million also makes it the 20th-most populous county in the country. The City of Oakland is the seat of Alameda County.
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) introduced area codes to simplify the process of making long-distance phone calls. Area codes are the first three digits that start North American telephone numbers. Area codes distinguish the different numbering plan areas (NPAs) in a state, specified by the NANP. Area codes in California are under the purview of the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC).
There are presently three area codes that cover Alameda County. These are:
Area Code 510
Area code 510 is the telephone area code in the NANP serving much of the East Bay in California. It covers most of Alameda County and parts of Contra Costa County. It became active in 1991. Cities in Alameda County served by this area code include Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Cherryland, Emeryville, Fairview, Fremont, Hayward, Newark, Oakland, Piedmont, San Leandro, and Union City.
Area Code 341
Area code 341 is the NANP telephone overlay code for the numbering plan area covered by area code 510. It became active in 2019.
Area Code 925
Area code 925 is a California telephone area code in the NANP. It covers portions of Alameda County and most of Contra Costa County. It split from area code 510 in 1998. Cities in Alameda County covered by this area code include Dublin, Kilkare Woods, Livermore, Pleasanton, and Sunol.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Alameda County?
Phone preference among Californian has shifted from landlines to cell phones. A 2018 National Center for Health Statistics survey estimated that 63.5% of the population under 18 years, in California, only used cell phones for telecommunications. Comparatively, an estimated 1.8% of the same demographic only used landlines. Among the adult population (over 18 years) in California households, 55.4% used only cell phones, and 3.3% used only landlines.
The four major telephone network operators provide service in Alameda County with slightly varying coverage levels. There are also several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) who use the major operators’ infrastructure to offer services at cheaper rates. Telephone service is typically better in the cities and bay areas than in the hills and the rural regions. In Oakland, Verizon offers the best coverage, followed by AT&T, and then T-Mobile. Sprint provides the least coverage of the major operators, but it is not far from the others.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that uses IP networks, usually the internet, to provide users with telephony services. Recent developments in internet technologies have improved VoIP services, making it an excellent option for business and home users. In Alameda County, several companies provide VoIP-based services at competitive prices.
What are Alameda Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent acts committed, against Alameda County residents, using telephony services. Phone scammers are intent on deceiving residents into parting with money or confidential information used for identity thefts. The Alameda County District Attorney issues consumer alerts on widespread scams in the county. Victims can file reports with the Consumer Protection Unit of the D.A’s Office by calling (510) 383-8600. Alternatively, complete the consumer fraud form and mail it to Suite 650, 7677 Oakport Street, Oakland, CA 94621. Phone scams widespread in Alameda County include:
What are Social Security Scams?
Scammers contact residents of Alameda County posing as employees of the Social Security Administration (SSA). These scammers try to obtain confidential information by claiming the SSA does not have your complete information on file. In other instances, they claim they require additional information to increase your benefits, or your benefits will be terminated unless you confirm your details. To get you to comply, the scammers threaten legal actions, discontinuation of your benefits, and even arrest. The scammers may also ask for payments for their services through unconventional means, such as prepaid cards or wire transfers.
While employees of the SSA may contact you for customer service purposes by phone, they will never threaten legal action or arrest to obtain your compliance. They also never ask for payments for any services. Report all such calls to the Office of the Inspector General by calling 1 (800) 269-0271 or online. A phone number search can help you verify if such a phone call is from the Social Security Administration.
What are Impersonation Scams?
With these scams, the scammers call residents impersonating County Sheriff deputies or employees of the D.A’s Office. The callers, claiming to be Sheriff deputies, inform the residents of dubious warrants issued against them for missed jury duties, unpaid tickets or fines, and pending cases. The callers then claim the warrants will be cleared if the residents make payments. The callers intimidate the residents by claiming deputies are en route to arrest them unless the payments are made immediately. They ask for the payments in irregular forms, such as wire transfers and prepaid cards.
Callers, posing as employees of the D.A’s Office, claim to be collecting payday advance loans. These callers even provide personal details of the residents, such as names and dates of birth, to back up their claims. The callers demand immediate payments by wire transfers, or the residents face arrests, prosecutions, and wage garnishments.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office inform residents that such calls are scams. Neither agency contacts residents and asks for payments for any reason, especially by wire transfers and prepaid cards. The Sheriff’s Office will also not call residents and warn them about warrants issued against them. The D.A’s Office does not collect on payday loan advances. If you receive calls from persons claiming to represent either office and they make such requests, hang up immediately. Contact the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office and report it. Alternatively, you can file the report with the D.A’s Office. Phone number lookup services can verify these callers’ identities or indicate if the numbers shown on your phone may be spoofed.
