The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) was developed to simplify making telephone calls, especially long-distance phone calls. The NANP achieved this by dividing the service territories into numbering plan areas (NPAs). Each NPA was assigned a string of three-digit identifier code that became known as an area code. Area codes identify the numbering plan areas where phone calls originate or are bound. The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) administers area codes in Ventura County.
There are currently two area codes that cover Ventura County. These area codes cover all of Ventura County and parts of the surrounding counties.
Area Code 805
Area code 805 is a California telephone area code in the NANP that split from area code 213 in 1957. It was split again in 1999 to create the 661 NPA. Area code 805 covers Ventura County and the surrounding counties. Ventura County communities under this NPA include Camarillo, Fillmore, Moorpark, Newbury Park, Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, and Ventura.
Area Code 820
Area code 820 is the telephone area code in the NANP that overlays the 805 NPA. It entered service in 2018.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Ventura County?
A 2018 National Center for Health Statistics survey suggested wireless telephony services had become the preferred choice among Ventura County residents. The survey estimated that 55.4% of adults in the state used cell phones exclusively, while only 3.3% exclusively used landlines. The disparity is more pronounced among children, under 18 years, in households in the state. An estimated 63.5% of them used cell phones exclusively while just about 1.8% used only landlines.
Numerous telephone service providers offer Ventura County residents telephony services, including the four major network operators and several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MNVOs). The MVNOs offer cheaper, but more limited, telephony services utilizing the major operators’ network infrastructure. Urban areas typically have better service than the coastal and mountainous regions of the county. In Ventura County, Verizon boasts the best service coverage, followed closely by T-Mobile and AT&T. Sprint provides the least coverage to Ventura County residents.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a group of technologies that uses IP networks, typically the internet, to provide telephony services for business and home uses. VoIP offers traditional phone services that are more flexible and efficient than wireless telephony and landlines. VoIP products and services are available to Ventura County residents from numerous companies at competitive rates.
What are Ventura County Phone Scams?
Ventura County phone scams are frauds perpetrated against Ventura County residents using telephone services. Phone scammers are intent on stealing money and confidential information from residents through deception. A reverse phone number lookup is capable of retrieving information associated with a suspicious phone number.
The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office provides information and resources to protect residents from scams and other deceptive practices. Residents should report these crimes to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office online or call (805) 662-1737. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) and municipal police departments in the county also provide residents with resources and assistance. Some common scams in Ventura County are:
What are Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
Scammers impersonate employees of the Ventura County Sheriff Office (VCSO) and even spoof Caller IDs to display official Sheriff’s Office numbers. They contact residents supposedly about out-of-county warrants and tell them they must pay fines or be arrested. The scammers ask for payments via wire transfers, gift cards, and reloadable debit cards or request the targets’ financial information.
The VCSO advises that it does not contact residents to warn them about warrants. Also, the VCSO will neither insist on payment by wire transfer and prepaid debit card nor will they request your financial information. Even though these scammers typically spoof Caller IDs, phone number lookup services can identify spoofed numbers. Victims of these scams should report them to the Ventura County Sheriff or their local law enforcement department.
What are Grandparent Scams?
These scams are so called because they target elderly residents of the county. Targets receive phone calls from scammers posing as their grandchildren, who are in distress. The scammers usually claim they were arrested or hospitalized in foreign locations and need money for bail or to clear hospital bills. They ask their targets to wire the funds to attorneys or friends to bail them out or settle medical bills. These scams are successful because of the affections grandparents have for their grandchildren.
Residents should never blindly follow instructions from unverified persons over the phone, irrespective of their claims. Always take time to confirm the authenticity of their claims by asking questions or contacting other family members. If you receive such call and are suspicious, hang up and report the incident to your local police department or the VCSO.
What are Lottery Ticket Scams?
In these scams, residents receive calls from individuals who usually claim they are in foreign countries and have winning lottery tickets. However, because they are not legal residents in the U.S., they cannot turn in the tickets to collect the winnings. They offer to sell the winning tickets to the targets for substantially less than the tickets’ supposed worth. If the victims send them the money, they receive worthless or fake lottery tickets.
The scammer banks on the victim being so enticed by a windfall that they fail to spot the scam. Authorities warn residents never to send money to unknown persons on the phone irrespective of their claims. Once the funds get to the scammer, they become difficult to trace and recover.
What are Jury Duty Scams?
