What are Virginia Beach Area Codes?
The City of Virginia Beach is a mostly suburban independent city located on the southeastern coast of the Commonwealth of Virginia southeastern coast. As of 2019, its population was estimated to be almost 450,000, making it the most populous city in Virginia.
Virginia Beach area codes are the sets of three digits that start 10-digit telephone numbers assigned for the city. These area codes identify the numbering plan area (NPA) for the City of Virginia Beach as designated by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). The Virginia State Corporation Commission administers all the area codes in the Commonwealth of Virginia. There is currently only one active area code in the City of Virginia Beach.
Area Code 757
Area code 757 is the telephone area code in the NANP for Virginia Beach. A split of the 801 NPA in 1996 established the 757 NPA. It covers the majority of the Hampton Roads metropolitan area, which encompasses the City of Virginia Beach. Area code 948 is the designated overlay for the 757 NPA, but its implementation has been delayed.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in the City of Virginia Beach?
Wireless telephony services have replaced landlines as the most popular telecommunication service in Virginia, according to a 2018 National Center for Health Statistics survey. It reported that 49.1% of adults and 62.3% of children in Virginian households exclusively relied on wireless telephony services for their everyday communication needs. Less than 5% of adults and 2.3% of the children lived in homes that used landline-only services for their communication needs.
The major telephone carriers operate in the City of Virginia Beach and provide impressive services. In Virginia, Verizon offers the broadest coverage, with 93% coverage of the state, followed closely by AT&T with 90%. T-Mobile and Sprint cover 82% and 77% of the state, respectively. Several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) also offer wireless telephone services in Virginia Beach. MVNOs are smaller operators that rely on the network services of the major carriers and resell these to subscribers at lower rates.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) uses IP data networks to deliver telephony services that are more efficient, flexible, and cheaper than regular phone services. Improved access to broadband internet has prompted the rapid adoption of VoIP services in Virginia. Numerous service providers offer VoIP packages to the City of Virginia Beach businesses and residents at attractive prices.
What are Virginia Beach Phone Scams?
These are phone scams committed in the City of Virginia Beach or against residents of the city. Phone scams are fraudulent schemes perpetrated with telephony services to steal money and sensitive information. A reverse phone number lookup can return information about the registrant of a suspicious phone number.
The Virginia Attorney General’s Office issues scam warnings and information on common scams in the state. Residents can file reports with the AG’s Office with the online complaint form or through the Virginia Consumer Hotline at 1 (800) 552-9963. Alternatively, fill the printable complaint form and mail it to Consumer Protection Section, 202 N. Ninth Street, Richmond, VA 23219. Virginia Beach residents can also file scam reports with the Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) and the FTC. Common scams in the City of Virginia Beach include:
What are Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
Scammers call residents and impersonate Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) officers. The callers usually spoof caller IDs to show legitimate VBPD phone numbers. The callers introduce themselves with names of real VBPD officers and always know the names of their targets. They tell the targets that they have outstanding warrants or have missed court appearances or jury duty and demand payments from them to avoid arrests. The scammers always ask for these payments through prepaid debit cards, retail gift cards, and wire transfers.
The VBPD reminds residents that its officers will never call and ask for payments for outstanding warrants and citations. Always be wary of callers who insist on payments by such unconventional means as prepaid cards and wire transfers. If you receive such a phone call, get the callers’ details, hang up, and call the VBPD directly at (757) 385-4141 to make inquiries. Do not wire money or provide prepaid card numbers to unknown persons on phone calls. Residents of Virginia Beach who have fallen victim to these scams can file reports with the VBPD at (757) 385-5000.
What are Utility Scams?
Virginia Beach Public Utilities (VBPU) informs city residents about scammers posing as their employees to defraud unsuspecting customers. The scammers call residents and threaten to shut off their water services if they do not make immediate payments over the phone. The city has not been collecting water bills due to the CoVID-19 pandemic but fraudsters are taking advantage of residents who do not know that. The callers claim their targets have not paid for the services and must do so immediately to avoid disconnection. They ask for payment through prepaid cards and wire transfers or ask for credit or debit card information.
Residents should ignore these calls, even if caller IDs show the information of the utility companies. The VBPU does not demand immediate payment and cannot threaten immediate disconnection. Currently, the city has placed all disconnections on hold to assist residents during the pandemic. Even if this was not so, defaulters must receive multiple overdue bills and disconnection notices in the mail before disconnections are effected.
If you receive a call from someone asking for immediate utility bill payment, hang up and contact the VBPU at (757) 385-4631 to confirm your account status. Do not provide financial information or send payments to persons on unsolicited phone calls. Residents who are victims of these scams can file reports with the VBPU on (757) 385-3111 or contact the VBPD. Phone number lookup services can retrieve information to determine if the unknown callers are employing spoofed caller IDs.
What are IRS Scams?
