What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Macomb County?
Created by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) identify specific telephone service areas and are designated by area codes. Area codes are the sequence of three numbers that begin 10-digit telephone numbers as assigned in the United States. There are currently two area codes in service in Macomb County. The Michigan Public Service Commission is in charge of implementing and maintaining the state’s service area codes.
The area codes in service in Macomb County are 586 and 810.
Area Code 586
Area code 586 covers most of Macomb County. It was split off from area code 810 in September 2001. The cities served by this area code include Centerline, Eastpointe, Fraser, Mount Clemens, New Baltimore, Roseville, Saint Clair Shores, Sterling Heights, Utica, and Warren.
Area Code 810
Area code 810 was split off from area code 313, the original NPA for all of Michigan. It was split off in December 1993 and currently serves east-central Michigan, including a small portion of Northern Macomb County. The city in Macomb County serviced by this area code is Richmond.
Wireless cell phone technology has replaced landlines as the premier form of telephone service in Michigan. A 2018 CDC survey provides data that lend credence to this statement. The survey indicates that users of wireless-only phone services made up 57.3% of the state’s adult population. Users of landlines only were estimated to be just 4.7% of the demographic. The trend becomes even more distinct in the survey of residents under 18 years. Here wireless telephone service users made up 69.5% while landline users made up only 1.7%.
Amongst the major carriers in Michigan, AT&T has the best coverage (99.5%) followed by T-Mobile with 91.2% and Verizon with 90.1%. Sprint's network lags behind the other three, with only 56.1% coverage. There are also several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) operating in the state. These are smaller networks that operate using the larger networks’ framework to offer targeted bundled services at cheaper rates. Overall, phone service coverage may drop in remote areas of the state.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a newer phone service fast gaining popularity in Michigan. VoIP allows residents to use telephone services like calls, video calls, and text messages over broadband internet.
What are Macomb County Phone Scams?
These are criminal activities in Macomb County committed using telephony services. These acts are perpetrated to steal money and sensitive information from county residents. The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and the Consumer Protection Unit of the Michigan Department of the Attorney General provide tips and alerts about common scams. Residents who can use online applications to perform phone number lookups by name and address may identify these fraudsters. Residents can also file reports with the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Communications Commission if they have been the victims of phone scams. Some of the common phone scams in Michigan and Macomb County are discussed below.
What are Tech Support Scams?
In a tech support scam, the scammer calls the target claiming to be technical support from a reputable tech company like Microsoft and Apple. The scammer also claims that the target’s device, a laptop or phone, requires a critical update and offers to walk them through installing the update. The scammer now tries to collect information like passwords and other sensitive information under cover of helping. In some variations, the target is asked to download the update file from a website. This file is usually a malware that helps the scammer hack the target’s device and steal sensitive information.
Do not grant remote access to your devices to unknown callers. Technical support agents of reputable tech companies do not make unsolicited calls to customers. Also, all software updates must come from the companies’ official websites and servers. Any resident that receives a call like this can use a reverse phone lookup service to answer the question “who called me”?
What are Medicaid Scams?
With this scam, someone claiming to be from the local public health department contacts the target. Spoofed phone numbers are used in Medicaid scams to deceive residents. These scammers offer free checkups and medications when they contact their targets. They then attempt to collect sensitive personal information, including Medicaid numbers, supposedly for verification and billing purposes.
Do not give out these details to anyone over the phone, especially during a phone call you did not initiate. These details can be used to steal your identity and bill Medicaid for all sorts of medications and procedures you did not get. Even if the number looks real, confirm independently using a phone number lookup application to identify the callers. Local health departments will neither call to offer free meds and check-ups nor try to collect sensitive information over the phone.
What are Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
The Macomb County Police Sheriff’s Office alerts residents to scammers calling and pretending to be the Sheriff’s Office deputies. A scammer running this con may claim the resident is in some form of trouble usually for missed jury duty, unpaid tickets, or outstanding warrants. They threaten immediate arrest and ask the target to pay to prevent this. The scammer will usually ask for payment through untraceable means like wire transfers, gift cards, and bitcoin. Some targets have also been lured to secluded areas to deliver payments and then robbed.
The Sheriff’s Office will never call and threaten you with arrest over the phone. The Sheriff’s Office will also never ask for money to stop an arrest. Residents that receive such calls should hang up immediately and call the Sheriff Office directly for inquiries. Residents can also use a phone number lookup service to retrieve information on the callers.
What are Mystery Shopper Scams?
