An area code is a part of the telephone number that routes long-distance calls to their destination. When the area code is combined with the first three digits of a seven-digit local telephone number, a geographic address is formed that routes call through the telephone network.
Currently, two area codes serve Orange County - Area codes 919 and 984.
Area Code 919
Area code 919 was first used on January 1, 1954. It was split in 1998 to create area code 252. Top locations covered by this area code include Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Chapel Hill, Apex, Goldsboro, Wake Forest, Sanford, and Garner.
Area Code 984
Area code 984 is an overlay for area code 919 and serves the same area. It was created from area code 919 and was first used on April 30, 2012. Carrboro, Clayton, Mebane, Oxford, Smithfield, Knightdale, and Morrisville are some of the locations covered by area code 984.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Orange County?
Considering the level of computing possible with cell phones and everyday communications made more flexible, it is no surprise that wireless telephony use trumps landline telephony use in Orange County. Estimates from a National Centre for Health Statistics survey in 2018 revealed that 57.3% of North Carolina residents aged 18 and above used wireless telephony service exclusively, while 4.5% used landline-only telephony service. Estimates from the survey also revealed that among residents below the age of 18, 69.0% used wireless telephony service exclusively, while 2.6% used landline-only telephony service.
Although the American wireless provider landscape is rapidly changing and becoming more competitive, Orange County residents can still choose from cell phone plans such as family plans, individual postpaid lines, and prepaid plans that present no-long term contracts or device financing requirements. Family plans allow multiple people or small businesses to share a single account, dividing the line and data fees across several different people. Individual plans allow individuals to pick the amount of data they need each month for themselves They are typically more expensive than family plans. Prepaid plans offer more data at lower costs than individual plans and are usually ineligible for device financing.
You need to consider all the different features that are important when you are looking for the perfect plan. However, before signing up for a cell phone plan, you need to confirm that local coverage is available. Fortunately, all four major wireless service carriers in America offer decent coverage in Orange county. In the county seat of Hillsborough, AT&T has the best overall coverage with a 98% score. Verizon has a 96% coverage score, T-Mobile's coverage is rated 60%, while Sprint has a coverage score of 55%.
Smaller carriers are known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) and also offer cell phone plans to consumers in Orange County. MVNOs do not own radio networks. They rely on the radio networks of the major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to provide wireless services to their customers.
VoIP phone plans are also available in the wireless telephony market in Orange County. Many residents now use it cut down on the voice component of the phone plans. Leveraging the internet, Voice over Internet Protocol is a technology that sends voice information in digital form through discrete packets routed on IP networks. Having no need to erect base stations or masts, VoIP service providers can offer much cheaper calls than other wireless competitors.
What are Orange County Phone Scams?
Con artists desire to steal Security numbers, credit card information, passwords, bank account information, and other valuable information that may be used in identity theft or fraudulent activities. Hence, they use several tricks to lure people into divulging such information. Orange County phone scams include text messages, robocalls, and live calls used in stealing money or obtaining sensitive information from Orange County residents. You can avoid falling victim to phone scams by using reverse phone lookup tools to identify the real persons behind incoming calls. Common phone scams in Orange County include sheriff impersonation scams, IRS scams, contact tracer scams, and mystery shopper scams.
What are Orange County Sheriff Impersonation Scams?
In the sheriff impersonation scam, scammers contact Orange County residents claiming that they are employees of the Orange County Sheriff's Office (OCSO). Typically, they claim to be the sheriff's deputy and use the caller ID of the Orange County Sheriff's Office. These con artists say that targets have missed subpoenas and court dates and instruct them to call back on specific numbers to take care of arrest warrants. When targets call back, they are told to buy prepaid Visa gift cards, read their numbers over the phone, and mail the cards over.
The sheriff impersonation scam uses strategies to target fear and cause victims to act quickly and make mistakes. Phone lookup applications can help uncover the true identities of impersonators.
What are Orange County IRS Scams?
IRS scams are perpetrated by persons purporting themselves to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service. These unsolicited callers claim that targets owe back taxes to the IRS and must pay immediately or face arrests. To appear real to targets, some of the con artists recite the last four digits of their targets' Social Security numbers. They can also spoof the real number of the IRS to make the IRS caller ID information appear on targets’ phone displays. They threaten residents with legal actions and serious consequences such as suspension of driver’s licenses and deportation to get them to do their bidding.
IRS scammers usually demand payment for owed taxes through wire transfers, gift cards, and prepaid cards. Note that the IRS will not call taxpayers without having first contacted them by mail. If you think you owe, call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 to verify your status. Reverse phone number lookup applications can prevent residents from falling victim to IRS scams.
What are Orange County Mystery Shopper Scams?
For most people, regardless of financial status, mystery shopping sounds like an exciting option. While some mystery shopping opportunities are legitimate, many are scams designed to fleece unsuspecting persons. Perpetrators of this scam contact unwitting residents and inform them that they have been selected to become paid mystery shoppers in their local areas. Some of these criminals may even follow up by sending letters on what look like legitimate company letterheads to back up their claims.
