What are La Porte County Area Codes?
Area codes are the three-digit numbers at the beginning of American phone numbers, which help identify each Numbering Plan Area (NPA) in a state. NPAs were designated by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) to divide its service regions within North America and specify the origins of phone calls. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) is the administrative commission responsible for regulating area codes in Indiana, including La Porte County. Currently, two area codes serve La Porte County.
Area Code 219
Area code 219 was put into service in 1948 from a split of the 317 NPA, and it covers several counties in Indiana, including La Porte County. Cities and towns in La Porte County within the 219 NPA include La Porte, Michigan City, Wanatah, Westville, Mill Creek, Rolling Prairie, Union Mills, Hanna, and La Crosse.
Area Code 574
Area code 574 was split from the NPA 219 and was put into active service in 2002. In La Porte County, La Crosse and Mill Creek are towns within the 574 NPA.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in La Porte County?
A CDC survey conducted in 2018 revealed that about 63.3% of Indiana adults had adopted wireless phones as their sole telephony devices. In contrast, only 4.0% still used landline-only services. The survey also showed that 75.4% of Indiana children below 18 years solely used wireless telephony services, while a minute 1.4% used landlines exclusively. This data indicates a significant shift in telephony preferences among La Porte County residents from landlines to cell phones.
The most popular phone carriers in the U.S. provide La Porte County residents with excellent network services. Smaller prepaid carriers in the county known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) also offer impressive network services across the county at affordable rates. For instance, in La Porte City, T-Mobile offers 90% coverage, while Verizon and AT&T both reach 88% of the city. Sprint follows with an 80% network reach. The MVNOs in La Porte County typically run on the network infrastructures of the primary phone carriers.
La Porte County residents are gradually substituting traditional telephone services for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP is a technology that transmits voice calls, video calls, and text messages over IP networks like broadband internet connections. They are suitable alternatives to regular phone services because they are cheaper, more efficient, and portable.
What are La Porte County Phone Scams?
Phone scams in La Porte County are fraudulent practices carried out through telephony services to trick unsuspecting phone users out of sensitive information, money, or both. Phone lookup services can reveal the identities of unknown callers and prevent residents from scams. Usually, phone scammers employ telephone services like real-time phone calls, pre-recorded calls known as robocalls, and text messages, when preying on targets.
Most scammers spoof their phone numbers to display as the official phone numbers of legitimate government agencies and businesses to gain their targets’ trust and dupe them. However, applications that provide reverse phone lookup services can spot spoofed phone numbers and save residents from rip-offs. Public agencies in La Porte County protecting residents from phone scams include:
- La Porte County Sheriff’s Office
- Indiana Attorney General’s Office
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Indiana Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The following are some prevalent phone scams in La Porte County:
What are La Porte County Arrest Warrant Scams?
Scammers pose as officers of the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) in an attempt to trick marked residents out of their money. The LCSO urges residents to be vigilant as many residents continue to fall victim to arrest warrant scams. Usually, scammers’ spoofed phone numbers deceive targets into believing they are genuine. With phone number lookup tools, residents can foil such attempts by identifying the actual persons behind such calls. The scammers usually claim that their marks have backlogs of unpaid taxes or that their names have been linked with numerous crimes. They inform their targets about warrants issued for their arrests and demand that they immediately pay fines to prevent arrests. The scammers coerce their victims into sending money through wire transfers, prepaid debit cards, or gift cards to ensure that their transaction remains discrete. They also make efforts to glean confidential information from their marks during the phone calls for identity or financial fraud.
Typically, these scammers employ threats and keep targets engaged on the phone lines until they give in to their demands. The Federal Trade Commission advises residents contacted by such callers to hang up immediately. The Sheriff’s Office will never call to threaten residents or solicit payments through phone calls. Also, they will not pre-inform residents if warrants are indeed issued for their arrests. La Porte County residents can call the Sheriff’s Office directly to authenticate suspicious callers’ claims.
What are La Porte County Medicare Scams?
Here, scammers impersonate Medicare employees to fool county residents and steal their personal information or money. They sometimes sound aggressive, and at other times appear friendly and willing to help. They call Medicare beneficiaries to inform them about the imminent cancellation of their coverage if they do not send money immediately for new Medicare cards. In another variation of these scams, fraudsters offer to help their unsuspecting targets update their information on the Medicare database or enroll new family members. They leverage the calls to garner personal information from their victims. Scammers use such information to file fraudulent claims for pricey medical equipment and other pharmaceuticals in their victims’ names.
Regardless of the callers’ approach, residents should beware that the Medicare Office will never threaten to cancel beneficiaries’ coverages for failing to update information over the phone. Typically, Medicare will not call unless you initiate a request. If this scam targets you, withhold all personal information and ignore any solicitation for funds. You can contact the Medicare Office at 1 (800) 633-4227 to authenticate the caller’s claim. Running such calls through reverse phone number lookup applications can return information on such callers. To report Medicare scams, call 1 (800) 447-8477 or lodge an online complaint with the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
What are La Porte County Shopper Scams?
Scammers call targeted county residents and offer them attractive opportunities that involve shopping secretly at reputable businesses’ retail stores and getting paid to rate their customer experiences. Usually, con artists mail their target checks for amounts above their agreed pay and instruct them to promptly cash or deposit the financial instruments. They tell them to send back the balances through wire transfers or buy gift cards and send the pins and passwords. Naive residents are often quick to take such offers and go on supposedly free shopping sprees. Unknown to them, they just handled fake checks and will eventually be obligated to repay the banks. This scam initially goes unnoticed because banks quickly honor check instruments without delay as required by law.
