855 Area Code: Calls Safe?

Here’s why you receive calls from the 855 area code and what the 855 area code stands for:

The 855 area code is a toll-free area code for use in the United States and Canada. 

It’s just like the 800 area code in this respect. 

It isn’t tied to a geographical region within North America, and it is used by a lot of legitimate businesses. 

It is also used for illegitimate purposes, so its safety is debatable.

So if you want to learn all about the 855 area code and whether those calls are safe, then this article is for you.

Keep reading!

855 Area Code: Calls Safe? (What Is the 855 Area Code?)

What Is the 855 Area Code?

So, what is the 855 area code to begin with? 

This is an area code in the United States that is designated for toll-free use. 

It’s a lot like an 800 area code. 

When someone calls you from this number, you won’t receive any special tolls from the conversation. 

More importantly, if you dial the number back, you still won’t receive any phone tolls for that specific call.

This is built on the older parts of the U.S. phone infrastructure. 

Using that old method, phone companies charge the person who originates the call for the fees associated with call services. 

But, with toll-free numbers, the caller isn’t charged.

Instead, the owner of the toll-free number handles those fees.

All of this is regulated by the FCC

There are a number of area codes that are designated for this use, and they include: 

  • 800
  • 855
  • 833
  • 844
  • 844
  • 877

To make all of this as clear as possible, there are two things you should know about 855 numbers. 

First, the area code is not tied to a specific geographic region within the United States. 

Instead, that area code can be used anywhere in the country.

Second, regardless of how you interact with an 855 number, you should not receive specific phone charges related to the call. 

That said, standard mobile billing practices will apply.

Why Are You Receiving Calls From the 855 Area Code? (3 Causes)

Now that you know what the area code is and signifies, we can get into the details of why you’re getting these calls. 

We can break the different kinds of calls into three categories: legitimate, scams, and spam.

#1 Legitimate Calls

In order to secure an 855 number, you have to get a specific phone service for it. 

That involves working with a phone service provider and requesting a toll-free number. 

If an 855 number is available, you can register it, and you will have control over that number.

Because all of this involves formal paperwork and FCC oversight, a lot of calls that use 855 numbers prove to be legitimate. 

If you wanted to run a scam or do unlawful things with such a number, the paper trail will be problematic.

But, just because a lot of calls coming from 855 numbers involve legitimate businesses doesn’t mean that they are calls you need to answer, or even want to answer. 

Legal telemarketing calls and contacts of all varieties can stem from these numbers.

So, answer them as you see fit.

#2 Scams

It’s also possible to receive a scam call from an 855 number. 

While the registration of these numbers discourages their use in unlawful activities, there are no guarantees. 

There are a few ways that this might happen.

First, the scammer just might not care about the paper trail and do their thing anyway. 

It’s riskier, but there’s no mechanism that would prevent this behavior.

More likely, the scammer could register the number while not living under the jurisdiction of the FCC. 

It’s possible to register an 855 number while you aren’t located in the U.S. It’s more complicated, but it can happen. 

If a scammer uses an 855 number while calling from a country that doesn’t abide by FCC regulations, then there’s a lot less risk.

Still, those examples pale in comparison to the most common case. 

Scammers can use technology to spoof numbers. 

Even though the number on your caller ID says you’re getting an 855 call, that’s a trick. 

The real call can be coming from almost anywhere. 

The spoofing technology tricks your caller ID, so you don’t really know what number they’re using at all.

In this case, the 855 number isn’t registered with the person calling you. 

The FCC doesn’t really have any direct ability to go after the scammers, and you’re mostly on your own to answer or not answer as you see fit.

#3 Spam

Spam calls often fit into one of the two categories above. 

Whether from a legitimate business or not, spam calls happen a lot. 

More often than not, there are robo dialers and automated messages attached to the call. 

They will encourage you to take some action to either contact a company or call a person back. 

The range of spam prompts is wide.

But, this is worth mentioning in particular. 

Spam calls can be legal or illegal, depending on state calling regulations and how the call plays out. 

So, when you get a spam call from an 855 number, it might be a spoofed number, or it might be a legitimate business. 

Either way, you can ignore the call.

As the general rule goes, if the call is important, they will leave a message.

Is the 855 Number Safe?

This really depends on what criteria you use to determine safety. 

An 855 number cannot harm your phone. 

You can’t send viruses or malware through a phone call, for example. 

The number can’t bring direct harm to you or your loved ones.

At the end of the day, it’s just a phone call.

But, there can be risks associated with just about anything. 

If you have a hard time saying no to telemarketers, then you could consider answering 855 numbers risky. 

If you don’t want to be asked for political donations, then once again, answering these calls comes with risk.

I would venture to say that this is a safe number, but it’s important to harp on the personal nature of safety. 

Seeing the area code “855” tells you absolutely nothing about who or what (if it’s just a robo caller) is on the other side of the line.

Risks to Consider

With that in mind, there are some low-level risks associated with answering these calls.

The first has to do with spam calling.

If you answer a spam call, regardless of your intention, the dialing system is going to notice that you answered. 

It means that you are likely to get more spam calls, potentially from drastically different phone numbers.

Now, if this was a legitimate call, you probably won’t get a bunch of spam just for answering. 

But in the case of spam, you’re opening the floodgates, so to speak.

On a whole other note, answering unknown numbers also opens you up to the risk of social engineering. 

This is where people try to trick you into giving away important information or taking specific actions.

As an example, someone could call from an 855 number and say that they work for your bank. 

They saw unexpected charges on your card and want to confirm that you made them. 

So, you go through a confirmation process, provide your card number, bank account number, and other security information.

Unfortunately, this whole thing was a scam. 

They don’t work for your bank at all.

They were just trying to get financial information out of you.

That example is just one of many ways a person might try to use social engineering on you. 

So, if you’re going to answer unknown numbers, be prepared for tricks. 

Or, you can refuse to answer a number you don’t recognize.

Are 855 Numbers Allowed to Call You?

Generally speaking, an 855 number can call you. 

Laws for telemarketing and soliciting vary by state. 

As an example, Illinois and California have more restrictive call soliciting regulations.

Despite all of that, the majority of cases do allow for 855 numbers to call you, even if you don’t want them to.

Understanding the Do Not Call List

While on the topic of unwanted calls, the United States government supports an official “do not call” list

You can opt into being on this list. 

If you are, a large number of solicitation calls are banned from contacting you.

For the most part, legitimate telemarketers will not call you if you are on this list. 

Accidents sometimes happen, and if they do, you can request that the individual caller adds you to their do not call list.

Unfortunately, the do not call list has limits. 

First, scammers who are already acting outside of the law are unlikely to abide by it. 

They’re trying to mask their identity as it is, so you can still get spam calls while on this list.

The second thing to understand is that legitimate calls can go through. 

There are times when businesses have the legal right to contact you, even if you’re on this list.

Here’s an example. 

Let’s say you missed a few credit card payments. 

Even though you’re on the do not call list, the credit card company can call you to talk about those missed payments. 

There’s even a chance they’ll call from an 855 number.

Is It Okay to Block 855 Numbers?

Here’s the final note. 

It’s up to you what numbers you answer, and you have a lot of control. 

You can block any number that you want to block using your smartphone’s features. 

So, you can block 855 numbers too.

Generally speaking, this is a safe, useful thing to do. 

Anyone who has a legitimate reason to contact you can do so through other means, so block any number you want to block.