What are Alamance County Area Codes?
There are four area codes serving the communities in Alamance County. These are area codes 336, 743, 919, and 984. Area codes were introduced along with numbering plan areas (NPAs) when AT&T created the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947. An area code is a three-digit code for an NPA. An NPA is a unit in the North American telephone network corresponding to a geographic area. The introduction of the NANP led to creation of 86 area codes. Currently, there are a lot more area codes as the number of phone users have grown exponentially. NPAs and area codes made call routing and switching more efficient across North American phone exchanges and networks. Every phone number assigned in the United States since 1947 has an area code. This is easily recognized as the first three digits in a 10-digit phone number.
Area Code 336
Created in a split plan that shrank the NPA assigned to area code 910, area code 336 came into service on December 15, 1997 and covered the northcentral and northwestern part of North Carolina. Communities in Alamance County served by area code 336 include Burlington, Graham, and Elon.
Area Code 743
Area code 743 entered service on October 24, 2015 in an overlay plan that expanded available phone numbers for the 336 NPA. It serves some of the communities in Alamance County covered by area code 336.
Area Code 919
Area code 919 was created after the first split of area code 704 which covered all of North Carolina when the NANP was introduced in 1947. Since it was introduced in 1954, area code 919 serves 11 counties in the east-central part of the state. In Alamance County, area code 919 covers only a few locations such as Mebane.
Area Code 984
An overlay code for the 919 NPA, area code 984 was originally billed to enter service in 2001 but was not needed until a decade later. It was finally introduced in September 2011 and currently serves the same communities in Alamance County as area code 919.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Alamance County?
Most of the residents of North Carolina exclusively use wireless phones for telecommunication. This one of the conclusions of a 2018 wireless substitution survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. The results of the survey showed that 57.3% of adult residents of North Carolina only use wireless phones for telecommunication while 4.5% of them used landline phones only. The gap between wireless-only and landline-only phone users was wider among residents under the age of 18. In this demographic, 69% belonged in the first group while 2.6% still relied exclusively on landline phones.
National and regional carriers provide cell phone services in Alamance County and the rest of North Carolina. AT&T and Verizon cover 93.7% and 93.5% of the state respectively while T-Mobile has a coverage of 83.6%. Regional carriers are usually Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) that share and lease network infrastructure from bigger, national carriers. They can offer cheaper cell phone plans because they buy network services in bulk from bigger carriers and pass on some of the savings to their subscribers. Regional carriers provide excellent services to those living in the areas they served. However, the quality of their services fall off as subscribers move away from the regions they serve.
Residents of Alamance County can also sign up for phone services provided by VoIP operators. VoIP service providers offer phone services that rely on the internet rather than cell towers, phone lines, and phone exchanges. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a communication technology that enables the transmission of voice signals as data packets over the internet. VoIP phone plans are cheaper for long-distance and teleconferencing calls. They provide the best value for residents and businesses with broadband internet access.
What are Alamance County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent schemes perpetrated using phone tools and services and targeted at residents of Alamance County. As phones become the most common communication tools used by most people, fraudsters contact them by calling and texting. They may also use robocalls and spam calls to find new targets for their scams and then use caller ID spoofing and phishing to trick them into believing their lies.
Alamance County residents must remain vigilant when talking to strangers on the phone. They can use call blocking and reverse phone lookup to avoid phone scams and spot scammers. Just as importantly, they should know the most prevalent phone scams in the state and learn how fraudsters use them to defraud their victims. The North Carolina Department of Justice publishes helpful resources on fighting phone scams. These resources identify the following as some of the commonly reported phone scams in the state: utility scams, charity scams, identity theft insurance scams, and inheritance scams.
What are Alamance County Utility Scams?
In these scams, fraudsters call unsuspecting residents and claim they owe local utility companies money for water, gas, or electricity. These scammers usually target senior residents and claim they are employees of utility companies. They ask for immediate payment of these overdue bills and threaten to cut off water, gas, or electricity supply to their victims’ homes. Brazen fraudsters may come to their victims’ homes to collect cash or check. Alternatively, they will ask their victims to provide their credit card or checking account numbers in order to bill them. Scammers may also ask to be paid with gift cards and prepaid debit cards.
Alamance County residents must know that utility companies do not call customers to demand immediate payment for outstanding bills. Rather, they send multiple notices of overdue bills. They also do not ask to be paid by cash, gift cards, or prepaid debit cards. Anyone contacted by a stranger claiming to be calling to collect on an overdue utility bill should run the caller’s number through a reverse phone lookup search. Then, they should call the utility company in question to report such a call.
What are Alamance County Charity Scams?
Charity scams exploit the goodwill of the residents of Alamance County. Scammers call to seek donations while posing as legitimate fundraisers and representatives of charities. They may impersonate real charities or name charities that sound like well-known ones. A free reverse phone number lookup can confirm that such a caller is not affiliated with the charity they claim to represent or that their charity is not registered or genuine.
Some legitimate fundraisers can also act fraudulently when seeking donations. They may only remit a fraction of the money they raise to the organizations they claim to support. Therefore, before making a donation, ask the caller how much of your donation will go to the cause you wish to support. Make sure to ask for written documentation of such information.
