What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Richmond County?
Area codes are three-figure prefixes that appear at the beginning of each telephone number in North America. These numbers represent Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) assigned under the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). Each area code identifies the geographical area where the caller placed the call from. Hence, residents can conduct area code lookups when they receive calls from unfamiliar area codes. Area code lookups can be conducted using reverse phone number lookup websites and mobile applications.
Based on the North American Numbering Plan, all parts of North America have at least one area code. However, for areas where the original area codes assigned have become exhausted, such regions have overlay codes.
Richmond County has two area codes namely:
Area Code 706
Area code 706 became active on May 3, 1992. It was created as a split from area code 404. It covers Northern Georgia outside the Atlanta metro area, including the whole of Richmond County and other cities, including the cities of Grovetown, LaFayette, LaGrange, Elberton, and Washington.
Area Code 762
Area code 762 became active on September 19, 2017. It was created as an overlay for area code 706 and it covers the same area.
The four most prevalent phone carrier networks in Richmond County are Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Verizon has the best coverage with 98% relative to the other phone network providers in Richmond County. AT&T is the second-best phone carrier network with 96% coverage, followed by T-Mobile with 82% coverage. Sprint has the least coverage with 64%. Harsh weather conditions may negatively affect the network quality regardless of the quality of these phone carrier networks.
According to the National Center of Health Statistics survey published in 2018, it is evident that residents (adults and minors in Georgia) prefer to use wireless telephones over landlines. The telephone status survey shows that 59% of the Georgia adult population solely used wireless telephones, while 3.5% of Georgia adults exclusively used landlines as their preferred telephony service. On the other hand, 69.2% of minors in Georgia used only wireless telephone services, while only 2.7% of minors used landlines as their preferred telephony service option.
VoIP means Voice over Internet Protocol. It uses active internet connections to transmit voice and multimedia data from the senders to the recipients. In recent times VoIP has become popular across the United States, particularly in Richmond County. VoIP enables residents and businesses to connect with persons over long distances at very affordable rates. It also ensures the scalability of businesses and offers a wide range of advanced features. Some features VoIP offers include name dialing, anonymous calling, call routing, conference calling, automated line attendants, advanced call management, call analytics, and call rejection. Despite the wide range of features VoIP offers, it is more cost-effective than traditional telephone services.
What are Richmond County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are illegal acts fraudsters execute over the phone. These scams are targeted at unsuspecting residents solely to defraud, extort, and illicitly obtain residents' personal information for identity theft. Identity theft scammers usually request their targets' social security numbers, mothers' maiden names, personal financial data, passwords, etc. The perpetration of phone scams has advanced from mere conversations to the use of advanced telephony services, such as VoIP to practice Caller ID spoofing. Scammers use this to prevent their targets from suspecting them; hence enhancing the believability of their ploys. With Caller ID spoofing, scammers are able to easily impersonate government officials and legitimate entities. Be wary of such schemes and use good reverse phone number lookup services to identify potential scammers and block them. In a bid to reduce the menace of Caller ID spoofing, the Federal Communications Commission expatiates on illegal Caller ID spoofing and educates people on how to avoid phone scams by enabling call blocking on their cell phones.
Common Richmond County phone scams include:
What Are Richmond County Sheriff’s Office Scams?
In recent times, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office scams have become prevalent in the county. In these scams, scammers pretending to be deputies of the Sheriff’s Office call residents and tell them about false claims, such as outstanding warrants of fines in a bid to extort them. The scammers usually use threats of arrests to make their targets act in the spur of the moment. They may also tell the residents that they have committed certain crimes or missed jury duty and they will need to pay certain fines. Typically, the scammers request payment via wire transfers, cash, prepaid cards, and gift cards. Here, they tell the residents to buy gift cards and give them the PIN and card numbers. Residents should never accept to make such payments nor give their financial information to anyone. Be informed that the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office does not contact residents to issue threats of arrest and request payment over the phone.
Anyone that receives such calls should ignore the scammer’s demands and report the call to the Sheriff’s Office. There are also several free reverse phone lookup services that residents can use to uncover the identities of the scammers and spot spoofed Caller IDs.
What Are Sale Scams?
Here, con artists contact residents offering pets, automobiles, boats, and other items for sale. They make the residents believe that they are giving them the best prices with massive discounts in a bid to get residents to make payments hurriedly. However, in the real sense, most of the offers are fake and do not exist. Residents should be wary of such offers and first do proper research before considering any offer. Good reverse phone lookup tools come in handy by identifying the caller. Use these services to conduct phone number lookup free.
What Are Fake COVID-19 Vaccine Trials Scams?
