What are St. Mary’s County Area Codes?
Area codes are strings of three digits numbers that precede local phone numbers. They identify specific geographical areas known as Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) as established by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). The Maryland Public Service Commission introduces and manages area codes in St. Mary’s County.
St. Mary’s County has two active codes. They are area code 301 and its overlay, area code 240.
Area Code 301
Created in 1947 as one of the original 86 area codes, the 301 NPA code serves all of western Maryland along with parts of southern Maryland, including Leonardtown. It is a telephone code in the NANP that formerly served all of Maryland. Other St. Mary’s County locations within this code include Lexington Park, Callaway, California, Golden Beach, Piney Point, St. George Island, Wildewood, Tall Timbers, and Mechanicsville.
Area Code 240
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in St. Mary’s County?
About 39.4% of adult Marylanders, aged 18 years and over, resided in households where only cell phones were used for telecommunications. In comparison, 3.0% lived in landline-only households. These figures were reported in a 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). A corresponding trend was observed among the children demographic, where 49.1% confirmed that they used only wireless phone services. Conversely, sole users of landline phone services accounted for less than one percent (0.8%) of the children population. This implies that wireless phone usage is becoming increasingly popular among St. Mary’s County residents than landline phones.
The four major phone carriers provide varying levels of coverage in St. Mary’s County. AT&T has the best coverage and covers 98.4% of the county, while Verizon and T-Mobile offer 91.3% and 94.2% network spread, respectively. Sprint’s coverage extends over 90.6% of the county. Numerous Mobile Virtual Network Operators are also present in the county.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a family of technologies that transmit voice and multimedia content as digital packets over the internet. St. Mary’s County residents and businesses are increasingly opting for VoIP phone services as they can access features unavailable on traditional phone services. Some of these features include call recording, custom caller ID, and voicemail. In addition, VoIP phone users can enjoy making calls at more affordable rates or at no extra charge if they already have access to broadband internet.
What are St. Mary’s County Phone Scams?
These are deceptive schemes that fraudsters use to commit theft over the phone. They are aimed at getting St. Mary’s County residents to part with their money or confidential information. Phone scammers typically use telephony services such as caller ID spoofing, live calls, and texts to execute these fraudulent schemes. They regard vulnerable residents such as county seniors and the lonely as prime targets for their scams. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission protect county residents from the scourge of phone scams. County residents can use reverse phone lookup services to uncover potential scams and answer such questions as “who is this number registered to?” and “who called?”
The following phone scams are commonly reported in St. Mary’s County:
What are St. Mary County Car Rental Scams?
This scam often begins when a scammer calls their mark and poses as a rental car company employee. They inform their target that a car rented in their name was returned with narcotic drugs and other evidence of a violent crime inside. The scammer then threatens to notify law enforcement officers if the target fails to send them money via unusual methods such as gift cards. These scammers are aggressive and often coerce their marks to yield to their demands. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office cautions residents to quickly end such calls and never succumb to pressure from such callers. County residents can use phone lookup tools to foil these fraudulent schemes and avoid falling victims to such scams.
What are St. Mary’s County IRS Scams?
Scammers target unwary taxpayers with phone calls while disguised as legitimate IRS representatives. They tell their marks that they owe back taxes, which must be immediately paid to avoid arrests, suspension of driver’s licenses, or deportations. They may also attempt to trick their marks into divulging confidential information by telling them they are eligible for tax refunds and asking for their banking information to process the payments. St. Mary’s County residents who receive such calls can use free reverse phone lookup services to find out who called and avoid these scams.
The scammers instruct their marks to pay using specific payment methods like gift cards or wire transfers in a bid to leave no trace and stay undetected. The IRS and other government agencies will never demand immediate payments or call taxpayers about tax-related matters without first mailing a bill or some other type of notice. Also, they do not demand immediate payment of taxes without first offering taxpayers opportunities to query or appeal tax debts. Report all tax-related scam encounters to the TIGTA (Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration) using the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting Form.
What are St. Mary’s County Election Board Scams?
These scams are rampant during elections and involve fraudsters claiming to work with the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections. They attempt to deprive targets of their confidential information by asking them to verify their Social Security Numbers (SSN) to process their ballots. If their targets oblige, these scammers then use this information to commit financial and identity theft. Maryland Attorney General warns residents never to share their Social Security Numbers or any other confidential information over the phone unless they initiate such calls. The County Board of Elections does call residents to resolve issues with their ballots or voter registrations. However, they will never ask for residents’ SSNs, except when attempting to confirm their identities. In such a situation, only the last four digits of the SSNs will be requested. Residents can verify such callers’ claims or make other inquiries by contacting the St. Mary’s County Board of Elections at 301-475-4200, extension 71625. Phone number search free services are also adept at retrieving these scammers’ personal identifying information and exposing these scams.
