What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Allegan County?
An area code is a three-digit number that is assigned to a geographical area in the United States and used before the seven-digit telephone number when placing calls to and within that area. You can find the area code for a community or region in the United States by using area code lookup tools online.
Currently, only two area codes serve Allegan County – Area codes 269 and 616.
Area Code 269
Area code 269 is located in southwestern Michigan and was created from area code 616. It was first used on July 13, 2002. It is the only area code serving Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, and Portage. It also serves locations such as Niles, Sturgis, Benton Harbor, Westwood, St. Joseph, and Three Rivers.
Area Code 616
Area code 616 is one of the original 86 area codes created by AT&T and the Bell System in 1947. It initially served parts of Michigan including Grand Rapids, the upper peninsula, and the western portion of the lower peninsula. Area code 616 was split in 1999 to create area code 231. It was split again in 2002 to form area code 269. It covers locations such as Wyoming, Kentwood, Holland, Forest Hills, Walker, and Allendale.
Cell phone users in Allegan County outnumber the proportion of residents still using wired telephony services. According to statistics revealed by a survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2018, 57.3% of adults aged 18 and over residing in Michigan used wireless-only telephony service, while 4.7% used landline telephony service exclusively. Of persons aged under 18, 69.5% used wireless-only telephony service, while only 1.7% used landline-only telephone service.
With giant strides made within the wireless industry in the United States, cell phone users now have a rich assortment of options available when looking to sign up on cell phone plans. You do not have to search for long before finding one that meets your budget and needs. Wireless providers offer cell phone plans constrained by the amount of data, text, and minutes provided. Before looking at the features on offer and the prices for each plan, you should consider the network coverage in your local area.
All four major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) have extremely broad networks in Michigan, with coverage available almost everywhere. In the county seat of Allegan, Verizon offers the best over coverage with a score of 99%. T-Mobile's coverage is rated 88%, AT&T has a coverage score of 82%, while Sprint's coverage is rated 72%.
Allegan County residents can also find great deals from the smaller carriers operating in the county. Several less-known carriers use the infrastructure of the MNOs to provide services for their own customers. Typically, MNOs have unused network capacity which can be leased to MVNOs rather than taking losses.
VoIP calls are also transforming the way Allegan County residents make and receive phone calls. Voice over Internet Protocol transforms sound waves from your voice into digital signals and then leverages your Internet connection to transmit that signal over to the other person on the call. Although you can use specialized phones known as IP phones to enjoy VoIP services, there are also popular mobile applications that allow users to make calls from their cell phones. VoIP is much cheaper than the alternatives because service providers do not have to install new communication lines or invest in expensive overhead costs.
What Are Allegan County Phone Scams?
Allegan County phone scams are the fraudulent practices of scam artists using telephone calls and text messages to lure Allegan County residents into releasing money or their personal information. Telephone scams come in different forms, but they tend to make similar promises and threats or ask you to pay in certain ways, such as providing your credit card information over the phone, wiring money, or putting money on a gift card. Scammers can make any number or name show up on your caller ID. That is called spoofing. So, even if it looks like a government agency or trusted private business is calling – or the call appears to be from a local number – it could be a con artist calling from anywhere in the world.
Allegan County residents can use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers. Common phone scams in Allegan County are listed below.
What are Allegan County Sheriff Impersonation Scams?
The sheriff impersonation scam is one of the most widely reported scams in the county. The Allegan County Sheriff's Office (ACSO) receives several complaints every year of unsolicited callers pretending to be sheriff deputies claiming that Allegan County residents have legal warrants out for their arrest. The commonly reported crime residents are alleged to have committed is failing to report for jury duty.
Sheriff impersonators usually leave phone numbers for targets to call back. When targets call back, they are informed to have reached the voicemail of the ACSO and should press a number to speak with live agents. The agents inform them to pay certain amounts of money to "settle" the debts. Payments are commonly requested through gift cards and prepaid debit cards. Occasionally, scammers request in-person meetups to exchange money. Note that the ACSO or other law enforcement agencies in Allegan County will not request money for legal matters. You can use good reverse phone lookup tools online to quickly do a number lookup or reverse number lookup.
What are Allegan County Lotteries or Sweepstakes Scams?
Another common scam in Allegan County is the lottery or sweepstakes scam. In this scam, the callers notify the targets of winnings, often in the form of money but also packages and trips. The callers claim to represent lottery organizations based typically outside the United States. To obtain the prizes won or receive the full amount of the winnings, targets are asked to pay taxes or shipping fees. Some may also demand targets' bank account information to directly deposit winnings. Note that it is just a trick used to steal financial information or money from targets' bank accounts. You can then use a reverse phone lookup tool to verify the identity of the person behind the suspicious phone number.
What are Allegan County Healthcare Scams?
Here, con artists claim to be representatives or employees of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) or the local health department. Under various false pretenses, they demand confidential information such as account numbers, Social Security numbers, maiden names, and passwords. The caller ID may even display the information for the agencies purportedly being represented. Note that the MDHHS does not call people asking for personal information over the phone. At most, a department caseworker may ask for a date of birth or the last four digits of your Social Security number. If you are in doubt about the true identity of the person behind a call, you can use free reverse phone lookup tools online to identify who a number is registered to.
