What are Allen County Area Codes?
At the beginning of a typical North American telephone number, there is a three-digit code. These three-digit codes are known as area codes and they identify the specific Numbering Plan Area (NPA) in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), where a call originates from. A phone user can conduct an area code lookup with a free reverse phone lookup service to identify the particular NPA the call originated from. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) regulates area codes in the state.
Area Code 260
Area code 260 was created on January 15, 2002, when area code 219 was split into three ways. It is the North American Numbering Plan area code for Northeast Indiana. Area code 260 serves the Cities of Angola, Auburn, Bluffton, Butler, Columbia City, Decatur, Fort Wayne, Huntington, New Haven, and Wabash.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Allen County?
In Allen County, compared to other cell phone carriers in the county, T-Mobile has the widest coverage 94%. Sprint is next to T-Mobile in terms of coverage capacity with 86% and Verizon with 72%. AT&T has the least coverage in Allen County with 64% coverage. Regardless of this data, note that parts of the county that are densely populated might experience low network quality. The network quality may also be negatively affected by the weather.
A 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey shows that an estimate of 63.3% of the Indiana adult population used only wireless telephones, while 4.0% of Indiana adults used only landlines. In comparison to the choice of Indiana minors under the age of 18, there is a major difference. While, 75.4% of the minors preferred wireless-only services, only 2.4% used landline telephony services. The statistical report shows that the use of cell phones is more prevalent than the use of landlines in Allen County.
With the advancement in technology, VoIP has been introduced into the telecommunications system. VoIP means Voice over Internet Protocol. It enables the transmission of voice and multimedia data from the sender to the receiver over the internet. In Allen County, the use of VoIP by businesses and residential users is significantly growing due to its versatility and cost-effectiveness. VoIP facilitates long-distance calls and video calls at very affordable prices which makes it the first choice for businesses and residents, compared to traditional phone lines.
What Are Allen County Phone Scams?
Scammers are taking advantage of the advancement in telecommunications, specifically telephony service technology. With this, scammers target unsuspecting residents to steal money and personal financial information from them. For instance, some scammers use VoIP to facilitate their criminal schemes by spoofing the Caller IDs of legitimate entities to steal their identities and deceive county residents. Allen County residents are advised to be vigilant and use good reverse phone number lookup services to identify and block scammers that contact them. These phone number lookup services help residents spot fraudsters that contact them.
Common scams perpetrated in Allen County include:
What are ID Theft Scams?
An ID theft scam involves a resident being made to believe that they have been a victim of identity theft. The scammer usually spoofs the Allen County Sheriff’s Department’s Caller ID before making this call. During the call, the scammer tells the recipient that someone has used their ID to commit a crime or that the recipient has been a victim of ID theft. The scammer adds that the recipient will have to pay a certain amount of money to clear up the alleged identity theft. Residents that fall victim to this end up being swindled because the Allen County Sheriff’s Office or any other law enforcement agency in the state never requests money to perform their duties.
If you are contacted in such a manner, hang up immediately and contact the County Sheriff’s Office to report this. If the scammer does not use a spoofed Caller ID to contact you, you can use a reverse phone lookup service to answer the question “who called me.” You can also conduct a suspicious phone number lookup to find out who the caller is.
What are Impersonation Scams?
Scammers are fond of impersonating close relatives and friends of their targets to make it easy to defraud them. They mostly try to play on their targets’ emotions by claiming that they need financial assistance for emergencies such as to settle hospital bills, pay rent, and so on. These scammers always sound urgent in a bid to make their targets act in the spur of the moment. In addition, scammers also impersonate legitimate businesses and government agencies to make their targets disclose their personal or financial details. They pretend to require this information for official updates or to process certain social benefits. Examples of legitimate businesses and government agencies that scammers typically impersonate include law enforcement agencies, the IRS, financial institutions, health institutions, etc.
Do not pick calls from unfamiliar numbers without first doing a reverse phone look up. This will help you identify the caller. On the other hand, if you receive a call where the caller makes any suspicious demands, hang up immediately, and directly contact the person or government official that you suspect was impersonated to verify the call.
What are Debt Collection Scams?
Here, the scammer tells the call recipient that they owe certain debts and have not to pay. They threaten the call recipient, saying they are with the Allen County Sheriff’s Department and if they refuse to pay, a warrant will be issued for their arrest. The Allen County Sheriff’s Department warns of this scam and adds that victims should not send any money to such callers; instead, they should immediately contact the Allen County Sheriff’s Department to report this. Victims can also use phone number lookup services to answer the question “who is this number registered to.” Note that even if you owe a debt, you should never make a payment over the phone. Instead, directly contact your creditor and pay the debt directly to them.
What are Jury Duty Scams?
These scams involve scammers contacting county residents to tell them that warrants have been issued for their arrest for missing Jury Duty. They add that if the call recipients do not pay certain fees, they will be arrested. On the other hand, the scammers may instruct their targets to purchase a prepaid cash card from a store. However, when the card is purchased, the scammer will electronically withdraw the money from the card. The victim may then be told that the money will be refunded to them once they appear in court.