Residents receive calls from persons claiming to be court or law enforcement officials, who inform the targets that they missed jury duty and request payment and/or confidential information. If the calls are not answered, the callers leave voice messages and numbers to call back. The callers will threaten punitive actions such as deportation, arrest, and prosecution to obtain the targets’ compliance.
Authorities warn residents about these scams that have become widespread across the U.S. Court officials reiterate that contact between courts and prospective will typically be by mail, and legitimate officials will never request payments or personal information. While these scammers may spoof Caller IDs to display local court and law enforcement agencies’ numbers, phone number lookups can provide helpful information on jury duty scammers. Persons who receive such phone calls should report them to their local police departments or the VCSO. Residents can also contact Ventura County Courts to inquire about missed jury duties.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
An auto-dialed phone call that delivers a pre-recorded message is known as a robocall. Robocalls deliver messages directly to target audiences for political and telemarketing campaigns and non-profit organizations. Scammers have also adopted robocalls for this reason. Phone numbers that deliver robocalls can also be easily changed, adding to their attraction for scammers who want to remain anonymous. Residents can be less alert when responding to robocalls because they are used to receiving them from legitimate organizations.
The following are actions you can take to deal with illegal robocalls:
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Federal law prevents commercial organizations and businesses from robocalling the numbers on this list. If you still receive spam calls afterwards, treat them as scam calls.
- Contact the FTC online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 to report illegal robocalls.
- Use call-blocking features on phones to block spam callers and robocallers.
- Ask your service providers about call-blocking tools. Telephone service providers offer tools that can identify and block spam calls. Because robocall numbers can be easily changed, it might not be cost-effective to use such tools if there are charges.
- Use reverse phone number search free services to identify robocallers and spam callers.
- Do not continue a call once you confirm it is a robocall. Staying on the call and following the message prompts indicates that you are a live recipient and will drive more robocalls your way.
The FTC issues consumer guidelines on how to block unwanted calls on its website.
How to Spot and Report Ventura County Phone Scams?
Residents cannot bank on evading the attention of scammers. The best methods for spotting and avoiding phone scams remain information and alertness. Scammers are continuously evolving their cons, so having information on their tactics and being alert, especially when dealing with unsolicited calls, gives you an advantage. Signs that a phone call is from a scammer include:
- Your personal information is actively solicited by the caller. Legitimate organizations do not ask consumers to provide their information on phone calls not initiated by the consumers.
- You are threatened with lawsuit, arrest, prosecution, and other punitive actions for not complying with the caller’s requests. Real law enforcement will neither ask for your information or payments on a phone call nor threaten you for not complying.
- You are asked to make payments for unknown debts by unconventional channels, such as wire transfers, gift cards, and prepaid debit cards. Legitimate entities are not usually not concerned about your payment methods. Callers that insist on specific payment channels such as these are scammers .
- You are informed of winning a lottery or sweepstakes you never entered or offered free gifts, but must pay a fee to receive your winnings. You cannot win prizes for competitions you did not enter, and if you must pay to receive a gift, it is a scam.
Several online services can perform suspicious phone number lookups to ascertain, “who is this number registered to?” or “who called?” Knowing how to use these services to perform phone searches by name, number, and address also helps spot phone scams.
If you have been a victim of a phone scam or have received suspicious phone calls you suspected were scams, you can report them to any of the following agencies:
Ventura County District Attorney (VCDA) - The Consumer and Environment Protection Unit of the VCDA prosecutes unlawful and fraudulent practices in Ventura County. Residents should report these crimes to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office online or call (805) 662-1737.
Local Law Enforcement - Law enforcement agencies in Ventura County safeguard residents’ lives and properties. Residents can report incidences of phone scams to the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Fraud Hotline or their local police departments.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The FTC provides consumer protection against fraudulent and unfair trade practices. The National Do Not Call Registry was created by the FTC to address unwanted calls from telemarketers and commercial firms. Including your phone number in this register increases your chances of spotting scam calls. The FTC provides instructions on call-blocking to defend against spam calls. Complaints about illegal robocalls and fraudulent acts can be made online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - The FCC regulates national and international communications in the U.S. and initiates policies to protect consumers from telephone scams. They provide instructions on how to stop unwanted robocalls and avoid phone scams. Victims of robocalls and phone scams can file complaints with the FCC.
National Consumers League (NCL) - The NCL is a private non-profit advocacy group that represents consumers in the marketplace. It instituted the Fraud Center project to provide consumers with information and resources to prevent them from falling for frauds and scams.