What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Lowndes County?
The Bell System created the first area codes in the 1940s called the North American Numbering Plan to automate telephone calls to anywhere across the country without the use of a human operator to connect calls. Area codes helped redesign the old telephone system because human operators were not enough to fulfill the telephony needs of the growing population. An area code is a three-digit prefix appended to a telephone number indicating the geographical area associated with the number. You can find the area code of an area in the United States by using an area code lookup tool online.
Currently, only one area code serves Lowndes County – Area code 229.
Area Code 229
Area code 229 was created from area code 912 and was first used on August 1, 2000. It is the only area code serving Albany, Valdosta, and Thomasville. Area code 229 serves most of southwestern Georgia including the cities and communities of Americus, Bainbridge, Moultrie, Tifton, and Cordele.
Although telephony communications began with wired systems, cell phones have become the preferred telephony communication option for most persons even in Lowndes County. A study carried out by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2018 revealed that 59% of persons above the age of 18 in Georgia used wireless-only telephony service, while only 3.5% used landline-only telephony service. The survey also revealed that among persons below the age of 18 in Georgia, 69.2% used wireless-only telephony service, while 2.7% used landline telephony service exclusively.
Cell phone plans are probably as numerous as the various wireless carriers who provide them. Hence, finding out what the best plan is for you can be tricky. You need to ascertain what you need in a phone plan before signing up, especially if you are signing up on multi-year contracts. Although many phone plans are similar, a few variations can make the difference between saving money and wasting it. Before you get into sifting through the options and costs, one key variable to consider is the coverage of the wireless providers operating in your local area.
All four major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have decent coverage in Lowndes County. In the county seat of Valdosta, Verizon has the best overall coverage with a score of 99%. AT&T's network coverage is rated 86%, T-Mobile has a 72% coverage score, while Sprint's coverage lags a bit with their customers typically connecting to other networks where Sprint has roaming agreements.
The major carriers are not the only wireless service providers in Lowndes County. Residents can also purchase good cell phone plans from Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). MVNOs have low overhead since they do not have to pay radio frequency spectrum licenses and do not have infrastructure to build or maintain. They purchase or lease infrastructure from major carriers for resale to their own customers.
Also, VoIP is fast becoming a solution in offices and homes with many residents choosing the technology as a viable replacement to cellphone service on mobile devices. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has the potential to help save costs on phone bills. It uses IP networks or the Internet to facilitate communications and hence does not require its service providers to lay communication lines or use cell towers and masts. Using VoIP plans, you can make calls both to other VoIP users and regular line owners.
What are Lowndes County Phone Scams?
Lowndes County phone scams involve deceptive practices of con artists who try to steal money or personal information from Lowndes County residents. These may originate from phone calls from real people, robocalls, or even text messages. Phone scammers often claim to be who they are not and provide false information and promises in order to motivate residents to give away their money or personal information.
To appear more legitimate, they sometimes use caller ID spoofing to alter their caller ID information. They can spoof the caller ID information of law enforcement officers, bank representatives, government-agency representatives, friends, neighbors, and relatives. Lowndes County residents can use phone lookup applications to help unmask the real identities of phone scammers.
What are Lowndes County Arrest Warrant Scams?
The arrest warrant scam is a common scam in Lowndes County. Scammers contact residents and claim to be from the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) saying that they have warrants out for their arrests. These scammers specifically name deputies currently working for the LCSO to convince residents about their legitimacy. The scammers claim targets need to obtain credit cards to pay fines in order to avoid being arrested.
Common "offenses" that targets are alleged to have committed include failure to attend jury duty hearings and pay traffic offense tickets. "Fines" are required to be paid using Green Dot prepaid debit cards or other reloadable cards. Note that the LCSO does not demand money in exchange for not being arrested. 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 Lowndes County Social Security Scams?
In the social security scam, callers claim to be with the Social Security Administration and ask targets to call them back on specific phone numbers. When they do, they are told that their social security numbers have been linked to "suspicious activities" and instruct them to provide the last four digits of their Social Security numbers for confirmation of their identities . In addition, targets may also be asked to pay fees to resolve the problem. Some con artists may even demand bank account information in addition to Social Security numbers. Targets are threatened that they could end up in jail if the matters are not "resolved" immediately. You can use free reverse phone lookup tools to verify the identities of the persons behind scam calls.
What are Lowndes County Debt Collection Scams?
If you are getting threatening phone calls about debts, even if it is one you recognize, chances are that you have been targeted in a debt collection scam. The debt collection scam is notoriously popular in Lowndes County. Here, debt collection scammers claim that you owe debts and must pay them immediately. Usually, these con artists cannot provide detailed information about the debt and original creditor and will not give enough information about the agency represented. They use aggressive tactics to pressure you into immediate payment such as threatening jail time and ask you for information they should already have.
