What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Livingston 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 three area codes serve Livingston County – Area codes 517, 734, and 810.
Area Code 517
Area code 517 serves the south-central portion of Michigan covering Lansing, East Lansing, and Jackson. It is one of the original area codes created by AT&T and the Bell System in 1947. It was split in 2001 to form area code 989. Other locations served by this area code include Holt, Waverly, Okemos, Adrian, and Haslett.
Area Code 734
Area code 734 was first used on December 13, 1997, and was created from area code 313. It is located in southeastern Michigan and covers Ann Arbor, Westland, and Southgate. It also serves Livonia, Taylor, Garden City, Romulus, and Monroe.
Area Code 810
Area code 810 was created from area code 313 and was first used on December 1, 1993. It is the only area code serving Flint, Port Huron, and Burton. Area code 810 was split in 1997 creating the need to update some phone numbers to area code 248. It was split again in 2001 to form area code 586. It also serves locations such as Fenton, Beecher, Marysville, Lapeer, and Flushing.
There are so many choices when it comes to selecting a cell phone plan in Livingston County. The options have increased following the rapid rate of adoption of wireless telephony service as the primary option for county residents. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, 57.3% of adults aged 18 and over, 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.
Before locating a good plan, it is wise to consider the coverage of the wireless providers in your local area. After all, you do not want calls dropping due to sub-par coverage quality in your area after signing up. In Livingston County, Verizon has the best overall network with a coverage score of 98%, followed by T-Mobile with a coverage score of 88%. Sprint's coverage is rated 78%, while T-Mobile has a coverage score of 55%.
Livingston County residents can also find a great phone plan deal from a variety of other smaller wireless carriers in the county. Other than T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint, Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) also offer multiple cell phone plans with varying features at different prices. MVNOs run on the infrastructure of the larger carriers and therefore offer wide coverage.
VoIP is also available in Livingston County with plans on offer from several VoIP service providers. VoIP uses the internet or IP networks to transmit voice signals and send multimedia files to complete calls. VoIP service users using the same VoIP application can contact one another for free. However, charges will be incurred for data use. By subscribing to a VoIP phone plan, you can make calls to users of regular telephone lines.
What Are Livingston County Phone Scams?
Livingston County phone scams include all fraudulent activities engaged in by fraudsters through phone calls, text messages, and robocalls to lure Livingston County residents into releasing money or obtaining sensitive information from them. Phone scams are not new; they have been around for centuries and are as old as telephony communications. They are used to bilk unwitting people or to gain information, or power. With the rise of the Internet and smartphone technology, phone scams have become more prevalent, especially since scammers can now send out thousands of recorded messages to targets at low costs. So wise, they cast their nets wide in hopes of hooking a handful of people.
The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan Attorney General's Office provide regular consumer alerts and awareness of current and popular phone scams carried out in the county and state. Livingston County residents can use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers. Common phone scams in Livingston County are listed below.
What are Livingston County Sheriff Impostor Scams?
In the sheriff impostor scam, callers claim to be employees of the Livingston County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) and identify themselves as lieutenants or chief deputies. The impersonators advise targets that they have outstanding warrants for their arrests and must purchase prepaid gift cards of certain amounts to "take care" of the warrants. Victims are then told to call the impersonators with the numbers on the cards.
In another variation of the sheriff impostor scam, con artists contact Livingston County residents soliciting money for the Sheriff Department. Note that the LCSO does not solicit money from residents or ask them to "take care" of arrest warrants by purchasing prepaid cards or wire transfers. You can use good reverse phone lookup tools online to quickly do a number lookup or reverse number lookup.
What are Livingston County Social Security Scams?
In the Social Security scam, Livingston County residents are tricked into believing that their Social Security numbers have been compromised or breached and have been used for illegal or criminal activities. The majority of these calls are made to residents through robocalls with callback numbers left in the recorded message delivered. Once targets call back, they are transferred to persons pretending to be Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) agents who say that the Social Security numbers used in crimes have been suspended. To lift the suspensions, these purported agents request gift cards be sent to “fix” the problems.
