What are Pima County Area Codes?
Area codes are the sequence of the first three digits in telephone numbers. They designate the different numbering plan areas (NPAs) in states or regions. Numbering plan areas were outlined by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) to simplify the process of making long-distance phone calls. They identify the origins and destinations of phone calls. The Arizona Corporation Commission administers area codes in Pima County.
Currently, there is only one area code serving Pima County. This area code is:
Area Code 520
Area code 520 is an Arizona telephone area code in the NANP serving most of the state’s southeastern parts. This includes Pima County and portions of the neighboring counties. It was created in a split from area code 602 in 1995. Communities in Pima County served by this area code include Ajo, Catalina, Green Valley, Marana, Oro Valley, Rillito, Sahuarita, Sasabe, Summerhaven, Tucson, and Vail.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Pima County?
About 64.9% of the adult population in Arizona households use only cell phones to access phone services. In contrast, adults who still only used landlines made up only 3.3% of the adult population of the state. Among children (under 18 years) in Arizona households, cell phone-only users accounted made up 75.7% of the population, while landline-only users accounted for just 1.2% of the demographic. These figures are from a 2018 National Health Interview Survey conducted by the CDC and imply that cellphones are the preferred choice in telecommunications for most Pima County residents.
The four major phone carriers provide communication services in Pima County, as do several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). These phone network operators offer varying coverage levels with Verizon boasting the most coverage in the county. AT&T and T-Mobile follow closely, and Sprint has the least coverage of the county. MVNOs are telephone service providers that use the major carriers’ networks to provide limited but more affordable services to county residents.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a group of technologies that delivers telephony services via IP networks, such as the internet. VoIP offers a wide array of telephone services that are cheaper and more efficient than traditional telephone services. Several companies provide VoIP services to Pima County residents, for both business and personal use.
What are Pima County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent acts committed against residents of Pima County, using telephone services. Phone scams aim to obtain money and/or private information from their targets under false pretenses. Phone number lookups can identify the persons behind suspicious phone calls and answer questions like “who is this number registered to?” and “who called?” Victims of phone scams can file reports with the Arizona Attorney General, the Tucson City Attorney, their local law enforcement agency, and the FTC.
What are Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
Scammers call county residents pretending to be law enforcement officials, typically as officers of the Superior Court or the Sheriff’s Department. The callers inform their targets that bench warrants have been issued against them. They claim the warrants were issued for offenses such as missed jury duties and court dates, unpaid tickets, and pending cases. The scammers then tell their victims the warrants can be cleared if they pay certain amounts. They ask for payments by gift cards, prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, or arrange to meet the victims at the courthouse to collect cash. The scammers typically spoof phone Caller IDs to display the Superior Court’s number and get forceful and threatening to obtain compliance.
Agents of law enforcement and the courts do not contact county residents to warn them of outstanding warrants. They will also not ask for payments by such irregular methods or threaten residents to get them to comply with their demands. If you receive such a call, hang up and call the Superior Court directly to make inquiries. Phone number lookup applications can provide information on whether incoming calls are from spoofed numbers. Victims of these scams should submit reports to their local law enforcement agencies or the FTC.
What are Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams?
Scammers impersonate lotteries and sweepstakes organizations to try and deceive residents into sending money or revealing confidential information. The scammers call their victims to inform them of prize winnings for competitions or lotteries they never entered. However, to collect these winnings, the targets are asked to pay money to cover taxes and processing costs. Sometimes, the targets are asked to provide confidential information to verify their identities. Acceding to these requests will result in lost funds, no prize winnings, and the scammers having access to your accounts.
Authorities advise residents that legal lotteries and sweepstakes do not require payments for taxes and other processing fees on winnings. Also, you cannot win prizes for competitions you did not enter, and if you have to pay a fee to collect your winnings, it is a scam. Phone search services can verify if phone numbers used to call during this scam belong to legitimate lotteries and sweepstakes. Victims of these scams can file reports with the local law enforcement agencies or the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
What are Work-from-Home Scams?
Scammers are taking advantage of the preferences of people to work from home to perpetrate these scams. The scammers contact their victims and offer to enroll them in their work-from-home schemes for upfront fees. The callers promise job guarantees and perks that are unusually attractive to lure in their targets and send false online stories authenticating their claims. The scammers will urge their victims to act quickly to secure the opportunities to prevent them from catching on to the scam.
Signing up for these schemes leads to financial losses, and victims are also used to facilitate questionable and illegal acts. The Better Business Bureau provides information that can verify the legitimacy of companies offering work-from-home opportunities. A reverse phone number lookup can also identify if these calls are from fraudsters.
What are COVID-19 Scams?
Scammers have seized on the uncertainties caused by the coronavirus pandemic to perpetrate numerous scams. They impersonate representatives of agencies like the Health Department, the IRS, charities, and non-profit organizations to deceive victims into making payments or revealing confidential information.
