What are Monroe County Area Codes?
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) was established to eradicate the challenges with initiating phone calls. The NANP created the telephone service territories known as Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) and differentiated them using area code. Monroe County area codes are the first three digits preceding all phone numbers issued in the county. There are currently two active area codes in Monroe County. These are:
Area Code 812
This NPA is one of the original 86 area codes introduced in 1947, and it serves several counties in Indiana, including Monroe County. The major cities and communities in Monroe County under area code 812 include Bloomington, Smithville, and Ellettsville.
Area Code 930
Area code 930 was put into service in 2015 as an overlay code for the 812 NPA. It serves Monroe County and some parts of several other counties in Indiana. All locations within the 812 NPA are also included under area code 930.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) is in charge of implementing and maintaining Monroe County area codes. Its Communications Division monitors regulatory policies at the federal level to determine their impacts on state residents.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Monroe County?
The phone carriers with the best cell phone plans in Monroe County all have varying degrees of network coverage in each city and community. These include Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. In the City of Bloomington, mobile network spread includes Verizon with 94%, AT&T with 92%, and T-Mobile with 72%. Some Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) also provide network services to Monroe County residents.
The landline to cell phone percentage adoption in Monroe County reflects those of Indiana based on the data obtained from a 2018 CDC survey on wireless substitution. According to the reports, about 63.3% of adults over 18 years lived in wireless-only households compared to 4.0% that resided in landline-only homes. The data also indicated a marked preference for wireless telephony services among the state's under-18 population. An estimated 75.4% of them had adopted wireless-only services, while only 2.4% of that demographic still used landline phones solely for telecommunication.
Several phone providers offer Voice over Internet Protocols (VoIP) telephony services in Monroe County. VoIP uses IP networks to transmit communications and offers numerous improvements over traditional telephone services. However, residents need internet-enabled devices to enjoy VoIP telephony services as the technology uses internet connections for service delivery. With VoIP, residents can make both local and long-distance phone calls at affordable rates compared to regular phone services.
What are Monroe County Phone Scams?
Monroe County phone scams are fraudulent practices that use telephone services to steal money and obtain information from county residents. Phone scammers usually impersonate legitimate entities in their attempts to extort unsuspecting residents. They use robocalls, live phone calls, and text messages and are heavy phone spoofing users. However, residents can fetch suspicious callers' identities using applications and websites that offer free reverse phone lookup services. These services can prevent residents from getting fleeced by phone scammers.
The Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General's Office (AG) educates residents on identifying phone scams and protects them from deceptive and predatory business practices. In its effort to combat phone scams in Monroe County, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office partners with other consumer protection agencies and periodically publishes phone scam alerts to get residents familiar with scammers' ploys.
Some of the commonly committed phone scams in Monroe County are:
What are Monroe County IRS Scams?
If someone calls you out of the blues and claims to be with the IRS, run their phone number through a reverse phone lookup application to confirm their identity. These scams are majorly targeted at extorting taxpayers. There are several variations of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scams in Monroe County. Typically, the IRS does not initiate phone calls with taxpayers except on request. They mostly communicate with taxpayers via mail. These scammers usually speak convincingly and have a faint knowledge of their targets which is why many residents fall victim to the scam scheme. When they call, they demand payment of owed taxes and con their marks into sharing personal information, including social security numbers for supposed verifications. Residents who share such information soon become victims of identity and financial theft. In many cases, the fraudsters resort to threats of bringing in law enforcement if targets fail to comply with their demands.
The IRS does not threaten anyone with arrest. Never disclose your personal information to unknown callers who claim to be with the IRS without proper verification. You can use phone number lookup applications to ascertain if the callers are legitimate IRS employees. It is crucial to reiterate that the IRS has residents' information on file and will not require them to confirm the same in unsolicited calls. Monroe County residents who fall prey to IRS scams can file complaints online with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).
What are Monroe County Jury Duty Scams?
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office warns that its employees will never call residents to demand fines for missed jury duty. It advises them against sending money to unknown persons who claim to be with the agency and solicit money over the phone. In these scams, fraudsters identify themselves as sheriff deputies and call Monroe County residents to inform them of missing jury duty. However, residents can run such callers' phone numbers through reverse phone number lookup applications to verify if they are registered with the Sheriff's Office. Such callers aim at extorting unsuspecting residents and often convince targets by using names and badge numbers of legitimate deputies. The scammers will inform targets of the implication of failing to appear for jury duty and ask them to pay fines to avoid arrest or other extreme legal actions. They may request wire transfers or instruct their marks to purchase gift cards and provide the card numbers for payment.
In some instances, these scammers will ask their targets to provide personal information to verify that the calls are intended for them, a trick to glean information and commit identity theft. Any unknown caller who claims to be a deputy sheriff and threatens to arrest you for missed jury duty is a fraudster, and you should end such calls without hesitation. Free reverse phone lookup services can help you uncover such a caller's identity and avoid a jury duty scam. Note that persons who miss jury duty are typically notified by mail and not via phone calls.
What are Monroe County Immigration scams?