These con artists send targets checks appearing to come from legitimate U.S. companies and instruct targets to deposit the checks into their account. They ask them to wire part of the amount on the check using money transfer services like Western Union or MoneyGram, keep a portion, take out another for wiring fees, and use a portion to purchase merchandise. Although it looks like an easy way to make money, a few days or weeks after depositing the check, the target will get a notice from the bank that the check bounced while losing all the amount wired to the scammer. You can use a reverse cell phone lookup tool to verify if a caller’s identity matches the name given.
What are Orange County Contact Tracer Scams?
Crooked individuals are exploiting the fears about the COVID-19 pandemic to try to gain access to victims' personal and financial information. In the contact tracer scam, callers identify themselves as being from local health departments and inform Orange County residents that they have been in contact with persons who have COVID-19. They exploit residents’ fears and promise to help resolve the situation in exchange for their credit card information or Social Security numbers.
Note that legitimate contact tracers will never ask for your financial information or your Social Security number. To verify that callers are who they say they are, you can use good reverse phone lookup tools online to quickly do a number lookup or reverse number lookup.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are commonly interpreted to mean unwanted and intrusive calls. However, robocalls are prerecorded messages delivered through autodialers also called predictive dialers or automatic dialing announcing devices (ADADs). ADADs can store lists of contacts and automatically send recorded messages to stored numbers.
Indeed, robocalls can be annoying, but some uses of robocalls are legitimate. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, telemarketers are required to obtain the express permission of call recipients before contacting them with robocalls. However, robocalls such as charities seeking donations, political calls, and informational messages like public-service announcements are legitimate. These robocalls do not require the permission of the call recipients.
The TCPA has not been completely effective in deterring crooked individuals from illegitimately targeting residents with robocalls. They send out thousands of pitches in spam calls to buffet residents' telephone lines in the hope of catching some unawares. In 2020, North Carolina residents received over 1.7 billion robocalls. Between January and April 2021, these residents have been inundated with more than 727 million robocalls, an average of 85.9 robocalls per person. A reverse phone number lookup free service can identify an incoming robocall.
The under-listed guidelines may be followed to curb the spate of the rising number of robocall scams:
- Do not answer calls with an unfamiliar caller ID. Let the call go to voicemail. Only return the call after determining that the caller is legitimate
- If you answer any call and you hear a pre-recorded message, do not press any button. Hang up immediately.
- Contact your telephone service provider to inquire about any available tools to block robocalls. Such call-blocking options may already exist in your current service plan. If they exist, ensure the functions are activated on your device. Additional robocall blocking protection may also be on offer from your service provider for a fee.
- Install third-party call-blocking applications on your phone, such as Truecaller, YouMail, Hiya, and Nomorobo. These are available on mobile phone online application stores.
- Register your telephone number with the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Do not Call List.
- Be on alert for caller ID spoofing. Scammers now have access to technology to make their caller ID look like trusted IDs.
- Get regular updates on current phone scam trends via the FTC website or sign up for free email alerts from the FTC.
How to Spot and Report Orange County Phone Scams?
Orange County residents lose huge sums of money on phone scams annually. With scams becoming more and more difficult to detect, many more residents are finding the tricks used by con artists believable. When an unsolicited caller uses spoofing to falsify caller ID information, the intention is to gain the trust of the target. In doing so, fraudsters get targets to let down their guards while carrying out deceptive schemes to steal money or obtain information.
You can stop many scam calls from getting through to you by using reverse phone number lookup services to stop them. You should also educate yourself about the cons used by fraudsters.
Here are common signs that you are talking to a scammer:
- The caller cannot communicate: A significant amount of scam calls originate outside the United States. Many such callers are not fluent English speakers. However, they claim to represent known agencies within the United States. Although organizations operating within America employ foreigners, these persons are likely to speak the language fluently.
- The caller says there is a problem with your account: It is common practice among scammers to demand additional information than is required in the promise of helping fix an issue with the accounts of their targets. They may ask for credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and bank account information in exchange for fixing issues that do not really exist.
- The caller suddenly becomes aggressive: Fraudsters are often polite in deceptively obtaining information or money. However, they sometimes become aggressive when targets are not cooperating. A trusted agency will not likely make aggressive-sounding calls or conversations with you. Do not give in to threats or intimidation.
- The caller demands sensitive information: Never give out sensitive personal information such as bank account information, credit card number, Social Security number, and birth date. Any caller asking for such information is likely to have ulterior motives.
You can file complaints in Orange County with any of the following public bodies if you have been contacted by a scammer:
- Orange County Sheriff's Office: Contact the Sheriff's Office at (919) 245-2900 if you have been targeted in a phone scam.
- Orange County local police departments: If you believe you have been contacted by a scammer, you can file a report at the local police department nearest to you. In the county seat of Hillsborough, you can contact the Hillsborough Police Department at (919) 732-9381.
- The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office: To report a scam, you can file a complaint online to the Consumer Protection Office by calling (877)-5-NO-SCAM or (919) 716-6000 (outside of North Carolina).
- Federal Communications Commission: If you receive unwanted robocalls and text messages, you can file a report online with the FCC.
- Federal Trade Commission: The FTC protects consumers from deceptive and fraudulent practices. You can file a phone scam report with the FTC by completing the online complaint form.
- The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA): Report IRS imposters to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). To report by phone, call TIGTA at (800) 366-4484.