Scammers contact residents claiming to be with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and convince their victims to make payments for bogus tax debts. In other instances, they retrieve sensitive information under the guise of verification. The callers provide names and badge numbers to sound official and have information about the targets to convince them. They also spoof caller IDs to show IRS caller information to sell these scams. The callers demand immediate payment for the tax debts and ask for payments in specific ways, such as with prepaid cards and wire transfers. They also threaten to bring in law enforcement to arrest residents who fail to comply.
The IRS warns residents that these calls are from scammers. The IRS will never demand payment for back taxes without giving the taxpayer the chance to question or appeal their taxes. The IRS will only initiate contact with taxpayers through U.S. Mail and only call on pre-arranged schedules. If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and suspect you owe taxes, hang up and call the IRS directly on 1 (800) 829-1040 to make inquiries. If you know you do not owe taxes, file a report with the TIGTA at 1 (800) 366-4484 or online.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls made with auto-dialers that deliver preset messages to multiple recipients. They were predominantly used by telemarketers, political campaigns, and informational agencies. Most recently, robocalls have become synonymous with phone scams. Scammers have adopted robocalls for their activities and use them to steal information and money from unsuspecting residents. Robocalls give fraudsters the ability to contact multiple targets covertly and offer better chances of success than live calls from random strangers. Scammers are more aptly able to impersonate reputable organizations, making it easier to pull off their scams. Reverse phone number lookup applications can identify if incoming calls are robocalls.
The best options to deal with illegal robocalls include:
- End the call when you verify it is a robocall. Robocalls are set up to keep recipients on the line, so disregard any messages given during the call.
- Inform the FTC about illegal robocalls online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222. Residents can also find tips on blocking unwanted calls on its website.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Sales companies and telemarketers are prohibited from contacting phone numbers after 31 days of listing on this registry. Legitimate telemarketers will adhere to this law, so if you still receive spam calls, they are illegal and likely from scammers.
- Use free online services that perform reverse phone number lookups to confirm robocalls numbers.
- Use call-blocking and call-filtering tools provided by phone carriers and manufacturers. Phone carriers usually charge subscription fees for premium call-blocking services but usually offer free, basic options.
How to Spot and Report Phone Scams in the City of Virginia Beach?
Spotting phone scams before they can cause any damage is the best way of avoiding phone scams. Towards this end, education and vigilance remain the best options to safeguard your money and information. Knowledge about phone scams makes it easier to spot them even if the scammers use variations of these scams.
There are also online applications that run suspicious phone number lookups to answer questions like “who called me?” and “who is this number registered to?” These applications are available for free and for subscription fees. They run phone searches by name, number, and address and return information that can be useful when reporting scams to the authorities.
Some indicators that an unknown caller is running a potential scam are:
- The caller is from a law enforcement agency and threatens you with arrest to coerce your compliance with their demands. Real law enforcement officers will not use hostile tactics such as threats over phone calls to obtain money and personal information.
- The callers are from reputable organizations such as government agencies and repeatedly ask for your personal and financial information. Legitimate organizations do not request personal and financial information on unsolicited phone calls.
- The caller requests payment through prepaid debit cards, retail gift cards, and wire transfers. Funds sent through these means are virtually impossible to track once received, which is why scammers favor such channels. Reputable entities will never insist on such channels for payments.
- The caller informs you of prize winnings in a competition or lottery you never entered and then asks for upfront payment to receive the winnings. Foreign prize competitions are illegal in the U.S., and it is impossible to win prizes in competitions you never entered.
- A caller dissuading you from taking time to consider highly attractive investment opportunities is suspicious. Do not trust a caller who stops you from seeking other opinions about their business and investment proposals.
City of Virginia Beach residents can contact any of the following agencies for assistance in dealing with phone scams:
Office of the Virginia Attorney General - The Consumer Protection Section of the AG’s Office issues scam warnings and information on common scams in the state. Residents can file reports with the AG’s Office with the online complaint form or through the Virginia Consumer Hotline at 1 (800) 552-9963. Alternatively, fill the printable complaint form and mail it to Consumer Protection Section, 202 N. Ninth Street, Richmond, VA 23219.
Virginia Beach Police Department (VBPD) - The VBPD is the primary law enforcement agency for the City of Virginia Beach. Residents who have been victims of phone scams can file reports with the VBPD at (757) 385-5000.
Virginia Beach Commonwealth Attorney - The Attorney’s Office works with consumer groups to inform and advise residents on potential scams and frauds. Residents can contact the Attorney’s Office at (757) 385-4401 or by email.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The FTC is responsible for protecting residents against deceptive and fraudulent practices. The National Do Not Call Registry is an initiative to protect consumers from unwanted telephone solicitations. Phone numbers on this register that continue to receive illegal robocalls after 31 days are most likely targeted by phone scammers. Residents can file complaints about unlawful robocalls and fraudulent acts online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.