What are San Joaquin County Area Codes?
The three-digit codes that begin all 10-digit phone numbers differentiate Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) in North America. They are known as area codes and were introduced under the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). California area codes identify specific geographic regions in the state. Under the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorization, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) administers area codes in the State of California.
San Joaquin County is covered by only one area code (209):
Area Code 209
Area code 209 was created as a split from the 916 NPA and entered into service in 1958. The cities served by area code 209 in San Joaquin County include Stockton, Lodi, Lathrop, Escalon, Tracy, and Manteca.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in San Joaquin County?
The four major phone carriers and a number of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) provide phone services in San Joaquin County but with varying coverage levels. The MVNOs depend on the infrastructure of the major phone carriers to deliver telephone services. Network services are generally better in urban cities than in rural locations in California. In Stockton, service coverage varies significantly among the major phone carriers: Verizon (100%), AT&T (78%), Sprint (72%), and T-Mobile (62%).
Californians are steadily adopting wireless telephony services while landline phones are gradually disappearing in many California households. This conclusion was inferred from the data from a 2018 CDC survey report. According to the report, an estimated 55.4% of adult Californians had adopted cell phones as their sole means of telecommunication. Only about 3.5% of them still used landline phones exclusively for telephony services.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a communications technology that relies on broadband internet connection to deliver telephony services. VoIP telephony services are cheaper, more flexible, and more efficient than landlines and wireless telephony. Several companies offer various VoIP packages for both residential and business users in San Joaquin County.
What are San Joaquin County Phone Scams?
These are phone scams that target San Joaquin County residents to defraud them and steal their confidential information. Phone scammers use telephone services, such as text messages and phone calls, to defraud unsuspecting targets using a variety of tricks to appear legitimate. Reverse number lookups can uncover information on phone scammers’ real identities.
At the forefront of combating phone scams in the county is the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office (SJDA). The Consumer Fraud Unit of the SJDA publishes scam alerts to educate residents on current scams and how to avoid them. Other government agencies that protect San Joaquin County residents against scams include the Department of Consumer Affairs and the California Attorney General. The prevalent phone scams in San Joaquin County include:
What are Covid-19 Stimulus Scams?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), on behalf of the federal government, has been making stimulus payments to taxpayers, and scammers are taking advantage of this effort. They pretend to be from the IRS and tell their targets that they can help them speed up the process of getting their stimulus payments. To help, these scammers will ask their targets to pay money and confirm their personal information, including social security numbers. The scammers often spoof Caller IDs to make it look like their calls are from the IRS.
The IRS has warned that it will never call residents, especially about matters related to money. San Joaquin County residents should beware of persons who claim to be from the IRS, offering to help with stimulus payments; these are scammers. To avoid this scam, you can check the status of your coronavirus payment with the IRS. Residents who are victims of these scams can report to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 or online.
What are Family Emergency Scams?
Be wary of an unknown caller contacting you, and claiming to be family or friend, to request money to sort an emergency. Always resist the urge to send money immediately. You can run the caller's number through applications that offer phone number lookup services to determine their real name and location. Those running this scam pose as targets’ relatives and pretend to be in dire situations. They typically claim to be in jail and ask their targets for bail money. These scammers ask for the money to be wired to them or sent through retail gift cards and prepaid debit cards.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office advises residents who receive such calls to reach out to their friends or relatives and seek confirmation of the claims made by these callers. If they cannot reach them at that moment, they can call other people who may know their whereabouts. If you already lost money to this scam, report to the San Joaquin County Sheriff Office by calling (209) 468-4400. You can also file complaints with the Consumer Fraud Unit of the SJDA by calling (209) 953-7731.
What are One Ring Scams?
A one ring scam happens when a phone call comes through to your phone and disconnects after one or two rings. These scams are typically perpetrated at night and aim to get the receivers to call back. Most reported cases of these scams involve phone calls originating from West African countries and the Dominican Republic. Calling back these phone numbers exposes the targets to premium toll charges. These charges include international connection costs that the targets are unaware of until they receive their monthly phone bills.
San Joaquin County residents are urged to desist from returning calls to numbers they do not recognize, especially if they appear from unfamiliar numbers. A reverse phone number lookup can identify the origin of a call from an unknown phone number. If you have no business or connections in the countries where the call originated, there is no reason to return the call. Report one ring scams online to the Federal Communications Commission. If you get scammed this way and rarely place calls overseas, tell your phone company to block outbound international calls to prevent a repeat.