Scammers use a wide range of tactics for this scam, such as tricking victims into believing they came into contact with persons who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. Consequently, victims must pay for test kits and medical expenses to confirm their statuses. Other variations include scammers selling COVID-19 medications, treatments, and vaccinations as well as fake charities and nonprofits seeking donations. Scammers can also pose as government officials offering to expedite stimulus payments. All these scams seek to obtain money or financial information from the intended victims.
Authorities advise residents against falling for these scams. Real health workers will not demand your financial information or payment for coronavirus contact tracing. There is currently no approved vaccination for COVID-19, and callers claiming to have treatments or medications are likely scammers. The Better Business Bureau retains information on registered charities and nonprofits, and residents can use its resources to verify the claims of charities calling for donation. Reverse phone number lookups can assist in determining the authenticity of these callers. Victims of these scams can file reports with their local law enforcement agencies or the Arizona A.G.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is an automated service used to deliver a pre-recorded message to a mass audience. Robocalls are typically the tools of telemarketers and politicians but have recently been co-opted by scammers for their own nefarious purposes. Consumers are used to receiving robocalls from legitimate organizations, and scammers take advantage of this expectation to gain their trust. Also, robocall numbers can be changed easily, making it difficult to track them. Also, with robocalls, scammers can target many residents with minimal effort. Free reverse phone number lookup services can identify if incoming calls are spam, providing recipients the option to reject them. The best options for dealing with illegal robocalls include:
- End a robocall once you identify it as such. Disregard any message or prompt as this just leads to more automated messages and marks your number for more robocalls.
- Phone manufacturers include features for blocking spam calls in their devices. Service providers also have tools for blocking unwanted calls. Use these features to block robocall numbers.
- Phone number searches identify robocall numbers. Use these services to ascertain such numbers and block them.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Legitimate entities are restricted from contacting you once your number has been listed for 31 days. If you still receive robocalls after this period, they are likely scam calls.
- File a consumer complaint with the FTC online or by calling 1-(888)-382-1222.
Consumer tips on how to block unwanted calls on any platform are available on the FTC website.
How to Spot and Report Pima County Phone Scams?
Scammers are consistently modifying their tactics to deceive their targets, mostly uninformed ones. The best tools for dealing with the efforts of scammers remain information and caution. Tools that perform suspicious phone number lookups by name and address are useful in sourcing information on unknown callers’ identities. The following are signs that an unknown caller might be a scammer:
- The caller offers goods, prizes, and services that require upfront payments to collect. Beware of any offer that comes with an advance payment request. If you have to pay upfront to receive a product, prize, or service, it is probably a scam.
- The caller tries to pressure you to reveal personal information or make suspicious payments using threats of punitive actions by law enforcement. Legitimate law enforcement agents do not threaten residents over phone calls to force them to reveal confidential information.
- The caller asks for your confidential information for “identity verification purposes.” A legitimate organization never requests a consumer’s private information unless the consumer initiated the call.
- The caller requests payment by an unconventional method such as a prepaid debit card, cryptocurrency, or wire transfer. Such payment methods are untraceable once the payment is received.
- The caller does not provide satisfactory answers to your questions and pushes you to make decisions quickly by claiming their offers will soon lapse.
Residents need to keep themselves informed and stay alert especially when receiving unsolicited calls from unknown persons. Remember, a scammer can target anyone. Public institutions are committed to tackling the menace of fraudsters and assisting county residents in avoiding phone scams. These institutions include:
Arizona Attorney General’s Office - The Consumer Protection Unit of the Arizona AG’s Office protects residents from consumer fraud and scams. Residents who believe they have been victims of fraud can file complaints with the AG’s Office or call (520) 628-6648.
Prosecuting Attorneys’ Offices - Residents of Pima County (outside Tucson) can report incidences of fraud to the Pima County Attorney’s Office by calling (520) 724-5600. Tucson residents should report scams to the Tucson City Attorney’s Office on (520) 791-4221.
Local Law Enforcement Agencies - The Pima County Sheriff’s Department and the Tucson Police Department are the county’s primary law enforcement agencies. Residents outside the City of Tucson should report scams to the Pima County Sheriff online or by calling (520) 351-4900. Tucson residents should submit reports on scams and frauds to the Tucson Police Department online or by calling (520) 791-4444.
Better Business Bureau (BBB) - The Better Business Bureau provides information and resources for residents to ascertain the legitimacy of businesses, charities, and other commercial organizations in the county and state. Residents can use these resources to verify the legitimacy of commercial entities that contact them.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The FTC is the federal agency that protects consumers from fraudulent practices and scams. The National Do Not Call Registry is part of its policies to combat unwanted calls. Phone numbers listed on the DNCR are restricted from receiving spam calls unless allowed by law. Any unsolicited calls received after registering with the DNCR have a high probability of being scam calls. Victims of fraudulent practices can file reports with the FTC.