What are Mecklenburg County Area Codes?
Area codes are the three-digit numbers that precede local phone numbers in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). Mecklenburg County area codes identify particular Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) in the county. If you are making a call to someone in a different NPA, you have to dial the region's area code before the person's local number. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the agency that implements and maintains area codes in the United States. The North Carolina Utility Commission (NCUC) manages the numbering resources in Mecklenburg County.
The two active area codes in Mecklenburg County are:
Area Code 704
Area Code 704 is a telephone area code in North Carolina that serves Mecklenburg County and some other counties in the state. Mecklenburg cities covered by this area code include Davidson, Charlotte, Matthews, Pineville, and Huntersville.
Area Code 980
Area code 980 came into use in 2000 as an overlay of the 704 area code. It is a North Carolina area code that covers the same NPA as area code 704. The overlay was needed to accommodate more phone numbers within the region.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Mecklenburg County?
The 2018 National Health Interview Survey revealed that the use of wireless telephones continues to grow in American households. The report shows that 57.3% of the North Carolina adult population used wireless phones only while an estimated 4.5% of them still relied exclusively on landlines for telecommunication. Telephone use among the children population (under 18 years) followed a similar pattern. About 69.0% of them used cell phones only while 2.6% of them lived in landline-only households.
The best cell phone plans in Mecklenburg County are provided by Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Each of these carriers offers good network coverage in the county. The percentage coverage of these four carriers in the City of Charlotte are:
- AT&T - 92%
- Verizon - 90%
- Sprint - 78%
- T-Mobile - 74%
Mecklenburg County residents are increasingly using and relying on Voice over Internet Protocol for communication (VoIP). VoIP service requires reliable internet connections for phone calls but offers more affordable call rates than wireless and landline phones.
What are Mecklenburg County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are frauds committed by using telephone services to obtain money and information deceitfully. Con artists usually impersonate legitimate businesses and government agencies to defraud unsuspecting individuals. These scammers also employ robocalls and phone number spoofing to find and exploit targets.
The North Carolina Office of the Attorney General educates residents with scam alerts and provides tips on how to avoid phone scams. Interested residents can also sign up to receive alerts to keep abreast of the latest scams in the state. Mecklenburg County residents who believe they have been victims of phone scams can complain online to the Attorney General's Office. Alternatively, they can report to the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) by calling (980) 314-5170.
Recovering money from scammers is always a tough task. Therefore, it is best to avoid falling for phone scams. If you suspect that a telephone call is from a scammer, perform a reverse phone number lookup to verify the caller's identity.
Common phone scams in Mecklenburg County include:
What are Utility Scams?
Scammers call their targets and claim to be employees of utility companies. They trick unsuspecting residents into divulging billing and personal information with the promise to reduce their monthly utility bills. Con artists use the information obtained from victims to commit identity thefts. If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from your local utility company, verify their claims with the company before providing them your billing or personal information. Using websites that provide phone number lookup services can also help identify who called. Persons who have fallen prey to utility scams in Mecklenburg County can file complaints online with the FTC.
What are Health Insurance Scams?
If someone alleging to work with a health insurance company contacts you and requests confidential information, odds are the person is a scammer. Verify the caller's identity through applications that offer reverse number lookups and report the incident to the North Carolina Office of the Attorney General on (919) 716-600. No legitimate health insurance provider will request confidential information from residents over the phone.
Scammers, during such calls, offer help to sign up unsuspecting targets for health insurance with lower premiums. It is natural for anyone to jump at this kind of offer. In addition to social security numbers, they ask for other personal information to assist targets through the process. The information given to them is consequently used for financial theft, usually to obtain credit facilities in their victims' names. Mecklenburg residents who are victims of health insurance scams can report online to the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office.
What are IRS Scams?
The Internal Revenue Services (IRS) warns that its agents will never request payment of taxes nor coerce taxpayers for confidential information over the phone. Often, residents are not sure of their tax statuses, and it is the reason they fall victim to this type of scam. Con artists impersonate agents of the IRS and threaten unsuspecting targets with arrest for owing taxes. They request the payment of unpaid taxes via wire transfers. If someone calls you about owed taxes and tax refunds, hang up immediately and verify the status of your tax account from the IRS. Contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) on 1 (800) 366-4484 if you believe you may have fallen victim to a tax scam.
