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Scam Phone Numbers: Avoid Answering Calls from These Area Codes

A smartphone screen showing an incoming call from a suspicious number with a red-highlighted area code. The background has warning symbols and caution signs.

Don’t Pick-Up That Call or Click on that Text Link!

I know I can’t be alone in get­ting these almost dai­ly calls and/or texts from com­plete­ly unknown phone num­bers and com­plete­ly unknown area codes. They are frus­trat­ing and annoy­ing. I got prompt­ed to write this blog post about this very issue when I received the below text:

A screenshot of a phone Description automatically generated

At first glance, I saw the web address of “” and found the text curi­ous, at the very least. I used to have a bay are fast trak toll pass, but recent­ly can­celled it. When­ev­er I get one of these texts, I imme­di­ate­ly look for things that make it look some­what valid. Most of the times this is impos­si­ble, since most every­thing in these texts screams “SCAM!” First thing I found sus­pect was the “late fees” were shown as “46.70$” and “4.67$.” This didn’t exact­ly put me on the road to find­ing the text con­vinc­ing.

After scour­ing the text in these mes­sages, I always go right to the phone num­ber. In this text, the phone num­ber is list­ed as “+1 (902) 448‑5193.” I imme­di­ate­ly Googled this phone num­ber and it deter­mined it was from Hal­i­fax, Nova Sco­tia. I wasn’t exact­ly con­vinced that Bay Area Fast Trak Toll Road offices are in Nova Sco­tia. I stu­pid­ly assumed they were in the San Fran­cis­co Bay area!

You get the idea; I quick­ly fig­ured this text was a scam. Know­ing this, I did not click on the link shown, because that would open-up a can of scam-worms. As a reminder, you should nev­er open a link from an unknown text or email. Most like­ly this will lead to a fake web­site where your data will be stolen.

The link shown in the text I received was shown as “” The actu­al web­site address shown by Google for Bay Area Fast Trak Tolls is A slight dif­fer­ence, but some­thing that took sec­onds to research.

Why Are Scammers Always Texting and Calling Me

Unknown phone texts and calls can often be a gate­way to phone scams, where scam­mers try to extract sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion from unsus­pect­ing indi­vid­u­als. When peo­ple click on a scam text or email link, scam­mers can install mal­ware on their device, which can steal per­son­al infor­ma­tion and com­pro­mise their secu­ri­ty. They often redi­rect vic­tims to fake web­sites that mim­ic legit­i­mate ones, trick­ing them into enter­ing sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion such as pass­words, cred­it card num­bers, and social secu­ri­ty num­bers. Addi­tion­al­ly, scam­mers may use these links to har­vest email address­es and oth­er con­tact details, which can be used for future phish­ing attempts or sold on the dark web. Always exer­cise cau­tion and ver­i­fy the legit­i­ma­cy of any unso­licit­ed mes­sage before click­ing on any links.

By being aware of cer­tain area codes com­mon­ly used in phone scams, you can pro­tect your­self from falling vic­tim to fraud­u­lent activ­i­ties. This blog post will guide you on how to iden­ti­fy and avoid answer­ing calls from these sus­pi­cious area codes.

Introduction to Phone Scams and Area Codes

A cell phone with a map and pins Description automatically generated

Phone scams have become increas­ing­ly preva­lent in today’s dig­i­tal age, with scam­mers con­stant­ly devis­ing new tac­tics to deceive indi­vid­u­als. One com­mon strat­e­gy they use is to exploit spe­cif­ic area codes to make their fraud­u­lent calls seem more legit­i­mate. It’s cru­cial to be cau­tious when receiv­ing calls from unknown num­bers, as falling vic­tim to a phone scam can have seri­ous con­se­quences.

Understanding the Prevalence of Phone Scams

Phone scams have evolved over the years, with scam­mers lever­ag­ing tech­nol­o­gy to make their schemes more con­vinc­ing. From AI voice scams to spoof­ing caller IDs, scam­mers are con­stant­ly find­ing ways to trick unsus­pect­ing indi­vid­u­als. It’s essen­tial to stay informed about the lat­est phone scam tac­tics to pro­tect your­self from falling prey to these fraud­u­lent activ­i­ties.

