What are Wake County Area Codes?
Making a phone call from one geographic region to another in the US requires adding an area code before the local number. Area codes are the three-digit codes at the beginning of American telephone numbers. Designated by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), Wake County area codes differentiate one Numbering Plan Area (NPA) from another within the county. The North Carolina Utility Commission (NCUC) is authorized to manage area codes and telecommunications infrastructures in Wake County.
There are two active area codes in Wake County, namely:
Area Code 919
Created from a split of 704 area code in 1954, area code 919 is a North Carolina telephone code in the NANP. It covers Wake County and 11 others within the state. Wake County cities served by the 919 area code include Cary, Apex, Raleigh, Morrisville, Roseville, Zebulon, Wendel, and Knightdale.
Area Code 984
In 2012, the 919 area code was overlaid by area code 984 to accommodate the increasing demand for telephone numbers in the region. It serves the same locations as area code 919.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Wake County?
The use of landlines for telephony services in Wake County is witnessing a sharp decline. Most residents prefer using cell phones because they offer mobile, always-on telephone services. The 2018 CDC survey conducted to study phone usage among North Carolinians corroborates this trend. According to the report, 2.6% of the children population, under 18 years, still used landline-only services for telecommunication while 69% of them solely used wireless cell phones for telephony services. In the same survey, 57.3% of adult North Carolinians (above 18 years) used wireless-only communication services while 4.5% used landline-only services. These trends indicate that telecommunication preference among residents of the state is shifting towards wireless services.
Reliable internet access in Wake County has immensely contributed to the increased adoption of VoIP services by its residents. With Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), residents can make voice and video calls at lower rates compared to the landline and cell phone services. There are a number VoIP providers in the county that offer services with high levels of reliability and clarity. Most corporations in the county now rely on VoIP services for effective communication because it has over time proven to boost employees’ productivity.
Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile, all provide excellent network coverage in the cities in Wake County. Within the City of Raleigh, Verizon has the highest level of coverage at 96%, while Sprint at 72% provides the least coverage. Both AT&T and T-Mobile cover 94% of Raleigh.
What are Wake County County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are fraudulent phone calls that trick unsuspecting individuals into disclosing confidential information and parting with their money. Phone scammers often make false promises to potential targets to rip them off and may also threaten them to achieve the same goal. Applications that offer free reverse phone lookup services provide Wake County residents the means of retrieving phone scammers' identities.
Residents can report incidents of phone scams by calling the Wake County Sheriff's Office on (919) 856-6900 or by submitting complaints online. Other reporting options are the FTC’s complaints assistant and the online complaint form of the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.
Common phone scams in Wake County include:
What are Money Laundering Phone Scams?
The Wake County Sheriff's Office warns residents to beware of scammers impersonating agents of the Social Security Administration (SSA) to obtain money and confidential information illegally. Scam artists call to accuse targets of their involvement in money laundering cases being investigated by federal law enforcement agencies. In some instances, scammers inform targets that their conversations are being recorded and monitored to instill fear in them. They ask potential victims to verify their SSNs by giving them the last four digits. This they usually claim will enable them to second-check the identities of persons involved in claimed money laundering cases.
Those reluctant to give out the requested information are threatened with immediate arrest. The scammers aim to obtain enough information needed to commit financial thefts against their victims. The Social Security Administration has complete information about you, and its agents will never ask you to verify them over the phone. If you fall victim to this scam and, contact the FTC to submit a report by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
What are COVID-19 Stimulus Checks Scams?
Scammers are taking advantage of the current COVID-19 pandemic to defraud unsuspecting residents. With many taxpayers waiting to receive stimulus checks from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), falling for this scam is quite easy. Con artists pose as IRS employees and offer to help their targets process their stimulus checks quicker if they can pay some money. They will also request personal and financial information during the call.
The IRS warns that every qualified resident will get their check in due time and that there are no shortcuts for jumping the queue. Taxpayers must also know that the IRS does not request personal or financial information from anyone over the phone. In this type of scam, victims lose money and disclose personal details that will be used by scammers for identity theft. A taxpayer who receives a call from someone claiming to be IRS employee can verify the caller's identity by reverse phone number lookup. If you believe you may have fallen victim to this scam, file your complaints online with the FTC.
What are Lottery Scams?
