An area code is the set of three-digit numbers that begin all 10-digit telephone numbers in North America. St. Louis City area code is the three-digit code that identifies the Numbering Plan Area (NPA) covering the city. The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) divided service territories in Missouri into NPAs and used area codes to indicate the different NPAs. The Missouri Public Service Commission (PSC) overseas area codes administration and implementation in the state. St. Louis City currently has only one area code.
Area Code 314
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in St. Louis City?
As deduced from a 2018 CDC survey report on telephone service adoption in Missouri, only a few households use landline telephone services in the state. The report revealed that an estimated 64.2% of adults used only wireless telephone services, while about 3.2% used landline phones solely for telephony services. Among the minor population, the survey showed that about 74.9% lived in wireless-only homes, while 4.1% depended on landlines as the only means of telephony. The data obtained from this survey is an honest representation of telephone service distribution in St. Louis City.
All four major network operators and several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MNVOs) offer St. Louis City residents telephony services. Although telephony services provided by the MVNOs are limited, they are generally more affordable. T-Mobile claims the best service coverage at 94%, followed by AT&T with 84% spread over the city. Verizon extends 82% cover, while Sprint provides the least service coverage to St. Louis City residents at 68%.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) conveys telephone services over broadband internet connections. Unlike traditional telephony services that require expensive telecommunication infrastructures, VoIP transmission medium is cheaper. This is evident in the affordable rates offered by VoIP telephony services to St. Louis City residents. Residents and businesses can choose from the several providers of VoIP services in the city.
What are St. Louis City Phone Scams?
St. Louis City phone scams are activities using telephony services that dubiously obtain money and personal information from city residents. Generally, phone scammers use text messages, robocalls, and live phone calls in their deceptive schemes. Residents can use phone search tools to perform suspicious phone number lookups to retrieve information on phone scammers’ identities. Public agencies that provide residents protection against phone scams are at the federal, state, and city levels. They include:
- Missouri Office of the Attorney General
- Federal Trade Commission
- Federal Communications Commission
- The City of St. Louis Sheriff's Office
- St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department
Commonly perpetrated phone scams in St. Louis City include:
What are Jury Duty Scams?
Scammers impersonate law enforcement and St. Louis City judicial officers and call residents to deceptively obtain confidential information and steal money. They try to steal money by saying their targets miss jury duty and must face penalties, which will include arrest. The callers will then offer to help resolve the issues, but the marks must pay a certain amount of money. They may also request some information for supposed verifications, but such is a means to identity theft. These scammers have a preference for green dot cards. They will instruct their targets to buy multiple cards, usually three, for three alleged penalties and provide the card information over the phone. The callers often state the penalties as failing to appear for jury duty, contempt of court, and processing fees. In most cases, they fool their targets into complying by promising to return their money once they appear in court.
Residents of St. Louis County should be aware that judicial officers or law enforcement will not contact them about missed jury duty and will not threaten them for such. They will also neither request payments over the phone and through green dot cards nor ask for their confidential information. The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department warns residents to be wary of this prevailing phone scam and ensure they do not fall victim to it. Although scammers may employ phone spoofing to appear legitimate, reverse phone lookup applications can help residents identify spoofed phone calls and avoid jury duty scams.
What are IRS Scams?
The City of St. Louis Sheriff's Office and St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) caution city residents not to fall for IRS-related phone scams. Residents can uncover the real identities of fraudsters impersonating Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials by using suspicious phone number lookup applications. These applications can return information such as callers' locations and names. In a prevalent version of the IRS scams, the callers will inform targeted residents that they owed money to the IRS and needed to pay immediately. The scammers will warn that law enforcement will contact them for possible arrests if they do not pay. At this point, some persons will succumb and pay as advised by the purported IRS officials, while the hesitant ones will be contacted by accomplices in the scheme.
The accomplices will pretend to be calling from the City of St. Louis Sheriff's Office or the SLMPD and claim they were contacted by the IRS. The callers will then instruct the targets to pay their delinquent taxes immediately or face arrest. These scammers favor odd payment methods such as wire transfers and gift cards. The IRS does not accept such payment methods and will never call to demand immediate payment, especially not by specific payment options. They will not call residents about taxes owed without first mailing their bills. If someone who claims to represent the IRS threatens to bring in law enforcement, know that it is a scam, and you can avoid it by hanging up your phone immediately.
What are FBI Impersonation Scams?
Scammers spoof FBI phone numbers to cheat St. Louis County residents out of their money and steal confidential information for identity and financial theft. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warns about scams that spoof the Bureau's real phone numbers on targeted resident's Caller IDs. There are many versions of the FBI scam. The callers usually pose as special agents from an FBI satellite Office to fool their targets. In the latest iteration of FBI scams, the scammers will warn targeted persons that their social security numbers were stolen and used to purchase properties and open bank accounts in their names. Typically, the scammers will instruct the targets to wire all the savings in their bank account to them for safekeeping until the alleged persons who stole their SSNs are apprehended.
The City of St. Louis Sheriff's Office says these are old scams that keep evolving with new twists and advise residents to be wary of such callers. Residents should know that the FBI will never solicit or demand money for any reason, especially not through wire transfers. If you receive this type of call, make sure to verify the caller's claims and legitimacy by contacting the FBI. Reverse phone lookup applications can help you identify a spoofed phone call and avoid the FBI scam. St. Louis City residents who are victims of FBI phone scams may contact their banks for the possibility of recalling such wire transfers where possible. They, however, should file complaints online with the Internet Crime Complaint Center of the FBI.
