There are two area codes serving the communities in Davidson County. These are area codes 336 and 743. Area codes are three-digit numbers assigned to NPAs (numbering plan areas). The creation of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947 led to the introduction of NPAs and area codes in the US. An NPA is a geographical area designed as a unit in the NANP. It may be a whole state or one or more counties in a state.
Area codes simplified North American telephone exchanges and networks. These prefix codes made routing calls across different telephone networks easier and more efficient. In a 10-digit American phone number, the area code is the first three digits.
Area Code 336
Carved out of area code 910 on December 15, 1997, area code 336 is assigned to the counties and cities in the northwestern and north-central portions of North Carolina. It serves all the cities, towns, townships, census designated areas, and unincorporated communities of Davidson County. These include Lexington, Thomasville, High Point, Midway, and Denton.
Area Code 743
Introduced on August 20, 2014 in an overlay plan as area code 336 neared exhaustion, area code 743 serves the same communities. It came into service on October 24, 2015 and the first number with this overlay code was issued in May 2016.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Davidson County?
Most of the residents of Davidson County, as well as the rest of North Carolina, have shifted away from landline phone services to wireless phone services. In a wireless substitution survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2018, the results showed that 57.3% of adults in the state solely used wireless phones for telecommunications while a small fraction (4.5%) of them were landline-only phone users. Among minors in the state, the difference between the wireless and landline phone subscriber numbers was wider. The survey indicated that 69% of North Carolina under the age of 18 used wireless phone services exclusively while a paltry 2.6% of this demographic still only used landline phones.
All the major carriers in the US provide phone services to the residents of Davidson County and North Carolina. Among these, AT&T boasts the most extensive network with 93.7% coverage. Verizon is a close second with 93.5% coverage of the state. T-Mobile’s network is available in 83.6% of North Carolina but Sprint only serves 58.3% of the state. Besides major carriers, residents can also sign up for phone services offered by MVNOs or Mobile Virtual Network Operators. These are smaller, regional carriers that rely on the network infrastructure of the major carriers.
MVNOs buy network services in bulk from major carriers and then repackage these as bundles and plans that are attractive to local phone users. They pass on some of the savings from bulk purchasing phone services to their subscribers. A third option for phone services in Davidson County is VoIP service providers. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a communication technology that enables the transmission of voice signals over the internet as data packets. VoIP phone services rely on broadband internet service and also enable video calls. Compared to landline and wireless phone services, VoIP phone services are usually more affordable especially for users with fast internet access at home or work. They are also more affordable for telecommuting and long-distance calls.
What are Davidson County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent activities perpetrated by scam artists using phone services and tools to target residents of Davidson County. Phone scammers aim to defraud their targets or steal other valuables such as identity and financial information. To find and trick their targets, they use phone tools such as caller ID spoofing, robocalls, spam calls, and voice phishing. These tools make old scam tricks look sophisticated and convincing to victims.
Not all modern phone tools and services are used to enable phone scams. Some are used to avoid phone scams and investigate scammers. These useful phone tools include reverse phone lookup and call blocking. In addition to knowing how to avoid and foil phone scams with these tools, residents of Davidson County should also be aware of prevalent scams in their communities. The most common phone scams reported in North Carolina and Davidson County are lottery/sweepstake scams, grandparent scams, IRS scams, and tech support scams.
What are Davidson County Lottery/Sweepstake Scams?
In a lottery/sweepstake scam, the unsuspecting target is contacted by a stranger calling to congratulate them on winning a lottery or sweepstake. In their excitement, the target fails to insist that they have never heard of the lottery or sweepstake and never entered into it. This scam is also run by dishonest telemarketers and companies calling customers to offer them bogus free products, services, vacations, or other prizes.
Regardless of the winning offered, the scammer asks the victim to send some money to cover taxes, processing, or shipping fees. The eager winner sends the money only to later learn that there is no lottery or sweepstake prize. One way to foil lottery/sweepstake scam is to investigate the unknown caller and their claims. Submit the number used to contact you to a suspicious phone number lookup. The search result may show that the number is not associated with the lottery/sweepstake company the caller claims to represent. It may show that that number has been flagged for suspected or confirmed fraud attempts. In all, be skeptical of strangers calling to offer you free items and announce that you won a prize. If you never enter a lottery, there is no chance that you will win it. If someone is offering a free gift, you should not have to pay anything or provide confidential information to claim it.
What are Davidson County Grandparent Scams?
So named because they most target grandparents and elderly residents, these scams involve fraudsters impersonating loved ones especially grandchildren. They prey on their targets’ eagerness to help out their loved ones. A scam running this con claims they are stuck in an emergency and need immediate financial assistance. They may claim they need the money to get out of jail, come home from a foreign country, or pay hospital bills. The scammer asks their target not to tell other family members, claiming they want to avoid further embarrassment.
The Office of the Attorney General of North Carolina warns residents to keep an eye on their elderly relatives to ensure they are not victims of such scams. Those contacted by scammers claiming to be their grandchildren should contact other family members to corroborate the callers’ claims. They should also call the grandchildren supposedly requiring financial help. Often, this will show them that the callers are impersonating their loved ones. A free reverse phone lookup can also help unmask the scammer and confirm that they are indeed not where they claim to require emergency help.
What are Davidson County IRS Scams?
IRS scams are also impostor scams. In these cases, the persons impersonated are officials of the Internal Revenue Service. The scammer calls their target and claims they owe the IRS back taxes that they need to pay immediately. To force compliance, they threaten their victim with immediate arrest, prosecution, deportation, and revocation of driver’s license or business license. The fraudster asks that the victim pay this tax not on the IRS’ official website but with wire transfer, prepaid debit card, cryptocurrency, or gift card.
