Area codes are the strings of the first three-digit numbers in North American telephone numbers. They were created by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) to differentiate the Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) in telephone service territories. The NANP provides area code lookup online. The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) regulates and implements North Carolina area codes, including Harnett County. Currently, three area codes serve Harnett County.
Area Code 910
Area code 910 is a southeastern North Carolina area code that came into service in 1993. It was created from a split of the 919 NPA, and it serves several counties in North Carolina. In Harnett County, the major cities and towns under area code 910 include Dunn, Coats, Lillington, Bunnlevel, Blues Creek, and Mamers.
Area Code 919
Area code 919 was put into service in 1954, and it serves several counties in North Carolina, including Harnett County. Cities and towns in Harnett County within the 919 NPA include Dunn, Angier, Cameron, and Erwin.
Area Code 984
Area code 984 was created in 2011 as an overlay code for the 919 NPA. In Harnett County, area code 984 serves all the locations under the 919 NPA.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Harnett County?
The four major phone carriers, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile, offer the best cell phone plans in Harnett County, each with different extents of network penetration. Several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are also present in the county and provide telephony services at affordable rates. In Dunn, the largest city in Harnett County, T-Mobile offers the best coverage of 100%. The network spreads for the other carriers are about 92% for AT&T, 89% for Verizon, and 56% for Sprint.
A CDC survey conducted in 2018 revealed that wireless telephony services have more widespread adoption in North Carolina than landlines. According to the data, only 4.5% of the state’s adult population relied solely on landlines for telecommunication, while an estimated 57.3% had adopted cell phones exclusively. Among the children demographic, 69% lived in wireless-only homes, while 2.6% were landline-only users.
Due to its rapidly growing population, Harnett County has attracted various companies that offer Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telecommunication services. These companies provide affordable services for homes and businesses and are more efficient than traditional phone services. VoIP is a technology that routes text messages, voice calls, and video calls through IP networks, such as broadband internet connections.
What are Harnett County Phone Scams?
Harnett County phone scams are deceitful acts carried out over the phone to make unsuspecting county residents part with money or confidential information. Phone scammers use telephone services like text messages, robocalls, and live calls when exploiting their targets. They often spoof targets’ Caller IDs to appear legitimate when contacting them. Harnett County residents can uncover the actual identities of suspicious callers through applications that offer free reverse phone lookup services. Residents who fall prey to scammers’ tricks usually end up losing their identities or money. Harnett County has different public agencies protecting residents against phone scams and educating them on how to avoid scams. Some of them are:
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- Harnett County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO)
- North Carolina Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- North Carolina Attorney General’s Office
The following are some of the common phone scams reported in Harnett County:
What are Harnett County COVID-19 Scams?
COVID-19 scams leverage the health insecurities caused by the coronavirus pandemic to steal money and confidential information from unsuspecting targets. Scammers call targeted Harnett County residents posing as health personnel to offer them COVID-19 vaccines home delivery at a fee. They may also convince their targets to pay for enrollment on special vaccine waiting lists to grant them early access to vaccination. In other cases, scammers request personal information from their targets to determine their eligibility for vaccination or participate in clinical vaccine trials. They glean personal and financial data from their marks in the process for identity or financial theft. Usually, the scammers spoof their marks’ Caller IDs to appear they are calling from legitimate government agencies. Harnett County residents can use reverse phone lookup services to uncover these callers’ identities and prevent falling victim to scams.
The Federal Trade Commission urges residents to ignore phone advertisements for vaccination and avoid revealing confidential information or paying for chances at getting vaccine shots. County residents can obtain current updates about COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use on the FDA website. They can also confirm any information on vaccine distribution within the county from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH).
What are Harnett County Gift Card Scams?
Gift card scams in Harnett County have different variants but aim to pressure unsuspecting residents to make payments with gift cards. Gift cards are not designed for making payments, so callers asking you to pay through these channels are most likely scammers trying to rip you off. In one variant of this scam, callers claiming to be with familiar government agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) inform their targets that they owe the government taxes. They may also coerce targets to pay immediate fines for certain offenses like traffic violations. They specifically choose gift cards for payment and threaten targets with arrests, lawsuits, or deportation if they fail to comply. Scammers may also claim to be technical support staff of reputable software companies and contact county residents to alert them about supposed compromises on their computers. They offer to help but insist on collecting up-front payment through gift cards before rendering repair services. In reality, there are no faults with the PCs, and the callers vanish after they get paid. Fraudsters can also claim that their targets won prizes from sweepstakes but demand that they make advance payment for taxes or shipment using gift cards to redeem their prizes.
The HCSO urges residents to be wary of unknown persons claiming to be with government agencies demanding payment via gift cards. Legitimate government agencies or businesses will never issue threats or solicit money over the phone. Although scammers usually spoof their caller identification, Harnett County residents can use number lookup services to retrieve information on suspicious callers.
What are Harnett County Social Security Scams?
