What are St. Joseph County Area Codes?
The area code system was developed by AT&T and Bell Laboratories and was first used in 1947. It was called the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) and included the United States and Canada. To help route long-distance calls, three code prefixes or area codes were created as part of the numbering plan. 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 calls through the telephone network. For quick information about a specific area code, use area code lookup tools online.
Only two area codes serve St. Joseph County.
Area Code 574
Area code 574 was created from area code 219 and was first used on January 15, 2002. It is the only area code serving South Blend, Elkhart, and Mishawaka. Other cities served by this area code include Goshen, Granger, Logansport, Warsaw, Plymouth, Nappanee, Dunlap, Rochester, and Notre Dame.
Area Code 219
Created in 1948, area code 219 was the first area code created after the original 86 area codes created by AT&T and the Bell System were put in place. It was created from the central Indiana area code of 317. Area code 219 was split in 2002 which required some phone numbers to be updated to area code 260. Later in the same year, the code was split to create area code 574.
Area code 219 is in northwestern Indiana and covers Portage, Gary, and Hammond. It is the only area code serving these areas. It also serves New Carlisle City in St. Joseph County. Other cities served by area code 219 include Merrillville, Valparaiso, Michigan, Schererville, Hobart, and East Chicago.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in St. Joseph County?
Phone users typically have to concede trade-offs between price and coverage when selecting cell phone plans that are best suited to their needs. If you find a plan whose price is right, the next step would be to check for the coverage status in St. Joseph County. Major wireless carriers have good coverage across St. Joseph County. In the county seat of South Bend, Verizon has the best overall coverage at 98%, while the other Major Network Operators (MNOs) have overall coverage scores below 70%. AT&T coverage is rated 68%, T-Mobile 60%, while Sprint coverage is put at 54%.
Wireless telephony usage is widely adopted when compared to wired telephony adoption in St. Joseph County and other counties in Indiana. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, 63.3% of persons above the age of 18 in Indiana used wireless telephony service exclusively, while only 4.0% used landline-only telephony service. The survey also revealed that among persons below the age of 18, 75.4% used wireless-only telephony service, while only 2.4% used landline service exclusively.
Many phone users in St. Joseph County also purchase cell phone plans from Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). These are smaller carriers who purchase minutes and data from the MNOs in bulk and resell to subscribers. Cell phone plans from MVNOs are usually cheaper and more attractive to persons looking to cut down on their budgets.
With fiber-optic service covering about 50%, and wireless technology covering nearly the whole of the county, St. Joseph County residents have also adopted the use of VoIP in making and receiving phone calls. While landline and cellular telephone systems require wires and mast installation, VoIP takes advantage of existing technology to make communications cheaper for phone users.
What are St. Joseph County Phone Scams?
St. Joseph phone scams are illicit activities of fraudsters perpetrated through phone calls targeted at defrauding residents of their money or obtaining personal information that will be later used in identity thefts. These activities occur in various forms with scammers typically assuming fake characters. Con artists often pose as representatives of reputable organizations in order to gain the trust of St. Joseph County residents. Once these fraudsters are able to gain the trust of their targets, obtaining money or private information from them becomes easy. However, residents can use phone lookup applications to help unmask the real identities of phone scammers.
What are St. Joseph County Impostor Scams?
Impostor scammers in St. Joseph County usually claim to represent the local police departments or the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Office. These fraudsters inform their targets that they missed several court summons or jury duty summons and hence have warrants out for their arrests. The scammers sound very legitimate by reeling out the names, addresses, and workplaces of their targets. This information is typically found online by searching social media sites. Police or sheriff impostors may tell their targets to meet at the courthouse or the detective bureau. Then, they inform them that they cannot take checks or cash but accept money packs or visa gift cards from convenience stores or pharmacies. Victims are asked to read the numbers of the cards obtained from the stores to the fraudsters over the phone.
Note that law enforcement officials prefer the element of surprise when they pick up offenders. Therefore, law enforcement agencies do not call offenders to inform them that they have warrants out for their arrests. These agencies also do not intimidate anyone over the phone or ask for payment for fines or fees over the phone. To help 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 St. Joseph County Employment Scams?
Scammers are everywhere and are not only targeting persons with money but those seeking employment too. Employment scams in St. Joseph County have witnessed an uptick due to the coronavirus pandemic. Typically, the scammer contacts you by phone and offers you a job that requires little effort for high returns, or a guaranteed way to make money quickly. The job may require you to do something relatively straightforward such as assembling products using materials purchased from the supposed employer. To accept the job, you will be required to purchase a starter kit or materials relevant to the job or scheme.
If you buy the kit or materials asked, you will either receive nothing in return or an unexpected package completely irrelevant to the job. Upon completion of your work, the scammer will also refuse to pay for the work done, using excuses such as the work not being up to scratch. You can use free reverse phone lookup tools to verify the identity of the person behind a call.
