What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Henry County?
Introduced under the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), area codes are the three-digit numbers beginning all phone numbers assigned in the United States. They serve to identify where phone numbers were registered and are useful for routing calls. Area codes identify the origins of phone calls and can pinpoint calls to specific counties and cities.
There are four area codes serving the residents of Henry County. These are:
Area Code 770
Created as a split plan from the 404 NPA, area code 770 was created in 1995. It served some or all of the counties located in Georgia. It serves all of Henry County and is part of phone numbers assigned to the residents of Hampton, Locust Grove, Stockbridge, and McDonough.
Area Code 470
This is an overlay NPA (numbering plan area) for area codes 404 and 770. It was activated on February 26, 2010 to accommodate additional phone numbers issued in Atlanta suburbs and exurbs. Cities and other communities located in Henry County served by the 470 NPA include McDonough, Hampton, Blacksville, and Ola.
Area Code 678
Area code 678 was also introduced in the overlay plan that expanded phone numbers for residents living in areas covered by the 404 and 770 NPAs. Activated on January 15, 1998, this area code covers the same cities and towns in Henry County as the 470 NPA.
Most residents of Henry County have shifted from landlines to wireless phone services. A 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that 59% of adults in Georgia only use wireless phone services. In contrast, only 3.5% of the state’s adult population still solely relied on landline phone services. Among the minor population, the disparity was wider with 69.2% solely using wireless phones and a paltry 2.7% meeting their communications needs with only landline phones.
All four major phone carriers in the US provide service in Georgia and Henry County. In addition to these, there are also MVNOs or Mobile Virtual Network Operators. These smaller carriers rely on the infrastructure of the Big Four, purchase network service in bulk, and pass some of the savings to phone users. While MVNOs have smaller coverages, the Big Four covers most of the state. AT&T has the widest coverage and provides service to 99.9% of the state. Verizon comes a close second with 99.1% coverage of Georgia. T-Mobile covers 90.7% of the state while Sprint is a distant fourth with 45.5% coverage.
In addition to landline and mobile phone services, residents of Henry County can also enjoy VoIP phone services. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a fast-growing communications technology that relies on the internet for call routing. It is more flexible, easier to deploy, and provides a wider range of features. Henry County residents can quickly sign up for VoIP phones and set them up on their broadband internet services. In most places in Georgia, VoIP phone services are also more affordable.
What are Henry County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent activities perpetrated using phone services and targeting residents of Henry County. Phone scammers aim to swindle their targets by getting them to send money or release confidential information. While phone scams are not new, they are becoming increasingly common as new phone technologies make them easier to deploy and harder to curtail.
Phone services and technologies such as Caller ID spoofing, phishing, and robocalls are making it easier for scammers to reach a lot more targets and trick unsuspecting residents into sending them money and confidential records. On the other hand, it is getting easier to determine whether an unknown caller is a potential scammer or not. Tools like reverse phone lookup searches can help phone users identify unknown callers and spot red flags of phone scams. The most commonly reported phone scams in Henry County are banking scams, credit card scams, IRS scams, government imposter scams, lottery scams, romance scams, and tech support scams.
What are Henry County Banking Scams?
One form of these scams involve a scammer calling to inform the target that they qualify for a free gift or a new credit card and asking for their checking account information to verify their records or deposit money. After obtaining this information, they then make automatic withdrawals from the target’s checking account. A banking scam can also involve a scammer calling and posing as a law enforcement agent asking for your help in an ongoing investigation. They claim to withdraw some money to give them as part of a sting operation to catch a bank official defrauding others. They promise to return the money after the investigation but disappear as soon as you send them the amount.
Regardless of the method used, a banking scam starts with a call to the target. Whether they claim to be a bank official or law enforcement, make sure to verify all information provided by the unknown caller by contacting your bank or local law enforcement by the official phone numbers. Use a reverse phone lookup free search to see if the unknown number contacting you has been flagged in previous scams.
What are Henry County Credit Card Scams?
Scammers using this method call their targets and inform them that they suspect their credit cards had been used for illegal activities or unauthorized purchases. In such cases, the scammers already know their targets’ credit card numbers and simply want the 3-digit security codes on the cards. Once given these codes, they make unauthorized online purchases and rack up debts on their targets’ cards. State and local law enforcement agencies warn residents not to provide their credit card security codes to anyone requesting them over the phone. Residents can also determine if unknown callers are law enforcement agents or from credit card companies by running their numbers through reverse phone lookup searches.
What are Henry County IRS Scams?
A con artist running an IRS scam contacts the target by phone while impersonating agents of the Internal Revenue Service. They may claim the target has overdue and unpaid back taxes or threaten to audit them. An IRS scammer may then ask the target to send some money to avoid this audit or prosecution. Alternative, an IRS scammer may seek to steal confidential information rather than money. In such a case, they may ask the target to click a link in an email sent to them. Clicking such links installs malware on targets’ computers with the intention of stealing personal and financial records stored on these computers.
The IRS warns that it does not contact anyone by phone to threaten them with audits or prosecutions. The IRS also does not initiate communication by phone. Rather, they send mail notices about outstanding tax payments. If you receive an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, use a phone number lookup service to confirm their true identity.
What are Henry County Government Imposter Scams?