What are Tax Scams?
County residents are warned about scammers claiming to be agents of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Alameda County Treasurer. These callers contact residents about back taxes or past due balances and inform them that payments must be made immediately. They threaten the residents with audits, lawsuits, and prosecutions to get them to comply. If the residents agree, the callers ask for payment by prepaid debit cards, gift cards, and wire transfers.
These are scam calls, as no government agency makes direct calls requesting payments by any of these unconventional means. Residents who receive these types of calls are advised not to make payments or provide any personal information. Report calls of these types to the IRS or the Alameda County District Attorney. A reverse phone number lookup service can identify when such a phone call is not from a legitimate government agency.
What are Robocall And Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls pre-set to deliver recorded messages. Robocalls deliver messages to multiple recipients from organizations that contact several people simultaneously, such as telemarketers, political campaigns, and non-profit organizations. This ability, along with the fact that robocalls are virtually anonymous, make them attractive to phone scammers.
Scammers use robocalls to target multiple residents while pretending to be legitimate institutions known to use robocalls. This makes it easier for them to defraud unsuspecting residents. Reverse phone lookup free services can identify incoming calls that are robocalls.
When dealing with illegal robocalls, the best options are to:
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Phone numbers included in the registry for 31 days are restricted from receiving calls from telemarketers and businesses promoting their products and services. Doing this makes it easier to identify illegal spam calls and scammers using robocalls.
- Terminate a robocall once you realize what it is. Ignore any prompts asking you to press a number to remove yourself from robocall lists as these just confirm your phone number as active and lead to more robocalls.
- Inquire about the procedures for blocking calls from your phone network operator. Use this option to block unwanted phone numbers as long as the option provided is affordable.
- Verify robocall numbers by using public websites offering phone number lookups free services. Block these numbers once you identify them.
- File complaints about illegal robocalls with FTC online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
The FTC also issues guidelines on blocking unwanted calls on its website.
How to Spot and Report Alameda Phone Scams?
A scammer is always trying to find new ways to defraud residents of their money or steal confidential information. Services that perform reverse phone number lookups by name, address, or number can help, but consumer education remains the most effective tool against scammers. Some red flags that indicate unknown callers are likely scammers include:
- The callers claim to be representatives of popular businesses or government agencies but ask for payments by wire transfers, gift cards, or cryptocurrencies. Legitimate entities do not demand payments in such specific and unconventional forms. They typically have online payment services on their websites or will allow you to pay by whatever means you choose.
- The callers continuously ask for your confidential information and get aggressive and use intimidatory tactics when you do not comply with their requests. They threaten you with lawsuits, arrests, and prosecution to coerce you. Legitimate organizations will not ask for personal information on unsolicited calls and never threaten you for your information.
- The callers never provide definitive answers to any question or inquiry you have. They try to convince you that the matters are time-sensitive and prevent you from seeking confirmation from third parties.
- The callers use phrases like “too good to be true” or “once in a lifetime.” They propose investment or business opportunities, touted as high rewards with little or no risks.
- The callers offer free winnings, prizes, products, or services but say fees are required before you receive them. If payments are required to obtain items advertised as free, such offers are most certainly scams.
Several online services perform phone number lookups that answer the questions “who called?” or “who is this number registered to?” These services come in free and paid versions and have proven useful in dealing with phone scammers. Public agencies that assist Alameda County residents in combating phone scams include:
Alameda County District Attorney’s Office - The Consumer Protection Unit of the D.A’s Office investigates and prosecutes fraud cases in the county. Victims should file reports of scams to the D.A’s Office using the mail complaint form or by calling (510) 388-8600.
Alameda County Sheriff’s Office - The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is the county’s primary law enforcement agency. Residents should file reports with the Sheriff’s Office by calling (510) 667-7721. Residents can also file reports with the law enforcement agency in their city.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The FTC is the federal agency charged with consumer protection. The FTC instituted the National Do Not Call Registry to protect residents from unwanted calls from telemarketers and businesses. Adding your number to the register can help identify incoming scam calls. Tips on call-blocking, a useful tool against phone scammers, are also available on the FTC website. Report cases of illegal robocalls and other deceptive practices to the FTC online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - The FCC regulates interstate and international communications in the U.S. and also protects consumers from illegal or scam calls. Tips on avoiding unwanted robocalls and phone scams are available on the FCC website. Victims of robocall or phone spoofing scams can file complaints with the FCC.