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Area Code 820 Explained

Rachel Steinford
Rachel Steinford
State California
Timezone Eastern Time
Is Area Code 820 Toll Free? No

It can be worrying to receive a call from a phone number you do not recognize. However, it can help to know the geographic region the call originated from.

Where Is Area Code 820?

Area Code 820 is based in California (CA). Primarily in the central region of the state of California, the area code covers varying portions of Ventura County, Santa Barbara County, San Luis Obispo County, Kern County, and Monterey County. Along with other smaller communities within those counties, the 820 area code includes the cities and areas (or partial areas of): Atascadero, Buellton, Camarillo, Carpinteria, Guadalupe, Goleta, Lompoc, Moorpark, Ojai, Orcutt, Oxnard, Port Hueneme, Morro Bay, Arroyo Grande, Solvang, Grover Beach, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Fillmore, Santa Maria, Pismo Beach, Santa Paula, Simi Valley, Thousand Oaks, Vandenberg AFB. It has a large coverage area with a lot of residents, hence why splits or overlays may be necessary for the future.

Area code 820 serves the same area as code 805. The area code serves the Pacific time zone.

The 820 area code began its function on June 30, 2018, as an all services overlay of area code 805. The new area code was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) when new numbers were needed to ensure a "continuing supply of telephone numbers for the area". When there is only one area code for a location it is often possible to dial someone who also has a local number without using the area code. However, as a second area code was introduced it became necessary to use the area code for all calls.

The new dialing procedure meant area codes became necessary for all calls (including when calling a local phone number). There was a grace period before the dialing change was implemented on December 1, 2017. All devices needed to be adjusted to include the area code including, speed dialers, fax machines, voicemail services, burglar alarms, and mobile devices. To dial an 820 number you need the 3-digit area code and the 7-digit number associated with the person you are dialing. When the list of existing area codes in a location runs out, a new area code may be introduced to create additional telephone numbers.

Area codes are created as part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) to ensure there is a consistent and efficient way of assigning telephone numbers.

The first step in creating an area code is to identify the geographic region it will cover. The second step is to determine how many people or businesses are likely to need telephone numbers within that area. Once the geographic region has been determined and the local demand for telephone numbers has been estimated, the next step is to divide the region into Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs).

Area Code 820 Scams

There are at least ten reported scammers from the 820 area code. The most popular scam appears to come from the number 820-465-9783. The scammer requested that the caller follow a Zelle link and log in to verify a transaction.
How to Detect Phone Scams

According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are 4 signs to look out for when it comes to phone scammers.

  1. They pretend to be from a familiar organization.

These scammers will pretend to be from actual government agencies, businesses you frequently communicate with, or charities you’ve been involved with. They can change the number that appears on your phone, pretending to be from an 820 area code so that people in that vicinity will trust it more easily.

2. They claim there’s a problem or a potential prize.

Scammers will typically try to scare you, by claiming you’re in trouble with the government or that you owe money. A computer virus is also a common scam. They usually ask you to verify information, which they can then use to hack into your accounts. Or they might claim that you won a monetary prize, but you have to pay a fee or provide information in order to obtain it.

3. They apply pressure.

Most scammers insist that the problem must be solved immediately. They use fear tactics to get you to comply. Some may even go so far as to claim that you will be arrested if you don’t comply. Scammers will definitely urge you not to hang up.

4. They prefer a specific mode of payment.

Scammers will insist that you pay up in an oddly specific way, like a wire transfer or putting money on a gift card.


Avoiding Scams

There are a few proactive steps you can take to avoid scams from the 820 area code.

  • Block unwanted 820 area code calls.
  • Don’t give personal or financial information when you weren’t expecting the request.
  • Don’t act immediately, despite the pressure.
  • Contact the police or local government to verify the number.
  • Keep in mind that even if you recognize an 820 area code, it doesn’t mean that the person is trustworthy.
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