What are St. Joseph County Affinity Fraud Scams?
The affinity fraud scam is an investment scam where fraudsters prey on members of identifiable groups, such as religious or ethnic communities, senior citizens, or professional associations. These crooked individuals pretend to be members of the groups listed in order to gain the trust of their targets. Affinity scams operate like Ponzi schemes with initial investors being paid with money received from new investors, creating the appearance of a successful investment. This creates an illusion that will help recruit even more unsuspecting investors. By the time the pool of investors in the scheme has been exhausted and the scheme collapses, the fraudster and money invested are long gone.
Affinity fraud schemes rely heavily on word-of-mouth and networking among group members. The perpetrators inform investors not to share details of the investment with people outside the group to keep the investment opportunity confidential. A phone lookup service can help determine if an incoming call is associated with a scam or scammer.
What are St. Joseph County COVID-19 Scams?
With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout expanding across St. Joseph County and Indiana, getting an appointment can be challenging. Scammers are leveraging on the desperation of residents by devising tricks to lure residents into parting with their money or giving away sensitive personal information. Some scammers are now demanding credit card information, bank account number, and Social Security number from their targets in order to get vaccine appointments. Some of these con artists are selling fake vaccines, while others are promising residents to help them get in front of the line.
Note that many of these scammers call with familiar caller ID names. Through a simple computer program or caller ID spoofing, scammers can change their caller ID to replicate any chosen caller ID. You can use a reverse cell phone lookup tool to verify if a caller’s identity matches the name given.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are telephone calls that deliver prerecorded messages to call recipients. Calls are placed using automatic dialing announcing devices (ADADs). ADADs are electronic devices or software that allow users to store thousands of telephone numbers, dial them automatically and play recorded messages. Robocalls can be annoying, and many times are illegal. However, robocalls from telemarketers with whom you have established a relationship or have given permission to contact you are legal. You may also receive robocalls from political campaigners and government bodies when used for public service announcements.
Any robocall trying to reach you without your permission is illegal. St. Joseph County residents are often inundated with unsolicited robocalls intended to con recipients. These are spam calls and are quite intrusive. The Federal Communications Commission is authorized to levy civil penalties against rogue and illegal telemarketers. To limit the chances of being fleeced by robocalls, use reverse phone lookup tools to verify the source of incoming calls.
Other steps to take to stop robocalls include:
- Terminate robocalls. If you answer a call and hear a pre-recorded message, hang up immediately. Do not press any number to speak with live agents.
- Do not believe the information on your caller ID display. Spoofing technology may be used by callers to make their calls appear like they are coming from within St. Joseph County.
- Do not provide or confirm personal or financial information to anyone over the phone.
- Request your phone provider to block numbers associated with robocalls.
- Enroll in the Do-Not-Call List: To limit the calls from telemarketers and scammers, you can enroll your residential and cell phone numbers with the national Do-Not-Call list.
- Use Call Blocking Services: You can download and install a third-party call blocking app on your mobile phone to block unwanted calls on your cell phone. Call-blocking apps help detect spam calls by using blacklist databases, blocking numbers that have received a high number of consumer complaints.
How to Spot and Report St. Joseph County Phone Scams?
Although scammers are evolving their tricks by the day, many of the cons used by scammers follow commonly known trends. Residents can also identify phone scams by performing free phone number lookups. Other signs to look out for during phone calls include:
- The caller uses high-pressure sales tactics, and "limited-time" offers
- The caller is reluctant to answer all of your questions
- The caller requests that you confirm personal information. Ideally, this is information the caller should already have
- The caller claims you have been specially selected for a prize or winning
- The caller requests your credit card or other payment mechanisms for shipping and handling fees.
- The caller threatens you with arrest, deportation, or imprisonment if you do not comply with the instructions given
- The call starts with a prerecorded message
While being aware of common scam tricks will go a long way in helping spot phone scams, it will not stop you from being targeted by phone scammers. Using tools that perform reverse phone number lookups can further reduce the chances of being scammed.
You can file complaints with any of the following public bodies if you have been contacted by a scammer:
- The St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department: If you receive a call from a scammer you may contact the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Office at (574) 235-9611.
- Local Police Departments: You can also file reports at your local police department if you have been contacted by a scammer. If you have any information about any related scams in the county seat of South Bend, you can contact the South Bend Police Department Investigative Bureau by calling (574) 235-9263.
- The Indiana Attorney General's Office: You can file a consumer complaint with the Indiana Attorney General's Office online or by filling out a printable form. You can also request a complaint form by calling (800) 382-5516 or (317) 232-6330.
- The Federal Trade Commission: If you receive unsolicited calls 31 days after adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry, you can file a complaint online with the FTC.
- The Federal Communications Commission: The FCC allows you to file a complaint online if you believe you have received a call from a spam call, or if you think you are the victim of a phone scam.