Beware the 801 Area Code Phone / Text / Email Scams (2024)

Do check out the latest updates.

Is 801 a toll free number? No, it is not.

Beware the 801 Area Code Phone / Text / Email Scams (1)
Area Code 801 Scams

Everyone knows the 800 number is a toll free call (there is a list of other legitimate toll free codes further down the page).

There are media reports companies are using the 801 number in place of the 800 number in their advertising. The apparent intent being to deceive people into thinking the 801 phone number is a derivation of the 800 phone number and would therefore also be a toll free call. It is not.

The 801 number is the area code for a part of Utah. Don't know if the companies are actually putting call centers there or just having the number forward to where the company's call center really is. Either way, your next phone bill will include full long distance charges for your call to Utah.

Any company unethical enough to pull this stunt is more than likely routinely doing other unethical things as well. If you see an 801 phone number and the company isn't already known to actually be located in Utah, it would probably be advisable to avoid that 801 number and company altogether.

Consolidated Updates for 2013-2014-2015

  • The 801 area code phone number is also being used in text message scams.
  • Beware emails having the 801 number listed in their message.
  • The 801 area code phone number is also being used as a fake caller ID number for phishing and outright fraud and other scams. If receiving a call from this number, simply do not answer. If you see an 801 area code in your voice mail list, do not activate the message; simply delete it. Malware can as easily be sent to a phone as to a computer.

This sure is a heck of a note for the folks who live in the 801 area code part of Utah. Wouldn't be surprised if the State of Utah were to eventually have the number changed to one that wouldn't be mistaken as toll free. Not to mention the fact the number's reputation has been completely ruined anyway. (An update regarding the affected areas of Utah... The 801 area code area now has an overlay area code of 385. In other words, residents can choose which area code in which they wish to be associated).

Updates, 2016

The scams continue. In fact, they are getting worse. And not just the scams involving the 801 number. There are media reports all other phone scams are being ramped up as well.

There Are Seven Legitimate 800 Number Toll-Free Codes

(Date last reviewed and updated by FTC: Tuesday, December 31, 2019). Just a side note; though this list was originally posted in 2016, this list will be updated as new toll-free 800 numbers come along. According to the FTC, the current toll-free codes are:

  • 800
  • 888
  • 877
  • 866
  • 855
  • 844
  • 833

WebsiteWithNoName.comhas over one million page views and is looking for reputable advertisers.

Updates for 2017

Please do keep posting those suspicious 801 numbers. The search engines eventually index those numbers and will continue to point future potential victims here to be warned.

Two Worthy Resources to Read and Share at Your Leisure

Do you get phone calls that when you answer, it just disconnects? It is highly unlikely you are being stalked. It is just a robocall machine ascertaining at what days and times you usually answer calls. It then duly reports that information to the telephone solicitor and scammer boiler room. The telephone solicitors and scammers then know on what days and times to call. Well, actually you are being stalked; but it's just by the telephone solicitors and scammers.

New scam. Got a robocall informing me my IP connection had been compromised and would be disconnected within the next 24-48 hours. It then asked me to press "1" for help. I immediately hung up. How did I know it was a scam? Simple, they did not identify themselves. Whether automated call or real human, a legitimate caller would have first identified themselves, e.g., "This is XYZ support", etc. Also, I highly doubt such a call that was legitimate would be a robocall. It would be a human who would first identify themselves and ISP and would then ask for me by name. What a farce; it just never stops. In fact, it just keeps getting worse.

Be careful out there.

Updates for 2018

#1 An addition to the 2017 updates. Never call back an unknown number out of curiosity that called you and then hung up. Not just the 801 area code, but any area code. Turns out that the 900 number isn't the only premium code number where you are billed major fees for calling. There are other numbers that look like area codes that will do the same thing to you.

#2 Got the well-known, phony IRS robocall claiming to be from IRS collections or whatever. Instead of hanging up, I set the phone down so as to tie up their line as long as possible. Probably caused at least three fewer people from getting called that day. Depending on my mood, I do that with most of my landline robocalls.

