What are Clark County Area Codes?
Clark County area codes identify the various telephone service regions, also known as Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs), in the county. An area code is the first three digits of a 10-digit North American Numbering Plan (NANP) telephone number. Clark County has two active area codes. These are:
Area Code 360
Area code 360 is a Washington State telephone area code covering Clark County and some other counties. It was created from a split of the 206 NPA in 1995. Clark County communities served by area code 360 include Vancouver, Yacolt, Camas, and Ridgefield.
Area Code 564
Area code 564 entered into service in 2017 as the telephone overlay code for the 360 NPA. It serves the same locations as area code 360.
Area code administration and implementation in Washington State is the responsibility of the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Clark County?
As reported by a 2018 CDC survey report, cell phones have gained preference among state residents as the sole means of telecommunications. The survey was conducted to record household telephone status among Americans. In the State of Washington, an estimated 58.2% of the adult population had adopted cell phones exclusively as telephony devices. About 5.0% of them still used landline phones as their only means of telecommunication. The rates of cell phone ownership were even higher among the minors surveyed in that same year.
Clark County residents and businesses who require telecommunication at cheaper rates can take advantage of the Voice over Internet Protocol service. It is a telephony service that transmits signals over IP networks. VoIP services use internet-enabled devices to run on existing IP data networks, and it supports all types of telephony services.
The four national carriers cater to Clark County with varying degrees of coverage across the county’s communities. In the City of Vancouver, T-Mobile and Verizon provide network coverage of 82% each. Sprint has a spread of 76%, while AT&T covers 74% of the city. Some Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) also offer telephone services to residents in the county. Although MVNOs depend on the major phone carriers to provide network services, their rates are relatively cheap.
What are Clark County Phone Scams?
Clark County phone scams are frauds committed against county residents using telephony services. Phone services employed by fraudsters for their deceptive acts include robocalls, live calls, and text messages. A phone scam’s sole aim is to steal money and private information for identity and financial theft. If you are suspicious of a phone call, a phone number search application can help to uncover the caller’s identity.
Victims of phone scams in Clark County can report their ordeals online to the Washington Office of the Attorney General (WOAG). The WOAG provides information on a wide range of phone scams in Washington to educate and protect residents. The FTC's complaints assistant is also available to residents for reporting phone scams. The frequently perpetrated phone scams in Clark County include:
What are Sweepstakes Scams?
The sweepstakes scam is one that has been around for ages, but people still fall for it. The reason is not so far fetched; everyone wants free things. But if you have to part with money to get a gift, then it is not free, and a scam is most likely targeting you. This is how sweepstakes scams operate in Clark County. The callers impersonate sweepstakes companies from overseas and induce residents with attractive prize winnings. During the call, the scammers will obtain their targets' addresses and names, pledging that they would receive partial-payment checks shortly by mail. Once they receive the checks, they should deposit them into their bank accounts. To obtain the rest of the prize winnings, they instruct the victims to wire them part of the deposits to cover taxes and other fees. After a few days, the victims will receive information from their banks that the deposited checks were not suitable for payment. The fraudsters would have fled with the money, and the victims are left to pay back the bank.
The Washington Office of the Attorney General (WOAG) reiterates the need for residents to be wary of these scams, especially for competitions they did not enter. Persons who fall victim to sweepstakes scams can file reports online with the FTC. Alternatively, they can call the WOAG on (360) 753-6200 to register their complaints.
What are Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
The Clark County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) warns residents to be mindful of scammers impersonating their officers to extort them. The callers demand their targets pay money to settle arrest warrants and threaten uncooperative targets with immediate arrests. They typically request payment by wire transfers and prepaid gift cards. Payments made via these channels are hard to trace. The callers often stay on the phone with their victims and ensure receipt of payments before hanging up.
If you receive this type of call, it is a scam phone call. The Sheriff's Office will not call and inform you there is a warrant for your arrest. Also, they will never instruct residents to pay fines over the phone. Using reverse phone lookup applications can uncover information about the phone numbers used by these scammers. If you have been a victim of this scam, contact the CCSO on (564) 397-2211 to file a complaint. You can also send your complaint to the CCSO via email.
What are Utility Phone Scams?