Exploring How Scammers Utilize Specific Area Codes

Scam­mers often use spe­cif­ic area codes to lend cred­i­bil­i­ty to their calls. By using area codes that appear to be domes­tic or famil­iar, scam­mers aim to low­er the recip­i­en­t’s guard and increase the like­li­hood of their call being answered. For exam­ple, scam­mers may use area codes like 809 or 473, which may seem harm­less at first glance but are actu­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with phone scams.

Highlighting the Importance of Caution

When it comes to receiv­ing calls from unknown num­bers, exer­cis­ing cau­tion is para­mount. If you receive a call from an unfa­mil­iar area code or num­ber, it’s best to let it go to voice­mail. Avoid answer­ing calls from num­bers you don’t rec­og­nize, espe­cial­ly if they orig­i­nate from inter­na­tion­al area codes. By stay­ing vig­i­lant and informed, you can pro­tect your­self from falling vic­tim to com­mon phone scams.

Identifying Suspicious Area Codes

When it comes to pro­tect­ing your­self from phone scams, one of the key strate­gies is to be aware of the area codes that are com­mon­ly asso­ci­at­ed with fraud­u­lent activ­i­ty. By famil­iar­iz­ing your­self with these area codes, you can bet­ter iden­ti­fy sus­pi­cious calls and avoid falling vic­tim to scams.

Scam­mers employ var­i­ous tac­tics to make their calls appear legit­i­mate, often using sophis­ti­cat­ed meth­ods to deceive unsus­pect­ing indi­vid­u­als. Under­stand­ing these tac­tics can help you rec­og­nize when a call may be part of a scam and take the nec­es­sary pre­cau­tions to pro­tect your­self.

Here are some com­mon area codes that may indi­cate poten­tial fraud­u­lent activ­i­ty:

  • 809 — Orig­i­nat­ing in the Caribbean, this area code has been used by scam­mers to trick indi­vid­u­als into answer­ing calls that could result in finan­cial loss.
  • 473 — While appear­ing to be a domes­tic area code for the Unit­ed States, 473 is actu­al­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the island of Grena­da. Scam­mers use this decep­tive tac­tic to lure vic­tims into answer­ing their calls.
  • 232, 242, 246, 268, 284, 345, 441, 649, 664, 721, 758, 767, 784, 809, 829, 849, 868, 869, 876 — These inter­na­tion­al area codes with a +1 coun­try code are com­mon­ly used by scam­mers to cre­ate fake caller IDs and trick indi­vid­u­als into engag­ing with fraud­u­lent calls.

It’s impor­tant to note that scam­mers can spoof num­bers from var­i­ous area codes, not just the ones list­ed above. There­fore, if you receive a call from an unfa­mil­iar num­ber, it’s advis­able to let it go to voice­mail if you’re unsure of its legit­i­ma­cy.

By stay­ing informed about the area codes asso­ci­at­ed with phone scams and being cau­tious when receiv­ing calls from unknown num­bers, you can sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce the risk of falling vic­tim to fraud­u­lent schemes. Remem­ber, your safe­ty and secu­ri­ty should always be a top pri­or­i­ty when it comes to phone com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Tips to Protect Yourself from Phone Scams

Phone scams are becom­ing increas­ing­ly com­mon, with scam­mers using var­i­ous tac­tics to trick unsus­pect­ing indi­vid­u­als into shar­ing sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion. To safe­guard your­self from falling vic­tim to these fraud­u­lent prac­tices, it’s essen­tial to be vig­i­lant and proac­tive in iden­ti­fy­ing and avoid­ing poten­tial scam phone num­bers.

Avoiding answering calls from unfamiliar area codes

One effec­tive way to pro­tect your­self from phone scams is to avoid answer­ing calls from unfa­mil­iar area codes. Scam­mers often use spoofed num­bers to make their calls appear legit­i­mate, but by being cau­tious and not pick­ing up calls from unknown num­bers, you can reduce the risk of falling prey to their schemes.