In this scam, a target is contacted and informed that they have been chosen to be a secret or mystery shopper. The scammer tells the target that their job is to check the effectiveness of a money transfer service. The target is then sent a check for a large sum of money, asked to pay in the check, and visit a money transfer service. The target is instructed to wire most of the money to a party in Canada or another foreign country as part of the job. The rest of the money the target is asked to keep as their pay. In a few days or weeks, the check is discovered to be fake, and the victim will be liable for the total amount lost.
Residents should be wary of offers like this that come out of random phone calls. To confirm the offer, visit the Mystery Shopping Providers Association (MSPA) website. It contains information on becoming a mystery shopper with an MSPA-member company, databases of available jobs, and more industry details.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is a telephone call that is automated to deliver a recorded message. Robocalls are legitimately used by political organizations and marketers to reach large audiences. However, in recent times, scammers have hijacked the service because it allows them to reach many potential targets anonymously. They deliver pre-recorded messages to deceive residents into revealing sensitive personal and banking information. Residents can pass robocall numbers through free phone number lookup applications and services to determine who the numbers used are registered to.
Some easy steps to take if you keep receiving these robocalls include:
- Cut the call as soon as you discover it is a robocall.
- Do not give out personal information or banking details during these calls. Scammers can use such information to steal your identity and money.
- Do not follow any instructions or prompts during the call, even if it is to de-list your number. Doing this only confirms the number is active and leads to more robocalls in the future.
- Research and then obtain a free phone number lookup application. This will help you identify and block robocall numbers.
- Register your number with the National Do Not Call Registry. Legitimate robocall users know not to call numbers on this registry. If you are registered and still receive robocalls, they are likely scams.
- Report any robocall abuse to the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Communications Commission.
How Can You Spot and Report Macomb County Phone Scams?
Fraudsters have developed different techniques to lure unsuspecting individuals into believing their lies and sending their information and money. A simple way to identify scammers is to run the numbers they use through phone number lookup applications. This will help identify the scammers and block their numbers.
Some signs that a phone call is a scam call include:
- Unsolicited calls from customer care and technical support services of companies. Technical support should not call you when you did not call first to report a problem.
- Threatening phone calls from law enforcement officers asking for money to clear crimes. Law enforcement will never threaten you with arrest or ask for payment to clear a crime.
- Government agencies asking for payment over the phone and by untraceable methods. These methods include wire transfer, gift cards, bitcoin, and prepaid credit cards. Scammers use these methods because payments sent through them are easy to collect and hard to track.
- If you receive robocalls when you are registered on the National Do Not Call Registry. Any robocall you receive even after 31 days of being on the registry is an illegal robocall at least and most likely a scam.
- Callers making bogus offers of free services and gifts that require payment to claim. You should not have to pay for anything that is genuinely free.
The best way to avoid falling victim to scams is to learn about the different types of scams and how scammers operate. Identifying scammers by performing phone number lookups by name and address is also a good skill to have.
Many government agencies provide information to residents to help them avoid falling victim to scams and provide aid when they do. Some of these agencies are listed below.
Local Law Enforcement
The Macomb County Sheriff’s Office and the police departments of the county’s cities provide information and issue alerts about scams that occur within the county. They sometimes use the local TV news and radio stations to do so. They also use social media platforms like Facebook to issue scam alerts. Residents who believe scammers may have targeted them can call the Sheriff's Office non-emergency number at the dispatch center on (586) 469-5502. Residents can also contact the local Police Departments in their cities.
State Division of Consumer Protection
The Consumer Protection Division and its parent agency, the Michigan Department of the Attorney General, are the state's consumer advocates. They regularly provide consumer alerts and information about the scams that occur within the state. Residents that have experienced any cons can report them online. The Department of the Attorney General is currently cracking down on illegal robocalls and encourages residents to report robocalls online.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The Federal Communications Commission was created to regulate communication systems nationwide. One of its duties is to prevent the criminal use of communication systems, including phones, letters, and robocalls. The FCC regularly provides alerts on scams and offers guides on how to stop unwanted robocalls. Victims of scams can also file complaints online at the FCC website.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The Federal Trade Commission was created to protect consumers from fraudulent and illegal business activities nationwide. They provide guides on how to block unwanted calls and maintain the National Do Not Call Registry. Businesses and organizations consult this service and know to avoid calling phone numbers on it. To make complaints, consumers can call the FTC on 1-888-382-1222 or file a complaint online on the FTC website.