What are Brunswick County Area Codes?
The southernmost county in North Carolina, Brunswick County has an economy that relies heavily on tourism with many visiting its beach communities. The county occupies an area measuring 1,050 square miles with water bodies accounting for 19% of this area. While a 2019 estimate puts its population at 142,820, only about 150 people live in its county seat, the town of Bolivia.
The single area code serving Brunswick County is area code 910. An area code is a three-digit designation for a numbering plan area (NPA). Area codes and NPAs were introduced in the US with the creation of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947. The NANP streamlined call routing across telephone networks in participating countries. It made long-distance calls easier to connect and harmonized call switching systems used by various carriers. Every phone number registered in the US has an area code. This is represented by the first three digits in a typical 10-digit American phone number.
Area Code 910
Created in 1993 following a split of area code 919, area code 910 currently serves the southeastern part of North Carolina. When it was first introduced, the area code covered a larger area including the north-central part of the state. However, a split shrank the 910 NPA and created area code 336 out of it on December 15, 1997. Communities in Brunswick County covered by area code 910 include Leland, Southport, Supply, and Shallotte.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Brunswick County?
As for the rest of the state, most of the residents of Brunswick County have replaced their landline phones with cell phones. In a 2018 wireless substitution survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, the results showed that 57.3% of adults in North Carolina used wireless phones exclusively while only 4.5% of the demographic indicated they were landline-only phone users. Among minors in the state, the disparity between wireless-only and landline-only phone user numbers was even wider. About 69% of North Carolina residents under the age of 18 used wireless phones exclusively. Only 2.6% of this population solely used landline phones for telecommunication.
Residents of Brunswick County can sign up for cell phone plans from major national carriers as well as smaller, regional ones. AT&T and Verizon have the most extensive coverage of North Carolina with their phone networks covering 93.7% and 93.5% of the state respectively. T-Mobile’s phone coverage of the state stands at 83.6%. Most regional carriers are also mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). These rely on the network infrastructure of major carriers and buy network services from them in bulk. They are able to offer cheaper cell phone plans by passing some of the savings from their bulk purchases to their subscribers.
Brunswick County residents can also sign up for phone services offered by VoIP service providers. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a network communication technology that enables voice transmission over the internet as data packets. VoIP phone services include all the services provided by cell and landline phone service providers. Certain phone services are more affordable with VoIP than these alternatives. For example, video calls and long-distance calls are available, more convenient, and cheaper on VoIP phone plans. Furthermore, VoIP phone users can also place and receive calls from their computers and tablets in addition to their phones.
What are Brunswick County Phone Scams?
These are telephone frauds committed against persons and businesses in Brunswick County. These scams may be perpetrated by individuals in the county or those in other counties, other states, or other countries. To reach and communicate with their targets, scammers often rely on phone calls and text messages. They may also use robocalls and spam calls to find new targets for their fraudulent schemes. To gain the trust of their victims, scammers sometimes resort to phishing and caller ID spoofing.
Brunswick County residents can avoid falling for phone scams by blocking potential scammers with call filtering tools and identifying strange callers with reverse phone number lookups. They also need to learn about common phone scams in their communities. The North Carolina Department of Justice identifies the most prevalent phone scams in the state. These include lottery scams, grandparent scams, grant scams, and sweetheart scams.
What are Brunswick County Lottery Scams?
These scams involve fraudsters promising to enroll their victims in foreign lotteries or claiming they won these lotteries. In lottery scams where fraudsters offer to enroll their targets, they claim they can help increase the odds of winning these lotteries for certain fees. In fraudulent schemes in which fraudsters contact their targets to congratulate them on winning the lottery, they ask for money to cover taxes and processing fees. Besides lotteries, these scammers may also claim their victims won sweepstakes or free gifts.
Brunswick County residents can avoid lottery scams by noting that what the strangers contacting them are offering are illegal. Scammers asking for a few hundred dollars every now and then to enroll others in foreign lotteries are not being helpful. Even when they pay some amounts they claim are winnings, they are only setting up their victims for bigger falls. Residents should also know that legitimate organizers of sweepstakes and lotteries do not ask winners for money before releasing their winnings. If contacted by a stranger making these claims, dig further into their identity by submitting their phone number for a reverse phone lookup. Conduct internet searches to confirm the lotteries mentioned, where and how it is conducted, and who the current winners are.
What are Brunswick County Grandparent Scams?
Also known as emergency scams, these fraudulent schemes usually target elderly residents. Scammers call their targets and claim to be loved ones, usually grandkids. These impostors may even glean relevant information from the social media accounts of the individuals they are impersonating in order to sound convincing. They ask their victims for urgent financial help, claiming to need the money to meet certain emergencies. Claimed emergencies include getting out of jail, getting out of a foreign country, and paying for medical treatments.
The key to avoiding a grandparent scam is refusing to keep the caller’s secret even if they request this. Call the loved one directly with the number you have on your phone. Call other family members to confirm what you heard. Use a reverse cell phone lookup to confirm who called and where they are calling from.
What are Brunswick County Grant Scams?