Verifying the legitimacy of callers before sharing personal information

Before shar­ing any per­son­al infor­ma­tion over the phone, it’s cru­cial to ver­i­fy the legit­i­ma­cy of the caller. If you receive a call request­ing sen­si­tive data or finan­cial details, take the time to con­firm the iden­ti­ty of the caller through inde­pen­dent means. This extra step can help pre­vent your infor­ma­tion from falling into the wrong hands.

Seeking advice from cybersecurity experts on identifying scam phone numbers

When in doubt about the authen­tic­i­ty of a phone call or sus­pi­cious of a poten­tial scam, seek­ing advice from cyber­se­cu­ri­ty experts can pro­vide valu­able insights. Experts like Joseph Stein­berg, CEO of Secure­MySo­cial, empha­size the impor­tance of being cau­tious and aware of com­mon phone scam tac­tics, such as calls from spe­cif­ic area codes asso­ci­at­ed with fraud­u­lent activ­i­ties.

By stay­ing informed and fol­low­ing these tips, you can bet­ter pro­tect your­self from falling vic­tim to phone scams and safe­guard your per­son­al infor­ma­tion and finan­cial secu­ri­ty.

Recognizing Common Phone Scam Tactics

When it comes to pro­tect­ing your­self from phone scams, knowl­edge is pow­er. By under­stand­ing the com­mon strate­gies used by scam­mers, you can empow­er your­self to stay vig­i­lant and avoid falling vic­tim to fraud­u­lent calls. Here are some key tac­tics to watch out for:

Educating Readers on Common Strategies

Scam­mers are con­stant­ly evolv­ing their tac­tics to deceive indi­vid­u­als and extract sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion. From spoof­ing legit­i­mate num­bers to using fake caller IDs, they employ var­i­ous meth­ods to appear trust­wor­thy. By edu­cat­ing your­self on these strate­gies, you can bet­ter iden­ti­fy and avoid poten­tial scams.

Empowering Individuals to Stay Vigilant

Stay­ing vig­i­lant is cru­cial in the fight against phone scams. Always be cau­tious when receiv­ing sus­pi­cious calls, espe­cial­ly if they request per­son­al or finan­cial infor­ma­tion. Remem­ber, it’s okay to hang up if some­thing feels off. Trust your instincts and don’t hes­i­tate to take proac­tive mea­sures to pro­tect your­self.

Encouraging the Adoption of Proactive Measures

Pre­ven­tion is key when it comes to phone scams. Take proac­tive steps to safe­guard your per­son­al infor­ma­tion, such as enabling call block­ing fea­tures on your phone or reg­is­ter­ing your num­ber on the ‘Do Not Call’ list. By being proac­tive, you can sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce the risk of falling for phone scams.

By rec­og­niz­ing com­mon phone scam tac­tics and arm­ing your­self with knowl­edge, you can effec­tive­ly com­bat fraud­u­lent calls and pro­tect your­self from poten­tial harm. Stay informed, stay vig­i­lant, and stay safe in the dig­i­tal age.

Steps to Take if You Encounter a Potential Phone Scam

Encoun­ter­ing a poten­tial phone scam can be a stress­ful expe­ri­ence, but know­ing how to han­dle it can make all the dif­fer­ence. Here are some steps you can take if you sus­pect a call is a scam:

  1. Stay Calm and Hang Up: The first and most impor­tant step is to stay calm. If you receive a call that seems sus­pi­cious, hang up imme­di­ate­ly. Do not engage with the caller or pro­vide any per­son­al infor­ma­tion.
  2. Do Not Call Back: Avoid the temp­ta­tion to call back the num­ber. Scam­mers often use tac­tics to make you curi­ous or fear­ful, lead­ing you to call back. It’s best to ignore the call and move on.
  3. Report the Call: It’s cru­cial to report fraud­u­lent calls to the rel­e­vant author­i­ties. By report­ing the scam, you not only pro­tect your­self but also help pre­vent oth­ers from falling vic­tim to sim­i­lar schemes.
  4. Block the Num­ber: If pos­si­ble, block the num­ber that called you. This can help pre­vent future unwant­ed calls from the same scam­mer.