What are COVID-19 Contact Tracer Scams?
The community spread of the coronavirus virus necessitated the introduction of the contact tracing program in North Carolina. Scammers have since taken advantage of this to perpetrate frauds against unsuspecting Mecklenburg County residents. Legitimate COVID-19 contact tracers identify residents who may have been in contact with coronavirus patients to help health officials contain the spread of the virus. They will never ask residents for their SSNs, credit card numbers, or any other financial information when contacted. Real contact tracers will typically first contact you by text from the number 45394. Anyone who poses as COVID-19 contact tracer and request information other than your health records is out to scam you. Report such calls to the Consumer Protection Division of the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office. Mecklenburg County residents can also report such encounters to the MCSO by calling (980) 314-5170. File your complaints with the FTC if you believe you may have been scammed in this way.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are auto-dialed calls that deliver prerecorded voice messages. They are illegal in North Carolina except when initiated by recognized and registered political organizations and businesses. Scammers inundate consumers with unwanted phone calls to steal their money and obtain personal information to commit identity theft. Mecklenburg residents can block unsolicited calls by following the guidelines provided by the Federal Trade Commission. If you receive a robocall, applications that offer reverse phone lookup services can help you find an answer to the question, "who is this number registered to?"
Do the following if you think something is not right about a robocall:
- End the call immediately once you realize it is a potential scam.
- Use search engines that provide suspicious phone number lookup services to know the origin of the call.
- Contact your phone company to block the phone number to prevent future calls.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. The robocalls you to receive after 31 days of registration are potential scams.
- Report the number to the FTC by calling 1 (888)-382-1222 or using their online complaint assistant.
How Can You Spot and Report Mecklenburg County Phone Scams?
With the increasing sophistication of phone scams in Mecklenburg County, residents need to be informed and mindful of the several tricks employed by con artists. This protects them from losing their money and identification records to scammers. Residents can enroll their phone numbers on the Do Not Call Registry to avoid annoying and unwanted calls targeted at scamming people. Warning signs to look out for during a phone call to avoid scams include:
- A caller who claims to work for a government agency and requests that you make some payments via unofficial channels. Know that a bonafide employee of a government agency will never request payment over the phone.
- The caller wants to coerce you into paying for a product you have not seen. A legitimate business will allow you to think through its offer and will not pressure you to pay immediately.
- Someone who informs you to make an upfront payment to claim a prize you supposedly won. Remember that no one has to pay for free products and services.
- Someone who impersonates a charity fundraiser to request for donation via cash or gift card is a scammer. Always research charities before donating.
- Spam calls coming through your phone when you have enrolled on the DNC Registry are potential scam calls.
Mecklenburg County residents must know that government agencies and legitimate companies will never ask for the information they already have. You can protect yourself by not disclosing confidential information to anyone, especially not over the phone. Mecklenburg County residents who believe they may have fallen victims to scam can report to the following consumer protection agencies:
Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office - The MSCO provides general protection for county residents and educates them on ways to avoid scams. Phone scam victims can report to the MSCO by calling (980) 314-5170 to enable them to conduct investigations.
North Carolina Office of the Attorney General - The North Carolina Office of the Attorney General tips residents on avoiding scams and publishes scam alerts. Persons who have lost money or personal information to scammers can file complaints with the Office of the Attorney General.
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC is at the forefront of combating scams in the United States and accepts complaints from consumers all over the country. The DNC Registry maintained by the FTC helps registered residents to stop receiving unsolicited calls. This has proven particularly helpful in avoiding robocall scams. If you fall victim to a phone scam, you can report the incident to the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
Federal Communications Commission - Residents who intend to learn how to stop unwanted calls can do so using the guides provided by the FCC. The FCC educates residents to help combat the menace of phone scams in the United States. Residents who believe they may have fallen victim to scams can report to the FCC.