What are Allegan County IRS Scams?
In the IRS scams, callers pretend to represent the Internal Revenue Service in a bid to extort money from residents. The impersonators claim that targets owe back taxes to the IRS and must send payment immediately to settle the debt. Some IRS scammers now say that targets are eligible to receive tax refunds having paid their debts on time or for other phony reasons. Targets who are asked to pay outstanding debts are required to send money using gift cards or prepaid cards, while targets who are purportedly eligible for refunds are asked to fill online forms to collect their personal and financial information. IRS scammers aggressively threaten arrests, imprisonment, or suspension of driver's licenses.
The online forms used by these scammers to steal private information are later used in fraudulent activities. Note that taxpayers do not complete special forms to obtain federal tax refunds. Refunds are triggered by the tax returns submitted to the IRS. Using the phone number under the supposed IRS caller ID, you can find out who called by through reverse phone number tools.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls made using auto-dialers to present pre recorded messages. Auto-dialers are effective devices that can place random calls to thousands of contacts. Receiving unsolicited calls can be a jarring experience for most people with many viewing robocalls as intrusive and annoying. However, not all robocalls are unhelpful. Many deliver informational messages from public institutions, charity organizations, and political campaigners.
Robocalls are cheap to use and are effective tools for telemarketers hoping to pitch products and services to large audiences. However, it has also become one of the go-to tools for con artists hoping to scam people. These persons send out thousands of unsolicited calls in spam calls to people to defraud them. Spam calls are unwanted unsolicited calls placed to people having not obtained their express permission.
In 2020, more than 1.1 billion robocalls were placed to Michigan residents. Between January and April 2021, more than 424 million robocalls have been received by these residents, an average of 43.7 calls per person. A phone lookup service can help determine if an incoming call is a robocall. You can also limit your exposure to robocalls and their effects by:
- Check the National Do Not Call Registry: Verify that your number has been added to the registry maintained by the Federal Trade Commission. You can do so by visiting the registry's website or calling (888) 382-1222 from the phone you want to register
- Contact your telephone provider: Some telephone companies offer call blocking or screening products. Verify if such a product is included in your monthly fee or is available for an additional fee.
- Add an app: Third-party applications are available on mobile application stores for phone users to reduce the number of robocalls received. Examples include Truecaller, Hiya, and Nomorobo. There are free options as well as more extensive plans with a monthly subscription fee.
- Report unwanted calls: Robocall and scam call complaints may be filed with several agencies:
- Federal Communications Commission - (888) 225-5322
- Federal Trade Commission - (877) 382-4357
How to Spot and Report Allegan County Phone Scams?
Most individuals have been targeted in a scam at some point. Scammers have a go at their targets in all sorts of ways, including texts, robocalls, and live calls. Scams are getting cleverer and more sophisticated, and it would be a huge mistake to think that only the gullible are targeted by phone scammers. Reverse lookup tools are available on the internet to help identify incoming scam calls. Likewise, educating yourself on the cons used by fraudsters will help reduce the odds of falling victim to phone scams
Common scam telltale signs include:
- The caller is in a hurry and wants to lure you into making a quick decision: Scammers often use high-pressure tactics to cover their bases and lead you into hurriedly making decisions. Most legitimate businesses will give you time and written information about an offer before asking you to make financial commitments.
- The caller wants you to pay for something that should be free: You should question any instructions demanding payment to redeem prizes, grants, or gifts. If it is truly free, you should not have to pay to receive it. If you have to pay, it is a purchase, not a gift or prize.
- The caller wants you to give out your account information or "confirm" it: Some callers have your billing information before calling you. They only want you to say "okay" so they can claim that you authorized the charges. They may also be trying to learn your account number. Do not give it out unless you know who you are talking to and what you are purchasing.
- The caller wants you to pay in a specific way: Reputable organization will give you multiple options to make payment. However, con artists typically insist on one of these methods; internet currencies, gift cards, prepaid debit cards, and wire transfers.
- The caller wants you to release sensitive personal information: Certain information such as Social Security numbers, birthdates, bank account information, and credit card numbers are private to owners. Be wary when unsolicited callers who claim to work with trusted organizations ask you to provide them.
Services that conduct reverse phone number lookups by address, name, and phone number are helpful against phone scams. To win the war against phone scams, you can also report scam calls to the following agencies:
- Allegan County Sheriff's Office: If you have been contacted by a scammer by phone, contact the Allegan County Sheriff's Office at (269) 673-3899.
- Local Police Departments: You can report contacts with scammers to local police departments in Allegan County. In the county seat of Allegan, contact the Allegan Police Department at (269) 673-2115.
- The Consumer Protection Division of the Michigan Attorney General's Office: To report abuse or scam, you can file a report online on the Michigan Attorney General’s website or call the Consumer Protection Division at (877) 765-8388.
- Federal Communications Commission: If you receive unwanted robocalls and text messages, you can file a report online with the FCC.
- Federal Trade Commission - The FTC protects consumers from deceptive and fraudulent practices. You can file a phone scam report with the FTC by completing the online complaint form.
- The United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TITGA): If you have been contacted by an IRS scammer, contact TITGA by calling the office at (800) 366-4484.