Area codes are assigned to specific geographic regions called Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) under the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). They facilitate the process of routing phone calls and eliminate dependence on human switchboard operators within North America. In Johnston County, area codes are three-digit numbers prefixed to all the phone numbers registered within the county. The North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC) administers and manages Johnston County area codes.
Presently, Johnston County has two active area codes. These are:
Area Code 919
Area code 919 is a telephone area code in North Carolina serving the east-central regions of the state. It was activated for service on January 1, 1954, and it covers Smithfield and Clayton in Johnston County. Other Johnston County communities under area code 919 include Archer Lodge, Benson, Four Oaks, Kenly, Micro, Pine Level, Selma, and Princeton.
Area Code 984
Created as an overlay code for the 919 NPA, area code 984 was introduced into service in July 2012. It covers the same area as the 919 NPA.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Johnston County?
Landline phone usage is waning in Johnston County as wireless telephony services continue to enjoy widespread adoption. Data from a 2018 National Center for Health Statistics survey revealed that adult North Carolinians who lived in wireless-only households represented 57.3% of the adult population. In contrast, only 4.5% of them lived in landline-only homes. Among the under-18 population, exclusive cell phone users made up 69%, while 2.6% of them still used landline phones as their preferred choice for telecommunications.
America’s major phone carriers offer excellent network services and coverage in Johnston County. AT&T and Verizon offer network coverage of 93.7% and 93.5%, respectively. T-Mobile is also reliable, with a network spread of 83.6%. Sprint covers only 58.3% of the county.
More Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers continue to emerge in Johnston County as the demand for VoIP telephony services continues to increase. This surge is driven in part by VoIP’s affordable call rates for both local and long-distance calls. The technology offers users extensive phone features such as call queues, auto-attendants, video conferencing, and hot desking. Generally, these features have led to the decline in the use of legacy phone systems in Johnston County.
What are Johnston County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent acts by scammers to steal money or confidential information from Johnston County residents using telecommunication services. Some of the telephony products scammers commonly use to perpetrate scams include robocalls, text messages, and phone calls. A favorite ploy used by scammers is phone spoofing. Scammers often use this technology to deceive county residents into thinking that they are dealing with trusted businesses and public agencies. Although services that offer reverse phone lookups are adept at uncovering scammers’ identities and exposing their scams, most spoofing scams are hard to unravel. Johnston County residents who have been targeted by phone scams can file reports with the following public agencies:
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Johnston County Sheriff’s Office
- North Carolina Department of Justice (NC DOJ)
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
These institutions also provide Johnston County residents with consumer alerts and safety tips to protect them from falling prey to phone scams. Some phone scams commonly encountered by Johnston County residents are:
What are Johnston County Medicare Scams?
Scammers often target Johnston County seniors with fraudulent phone calls in these scams aimed at depriving them of their money and confidential information. Their attacks usually surge before December 7, when the open enrollment period ends. The scammers favor these periods because of the increased interactions between health insurance service providers and beneficiaries seeking to modify their health coverage. Pretending to represent Medicare, these fraudsters use a variety of tricks to make their marks disclose personal or banking information such as credit card and social security numbers, bank account details, and Medicare numbers. One common ruse involves scammers threatening to cancel their marks’ coverage unless their information is updated or they provide their new Medicare card numbers. They usually use the information obtained to file false or expensive medical claims and steal their victims’ identities to commit other fraud. Residents of Johnston County who fear their confidential information may have been compromised can report their encounters to the FTC or the North Carolina AGO. They can also file complaints with Medicare by calling 1 (800) MEDICARE. Free reverse phone lookup services are very helpful in retrieving information about these scammers.
What are Johnston County Grandparent Scams?
These scams begin when scammers claiming to be targeted elderly residents’ grandchildren in trouble use frantic phone calls to convince them into sending them money. These fraudsters usually use information gleaned from social media to appear real when speaking with their targets. They frequently beg their marks to keep their purported emergencies a secret from their parents and other relatives. These scammers often claim to have been arrested, robbed, injured, or stranded in a foreign country. They tell their targets to quickly wire money to them to enable them to resolve such emergencies before they get out of hand. Residents targeted by grandparent scams can uncover scammers’ identities using good reverse phone lookup applications. The Johnston County Sheriff also urges elderly residents to hang up these calls and call such grandchildren on their familiar phone numbers to confirm claims. Victims of grandparent scams can file complaints with the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office.
What are Johnston County Arrest Warrant Scams?