What are Advanced Fee Loan Scams?
In St. Louis City, advanced fee loan scams are commonly targeted at the most vulnerable residents of the city. The majority of the individuals who fall for these scams are those struggling financially and cannot get loans from the banks or credit unions. Such persons can easily let their guards down. The scammers usually initiate this scheme via text messages or emails to targeted residents and offer overly low rates on loan products. Targets often see such as opportunities of a lifetime and promptly tap into them. Typically, the message recipients will contact the supposed loan companies on the numbers provided to inquire about the processes and express interest in the offers. The phone scammers will then advise their targets with fraudulent online loan websites containing loan application forms. Once the targets fill out these forms, they will share their personal and financial information with the scammers. The fraudsters often steal their marks' identities through this process. Afterward, they will inform their victims that their loans have been approved, but they need to pay application and processing fees by wire transfers or prepaid money cards. Unfortunately, the victims will lose their identities and money but will never get such loans.
The Better Business Bureau warns St. Louis residents never to drop their guards in search of loans. Reverse phone lookup applications can help fetch the identities of these scammers and prevent residents from becoming victims. Never disclose confidential information, especially regarding your identity online.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are auto-dialed telephone calls that deliver prerecorded messages to mass phone numbers at the same time. They can be used with minimal or no human involvement. Initially designed for legitimate purposes, fraudsters in St. Louis City have now adopted robocalls for executing their deceptive schemes and extorting residents. Robocalls allow phone scammers to remain anonymous since phone numbers can easily be manipulated. Typically, phone scammers spoof their targets' Caller IDs and make their calls appear as coming from familiar government agencies and reputable businesses in St. Louis City. Since robocalls are a form of spam calls, they are also used to call random phone numbers to find out whether they are active or not.
You can take the following steps to reduce robocall inundation and avoid falling victim to robocall scams:
- Hang up a call once you realize it is a robocall. Typically, automated calls try to keep you on the line by instructing you to press a number to connect to a live operator or unsubscribe from a call list. It is a ploy to determine if your phone number is active for future scam calls.
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry and Missouri No-Call List. Phone numbers listed on this register for 31 days are restricted from receiving unwanted telephone solicitations. If you still receive lots of spam calls after this, the chances are that they are scam calls.
- Report illegal robocalls online to the FTC or call them on 1 (888) 382-1222. The guidelines on blocking unwanted calls provided by the FTC are also helpful in avoiding robocall scams.
- Inquire from your service provider about call-blocking and call-filtering services. Most carriers provide such services free of charge. If they are free, use them to filter and block spam calls. If they are not, use the built-in call-blocking features of your phone that can identify and block unwanted numbers
- Use applications that offer reverse phone lookup free services to determine if incoming calls are robocalls and block such phone numbers.
How Can You Spot and Report St.Louis City Phone Scams?
Being wary of strange callers and keeping abreast of current scam schemes are the best ways to spot phone scams. Phone scammers are actively looking out to defraud unsuspecting persons, and as such, St. Louis residents must remain careful when answering calls from unknown phone numbers. Websites that offer suspicious phone number lookup are effective in revealing the identities of unknown callers and can help you spot potential phone scams.
The following are pointers that an unknown caller is a potential phone scammer:
- The caller provides inadequate or no responses to your inquiries and dissuades you from making independent verifications of their bogus offers.
- The caller requests your confidential information and employs intimidatory tactics to get you to disclose it. No legitimate business will request personal information on an unsolicited phone call or intimidate you to get it.
- The caller claims to represent a familiar legitimate business or government agency and requests payments by odd channels such as prepaid cards, cryptocurrencies, and wire transfers. These are fraudsters' preferred methods of getting paid.
- An unknown caller tries to bait you with a generous offer that promises high returns on your little investment but requests that you wire money immediately given the limited time for such an investment. Any legitimate investment offer will not coerce you into making hasty investment decisions over the phone.
- The caller claims to be with the government and threatens actions such as arrests, deportation, and lawsuits if you do not pay or disclose some information. Most government agencies have your information on file and will not ask you to provide them on unsolicited calls. They will also not threaten you for any reason over the phone.
St. Louis City residents who are contacted by fraudsters or are phone scams victims can file reports of such incidents to the following agencies:
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - This FCC protects consumers in the U.S. from deceptive and unfair practices. It established the National Do Not Call Registry to address the robocalls menace and provides tips on call blocking, especially spam calls. Phone scam victims can file their complaints with the FTC online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Federal Communication Commission - The FCC regulates interstate and international communications. It also protects consumers from falling prey to illegal robocalls and phone spoofing scams. Victims of phone scams in St. Louis City can file complaints online with the FCC.
- Missouri Office of the Attorney General - The OAG enforces civil law, including consumer protection and environmental law. It offers many publications for consumers, including guides on how to prevent scams, and manages Missouri No-Call List. Residents can report phone scams incidents to the OAG by calling (573) 751-3321
- St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department - The SLMPD is primarily responsible for the safety of St. Louis City residents. They provide information on fraud prevention and investigate reported phone scam incidents within the city. Victims of phone scams can file their complaints with the SLMPD by calling (314) 231-1212. To register phone scam reports in person, residents can visit the SLMPD at 1915 Olive, St. Louis, Missouri 63103.