Scammers are pretending to be employees of local utility companies to target Clark County residents. The callers prey on both business and residential customers of utility companies and try to rip them off. They often claim that their targets have outstanding bills that must be paid immediately to avoid service disconnection. Their preferred means of receiving payments include credit card details, wire transfers, and prepaid cards. Sometimes, the scammers spoof the Caller IDs of local utility companies to help sell the scams.
Legitimate representatives of utility companies will never request payment via unusual channels and can not threaten service disconnection over the phone. Before disconnecting services, there must have been multiple written notifications sent by mail. Do not send money over the phone to settle outstanding bills. If you receive this type of call, hang up and contact your local utility provider to validate the caller's claim. You may be able to retrieve the caller's identity using an application that offers reverse phone lookup. Report these scams in Clark County online to the Washington Office of the Attorney General. You can also file a complaint with the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
What are Charity Scams?
Clark County residents should be cautious if they receive phone calls from charity organizations asking for donations. Some scammers prey on Clark County residents’ goodwill to cheat them out of their money. Charity scams are particularly prevalent during the holidays and after major disasters. The callers often impersonate representatives of familiar charities and request donations for disaster relief and other honorable causes. These scammers employ robocalls, live calls, and text messages in reaching out to their targets. They ask for payments by gift cards, credit cards, and wire transfers. Sometimes, they will offer to send a runner to pick up cash donations. Do not send money or share your credit card information with someone who claims to be with a charity. Legitimate charities will not ask for payments via these odd channels.
It is vital to research charitable organizations before making any donations. Clark County residents can contact the Secretary of State on 1 (800) 332-4483 to verify charities’ authenticity soliciting their contributions. Victims of charity scams can file complaints with the Washington Office of the Attorney General or report online to the FTC.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are a type of telephone service that disseminates information to a mass audience with minimal human input. They are pre-recorded messages delivered by automated phone calls and are almost always unsolicited. There are many illegal robocalls in Clark County, but this does not imply that robocalls do not have legitimate uses within the county. However, scammers have co-opted robocalls in their activities in what is known as scam calls. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), however, provides tips on how to stop unwanted calls. A reverse phone number lookup can help you determine if an incoming call from an unknown number is a robocall. To prevent robocall scams, the best lines of action include:
- End a phone call if you hear an automated voice. Listening further and taking action will lead to repeated robocalls.
- Report robocall numbers to the FTC online or call 1 (888) 382-1222. File a complaint with the FCC if you get a robocall with spoofed caller information.
- Enter your phone number in the DNC Registry to prevent the inundation of robocalls. Signing up may not stop robocalls completely, but you can almost be confident that any illegal robocall you get after registration is a potential scam. You can register by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 from the phone number you intend to enlist.
- Block robocall numbers from subsequently calling you using call-blocking applications for your cell phone.
- Engage your phone provider for robocall screening tools. A screening tool recognizes an incoming robocall and blocks it.
How Can You Spot and Report Clark County Phone Scams?
Phone scammers operate by impersonating trusted organizations or government agencies. In any successful phone scam, the victim's losses may include money, identity, and good credit history. To help avoid any loss, Clark County residents need to get familiar with how phone scammers operate. Some of the tactics employed by them include:
- Scammers pretend to be with government agencies and ask for personal information. A real government agent will not request personal information on an unsolicited phone call. The government has your information on file.
- They pose as law enforcement officers and use threats of arrests and other punitive measures to get money from their targets. Legitimate law enforcement officers do not threaten residents for money over the phone.
- Scammers will lure you with intriguing offers and pressure you to send money quickly by wire transfers, bitcoin, and cash to “seal the deal.” Payments made via these channels are practically irretrievable.
- Fraudsters create a sense of urgency to get you to make on-the-spot decisions. Any legal transaction will give you time to take a position.
- Scammers will ask you to pay an upfront fee for a spurious winning. You do not have to pay to claim a prize if it is real.
Some agencies provide consumer education at the county, state, and national levels to combat the scourge of phone scams in Clark County. Residents can also report incidents of phone scams to them. These agencies include:
Federal Trade Commission - You can register the reports of phone scams online with the FTC or call 1 (888) 382-1222. To prevent robocall scams, register your phone number with the FTC's managed DNC Registry.
Clark County Sheriff's Office - The primary responsibility of the CCSO is to protect county residents from crimes, including phone scams. Persons who are victims of phone scams in the county can report to the CCSO by calling (564) 397-2211 or via email. Residents can file in-person complaints with the CCSO at 707 West 13th St., Vancouver, WA 98660.