Not every debt collection scammer demands immediate payment of the "debts" owed; many seek personal information that they can use to commit identity theft and other fraudulent acts. Those who demand immediate payment do so through wire transfers or other methods that cannot be traced such as prepaid cards. A phone lookup service can help determine if an incoming call is associated with a scam or scammer.
What are Lowndes County Utility Scams?
In the utility scam, aggressive callers pretend to be utility workers and inform targets they have outstanding utility bills which must be paid immediately. While they more often pose as electrical power company workers, they can also pretend to work with gas, water, garbage disposal, or sewage disposal company representatives. These fraudsters say that services will be discontinued or shut down completely if "overdue bills" are not settled within a short period of time.
Typically, targets are required to pay by using prepaid cards, gifts, or Green Dot cards. They use spoofing technology to mirror the numbers of real utility companies and may even provide toll-free numbers for targets to call back to make payments. 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 automated calls delivering or pre-recorded voice messages. Robocalls are placed using computerized dialers which are capable of storing thousands of telephone numbers and can dial those numbers randomly. Robocalls are sometimes legal and can take place with customer consent. Legal robocalls include informational messages from hospitals to patients, charity pitches for donations, flight-delay announcements, and recorded messages from political campaigners.
Spam calls are unsolicited calls from both legitimate and illegitimate persons. Per the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, robocall users and telemarketers are required to obtain express permission before contacting call recipients with robocalls. Spam callers violate this provision by contacting recipients without their permission. Spam calls are often used to trick or scam recipients.
Reverse phone number lookup can help phone users identify robocalls and avoid falling victims to robocall scams. Lowndes County residents can also take the following steps to limit the scourge of robocalls:
- Hang up. Regardless of whether it is a scammer or business operator calling, hang up on robocalls immediately. When you answer a robocall, do not press any numbers. Instead of letting you speak to a live operator or remove you from a call list, it may lead to more robocalls.
- Consider blocking calls. Scammers use robocalls and VoIP to place calls from all around the world. Sometimes, the best defense is blocking unwanted calls. Find out what services your phone carrier offers and consider paying for a call screening or call blocking service add-on if necessary. You can also download a third-party call-blocking app from mobile application stores online. Examples include Hiya, Nomorobo, and Truecaller.
- Do not trust your caller ID. Scammers now use caller ID spoofing to mimic the phone numbers of trusted and reputable government agencies. Scammers using spoofing technology can also make calls look like they are originating from local areas.
- Register your number on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. According to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules, telemarketers are required to avoid calling numbers included in this registry. Registering your number on the national list also automatically adds your number to the Georgia Do-Not-Call list. If you still receive robocalls 31 days after adding your number to this registry, they are likely to originate from scammers.
How to Spot and Report Lowndes County Phone Scams?
Every day, scores of Lowndes County residents are targeted by professional criminals and con artists using slick and sophisticated methods to attempt to steal their money. Often, while the crimes are being committed, the victims are unaware of the scams. No categories of persons are exempted from the radar of con artists. It behooves everyone to understand how scams work and how to spot them from afar. Tools such as reverse phone number lookup services are effective in identifying potential phone scams.
Here are some tell-tale signs of phone scams:
- The caller asks you to pay in a specific way: Scammers often insist on their targets sending money through money transfer companies or by putting money on gift cards and then giving them the numbers on the back of the cards. These are not the usual methods employed by legitimate organizations.
- The caller pressures you to act immediately: Phone scammers want you to act before taking time to think. Once you answer the call, they may insist that you do not hang up so that you do not have a chance to verify their stories. Sometimes, they threaten targets with arrests, imprisonment, and deportation. These are scare tactics aimed at getting them to act impulsively.
- The caller says there is a prize or problem: Some unsolicited callers may say that you are in trouble with the government or that your account needs to be verified immediately. Others will lie and say that you won money or grants but have to pay upfront fees. Do not fall for these tricks.
- The caller says you should provide sensitive personal information: Typically, con artists ask for passwords, PINs, Social Security number, birth date, and bank account information. Do not give out such personal information to unknown callers even if they claim to work with reputable organizations.
Too often, scam victims feel ashamed for placing their trust in people who stole from them. They may be embarrassed to report the crimes. If you have fallen victim to a scam or been contacted by a scammer, you can report to any of the following local, state, or federal agencies:
- The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department: If you have received a call from a scammer, you can contact the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office at (229) 671-2950.
- 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 Valdosta, you can contact the Valdosta Police Department by calling (229) 242-2606.
- The Georgia Attorney General's Office: You can also file phone scam complaints online to the Department of Law's Consumer Protection Division of the Georgia Attorney General's Office by completing an online form. The Office also provides access to a paper version of the form which can be submitted by mail or fax to (404) 651-9018. You can also contact the Division by calling (404) 651-8600 or the Office's toll-free line at (800) 869-1123.
- 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.
- Social Security Administration: If you receive a scam call or you suspect you have been a victim of a scam from the Social Security Administration, report such calls by calling the Office of the Inspector General at (800) 269-0271 or make a report online.