What are Prince George’s County Area Codes?
Situated in the heart of the Baltimore-Washington corridor, Prince George's County borders the eastern part of Washington, D.C. It is the second-most populous county in the State of Maryland, with an estimated 909,327 residents. Its county seat is Upper Marlboro.
Area codes distinguish the different Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) in telephone service territories. They are the strings of three digits at the beginning of telephone numbers and were established by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP).
There are currently two active area codes serving Prince George's County. These are:
Area Code 301
Created in 1947, area code 301 covers Prince George's County and parts of some other Maryland counties. Prince George's County cities served by the 301 code include Upper Marlboro, Bowie, Laurel, Riverdale Park, Greenbelt, Capitol Heights, and Cottage City.
Area Code 240
Area code 240 is a Maryland telephone area code that came into service in 1997 as an overlay for the 301 NPA. It covers the same locations as area code 301.
The Maryland Public Service Commission (PUC) manages the area codes in Prince George's County and the rest of Maryland.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Prince George’s County?
Wireless network coverage in Prince George's County is reliable, with all four major carriers providing service though coverage varies by location. Within the Town of Upper Marlboro, both AT&T and T-Mobile provide the best coverage at 88%. Verizon follows behind, covering about 76% of the town while Sprint does not provide coverage at all.
A 2018 National Health Interview Survey report revealed that a majority of Marylanders had adopted wireless communications as their preferred telephony service. According to the report, 39.4% of the state’s adult population exclusively relied on cell phones while only 3% of them solely used landlines. The survey reported a similar trend for minors in the state.
Many Prince George's County residents are moving away from traditional telephony services and adopting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP services route video and voice calls over IP networks, usually the internet, and offer users more affordable call rates.
What are Prince George’s County Phone Scams?
Prince George's County phone scams are deceptive acts perpetrated using telephone services to extort money and sensitive information from unsuspecting county residents. Phone scammers use different schemes solely aimed at stealing their targets' money and identities.
The Maryland Office of the Attorney General (MOAG) publishes scam tips for residents that suggest how they can avoid fraudsters’ actions. Similarly, the Prince Geroge's County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) periodically issues warnings about phone scams to county residents. These agencies work jointly with other consumer protection agencies to combat the menace of phone scam in Prince George's County. Persons defrauded by phone scammers in Prince George's County can file complaints with the MOAG or report to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
The prevalent phone scams in Prince George's County include:
What are COVID-19 Scams?
Scammers are taking advantage of the coronavirus pandemic to prey on residents' uncertainties and fears and steal from them. Reverse phone number lookups can help retrieve information to identify these scammers when they call. There are many variations of the COVID-19 phone scam. Usually, fraudsters pose as employees of the Social Security Administration (SSA). They inform targets that their social security benefits have been increased to absorb the negative impacts of the coronavirus outbreak. The scammers then request their targets' social security numbers supposedly for verifications so that they can access the added benefits. Details provided during these calls are used for scammers' financial gains.
The SSA warns residents that its employees will not call to ask them to verify social security numbers. Anyone who does this is a scammer, and you should terminate such a phone call immediately. County residents who have been defrauded by COVID-19 scammers can report to the National Center for Disaster Fraud by email or call 1 (866) 720-5721. The FTC can also be contacted to file online complaints.
What are Jury Duty Scams?
If someone calls you and threatens arrest and prosecution for not attending jury duty, disregard such a call. The caller is a phone scammer who wants to steal your money and identity if you fall for their scheme. Scammers pretend to be employees of the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office (PCSO) and then call and accuse targets of failing to appear for jury duty. They inform unsuspecting residents that arrest warrants have been issued for them and then ask them to pay fines if they want to prevent the arrests. The PCSO warns county residents to be wary of scammers impersonating sheriff deputies to extort them. If you live in Prince George's County and have fallen victim to this scam, report the incident to the PCSO by calling (301) 780-8600.
What are IRS Scams?
Phone number lookup services can return information on the true identities of unknown callers claiming to represent the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In IRS scams, fraudsters pretend to be employees of the IRS with the intent of stealing targets' money and confidential information. Sometimes, they spoof Caller IDs to make it look like their targets are dealing with the IRS. IRS scammers inform their targets of fictitious overdue taxes and demand they pay the taxes owed immediately or face arrests. Their preferred means of receiving payments are wire transfer and prepaid card. They may also request for their targets’ credit or debit card information.