Fraudsters execute arrest warrant scams by calling Johnston County residents and posing as Sheriff’s deputies and other local law enforcement officers. They frighten residents with alleged arrest warrants against them and persuade them to avoid such arrests by paying some money via untraceable methods such as Walmart gift cards. The scammers deceive their targets by manipulating their Caller ID information to show the official phone numbers of the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office. However, searching the reverse phone lookup for such phone numbers can help identify if they are spoofed or not. Also, residents can conduct area code lookups on the callers’ phone numbers to ascertain the origins of such calls. The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office assures residents that its deputies do not call residents about outstanding warrants or receive gift cards for payments. Residents who receive these types of calls can contact the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office to verify the callers’ claims in a bid to avoid scams.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
These are phone calls that use auto dialers to disseminate pre-recorded messages to several recipients at the same time. They are a type of spam call and generally regarded as unwanted calls that annoy and irritate phone users. Scammers now abuse robocalls to facilitate their scam schemes aimed at depriving residents of their money and confidential information. They often spoof robocalls and impersonate legitimate businesses and public agencies to appear legitimate. Robocalls allow scammers to remain anonymous, a feature that appeals dearly to them. Reverse phone search tools can help identify robocalls and prevent residents from falling prey to scammers.
Nonetheless, robocalls still serve several legitimate functions as some organizations, such as schools, pharmacies, and hospitals, use them to deliver mass notifications. The same applies to political campaign groups and telemarketers.
The following steps offer valuable insights for handling illegal robocalls:
- Ignore phone calls from unknown numbers. Although this approach reduces the chances of answering robocalls, scammers may bypass this tactic by spoofing official numbers of trusted entities such as financial institutions and government agencies. They may also manipulate your Caller ID information to display phone numbers with local area codes and make you think that a friend, neighbor, or local agency is calling.
- Contact your phone service provider to confirm if they have services that block unwanted robocalls for free. Although most phone carriers offer paid call-blocking options, free tools are preferable for blocking telemarketers’ ever-changing phone numbers. You can also download a third-party call-blocking application from an online store to block identified robocall and spam numbers.
- Decline any invitation to stop robocalls by pressing a key if you realize you have answered a robocall. Doing this will likely lead to more automated calls in the future since scammers will confirm your phone number is active. They may sell your number as part of a database to other scammers or target you with other types of phone scams.
- Add your phone number to the FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry to reduce the influx of legitimate telemarketing calls. However, because scammers typically disregard the DNC list, registered phone users can identify illegal robocalls.
- Report unwanted robocalls to the FTC online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222. Johnston county residents can also file reports of spoofed robocalls by calling the FCC on 1 (888) 225-5322.
How Can You Spot and Report Johnston County Phone Scams?
Scammers are relentless in their attempts to defraud Johnston County residents. They regularly use a wide variety of tricks to get residents to disclose confidential information or send money. Understanding how scammers operate and the tricks they often use are essential aspects in staying safe from phone scammers. Therefore, residents can educate themselves by learning about trending phone scams and their modes of operation.
Johnston County phone scams have some common features that can help residents identify them. These include:
- Scammers typically coerce their marks into acting quickly on bogus and time-sensitive offers, which they use to create a sense of urgency. Note that genuine businesses do not rush their customers into making hasty decisions.
- Fraudsters commonly demand payments via unconventional channels such as wire transfers, prepaid cards, gift cards, and cryptocurrencies. Using these payment channels enables scammers to safely cover their tracks and evade detection by law enforcement.
- Requests to verify personal identifying information are typical ploys used by scammers to obtain their marks’ PINs, account passwords, social security numbers, and credit card and other banking details. No legitimate business entity will request such over the phone.
- If you receive a check from an unknown person who then calls and instructs you to deposit it and wire back part of the money, it is most likely a scam. If you comply with such a request, you will end up repaying your bank once the check bounces.
- Scammers usually pose as law enforcement or government officers to deceive their marks into making payments or divulging confidential information. Legitimate employees of government agencies will never make such requests in unsolicited phone calls.
- Fraudsters commonly employ threats and other intimidating tactics to scare their targets into yielding to their demands. Arrests, fines, license suspensions, lawsuits, and in extreme cases, deportations are some examples of such threats.
Johnston County residents can also spot potential phone scams using applications that offer phone number lookup free services. Some of these services, which offer phone number lookups by names and addresses, help residents retrieve vital identifying information on suspicious callers. The following government institutions are committed to combating phone scams and protecting residents from scams-related losses:
Federal Trade Commission: The FTC promotes fair and honest business practices in the U.S. by enforcing consumer protection laws and identifying violators. They also offer several consumer resources to create phone scams awareness and help residents avoid scams. The Commission established the National Do Not Call Registry to prevent robocalls from legitimate telemarketers to registered residents. Residents who are phone scam victims can file complaints online with the FTC.
Johnston County Sheriff’s Office: The JCSO is charged with crime detection and security in Johnston County. They combat phone scams by circulating information on current scams making the rounds within the county. Victimized Johnston County residents can submit complaints of scams incidents to the JCSO by calling (919) 989-5010.
North Carolina Department of Justice: This department works to keep North Carolinians safe from phone scams, illegal robocalls, and fraudulent trade practices. They also offer consumer protection tips to keep residents informed of the latest scams. Johnston County residents who are victims of identity theft and other scams can file complaints online to the department or call 1 (877) 566-5226.
Federal Communications Commission: The FCC is charged with overseeing domestic and international communications in the U.S. They protect consumers against caller ID spoofing scams and illegal robocalls. Victims of spoofing scams and unwanted automated calls can use the FCC Complaint Center to file reports of these incidents.