These frauds involve strangers calling to offer government grants to their victims. They ask certain probing questions to make it look like they are confirming whether their victims truly qualify for those grants. After seemingly confirming that they indeed qualify, they request their victims’ personal and confidential financial information like their bank account information. While they claim to require these pieces of information to deposit the grant into these accounts, victims find out later that their accounts have been emptied.
In another variation of grant scams, a scammer may offer to help the unsuspecting resident obtain a government grant. However, they ask for an advance fee for their services. Once paid, the scammer stops communicating with their victim. Do not believe anyone offering you a government grant you never applied for and do not pay anyone to apply for a government grant on your behalf. If contacted by a stranger making such offers, verify their identity with a suspicious phone number lookup. This search will likely reveal that they are not who they claim they are or that their number has been flagged for previous scam attempts.
What are Brunswick County Sweetheart Scams?
Sweetheart scams are romance scams targeting lonely hearts. While most of these scams begin on dating apps and sites, the fraudsters perpetrating them use phone tools and services to communicate regularly with their victims. After making their victims fall in love, these scammers make direct and indirect requests for money. They may claim to be in financial distress, need to pay for emergency healthcare, or need money to buy plane tickets to come visit their victims. Unlike most phone scams, romance scams can go on for long with victims sending money to their scammers multiple times.
Sweetheart scams are best avoided before victims fall in love with their scammers. Do not send money to a love interest you meet online and have never met in person. Request for money from a long-distance love interest should prompt you to investigate them closely. Try to verify their identity and location with a phone number search.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls delivering pre-recorded messages to lots of phone users. Spam calls are also bulk phone calls. However, these are likely placed by people working for telemarketers and delivering scripted sales pitches. When they were first introduced, most robocalls came from political campaigns, telemarketers, and public organizations sending out public service announcements. However, scammers have taken to robocalls and use them indiscriminately in order to find new targets for their fraudulent schemes.
With most American phone users receiving more robocalls and spam calls than phone calls from real contacts, there are efforts to curb these unwanted and unsolicited calls. However, these efforts have not been very successful. Brunswick County residents can stop, or reduce the number of, robocalls and spam calls received by taking the following actions:
- Let calls from unknown numbers go to voicemail. Review the messages left and decide which ones to return
- Hang up a call as soon as you realize it is a robocall or spam call
- Do not follow instructions provided during a robocall or spam call on steps to take to stop receiving such calls. Following such prompts will only lead to more unwanted calls
- Do not trust your phone’s caller ID function to correctly identify unknown callers. Scammers usually use caller ID spoofing to hide their true numbers and names
- Block calls from unknown or flagged numbers using call filtering. Carriers and third-party apps also offer call blocking services
- Use suspicious phone number lookups to identify unknown callers and determine whether they are scammers, spammers, stalkers, or genuine contacts
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. This will stop calls from legitimate telemarketers after 31 days. Subsequent robocalls and spam calls received can be reported to the FCC
How to Spot and Report Brunswick County Phone Scams
In addition to learning about prevalent phone scams in their communities, Brunswick County residents can also avoid telephone frauds by knowing what signs to look out for. Be wary of the following red flags when talking to strangers on the phone:
- Scammers impersonating authority figures threaten their victims in order to force them to comply. If a caller threatens you with immediate arrest, jail, prosecution, deportation, loss of home, or revocation of driver’s, business, or professional license, they are most likely a scammer
- Fraudsters request their victims send money by unofficial channels. While pretending to be law enforcement, court officials, government employees, IRS agents, charity fundraisers, or debt collectors, scammers ask for payment in cash or by prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, mobile app transfers, or cryptocurrencies
- Scammers use aggressive sales tactics to make their victims fear missing out on once-in-a-lifetime deals. They claim their surefire, no-risk, high-yield business and investment opportunities are only available for a very limited time. Scammers pressure their victims into quick commitments and give them little time to think on their bogus offers
- Fraudsters refuse to provide written documentation backing their attractive claims and identities. They refuse to provide such backing documents because they do not have them and also to avoid establishing paper trails that can so easily lead back to them
If any of these signs tips you off about an unknown caller, dig a little deeper to know who called by submitting their phone number for a reverse phone search. If the search returns inconclusive results or confirms your suspicion, report the caller to the right authorities. Scam reports are useful for bringing fraudsters to justice and for helping the public learn about current tactics used by scammers. Brunswick County residents can report failed and successful telephone frauds to the following agencies:
- The Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Department of Justice - this Division of the state’s Attorney General’s Office fights unfair business practices and protects North Carolina consumers from frauds. Report a consumer scam by calling the toll-free line 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or (919) 716-6000 or by filing a complaint with the Division online
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - this is the federal consumer protection agency. It is responsible for protecting American consumers from unfair and fraudulent business practices. The FTC also investigates consumer scams and makes provisions for receiving reports of these scams. Brunswick County residents can report consumer scams to the FTC online or by calling (877) 382-4357
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - the FCC regulates the communications industry in the US including the telecommunication sector. It administers the National Do Not Call Registry and receives reports of those violating the rules of the Registry. Residents can report illegal robocalls, spam calls, caller ID spoofing, and phishing to the FCC. File a complaint about a telephone fraud to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center