Hang up the phone if you receive a phone call that claims you won a lottery but asks you to pay some money to claim the winning. A suspicious phone number lookup can help you find the caller's identity. It is a ploy to steal your money and possibly your identity. The caller will say you were selected for a lottery. You will be asked to pay some government fees, usually in the form of taxes, and provide some confidential information to secure your winnings. Residents should be wary of this trick as no one should pay to claim whatever they won. Wake County residents who are victims of lottery scams can report to the Wake County Sheriff's Office by calling (919) 856-6900.
What are Bank Call Phone Scams?
In this scam, phone scammers pretend to be employees of their targets’ banks and offer to help with certain issues. Residents can avoid this scam by contacting their banks directly when they receive calls from unknown persons who claim to represent these institutions. The scammer may say they are aware of fraudsters attempting to steal money from your bank account and offer help to stop them. To assist you, they will request your banking information (passwords and PINs) as well as other sensitive data regarding your bank account. If you disclosed any information during this call, contact your local branch immediately for help. If you live in Wake County and have fallen victim to this scam, file a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office. You may also report it to the Wake County Sheriff's Office on (919) 856-6900.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls remain the highest consumer complaints the Federal Communications Commission receives yearly. Robocalls are automated calls that deliver pre-recorded messages to a large number of recipients. Commonly used by telemarketers and political campaigns, scammers have adopted robocalls for defrauding unsuspecting individuals in Wake County. Most scammers that engage in robocall scams spoof phone numbers to fool their targets.
If you receive a lot of robocalls, consider the following steps:
- Hang up your phone when you answer a robocall and report the number immediately to the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Uncover the caller’s identity by using search engines that offer reverse phone number lookup free services.
- Block the number if your phone has a call blocking feature. You can also request your phone company to stop the phone number from calling you. Many phone companies will do this at no charge.
- Use the Do Not Call Registry to stop unwanted calls. Enrolling your number on the registry assures you that the robocalls you receive after 31 days of registration are potential scams.
How Can You Spot and Report Wake County Phone Scams?
The number of Wake County residents falling victim to phone scams yearly is alarming. Phone scammers develop all manner of tricks to defraud their targets. If someone calls you and claims to work for an organization but you are unsure of their claims, hang up, and call the organization directly. As a safety measure, residents can enroll their numbers on the Do Not Call Registry developed by the FTC to stop unsolicited calls.
You can avoid falling prey to phone scams if you can spot certain tell-tale signs during a telephone call. Some of these signs include:
- A robocall targeted at selling you something over the phone without your permission is likely a scam. The FTC classifies such as illegal.
- A call from someone who claims to work for the IRS but demands that you provide personal information to avoid arrest is a scam. The IRS will never call you directly nor request your personal information over the phone.
- Persons who pose as officers of Wake County Sheriff's Office and threaten you with arrest if you fail to do their bidding are scammers.
- Someone who sounds urgent and pushes for immediate payment during a phone call is a scammer. This plays out mostly with scammers who pose as government agents to request payments via gift cards, bitcoins, or money transfers.
- A caller who claims you were selected for a prize but asks you to send a prize-recovery or delivery fee is a scammer.
Consumer protection agencies are making great efforts at stopping phone scams in Wake County and the rest of the country. They educate residents to be wary of the various ploys employed by scammers while providing scam alerts on their websites to sensitize them. Residents can always run suspicious phone numbers through applications that provide phone number lookup services to avoid scams. To report phone scams, residents can engage any of the following consumer protection agencies:
North Carolina Office of the Attorney General - The Office of the Attorney General accepts reports of phone scams perpetrated against North Carolinians via its online complaint form. To protect them from falling victim to phone scams, the Attorney General's Office provides residents with tips on how best to avoid scams. Residents who have been cheated by phone scammers can report to the North Carolina Office of the Attorney General by calling (919) 716-6000.
Federal Trade Commission - The DNC Registry developed by the FTC is a channel that helps to protect registered US residents from being scammed by unsolicited calls. Persons who have fallen victims to phone scams in Wake County can file complaints with the FTC or report by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
Wake County Sheriff's Office - As part of its commitment to protecting county residents from crime, the WCSO publishes scam alerts to warn them of the latest scams and how to avoid scams. The WSCO works closely with other consumer protection agencies in combating the menace of phone scams in Wake County. Residents who have been victims of scams can report online to the WCSO or call (919) 856-6900.