In another variation of IRS scams, the fraudster calls to inform the victim that they are due for a tax refund. To process the refund, they claim they require confidential information such as their social security number. Except in the most sophisticated cases involving caller ID spoofing, a quick phone number lookup can help the target avoid this scam. The lookup search will show that the number used by the scammer is not registered to the IRS.
To avoid IRS scams, residents of Davidson County should learn how the IRS works. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by phone. Rather, they do so by mail. They also do not threaten residents to get them to pay taxes and they definitely do not use unofficial channels to accept tax payments.
What are Davidson County Tech Support Scams?
These are also imposter scams in which fraudsters claim to be who they are not in order to obtain money and confidential information under false pretenses. A tech support scammer claims they represent a major tech company, usually Microsoft or Apple, and are calling to help the target fix their computers or other computing devices. They promise to help remove viruses from these devices, fix login issues, safeguard accounts, or make their devices run faster. To do these, the scammer requires remote access to these devices or wants their target to download a file from a link they provide.
When they gain remote access to their victim’s computers, the scammer steals confidential information such as account passwords and social security number. In the simplest case, the scammer sticks the victim with a significant bill for the bogus repair they claim they did and may charge for antivirus and computer security programs the victim definitely does not need. In the most malicious cases, the scammer may install malware on their victim’s computers to infest their computer with viruses. They may also install a ransomware that locks out the victim from their files until they pay a ransom.
Do not believe a stranger providing unrequested tech support and never provide remote access to your computer to anyone until you have thoroughly verified their identities. A quick reverse phone number lookup can help determine whether the phone number used by the caller is listed on the official website of the tech company they claim they represent.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
These are unwanted calls sent out to large groups of people. A robocall is placed by an auto-dialer playing the same pre-recorded message. It is commonly used by political campaigns, telemarketers, and organizations delivering public service announcements. Robocalls are cost-effective ways of quickly delivering information to large audiences. After setting them up, they require minimal human effort to deliver their messages.
Spam calls may be robocalls. They may also be actual calls placed by humans. Like robocalls, these unsolicited calls have become a scourge on phone users. Residents of Davidson County looking for ways to avoid and reduce the number of robocalls and spam calls received should consider these tips:
- Do not trust your phone’s caller ID function to correctly identify a caller. Scammers and spammers often use caller ID spoofing to change their true identities
- Do not answer a robocall or a spam call. If you already did, hang up as soon as you realize you are one
- Do not follow the prompts provided during robocalls and spam calls on how to remove your phone number from their call lists. These prompts only service to confirm active phone numbers while spammers sell confirmed numbers to scammers and other dishonest telemarketers
- Set up your phone to block calls from blacklisted numbers or all numbers not on your contact lists. Call blocking is also available from phone carriers as well as reputable third-party apps that rely on users to flag numbers used for phone scams and robocalls
- Use reverse phone number lookup to identify unknown callers. This is useful for unmasking scammers and phone stalkers
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. While this does not stop scammers and dishonest telemarketers from calling, legitimate telemarketers obey the rules of this registry. You can safely disregard and report all unsolicited calls received 31 days after joining this registry
How to Spot and Report Davidson County Phone Scams
Anyone can be the victim of a phone scam. This is why staying wary of strangers on the phone and informed of new and emerging phone scams trends are key steps to avoiding phone scams. Phone tools and services such as reverse phone lookup also help immensely. Residents of Davidson County should learn all about phone scams in their communities. The North Carolina Department of Justice provides a helpful resource on telephone frauds.
Residents should also look out for the following red flags of phone scams when talking to strangers on the phone:
- Threats - scammers are quick to use threats when they sense resistance from their targets
- Unofficial payment channels - scammers prefer cash, wire transfer, gift cards, cryptocurrencies, prepaid debit cards, and even app-based transfer platforms such as Venmo. Payments sent through these channels are usually hard to trace and reverse
- High-pressure sales tactics - scammers running investment and business scams often pressure their victims to act immediately for fear of missing out. They claim their offers are time-limited to get their victims to send money immediately
- Request for confidential information - scammers impersonating government officials and employees of financial institution usually ask for personal details those agencies already have on file
- Request for secrecy - scammers are fully aware of how ridiculous their claims sound. They know their targets will also realize this if only they tell their friends, co-workers, and family members who may already have been scammed in similar ways
It is important to report every phone scam attempt whether it is successful or not. Such reports help law enforcement find and prosecute scammers. They also increase public awareness of the tactics used by phone scammers. Davidson County residents can report phone scams to the following agencies:
- The North Carolina Department of Justice - the Office of the Attorney General accepts complaints of telephone frauds and telemarketing scams. Residents of the state can file their complaints by calling (844)-8-NO-ROBO to report illegal robocalls and (877)-5-NO-SCAM to report scams
- The Davidson County government also provides a Fraud Hotline for residents to report all types of frauds including phone scams. Call the hotline by dialling (336) 474-2644
- The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office - this is the primary law enforcement agency in the county. Residents can report phone scams to the Sheriff’s Office by calling (336) 242-2100. They may also direct suspected scammers attempting to con them to the Sheriff’s Office by transferring them to (336) 242-2105
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - The FCC is the federal agency responsible for monitoring and administering all communication in the country. Its roles include investigating reports of telephone frauds and prosecuting phone scammers. Submit scams involving illegal robocall calls, caller ID spoofing, and phishing to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The FTC is the federal consumer protection agency responsible for safeguarding citizens against unfair and deceptive business practices. Report a lottery, IRS, investment, travel, or other business scams to the FTC using its fraud complaint online tool