When it comes to pro­tect­ing your­self from phone scams, knowl­edge is key. By being aware of com­mon phone scam tac­tics and stay­ing vig­i­lant, you can safe­guard your per­son­al infor­ma­tion and finan­cial secu­ri­ty.


Encoun­ter­ing a poten­tial phone scam is a sit­u­a­tion no one wants to be in, but know­ing how to respond can make all the dif­fer­ence. By fol­low­ing the steps out­lined above, you can empow­er your­self to han­dle sus­pi­cious calls with con­fi­dence and pro­tect your­self from falling vic­tim to phone scams. Remem­ber, stay­ing informed and being proac­tive are essen­tial in safe­guard­ing your per­son­al infor­ma­tion and pri­va­cy in today’s dig­i­tal age.

In this blog post, we have dis­cussed the sig­nif­i­cance of rec­og­niz­ing and avoid­ing calls from spe­cif­ic area codes asso­ci­at­ed with phone scams. By fol­low­ing the tips and guide­lines pro­vid­ed, you can enhance your aware­ness of poten­tial scam phone num­bers and pro­tect your­self from falling prey to fraud­u­lent activ­i­ties. Stay vig­i­lant, stay informed, and stay safe from scam phone num­bers.

Helpful Links

If you need to report a scam, please vis­it our “Report A Scam” web­site page.  On this page, you will find the var­i­ous agen­cies you can report scams to with web­site links.  It is rec­om­mend­ed that you also report scams or attempt­ed scams to your local police depart­ment.  To iden­ti­fy your state or local report­ing agency, vis­it this excel­lent Wikipedia guide to deter­mine who and where you should report for your par­tic­u­lar U.S. loca­tion. In addi­tion, please vis­it our “About Us” page to learn more about our non-prof­it scam pre­ven­tion orga­ni­za­tion. Also, please vis­it our YouTube Chan­nel, ScamTV, for more scam-relat­ed news and scam pre­ven­tion guid­ance. Stamp Out Scams is also excit­ed to announce its new sep­a­rate web­site for our YouTube Chan­nel, ScamTV.  This web­site can be found at While this web­site is new and still being devel­oped, we have big future plans for this site. We hope to great­ly expand our scam pre­ven­tion offer­ings on our new ScamTV site in the very near future.  We want to be your trust­ed source for “must-see” scam pre­ven­tion pro­gram­ming.

Related Blog Posts: Stop A Romance Scammer

Please vis­it the fol­low­ing blog posts. These are pre­vi­ous blog post­ings from Stamp Out Scams that con­tain relat­ed con­tent.

Link 1:‑s-postal-warning-text-from-postal-service-is-a-scam-dont-click/

Link 2:

Please Donate to Support Scam Prevention

We are a reg­is­tered non-prof­it scam pre­ven­tion orga­ni­za­tion.  Donat­ing to Stamp Out Scams Inc. helps pro­tect vul­ner­a­ble indi­vid­u­als from falling vic­tim to deceit­ful schemes. Your sup­port enables us to edu­cate the pub­lic, raise aware­ness, and pro­vide cru­cial resources to iden­ti­fy and pre­vent scams. By con­tribut­ing, you play a vital role in safe­guard­ing com­mu­ni­ties and empow­er­ing peo­ple with the knowl­edge need­ed to stay safe from fraud. Join us in the fight against scams and make a last­ing impact today. Please con­sid­er donat­ing to our scam pre­ven­tion mis­sion by vis­it­ing our Dona­tions Page and con­tribut­ing what­ev­er you can.


In con­clu­sion, safe­guard­ing your finances from refund and recov­ery scams requires vig­i­lance and aware­ness. By fol­low­ing the tips out­lined in this blog, you can pro­tect your­self from falling vic­tim to scam­mers seek­ing to exploit your vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty. Remem­ber, nev­er dis­close per­son­al or finan­cial infor­ma­tion to unknown enti­ties and always ver­i­fy the legit­i­ma­cy of refund claims. Stay safe, stay informed, and empow­er your­self against finan­cial fraud.


TL;DR:Learn how to rec­og­nize poten­tial scam phone num­bers by famil­iar­iz­ing your­self with spe­cif­ic area codes linked to fraud­u­lent activ­i­ties.

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