These are scams where fraudsters impersonate Social Security Administration (SSA) agents to steal personal information and money from unsuspecting Harnett County residents. Scammers may allege that their target’s Social Security Numbers (SSNs) were used for criminal dealings and are under investigation. They demand SSNs and other personal information from their victims to supposedly verify them and ensure they were not involved in those crimes. They scare their marks into believing that they can be arrested or charged to court if they withhold any information. Unsuspecting victims quickly give in to these fraudsters’ demands out of fear. The con artists garner such details and use them for financial and identity theft. In another variant, they appear friendly and courteous to fool their marks into trusting them. Then they pitch new social security benefit increments and offer to walk unsuspecting targets through the process. Scammers use this excuse to glean victims’ information. Harnett County residents can subscribe to free reverse phone number lookup services to uncover the identities of such suspicious persons.
The SSA warns that it will never request confidential information from residents over the phone unless they initiate the calls. Residents who receive such calls should hang up immediately and lodge complaints with the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), SSA, by calling 1 (800) 269-0271.
What are Harnett County Inheritance Scams?
In this scam, con artists call unsuspecting targets and inform them of fortunes left behind by deceased distant relatives. They pose as employees of law firms and tell targets that their companies had been searching for them so they can lay claims to such inheritances. They demand up-front payments from their marks to cover administrative fees before releasing the said estates. Although their targets may not have heard of the relatives mentioned, scammers are usually able to convince them with fake documents and certificates. Fraudsters prepare letters with letterheads of reputable law firms to appear genuine. With this, targets who make an effort to search the names of the law firms online will find credible information about them. Residents can avoid falling prey to this scam by asking questions from other relatives. They can also contact the law firms referenced directly on their official phones to verify the callers’ claims.
These scammers often manipulate their phone numbers to appear like they are calling from reputable law firms. However, with good reverse phone number lookup services, residents can retrieve their real identities. Typically, beneficiaries of genuine inheritances are not required to make upfront payments to secure their fortunes. Taxes or administrative fees are before they receive their money. Residents are advised never to reveal their financial or personal information to such callers to avoid falling victim to scams.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are pre recorded messages disseminated to selected phone numbers by automatic dialers. Legitimate entities like political campaign organizations, telemarketers, and government agencies use robocalls to convey information en masse. However, phone scammers now favor robocalls. Robocalls enable scammers to alter their phone numbers and assume the identities of reputable organizations to fool residents and fleece them. Applications that offer reverse phone lookup free of charge can spot robocalls and help residents to avoid robocall scams. Spam calls are unsolicited calls that disseminate irrelevant information to mass recipients. Most spam calls are illegal, and robocalls are a variant of spam calls.
To protect yourself from spam calls and illegal robocalls, your best options are:
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Phone numbers listed in the DNC list are spared from getting unsolicited telemarketing robocalls. Therefore, residents can quickly identify robocalls and spam calls that defy the national registry as illegal and avoid them.
- Report unsolicited robocalls online with the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office.
- Subscribe to number lookup services to spot robocall numbers and bar such numbers from future calls using call-blocking tools on your smartphone.
- Hang up immediately on robocalls and disregard any prompts to press specific numbers. Such prompts are misleading and usually lead to more robocall and spam call inundations.
- File online reports of unwanted robocalls with the FTC or call 1 (888) 382-1222 to lodge your complaints.
How Can You Spot and Report Harnett County Phone Scams?
To avoid falling prey to phone scammers, Harnett County residents must stay vigilant and arm themselves with information to spot them. Fraudsters usually modify their old tricks to suit their prevailing circumstances and dupe uninformed targets. Residents who are doubtful of the genuineness of incoming calls can run those phone numbers through reverse phone lookup free services to ascertain the callers’ identities. Some common indications of phone scams in Harnett County are:
- The caller presents you with an enticing business offer that requires prompt investment and pressures you to commit yourself financially. Such a caller may even dodge questions about legal documents to support their proposals. Be wary of such propositions because organizations with genuine offers do not rush potential investors into making financial commitments.
- The caller pretends to be employed with a government agency but tries to coerce you into sharing confidential information or pay taxes immediately.
- The caller refuses your offer for check payments and insists on getting paid via unconventional channels like gift cards or wire transfers.
- The caller claims you won an unsolicited gift or offers you a remote job but demands that you pay a fee up-front. Never send money to an unknown person to secure a job or claim a prize.
The following public agencies receive Harnett County residents’ complaints on phone scam incidents:
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC protects consumers from illegal and unfair business practices. It manages the National Do Not Call Registry that helps regulate the number of unsolicited robocalls that consumers receive. Harnett County residents can call 1 (888) 382-1222 to file phone scam complaints with the FTC or do so online.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC): The FCC is responsible for regulating telecommunications in the United States. It protects residents from phone spoofing scams and educates them on ways to stop unwanted robocalls. Harnett County residents who are victimized by phone scams can file online complaints with the FCC.
- Harnett County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO): The HCSO investigates phone scam incidents reported in the county. You can submit phone scam reports to the HCSO on 1 (910) 893-9111 or file in-person complaints at 175 Bain St., Lillington, NC 27546.
- North Carolina Better Business Bureau (BBB): The state’s BBB protects consumers in North Carolina against deceptive and unfair business practices. Harnett County residents who are victims of phone scams perpetrated by business entities can report to the North Carolina BBB on 1 (919) 277-4222.
- North Carolina Attorney General’s Office: The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office receives complaints on phone scam cases and unsolicited robocalls through its Consumer Protection Division. To file reports of unsolicited robocalls in Harnett County, residents can use the AGO’s online platform. Harnett County residents can also file complaints of phone scam incidents online with the AG’s Office or call (919) 716-6000.