#3 This is off topic, but still the perfect place to include it. From Census Bureau:

Census Bureau - April 5, 2018
Someone is at your door and claiming to be from the census bureau. Legit or scam? Turns out it is probably legit. Here's how to tell:
- They will be wearing an identification badge.
- They will be able to provide you a verification phone number.
- They will not ask you for money, credit card numbers, or your social security number.

If interested, here's a census bureau podcast about it.

#4 "Is Pat there?" Yep, appears to be another scam resurrected from year 2016. Back then they used the name "Miguel". You will receive repeated calls, I've gotten 5-6 already. He always says, "Is Pat there?" Your reply should be, "Pat is at area code (xxx) xxx-xxxx." As for "(xxx) xxx-xxxx", it can be:
A. Your local police non-emergency phone number.
B. Select a number from the FBI alphabetical list of field offices near you at

Needless to say, you forget to mention where the phone number you gave actually goes. Hopefully, the hint will be taken and the calls will stop. If they are actually stupid enough to call the number without checking first; with any luck, the caller's phone number and physical location will automatically be trapped. You've certainly done nothing wrong, you were just trying to help them find "Pat". After those previously mentioned 5-6 calls, I opted for option "A". If that doesn't work, I will then do option "B". If that doesn't work, then it's just immediately hanging up as I normally do with all telephone solicitors and scammers these days. [Update. I never heard from them again after doing option A.]

#5 June already. Telephone solicitor activity actually seems to be on the decline. However, telephone scammer activity seems to be on the increase; and they know your name. So if a caller knows your name, it still doesn't necessarily mean it is a legitimate call. Always ask who is calling. And if they start asking for personal information, then it is hanging-up time.

#6 Telephone scammers are also using the survey technique. They will tell you they are doing a survey and then ask an innocuous question for your opinion, but then they follow up by starting to ask you questions about your personal information.

#7 The usual charity scams abound this Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season. Needless to say; never, ever donate via phone call.

Updates for 2019

#1Media reports say robocalls will increase and calls from humans will decrease.

#2 Well now; hopefully, all carriers will do this: Verizon will give subscribers free access to anti-robocall tools. There is other worthwhile information there as well.

#3 A very worthy, informational, and entertaining read from Wired Magazine About Robocalls. After reading it, I've gone back to not hanging up and just setting the phone down to tie up the robocaller's line as long as possible. Needless to say, don't do that if your phone service plan makes you pay for the length of incoming calls.

#4Another worthy article. There's now an FCC scam going on. And a reminder to never call back an unknown number. And a reminder about scammers and spammers using your own number to call others: NPR.

#5 The FCC has initiated another, new, legitimate, toll-free 800 number. Toll-free number, 833, added to previous list.

Updates for 2020

January 2020 Update
Happy 2020. The federal government has passed new laws to fight robocalls. Here are two worthy articles that will tell you all about it:

February 2020 Update
Looks like that scammer calls now outnumber solicitor calls. The telephone solicitor industry may finally be dying off. Unfortunately, scammer callers (those who are deliberately attempting to steal your money or personal information) continues to rise. This includes both the robocalls and the human callers. The numbers of these outright theft attempts are only going to worsen.

April 2020 Update
The number of daily spammer and scammer calls I usually receive has radically dropped. I do believe my phone company has done something behind the scenes to cause this. Hopefully, the technology has finally been developed to fight this scourge. I found the relevant website page for my phone company here. I suspect other phone companies now have similar pages and they would be well worth the effort to find.

Meanwhile, here is a very depressing story. Never engage in a conversation with someone purporting to be from your financial institution. Whether you think the call is legitimate or illegitimate: hang up and call the number provided by your financial institution's card, website, or paper records. It also would be a good idea to go to your institution's website and check your account activity.

May 2020 Update
Here is a very worthy page from the Federal Trade Commission website: Robocalls.

And regards to CNET...

August 2020 Update

My spammer and scammer calls have still dropped over 90%. Based on the number of daily visitors to this page, apparently I am one of the lucky few. I still believe my phone company is responsible for the sudden drop. If one hasn't done so already, all I can do is remind folks of the DoNotCallList. It could very well be that phone companies are now using this list as a filter resource to help block unwanted calls to your number.