What are Sweepstakes Scams?
The identities of scammers who engage in sweepstakes scams can be uncovered by reverse phone number lookups. These scammers pretend to be representatives of sweepstakes companies and claim that targets have won money or items that are worth several thousands of dollars. They then ask targets to pay fees covering taxes, processing, and shipping to claim such winnings. They also typically request payment by wire transfers and gift cards. Once the money is sent, it is gone and may remain irrecoverable.
Never send money to persons who call and ask you to pay upfront fees to claim winnings, especially for competitions you never entered. Legitimate sweepstakes organizations will never request payments for winners to claim their prizes. Persons who fall victim to these scams in San Joaquin County can report to the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 or online.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated calls, placed with auto-dialers, which deliver recorded audio messages to select phone numbers. Many robocalls in San Joaquin County are unwanted and targeted at defrauding residents. Performing phone number searches on unknown caller numbers can help ascertain if they are robocalls. To avoid robocall scams, the best options are:
- Be wary of caller IDs. Scammers deceive their targets by spoofing phone numbers shown by caller IDs to appear that their calls originate from legitimate sources.
- Hang up a robocall as soon as you discover it is a robocall. You may be instructed to press certain keys to either speak with a live person or opt out of receiving subsequent calls. Do not obey these prompts as they only serve to confirm your number and direct more robocalls to it.
- Block robocall numbers by using call-blocking features available from cell phone manufacturers and third-party developers. Alternatively, contact your phone company to block such numbers from calling you.
- Stop unsolicited calls by registering on the National Do Not Call Registry, an FTC initiative to reduce unwanted telephone solicitations. If you still receive telephone solicitations after 31 days of joining the registry, they are likely scams.
- Report illegal robocalls online to the FTC or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222. You can also file complaints on spoofed robocalls with the FCC online.
How Can You Spot and Report San Joaquin County Phone Scams?
Scammers persuade their targets to send money or disclose personal information, such as SSNs and credit card numbers, using various ploys. They try to achieve their aims by using threats or appearing as helpful. The best way to avoid phone scams is to be familiar with how scammers operate. Search engines that offer reverse phone lookup free services can help to retrieve details about scammers' identities. Tell-tale signs of phone scams to look out for include:
- Scammers will tell you that you have won a contest or prize you never entered. They will then ask that you pay a fee to claim the prize.
- Scammers will request that you keep your encounters with them secret. This makes long cons possible and they will keep coming back until you realize you are a scam victim.
- Persons who claim to be with government agencies and ask for your personal information are scammers. Do not disclose personal information over an unsolicited phone call.
- Callers who ask you to wire money or send gift cards in lieu of official payments are scammers posing as representatives of reputable companies or government agencies. Money sent through these channels is usually untraceable.
- Scammers always want you to pay immediately. They may claim to be government agents and threaten you with arrest if you fail to comply with their demands promptly. In other instances, they pose as representatives of legitimate organizations and coerce you into making immediate payments to avoid service disconnection.
Educating residents with scam alerts have proven particularly key to combating phone scams in Joaquin County. The government agencies charged with educating and protecting residents include:
San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office - The Consumer Fraud Unit of the SJDA educates and protects Joaquin County residents with scam alerts. Persons who may have fallen victim to phone scams in the county can file complaints with the SJDA by calling (209) 953-7731. Victims can also mail completed consumer complaint form to the SJDA at:
222 E. Weber Avenue, Rm 202
P. O. Box 990
Stockton, CA 95201
San Joaquin County Sheriff's Office - The Sheriff's Office publishes a list of current phone scams to protect residents from falling victim to them. Residents can call the Sheriff's Office on (209) 468-4400 to report cases of phone scams perpetrated in the county. The address listed for San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office is:
7000 Michael Canlis Blvd
French Camp, CA 95231
California Department of Consumer Affairs - The DCA educates residents with the necessary information to avoid being cheated by persons who promote deceptive services. To file phone scam complaints, residents can contact the DCA by calling 1 (800) 952-5210.
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC educates residents on call blocking to avoid phone scams. It manages the DNC list for persons who want to stop receiving unsolicited calls. If you fall victim to robocalls and other phone scams, you can file a complaint online with the FTC or call 1 (888) 382-1222.