What are St. Mary’s County Grandparent Scams?
Fraudsters exploit St. Mary’s County seniors’ affection and strong emotional attachments to their grandchildren in these scams. They impersonate targets’ grandchildren and call them with startling news of mishaps or emergencies and inform them of the urgent need for money. These scammers use information gleaned from social media sites to act convincing and sound believable. They may also spoof targets’ Caller IDs to display the actual phone numbers of their grandchildren. Typical scripts used by these scammers include needing money to post bail, pay hospital bills, and in some cases, they claim to have been kidnapped. The scammers’ identities can, however, be uncovered using phone number lookup search engines. Residents who get these calls and suspect fraud should hang up and call them directly on their phone numbers to avoid these scams.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are phone calls that use auto-dialers to broadcast pre-recorded messages. They are easy to deploy and serve as a cheap way to reach mass phone users within a short time. Political groups, telemarketers, and other entities seeking to provide time-sensitive information to a large audience typically use robocalls. Scammers also use robocalls for the same reasons, although their motives are far more sinister and fraudulent. They often use robocalls to identify potential targets from a pool of phone users by filtering out active phone numbers for future scams.
Spam calls are random bulk messages that are usually disseminated by human dialers but can also be delivered via robocalls. They typically convey unwanted and irrelevant messages. Unlike robocalls, spam calls generally do not adhere to any specific timing in their delivery. They can, however, be repurposed to execute the same function as fraudulent robocalls. St. Mary’s County residents can distinguish robocalls and spam calls from live calls using good reverse phone lookup applications.
You can take the following actions as appropriate responses to robocalls and spam calls:
- Refrain from answering calls you suspect are robocalls. Also, avoid answering calls from unknown or international phone numbers and never return missed calls from unknown phone numbers.
- Hang up on all unwanted calls and do not press any key or respond if prompted. Scammers always try to keep you talking to increase their chances of gleaning personal and financial information from you.
- Add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry by calling 1 (888) 382-1222. The FTC prohibits legitimate companies offering sales from targeting registered phone numbers with robocalls. If you still receive any unwanted call after 31 days of signing up on the DNC list, it is most likely a scam robocall.
- Report all cases of illegal robocalls and spam calls to the FTC online or call 1 (888) 382-1222. You can also forward such complaints to the FCC by completing consumer complaints form online.
- Ask your phone company for available call-labeling and blocking services. Use such services to block identified robocall and spam numbers.
How Can You Spot and Report St. Mary’s County Phone Scams?
St. Mary’s County residents can reduce their exposure to phone scams through education and alertness. Reverse cell phone lookup tools also serve as efficient protection against phone scams. County residents can use such tools to retrieve information on unknown callers’ identities and avoid phone scams.
The following signs typically mark an inbound call as a potential phone scam:
- Fraudsters usually instruct their marks to make payments via unusual payment channels. They prefer payment channels such as wire transfers, prepaid cards, money orders, gift cards, and cryptocurrency.
- Scammers often try to tempt their marks with attractive prizes but ask them to make some advance payment in the name of processing and shipping fees. Legitimate companies do not ask for upfront payments before winners can claim prizes.
- Scammers regularly threaten their targets with dire consequences in a bid to make them comply quickly. Fines, arrests, lawsuits, license suspensions/revocations, and imprisonment are some typical threats that scammers use to coerce money and information from their marks.
- Con artists always ask for confidential information and often use various tricks to obtain them.
- Fraudsters usually ask their targets not to inform family members, friends, or other third parties of their interactions. They are afraid someone may identify their scams and blow their cover before cheating their targets.
Residents of St. Mary’s County can further protect themselves from phone scams by getting regular consumer information from the following public agencies:
St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office: The Sheriff’s Office protects residents from phone scams by informing them of prevalent scams within the county. St. Mary’s County residents who have been victimized by scams can call (301) 475-8008 to file complaints with the Sheriff’s Office or report online.
Maryland Attorney General’s Office: The Maryland AGO protects residents from identity theft, illegal telemarketing calls, and unfair trade acts. They also protect Marylanders, including St. Mary’s County residents, from phone scams through regular consumer alerts. Report fraudulent businesses, identity theft cases, and other phone scams to the AGO by calling (410) 528-8662.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC protects consumers from fraudulent and anti-competitive businesses. They also restrict telemarketing calls to consumers who have added their phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry. Notify the FTC of all DNC violations, identity theft, and phone scam incidents online.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC): The FTC oversees the United States communications industry. St Mary’s County residents can submit complaints of phone spoofing scams, spam calls, and illegal robocalls to the FCC online.