September 2020 Update

Well, I'm again repeatedly receiving two specific scammer calls over and over and over...

  • The first is a certain, infamous police association charity organization. A quick search shows that they keep over 90% of what they collect and pass along just enough so that they can't be accused of fraud. If one wants to make a donation to a legitimate police or fire fighters charity, simply call their non-emergency number and they will tell you where/how to do that.
  • The second is that well-known "cardholder" call where they claim there is a problem with your account. Needless to say, that's an immediate hang-up. If a particular call like that does trigger an intuition warning that it may be a part of something else going on, then by all means check your account and/or call your financial institution to see if anything untoward is happening.

October 2020 Update

Cellphone told me the call was from South Dakota. I don't know anyone from South Dakota; I did not answer; turned out it was a legitimate call from a local cab driver in California who was trying to find me. What a mess. If one decides to move to another state, it would probably be a good idea to update your phone number.

Early November 2020 Update

Only a couple more days before the political calls, surveys and polling calls stop.

Holiday Season Update

Nothing really new to report, other than I guess a reminder to never donate to charities over the phone.

January 2021 Update

It is highly recommended that one drop by Bing News and do a search for: stimulus check scam.

May 2021 Update

Scammer calls are increasing. Here's the latest: In latest phone scam... Gift cards are a red flag scammer tool, retail associates are even being trained to spot consumers who might be in the process of being victimized.

June 2021 Update

Here's an interesting, must-read article from CNBC: Americans lost $29.8 billion to phone scams alone over the past year. Includes prevention tips.

July 2021 Update

When there's life, there's hope. A report from CNET: Robocalls are out of control. But that could all change today. New technology and new laws.

September 2021 Update

There's a major Amazon scam going on. I received a robocall purporting to be from Amazon. It claimed that an order had been placed for over $1,000 and would be charged to my associated credit card. It then informed me the order was suspicious and a temporary hold had been placed. It then instructed me to press a number to continue. The call sounded so legitimate that it made me pause, but then I wisely decided to just hang up. I then visited the Amazon website and my financial institution's website. Sure enough, no orders had been placed or were pending/shipped and no unauthorized transactions were in process or listed. Yep, the bogus call was indeed a phishing scam or worse. Good thing I didn't press any numbers; at minimum that would have initiated even more scam calls.

A side note. It occurred to me that I don't do that much business with Amazon these days. So why should I leave a vulnerable payment method there? So I deleted the critter. It will be a pain in the neck re-entering it on my next order, but in this case security won out over convenience.

October 2021 Update

Here's the latest from CNBC on robotexts: Robotexts are flooding our phones, and the FCC is looking at ways to stop them.

November 2021 Update

Here is where to report Social Security phone scams:

January 2022 Update

Courtesy of Common Scams and Frauds

April 2022 Update
People are now receiving scam text messages from their own phone number. Here are the details and what to do about it: Scammers are texting you from your own number now — here’s what to do if that happens.

September 2022 Update
Just a reminder to never call back an unknown area code number. Worldwide, there are now dozens of such numbers that will charge your account as the 900 number does.

November 2022 Update
Text message scams from 801 are ramping up. A Thank You to all the commenters who have been reporting these incidents.

January 2023 Update
The Better Business Bureau has a How to Spot a Scam page. It is well worth the read.

April 2023 Update

The FBI recently made this announcement (this includes phones): Avoid using free charging stations in airports, hotels, or shopping centers. Bad actors have figured out ways to use public USB ports to introduce malware and monitoring software onto devices that access these ports. Carry your own charger and USB cord and use an electrical outlet instead.

More information is at:On the Internet: Be Cautious When Connected — FBI.

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Beware the 801 Area Code Phone / Text / Email Scams (2024)


Where is the area code 801 coming from? ›

Area codes 801 and 385 are telephone area codes in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) serving Salt Lake City and the four surrounding counties of the Wasatch Front in north-central Utah. The numbering plan area comprises Davis, Morgan, Salt Lake, Utah, and Weber counties.