Legitimate employees of the IRS will never request payment over the phone. They will also not threaten residents with arrest or ask for taxpayer information the IRS already has. Prince George's County residents should note that the IRS will never call them regarding taxes owed without first initiating contact by mail. If unsure of tax status, residents may call the IRS on 1 (800) 829-1040 for verification. Residents should report these types of calls to TIGTA or call 1 (800) 366-4484. Prince George’s County residents who have fallen victim to the IRS phone scams can also file online complaints with the FTC.
What are Grandparent Scams?
Grandparent phone scams usually target elderly Prince George's County residents. Fraudsters take advantage of senior citizens' emotions to con them into parting with their money. Grandparent scam has many variations. Usually, scam callers pretend to be targets' grandchildren and claim to need money to get out of desperate situations. In other instances, they pose as attorneys, friends, or police officers who arrested the targets’ grandchildren. Claimed emergencies are usually paying hospital bills, bonding out of jail, and being involved in accidents. They always ask their targets not to disclose these emergencies to their parents or other relatives.
Grandparent scammers typically request payment by wire transfer and gift cards. Suspicious phone number lookup applications can provide information regarding the callers’ identities to prevent senior residents from falling victim to these scams. Prince George's County residents who receive this type of call can file online reports with the MOAG or call the County Office on (301) 386-6200. Victims can also register their complaints online with the FTC or call 1 (888) 382-1222.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are auto-dialed calls that deliver recorded messages. A robocall passes information to a large audience at relatively low cost and with minimal human involvement. It was developed initially for legitimate uses before it became a tool for fraudsters. Scammers adopted robocalls because it provides them the ability to reach a lot more targets while remaining anonymous. To help residents avoid robocalls, the FTC issues instructions on call- blocking, a useful tool against such spam calls.
Some tips for dealing with robocalls include:
- End robocalls and spam calls as soon as you realize what they are. Do not press any number to stop calls as prompted by the messages. This increases your chances of being repeatedly targeted by robocalls.
- Enroll your phone number in the Do Not Call Registry.
- Contact the FTC to report the robocall number. You can register your complaint online or call them on 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Use applications that offer call-blocking services to block the robocall number. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also issues instructions on how to stop robocalls and unwanted calls.
- Do not call back if a robocall leaves a message for you to return the call. You can use suspicious phone number lookup applications to discover details on the identities of the callers.
- Avoid answering calls from unknown numbers.
How Can You Spot and Report Prince George’s Phone Scams?
Reverse phone number lookups can spot potential phone scammers and help you avoid them. Do not be fooled by persons impersonating government agencies and legitimate organizations on phone calls to make bogus demands. These are phone scammers aiming to steal your money. Prince George's County residents can avoid falling victim to phone scams by getting familiar with how scammers operate. The following tips can help you spot Prince George’s County phone scams when receiving calls especially from numbers you do not recognize:
- Scammers demand that you pay through unusual payment channels. Typically, they request gift cards, wire transfers, and cryptocurrencies or arrange meetings to collect cash.
- Scammers pretend to represent government agencies and threaten you with arrest if you do not comply with their requests. Government agencies will never insist on immediate payment or threaten residents over the phone.
- Scammers are not patient. They are always in a hurry to get you to comply with their demands and push you to make immediate decisions.
- Scammers bait you with supposedly no-risk high-reward investments or ventures.
- Scammers use compelling tactics to get what they want from you. Usually, they will not want to give you the opportunity to verify their claims or provide satisfactory responses to your inquiries.
Residents must be especially vigilant to avoid falling victim to phone scams. One way to achieve this is by frequently looking up scam alerts and tips provided by consumer protection agencies. These agencies include:
Federal Communications Commissions - Those who have been victims of phone spoofing scams or robocalls can file online complaints with the FCC. The FCC protects residents by providing them with tips on how to stop unsolicited calls and avoid phone scams.
Maryland Office of the Attorney General - The Consumer Protection Division of the MOAG provides phone scam tips and educates residents on avoiding phone scams. Prince George's County residents who are victims of phone scams can complain to the MOAG by email. They can also file online complaints with the MOAG or call their Prince George's County Office on (301) 386-6200 to register their complaints.
Federal Trade Commission - Robocalls and other phone scams can be reported to the FTC online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222. The FTC protects residents from robocall scams with the National Do Not Call Registry. Registered residents are more likely to avoid robocall scams than those not enrolled in the registry.
Prince George's County Sheriff's Office - The PCSO protects residents by publishing scam alerts to keep them abreast of the latest phone scam trends. It has the responsibility of investigating phone scams reported to it by email or in person. You can file a report with the PCSO by calling (301) 780-8600 if a scammer has defrauded you in Prince George's County.