The persons behind these scams usually target more vulnerable and trusting residents, which tend to be the aging population, however, younger people fall for the scam too. You can then use a reverse phone lookup tool to verify the identity of the person behind the suspicious phone number.
What are Livingston County Healthcare Scams?
Impostors have been calling Livingston County residents claiming to be from local health departments. These criminals pose as public health officials and request personal information that can be used to steal their identities. Some ask for Medicaid or Medicare numbers, Social Security numbers, or passwords over the phone. They attempt to obtain this information under various guises. For instance, they may claim targets need to replace or upgrade their Medicare cards or offer to "activate" the cards. Sometimes, they even assert that your card is not the right one and will not work. In response, they offer to send a replacement if targets provide their Social Security numbers and birthdates. 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 Livingston County IRS Scams?
IRS scams are common during the tax seasons but are also perpetrated at other times. Callers claim to be from the Internal Revenue Service and say they have discovered errors in targets' tax reports. They demand immediate payments and threaten arrests, deportation, fines, imprisonment, or revocation of business or driver's licenses if the instructions are not followed. Typically, they convince targets to obtain iTunes cards or other preloaded payment cards, then have them provide the codes from the cards over the phone. They often have the victims mail the cards to fictitious addresses too.
Using the phone number under the supposed IRS caller ID, you can find out who called by using reverse phone number tools online. The IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by telephone calls; they send letters. You would have been informed ahead by letters or emails before receiving a call from the IRS.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
If you answer a call and you hear a prerecorded message, you have been contacted by a robocall. Recorded messages give telemarketers cheap ways of contacting a large number of people. These types of calls can cost less than 10% of the costs of making scam calls using live operators. Robocalls are also useful in the issuing of public service announcements and for charities seeking donations. While some robocalls are helpful, others are just spam.
Spam calls are unwanted and unsolicited and are typically used by criminals and organizations who have not obtained the express permission of call recipients before contacting them with robocalls.
These calls are often extremely malicious in nature, attempting to scam unsuspecting targets out of their money or personal data. Spam calls have been made easier to make due to developments in the availability and sophistication of dialing technology. 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 Livingston County Phone Scams?
Although using reverse phone lookup tools helps spot scam calls and avoid potential losses, remaining on guard remains a piece of good advice for residents in everyday communications. Scammers can obtain information from virtually all means of communication ranging from workmates to online sites. It has become nearly impossible to avoid being targeted in scams. However, you can identify certain telltale signs when contacted by scammers. These include:
- An offer too good to be true: There is a reason why certain offers look too good to be true. Most times, it is because these offers are baits to lure you into divulging sensitive information or losing money. Do not jump at such offers. Conduct your own research online or by contacting relevant organizations or persons who can provide adequate information.
- Aggressive tactics: These are tricks used by con artists to hurry targets into transferring money or releasing private information. A scammer may intimidate targets with threats of arrests, deportation, or revocation of license to make them cooperate. Reputable organizations will not intimidate you this way.
- Unsolicited requests for sensitive information: Con artists may inform their targets that their accounts have been suspended or need an upgrade. However, to resolve the problems, they have to provide sensitive information such as Social Security numbers, bank account information, and credit card information. Do not give out such private information to unsolicited callers regardless of who they claim to be.
- Requests for payment through insecure money transfer services: When an unsolicited caller claiming to represent a trusted agency requests payment through gift cards, prepaid cards, MoneyGram, and Western Union, be wary. Reputable organizations will not ask you to make payments through these methods.
Services that conduct reverse phone number lookups by address, name, and phone number are helpful against phone scams. Both state and federal institutions are committed to fighting the scourge of phone scammers and provide information and assistance to residents. These include:
- Livingston County Sheriff's Office: If you have been contacted by a scammer by phone, contact the Livingston County Sheriff's Office non-emergency dispatch at (517) 546-2440.
- Local Police Departments: You can report contacts with scammers to local police departments in Livingston County. In the county seat of Howell, contact the Howell Police Department at (517) 546-9111.
- 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.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.