What area codes should not be answered? ›

The Top Five Area Codes You Should Never Answer
  • 268 Area Code. This area code is associated with Antigua and Barbuda but is also known to be used by scammers in various types of fraud.
  • 876 Area Code. ...
  • 473 Area Code. ...
  • 649 Area Code. ...
  • 284 Area Code.
Apr 5, 2023

What area codes are associated with scams? ›

Don't answer phone calls from these area codes
  • 216: Cleveland, Ohio.
  • 469: Dallas, Texas.
  • 657: La Palma, California.
  • 332: New York City.
  • 347: New York City.
  • 646: New York City.
  • 218: Northern Minnesota.
  • 712: Western Iowa.
Mar 6, 2023

Is this a spam number? ›

The first step in verifying whether a phone number is a spam is to determine if it is actually in use. You can do this by using a service such as the National Do Not Call Registry or contacting the phone company directly. If the number is not currently used, it may be considered spam.

Can you still get an 801 area code? ›

Both the area codes belong to Salt Lack City, however, both play an important role in the phone numbering system. Both of these area codes are now in the pool with the new numbers being assigned 385 area codes. However, it is important to note that 801 area code phone numbers are still in effect.

Is area code 801 a toll-free number? ›

Is (801) Area Code a Toll-Free Number? No. The (801) Area Code is not a toll-free number. If you need a toll-free number, we have those too.

How do you know if you are being scammed on the phone? ›

How to Spot a Phone Scam. Telephone scammers often try to hook you with enticing offers, appeals for charitable causes, or claims of being associated with the government. They won't allow time for you to think through their pitch. They will pressure you to make a decision.

Is this phone number a scammer lookup? ›

Take advantage of Google or Facebook to search for the unknown number. If that doesn't work, you might want to try an app like TrapCall, or a background check website. Remember, if an unknown cell phone number is pushing you for personal information or money on the phone, it's likely a scam.

What happens if you text a scammer back? ›

Directly replying to a spam text message lets a spammer know that your number is genuine. After you reply, they can sell your phone number to other spammers who might bombard you with false promises of free gifts and product offers. Instead, it's best to block and report the number.

Can a scammer steal your identity with your phone number? ›

Your phone number is an easy access point for scammers and identity thieves. Once scammers know your number, they can target you with phishing texts and calls, or trick you into downloading malware and giving up personal information.

How do you know if a number is suspicious? ›

If you're suspicious about a number, Whitepages can help you find out who's calling you or a loved one. You can find the owner's full name and address and determine whether the number is a cell phone or a landline. Plus, you'll know if the number is spam. Another option is to use NumLookup.

What happens if you call back a spam number? ›

You'll be targeted by even more scam calls

When you answer a spam call, the fraudster knows your number is active. As a result, scammers may target you with more calls in an effort to defraud you.

What happens if I answer a spam number? ›

If you answer the call, your number is considered 'good' by the scammers, even if you don't necessarily fall for the scam. They will try again because they know someone on the other side is a potential victim of fraud. The less you answer, the fewer robocalls you will receive.

How do I get rid of spam on my number? ›

On your device, open the Phone app . Spam and Call Screen. Turn See caller & spam ID on or off. Optional: To block spam calls on your phone, turn on "Filter spam calls." You don't get missed call or voicemail notifications, but filtered calls are in your call history, and you can check your voicemail.

Why does the 800 area code keep calling me? ›

If you keep receiving unwanted calls from suspicious 800 numbers, this most likely means that your personal number has been leaked on the web. Illegitimate businesses or scammers may try and make the most of this, reaching out to you in an attempt to trick you into paying them money.

Where do phone area codes come from? ›

In October 1947, AT&T published a new nationwide numbering plan in coordination with the independent telephone operators. The plan divided most of North America into eighty-six numbering plan areas (NPAs). Each NPA was assigned a unique three-digit code, typically called NPA code or simply area code.

What is the new area code for Portland Oregon? ›

Area code 503 + 971. Thinking of expanding your business into Portland, Oregon? You need a local phone number with area code 503 or 971—and you can get it as part of Dialpad's unified communications plans.

What area codes does Arizona have? ›

Arizona (AZ) Phone Numbers - Local Area Codes 480, 520, 602, 623, 928.

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