What are Alamance County Identity Theft Insurance Scams?
Fraudsters calling these scams call their victims to offer protection against identity theft and credit card frauds. They scare their targets by claiming they will be liable for purchases made by thieves stealing their identities and credit cards. To avoid such liabilities, they sell their victims on bogus insurance plans. Alamance County residents should know that US law protects them from identity theft and credit card frauds. Therefore, they should hang up on anyone selling them identity theft insurance plans on the phone. They can identify such callers by their numbers through phone lookup.
What are Alamance County Inheritance Scams?
These scams are commonly run by fraudsters outside the US. They claim that distant relatives of their targets’ died overseas and they have been tasked with finding heirs to the inheritances left behind. However, they demand money to cover taxes, insurance, administrative charges, and even bribes to expedite the release of the deceased’s estates. After getting their victims excited with promises of estates worth millions of dollars, they push them to act immediately by claiming that the government will claim those estates if not claimed very soon.
Do not be fooled by claims of a large inheritance from a distant relative. Before acting on the claims of such callers, make sure to identify them with suspicious phone number lookup services. Also, talk to your lawyer and let them handle the inheritance claim.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls placed to large numbers of phone users. These deliver pre-recorded messages to their intended targets. Robocalls are useful for quickly reaching large groups. Telemarketers, political campaigns, and organizations delivering public service announcements use them routinely. But so do scammers too. Phone scammers send out lots of robocalls to find more targets for their fraudulent schemes.
Spam calls are also unsolicited phone calls sent out in bulk. These are mostly used by dishonest telemarketers looking for potential customers. As the number of robocalls and spam calls received by Americans grow annually, it is becoming increasingly important to find ways to curb these unwanted calls. Residents of Alamance County can cut down on the number of robocalls and spam calls they receive by taking the following steps:
- Let calls from unknown numbers go to voicemail where you can review the messages left and see which ones to return
- Hang up a call as soon as find out it is a robocall or spam call
- Do not follow instructions given during robocalls and spam calls on how to remove your number from their call lists. Following these prompts will only open the floodgates to more robocalls and spam calls
- Use call blocking to stop calls from unknown numbers or blacklisted numbers. Smartphones, carriers, and third-party app developers offer call blocking features that rely on regularly updated lists of numbers to block
- Identify unknown callers with reverse phone number lookup. This step will help you determine if an unknown caller is a scammer, spammer, stalker, or none of these
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to indicate to telemarketers that you no longer wish to receive telemarketing calls. This will not stop unwanted calls from scammers and dubious telemarketers. You can disregard and report such robocalls and spam calls to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
How to Spot and Report Alamance County Phone Scams?
Spotting phone scams requires knowing how telephone frauds unfold and looking out for telltale signs of these schemes. Scammers change their tactics every now and then to stay one step ahead of law enforcement and wary residents. However, their aim remains the same: to defraud their targets. Residents of Alamance County should look out for the following signs of phone scams when speaking to strangers on the phone:
- Request for confidential information - not all scams end with victims losing money immediately. Scammers also trick their victims into revealing personal information such as credit card PINs, banking account passwords, and Social Security numbers. Such confidential details are then used in identity theft
- Request for payment by unofficial methods - scammers insist that you send money by wire transfer, gift cards, prepaid debit cards, and cryptocurrency. Some may come in person to collect cash. Legitimate organizations do not accept official payments via these channels and will never direct you to send money to personal accounts
- Use of threat - while impersonating authority figures, scammers often threaten their victims to scare them and prompt them into acting without thinking closely about their options. They threaten their targets with immediate arrest, prosecution, deportation, and revocation of driver’s license
- Use of aggressive sales tactics - scammers pressure their victims to sign up for their fraudulent business and investment offers or send money for goods and services they never plan to deliver. They do so by offering rock-bottom rates for those paying immediately or tell their targets that the once-in-a-lifetime opportunities they are pushing are only available for limited time
Alamance County residents alerted by these signs should find out more about the strangers calling them by identifying them with suspicious phone number lookup. They should also report these scammers to the right authorities. Reporting phone scams makes it possible to arrest and prosecute fraudsters as well as increase public awareness of their fraudulent schemes. Residents of Alamance County can report phone scams to the following authorities:
- The North Carolina Department of Justice (NC DOJ) - the Consumer Fraud Task Force of the NC DOJ investigates telemarketing scams and prosecutes phone scammers. Residents of Alamance County can file consumer scam complaints with this Task Force by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing scam complaints online. They can also report illegal robocalls to the NC DOJ by calling (844)-8-NO-ROBO
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - this is the federal consumer protection agency and its tasks include protecting American consumers from unfair and deceitful trade practices. To report consumer scams to the FTC, residents of Alamance County can call (877) 382-4357 or file fraud complaints online
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - this federal agency regulates all communication in the country. The telecommunication sector is, therefore, under its authority. Therefore, it accepts complaints related to the misuse of telecommunication services, tools, and providers. Residents of Alamance County can report phone scams, illegal robocalls, spam calls, caller ID spoofing, and phishing to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center