Note that scammers often spoof the Caller ID of the Allen County Sheriff’s Department to make their claims appear believable. If you receive any such a call, immediately hang up and contact the Allen County Sheriff’s Department. Also, do not make any form of payment as the Sheriff’s Department will never request such. You can do a phone number search free to identify the caller if the phone number that called you was not copied.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated calls programmed to deliver pre-recorded audio messages to a group of targeted persons. These pre-recorded messages most times contain prompts for the receivers of the calls to be transferred to live-agents or to unsubscribe from receiving robocalls from the parties that sent them. Robocalls are mostly sent on behalf of political parties, non-profit organizations, and telemarketing companies. However, scammers also capitalize on the ability of robocalls to reach many people at affordable rates. Hence, these scammers also use robocalls to perpetrate their schemes. The FTC creates awareness on the use of robocalls and also provides residents with detailed information on robocalls and how to block unwanted calls. Residents can use reverse number lookup services to spot and block robocalls.
Spam calls refer to unsolicited calls that are considered inappropriate to the receivers as they do not have any direct relevance to them. Individuals can use phone number lookup free to flag spam calls and block them.
Below are some ways to avoid falling victim to robocalls scams:
- Use a free reverse phone lookup app that helps flag robocalls and spam calls. Apps like this also provide the option of blocking them.
- Immediately hang up once you notice that you have picked a robocall. Also, do not follow any directives to press numbers during calls as this may be a bait to determine active numbers and target them with more unsolicited calls.
- Use the FTC’s online complaint assistant to report illegal robocalls or call 1-888-382-1222.
- Include your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to limit robocalls and other unwanted telemarketing calls. When you include phone number on the registry, any unsolicited robocalls (excluding the robocalls that are exempted) you get are most likely illegal robocalls and possible phone scams.
How to Spot and Report Allen County Phone Scams?
Phone scammers are generally manipulative, convincing, and technically savvy in the perpetration of their schemes. They also constantly come up with new schemes to defraud unsuspecting persons. Allen County residents must not be oblivious of this fact. Here are major ways how to identify scams and report them:
- The caller requests your personal or financial information for any reason - Hang up immediately and do not disclose any confidential information. You may conduct a reverse phone look up to get the true identity of the caller.
- The caller asks you to make payment via a gift card, prepaid card, etc - Hang up the call immediately and do not make any payment. Some of these scammers may impersonate employees of legitimate businesses or government agencies and even spoof their Caller IDs. In such cases, directly contact the person you suspect was impersonated. You can get phone numbers of government agencies and business organizations on their official websites. Note that a payment made via a wire transfer, reloadable debit card, or gift card is not easy to trace and a refund may not be possible.
- You receive unsolicited calls from an unfamiliar number - A free reverse phone lookup service allows you to perform a phone number search to identify the caller. Such services also allow you to block the caller’s phone number. Alternatively, you can reach out to your phone carrier to inquire about call blocking options they offer.
- The caller tries to manipulate you to sign up for an investment or business offer that seems too good to be true - Hang up immediately. Such an offer may be fraudulent. Do not be pressured to sign up until you have taken your time to personally do intensive research on the offer and you are convinced that it is legit. Also, do a free phone number lookup by name to identify the caller.
- The caller requests payment before you are given a “reward” - Any grant, lottery, prize, etc. that requires that you pay before you can receive the reward is fraudulent. Hang up immediately and do not give out your financial information or make any form of payment.
- The caller tells you to keep the details of a call or a “deal” secret - Hang up and inform trusted family members or friends.
These government agencies stand against phone scams in Allen County. They also help provide measures to fight them:
Allen County Sheriff’s Department - Alerts county residents on prevalent scams through its Public Information Office. Residents can call 911 for emergency cases or contact the Allen County Sheriff’s Department using the contact information listed below:
715 South Calhoun Street
Room 101 Courthouse
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802-1805
Office: (260) 449-7535 Fax: (260) 449-7915
Non-Emergency: (260) 449-3000
Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division - Helps Hoosiers stay informed of the trending scams to avoid falling victim. Hoosiers can Sign Up for Fraud Alerts for free with their email addresses. They can also File Consumer Complaints. The Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division maintains a Do Not Call List. Hoosiers can register on the Do Not Call List to reduce unsolicited calls. Alternatively, they can call 1.888.834.9969 to add their phone numbers to the list. To report a violation of the Do Not Call List, file a complaint or call 1.888.834.9969 to request a complaint form. The completed complaint form should be mailed to:
Data Privacy and Identity Theft Unit
Office of the Indiana Attorney General
302 W. Washington St., 5th Floor
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Federal Trade Commission - Informs residents about ways to identify common phone scams and avoid robocalls. The FTC also provides the National Do Not Call Registry as an innovation to reduce unsolicited calls that may sometimes be from scammers. Hoosiers can report phone scams or suspicious calls through the FTC’s online consumer complaint assistant.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - Informs residents about ways to identify Caller ID spoofing and enable call blocking on their cell phones. The FCC helps deal with illegal caller ID spoofing by joining efforts with telephone carriers to improve caller authentication technology. Residents can use the online complaint form to report illegal caller ID spoofing and other phone scams.