Although some genuine enterprises recruit individuals to ascertain their quality of customer satisfaction, residents should be wary of such offers, especially when unsolicited. Scammers usually disguise their identities when making such calls, but residents can unravel their ploy using a good reverse phone lookup service to identify the actual callers. The FTC advises county residents to properly research such offers and avoid providing personal information or money to the callers. Instead, they can confirm the opportunities by calling the companies referenced in the calls through their official phone numbers.
What are La Porte County Utility Scams?
There are different modifications of these scams, but they aim to fleece unsuspecting residents by stealing their money or personal information for identity fraud. In one variation, scammers posing as public utility provider representatives call residents and threaten to disconnect them unless they pay urgently to satisfy backlogs of unpaid bills. At other times, they call after severe weather disrupts the power supply and insist that their targets pay reconnection fees immediately to have their energy restored. They may also demand personal information from their marks to supposedly verify them as a prerequisite for reconnection. These scammers often favor unconventional payment routes like gift cards, cash, or wire transfers. County residents are advised to hang up on callers making such demands and contact their utility companies directly to verify the calls.
Legitimate utility companies usually notify residents about unpaid bills via mail and never call to demand personal information or solicit payment. Also, they do not charge reconnection fees after natural disasters or accept payments through cash or other unusual means. If utility scams target you, you can file a report about the incident with the County Sheriff’s Office or the FTC. You can also run such calls through applications that offer suspicious phone number lookup services to know who called.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Phone calls initiated from automatic diallers to deliver recorded messages to bulk phone numbers are known as robocalls. When pre-recorded calls deliver irrelevant messages to mass numbers whose users indicate no prior interest in such calls, they are called spam calls. Although robocalls were initially intended for legitimate purposes, to broadcast mass information to the public with ease, scammers now use them for their fraudulent schemes. They leverage robocall features like caller ID manipulation to trick unsuspecting targets out of money or confidential information. However, residents can identify robocalls using reverse phone lookup tools. You can avoid falling victim to illegal robocalls and spam calls by taking one of the following actions:
- Reject phone calls from unknown phone numbers and hang up immediately if you mistakenly answer a robocall without responding to its instructions. If you follow robocall prompts, you can unknowingly sign up for more robocall intrusions.
- Enlisting your phone number in Indiana Do Not Call List online or via phone call at 1 (888) 834-9969.
- Block identified robocall and spam call numbers using the built-in call blocking feature on your smartphone or those provided by your phone carrier.
- Add your phone number to the National DNC Registry to reduce robocall disturbances. Enrolling your number on this list will allow you to spot robocall phone scams because legitimate telemarketers will not contact you with robocall once you are registered on the DNC list.
- Report illegal and unwanted robocalls with the FTC online or call 1 (888) 382-1222. You can also report spoofed robocalls by filing complaints online with the FCC.
How Can You Spot and Report La Porte County Phone Scams?
La Porte County residents can spot phone scams by leveraging the information provided by the Attorney General’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office about trending scams. Residents should also be alert when answering phone calls from unknown phone numbers, even when they appear legitimate. Scammers often employ phone spoofing to fool naive persons into answering their calls. However, La Porte County residents who suspect that unknown callers might be scammers can use reverse phone lookup applications to answer the question “who called me?”. Some signs that a phone call in La Porte County are scams include:
- The caller claims to be with the Sheriff’s Office or a public utility company but persistently solicits personal information or money. Legitimate agencies do not demand such information from residents.
- The caller offers you an unsolicited job but insists that you pay an upfront amount before you can resume work. Genuine recruiters do not typically collect money from job seekers.
- The caller pays you through a check of a higher amount and demands that you deposit it into your bank account and send back the balance. Reject such offers because they will likely send you a counterfeit check instrument that can lead to substantial financial loss.
- The caller demands payment through prepaid debit cards, wire transfers, and gift cards. Fraudsters choose these unofficial payment channels to make their transactions untraceable.
Some of the public agencies saddled with the responsibility of keeping La Porte County residents safe from phone scams are:
- La Porte County Sheriff’s Office: If you fall victim to phone scams in La Porte County, report it to the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office by calling (219) 326-7700. Alternatively, you can file an in-person complaint by visiting the LCSO at 809 State Street, Suite 202A, La Porte, IN 46350.
- Indiana Attorney General’s Office: The Consumer Protection Division of the AG’s Office educates residents about phone scams and protects them from deceptive business practices. La Porte County residents who are phone scam victims can file Consumer Complaints with the Attorney General’s Office to report the incidents. Residents who wish to be exempt from unsolicited telemarketing calls can enroll in Indiana Do Not Call List by calling 1 (888) 834-9969 or adding their numbers online. After enlisting, residents can file Do Not Call Complaints with the AG’s Office if the unwanted robocalls persist.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): La Porte County residents who fall victim to phone scams can report the incidents to the FTC online or via phone at 1 (888) 382-1222. To halt unsolicited robocall disturbances, residents can enroll their phone numbers in the National DNC Registry.
- Indiana Better Business Bureau (BBB): The Indiana BBB collects and investigates reports from consumers about illegal and unfair business practices in the state. La Porte County residents defrauded by businesses can report to the Indiana BBB by calling 1 (317) 488-2222.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC): The FCC guides residents on blocking unwanted robocalls and preventing phone scams. La Porte County residents who are victims of frauds carried out through spoofed robocalls can file complaints online with the FCC.