In these scams, fraudsters pretend to be with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and call immigrants residing in Monroe County to extort them. Many immigrants fall victims to these scams because of their desperation to attain permanent resident status. Phone number search applications can help targeted residents to retrieve information about such callers and ascertain if they are really with the USCIS. The callers inform targets of some legal concerns regarding their immigration status. They warn marks to treat such engagements as urgent calls to action as any delay may allegedly prevent them from obtaining permanent residency. During these calls, they will inquire about their marks' personal information and instruct them to send money to enable them to resolve the issues. The scammers threaten to bring in law enforcement once they perceive their targets are hesitant and unwilling to comply with their demands. They often request payment by wire transfers and gift cards.
Applications offering reverse phone number lookup services can help you identify these callers and consequently avoid falling victim. The USCIS will never request anyone to pay money to an individual, especially not via unofficial payment channels. Immigrants in Monroe County who get these types of calls are advised never to rush into providing confidential information or sending money. They can contact the USCIS at (800) 375-5283 to verify such calls and inquire about their immigration status.
What are Monroe County Utility Scams?
In utility scams, the callers typically threaten to disconnect services to targeted Monroe County residents if they fail to pay their delinquent bills promptly. Generally, life without power, water, telecommunication, or gas is boring. Hence, residents readily oblige anyone who calls them and pretends to be with their local utility companies. If you receive a call out of the blue from an unknown person accusing you of owing utility bills and asking you to pay immediately, it is most likely a scam trying to rip you off. Although legitimate utility companies receive payment by several methods, they will not demand payment by gift cards, wire transfers, bitcoins, or any other irregular payment medium. Phone number search applications can return these callers' identity information and addresses.
Legitimate utility service companies do not threaten consumers with immediate disconnection of service over the phone. Typically, they notify them of their delinquent accounts via multiple written letters and advise them to pay up promptly. If you get such a phone call without previous written correspondence from your utility provider, hang up and contact them on their official phone numbers to verify the caller's demand. You can retrieve the numbers on your previous utility bills or their official website.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls that convey pre-recorded information to mass phone numbers at once and within a short time. Robocalls were originally designed for legitimate purposes by telemarketing companies, government agencies, and political organizations to communicate to a mass audience. Its capacity to reach a large number of phone users is what makes it attractive to phone scammers. Fraudsters target Monroe County residents with robocalls to steal their money and obtain personal information for fraudulent use.
Robocalls offer scammers the liberty to conceal and change their identities, making tracking them challenging for law enforcement. You can differentiate robocalls from live calls by running phone numbers in incoming calls through applications that provide good reverse phone lookup services. Reverse phone number lookup applications can help identify illegal robocalls and prevent residents from falling victim. Spam calls are generally irrelevant calls placed to random phone numbers to pitch sales for malicious purposes. Robocalls are intrusive and inundating. Residents can reduce the frequency of robocalls and avoid illegal ones by taking the following actions:
- Hang up a call once you realize it is a robocall. You will receive more unsolicited calls if you act on any instruction prompting you to press a number to unsubscribe from future phone calls.
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call List managed by the FTC and Indiana Do Not Call List. Although you may still receive unsolicited calls after registrations, you can, however, consider them as potential scam calls.
- Inquire from your phone carrier to know if it offers call-blocking services and find out if it is free. Call-blocking services activated on your phone will silence identified robocall numbers and prevent you from falling victim.
- File reports of identified robocall scams online with the FTC. You can also report such unsolicited calls to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
How Can You Spot and Report Monroe County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are rampant in Monroe County. As such, residents are encouraged to learn how to identify the telltale signs of phone scams by constantly educating themselves. Some public agencies provide phone scams awareness to have residents familiarize themselves with the various tricks employed by scammers and how to spot them. Residents who run unknown phone numbers through reverse number lookup applications are less likely to fall victim to phone scams. If you notice any of the following during a phone call, you are probably dealing with a phone scammer:
- The caller is inconsistent and provides conflicting information throughout the phone call.
- The caller claims to be with the IRS and asks you to settle delinquent taxes immediately to avoid arrest or other punitive actions. IRS employees do not contact taxpayers by phone except on request and will never request payments over the phone.
- The caller asks you to send money via wire transfers and gift cards. Transactions on these channels are hard to track, and no legitimate business requests payment via such odd mediums.
- The caller claims to be with local law enforcement and threatens you with arrest but offers to cancel the arrest if you pay some money.
Monroe County residents who have encounters with phone scammers can file reports of such contacts with any of the following government agencies:
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC developed the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce robocall inundation for registered phone users. Residents who fall victim to robocall scams or other phone scams can report to the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 or online.
Monroe County Sheriff's Office - The Monroe County Sheriff's Office educates residents on phone scams and how to avoid them. To report a phone scam incident in Monroe County, call the MCSO on (812) 349-2534 or visit them at 301 N College Ave, Bloomington, IN 47404.
Indiana Attorney General's Office - The Consumer Protection Division of the AG Office protects Monroe County residents from falling prey to deceptive practices, including phone scams. Victims of phone scams in the county can file complaints with the AG Office online.