In these scams, con artists create fraudulent websites and construct promotional messages, offering residents money if they accept to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials. The con artists then request that the recipients share their Social Security number, bank account details, or credit card details for the payment of the money. In cases where promotional messages are used, the messages contain links that download malware. These links also provide the con artist with access to the victims’ computer, enabling them to steal the personal information and passwords stored on their device.
Residents should be wary of such scams and never give out any sensitive personal and financial information. Credible clinical trials do not require that you share your social security information, sensitive financial details, or any information that is not directly relevant to the test. In addition, ignore any link that tells you to participate in a COVID-19 vaccine trial. If you are told to share your bank account information for you to receive payment for your participation, tell the organization to mail you a check instead. Use a good reverse phone look up to answer the question “who called me?”.
What are Charitable Giving Scams?
In charitable giving scams, scammers impersonate legitimate charitable organizations or pose as bogus charitable organizations, soliciting donations to help fellow residents. Be wary of such impostors and fraudsters particularly during or after disastrous events or pandemics in the county. Make sure to confirm the authenticity of charitable organizations before donating to them. You also may use online platforms like Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance to research non-profit organizations. In addition, ask questions about your donation and do not allow anyone to pressure you into donating. Scammers mostly request donations in cash, gift cards, or by wire transfers. Conduct a free phone number lookup by name, address, or number to find out the true identity of the caller.
Lodge a complaint for a suspected charity scam to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Charities Division by calling 404-654-6021 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents can also report by calling (470) 312-2640.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are calls delivered to a target audience within a short time, using programmed auto dialers. Despite the legality of robocalls, scammers have begun to use them to facilitate their fraudulent schemes, hence advertising bogus offers and attempting to steal residents' personal information. Illegal robocalls are classified as spam calls, which are unwanted calls sent in mass for proselytization or the advertisement of bogus products and services. Due to the misuse of robocalls, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in 1991 to regulate the use of robocalls in the country. Now, only informational robocalls are permitted and they can only be sent after prior consent has been obtained from the recipient. However, some persons do not conform to this and use robocalls illegally by adding prompts for recipients to be transferred to live agents. Avoid such robocalls.
Based on the FTC’s directives, only the robocalls listed below may be sent without prior consent:
- Robocalls for informational purposes
- Robocalls for debt collection
- Robocalls sent by political parties, legitimate charitable organizations, and legitimate health institutions
Follow these procedures if you receive unsolicited robocalls:
- Use a reverse phone number lookup service to identify robocalls and block them with call-blocking tools. However, if you pick a robocall unknowingly, hang up immediately and do not follow any prompts given during the call. The prompts may be to press certain numbers to unsubscribe from further robocalls or to speak with live agents. In these cases, simply ignore them and hang up.
- Lodge a complaint with the FTC’s online complaint assistant platform or call 1-888-382-1222 to report.
- Contact their phone network service providers for call blocking options to stop receiving robocalls.
- Sign up with your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to curb robocalls and other unsolicited calls.
How to Spot and Report Richmond County Phone Scams?
Phone scams target both old and young adults, trying to defraud them of their hard-earned money. The best way to combat phone scams and avoid falling victim to them is to equip yourself with the knowledge of trending scams in the county and their red flags. Conducting a suspicious phone number lookup when you suspect a potential scam or receive a call from an unknown phone number is also a good way to avoid these scams and identify the scammers. In a bid to combat phone scams, the Georgia Consumer Protection Division points out these red flags:
- Attempting to scare targets or threaten them to pressure to act immediately without verifying information
- Requesting payment before a supposed reward or prize is given
- Insistence that the target pays only with cash, gift cards, prepaid cards, or wire transfer
- High-pressure sales tactics or very emotional appeals.
- Get-rich-quick or once-in-a-lifetime offers and other promises that sound too good to be true
- Offers to retrieve the money you previously lost in other scams for a fee
Richmond County residents can report phone scams to these government agencies:
Richmond County Sheriff Office - Report a scam to the department by calling 706-821-1000 or visit the office in person at 400 Walton Way, Augusta, GA 30901.
Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Division - File a Complaint to the department via any of these means:
- By mailing or faxing a completed Consumer Complaint Form to 404-651-9018
- Online with the Consumer Complaint Online Form
- By calling 404-651-8600 or 1-800-869-1123 (toll-free in Georgia, outside of the metro Atlanta calling area). Residents can call between Monday and Thursday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, and on Friday, between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm.
Federal Communications Commission - Lodge a report by filling out the online complaint form.
Federal Trade Commission - Lodge a report using the FTC’s online consumer complaint assistant.