Besides the IRS, scammers can also impersonate employees of other state and federal government agencies. Impersonating law enforcement officers is quite common. Regardless of the government body impersonated, it is easy to spot an imposter. Do not succumb to threats of prosecution, arrest, or deportation from supposed law enforcement officers calling you. If in doubt, call the government agency a strange caller claims to represent. Call the official phone numbers listed on the official websites of these agencies. Using a reverse cell phone lookup service, you can also determine if the number used by a suspected imposter is really that of the agency they claim to represent.
What are Henry County Lottery Scams?
In a lottery scam, an unknown caller contacts the target to inform them they have won a lottery or some other sweepstake. In Georgia, a spate of recent lottery scams involve scammers implying they are associated with Allstate Insurance. If you receive a call from a stranger congratulating you on winning a lottery you did not remember entering, you can be certain they are a scammer trying to fleece you. If you did enter for a lottery and got a call that you won, be wary of demands made by the person contacting you. If asked to send money or confidential information, decline such requests and contact the organization responsible for the lottery directly. It is also possible to discover con artists running lottery scams by looking up their phone numbers using reverse phone number searches.
What are Henry County Romance Scams?
Romance scams usually start from dating websites and apps and involve repeated contact by phone. A romance scam is a long con with the scammer claiming to be in love with the target while asking them to send money and gifts. One red flag of a romance scam is the other party avoiding to meet face-to-face. A romance scammer is also likely to use Caller ID spoofing to hide their true phone number or call with a VoIP phone number. A reverse lookup search is still useful for confirming romance scam. If the caller keeps changing their numbers or lookup services identify the origins of their calls somewhere else beside where the caller claims to live, they are most likely running a romance scam.
What are Henry County Tech Support Scams?
Con artists running tech support scams claim to represent reputable tech companies such as Microsoft or Apple. They ask their targets to grant remote access in order to purge their computers of malware or running diagnostic tests. They may also request access while claiming to provide updates to essential software installed on their targets’ machines. Once granted access, the scammer may install malware to steal confidential information such as passwords and credit card details. They may also lock out their targets from their own computers with ransomware. Some tech support scammers charge their victims for providing bogus support and repairs.
Anyone calling to provide unsolicited tech support is most likely to be a scammer. Tech companies do not contact their customers to provide tech support. If you suspect your computer has been infected with malware and need tech support, take it to a local computer repair shop.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is an automated phone call placed by an auto-dialer to deliver a pre-recorded message. Robocalls make it easy to contact a large group of people. Political campaigns and telemarketers routinely use them to solicit votes and drum up sales. The ease of use and low cost of robocalls have made them attractive to phone scammers.
Spam calls are phone calls placed in bulk and to large numbers of recipients. These may be robocalls or use live persons calling long lists of numbers indiscriminately. Illegal robocalls and spam calls are usually placed by scammers and fraudulent telemarketers trying to defraud unsuspecting phone users. It is possible to identify such calls by running unknown numbers through reverse phone lookup searches.
To avoid falling victim to robocall scams, take the following steps:
- Hang up on robocalls as soon as you discover what they are
- Refrain from picking calls from unknown numbers unless absolutely necessary
- Do not press the key combination provided during a robocall. While such prompts promise to remove your phone number from their call lists, they only serve to confirm that your phone number is active and can be targeted
- Block unwanted calls by setting up your phone to filter such calls, signing up with a call-blocking service provided by your carrier, or use a third-party call-blocking app
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. While this does not stop illegal robocalls, it does signal legitimate telemarketers to stop calling your number within 31 days. You may assume robocalls received after this period to be from scammers.
How to Spot and Report Henry County Phone Scams
Scammers turn targets into victims by preying on their ignorance of common scam tactics. Therefore, the most effective defense against phone scams is awareness. Knowing what signs to look for and being wary of unsolicited calls from strange callers are key to foiling phone scams. Tools such as reverse phone lookup and call blocking are also helpful at spotting and blocking phone scams.
Henry County residents should look out for the following common signs of phone scams when taking calls from strangers and those claiming to be acquaintances:
- Demand for confidential information - scammers impersonating law enforcement officers and representatives of reputable organizations frequently use this tactic
- Request for payment via unofficial channels - phone scammers often want to receive money from their victims via channels that hide their identities. Such channels include wire transfers, cryptocurrencies, and gift cards
- Threats over the phone - a caller threatening lawsuits, license revocation, deportation etc. if their demands are not met is most likely a scammer. Government agencies with the power to take those actions never do so with threats
- Pressure to make quick decisions - scammers peddling fake investment opportunities or running lottery scams want their targets to make immediate commitments because they would see the absurdity of these bogus offers the longer they consider them
Targets and victims of phone scams are encouraged to report them. These will aid prosecution and help others from falling for these same scam tricks. Residents of Henry County can report phone scams to the following federal, state, and local government agencies:
- The Consumer Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Law - Report phone scams to the Division by calling (404) 651-8600 or filing a complaint online
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - This agency protects consumers from deceptive business practices and accepts fraud complaints
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - This agency regulates all phone services in the US. Report phone scams, illegal robocalls, spam calls and caller ID spoofing to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center The Henry County Sheriff’s Office - Call the county Sheriff’s Office at (770) 288-7100 to report phone scams.