What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Monroe County?
Area codes are the three-digit number sets that begin American phone numbers. They were instituted by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) to help streamline telecommunication NANPA territories. Area codes assign Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) to specific geographic locations in a state. The Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) implements area codes in Michigan. Currently, only one area code serves Monroe County:
Area Code 734
Area code 734 is a Michigan area code created in 1997. It serves many counties in the state, including Monroe County. Cities and towns in Monroe County within the 734 NPA include Monroe, Carleton, Dundee, Erie, Ida, La Salle, Luna Pier, Maybee, Milan, and Petersburg.
AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon provide the best cell phone plans and adequate coverage in Monroe County. In Monroe City, Verizon boasts a 96% network spread, trailed closely by Sprint at 88%. AT&T reaches 80% of the city, while T-Mobile has network coverage of 70.1%.
In Michigan, an estimated 4.7% of adults used landlines for telecommunication, whereas a teeming 57.3% of this group had adopted wireless telephony services. Likewise, among children below 18 years, cell phone use is preferred as about 69.5% of that demographic relied on them, while only 1.7% used landlines solely. This was revealed by data from a National Center of Health Statistics survey conducted in 2018.
Monroe County residents and businesses have adopted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as an alternative for telephony services. VoIP technology transmits data over broadband internet connections. It is a pocket-friendly telephony service that supports text messaging, voice calls, and video conferencing.
What are Monroe County Phone Scams?
Phone scams in Monroe County are cunning attempts geared towards illegally obtaining sensitive information and money from county residents over the phone. The Consumer Protection Division of the Michigan Attorney General’s Office educates residents about various scams prevalent in the county and ways to avoid them. Applications that offer good phone number searches are adept in identifying phone scams and preventing county residents from being duped. Other public agencies protecting county residents from phone scams include Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Some scams frequently encountered in Monroe County include:
What are Monroe County Jury Duty Scams?
Scammers impersonating court or law enforcement officials call Monroe County residents to inform them that they missed jury duty. They often threaten their marks with imminent arrests or lawsuits if they fail to pay fines promptly. They sometimes act sympathetic and offer to help unsuspecting targets clear their names for a fee. The fraudsters may intimidate their victims into divulging credit card details or other personal information for alleged review of court records. Contrary to their claims, the data they garner is used for identity theft. They usually instruct their marks to pay them through wire transfers or gift cards. Note that genuine court notices about skipped jury duties arrive in the mail. Although it is unlawful to miss jury duty, legitimate law enforcement or court officials do not demand fines or solicit confidential information from defaulters over the phone. These scammers often spoof their targets’ Caller IDs, but this can be identified using reverse phone lookup applications. If you get a call from an unknown caller threatening to arrest you for allegedly missing jury duty, hang up immediately and report it to local law enforcement.
What are Monroe County Medicare Scams?
In this scam, Medicare beneficiaries in Monroe County are called by unknown persons claiming to be Medicare representatives. Scammers often use different tactics in this scheme, sometimes politely asking their targets for personal information for supposed medicare benefit upgrades. At other times, they may threaten to cancel mark’s medicare coverage if they fail to send money or provide information for renewal of their medicare cards. These scammers usually spoof their marks’ caller IDs to make their calls appear as though coming from Medicare. However, websites that offer free reverse phone lookup services can help county residents who receive such calls know who called. Hang up without hesitation if contacted by an unknown person making such requests and call the official phone number of Medicare to verify the caller’s claim. Medicare will never demand personal information from any beneficiary unless such a call is initiated by a beneficiary. You can report medicare scams to the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services online or by calling 1 (800) 447-8477.
What are Monroe County Utility Scams?
These scams are often prevalent during the winter when extreme weather conditions cut the electricity, gas, or water supply to homes and businesses. Scammers leverage this to extort money or information from Monroe County residents. They often pose as representatives of local utility companies, sometimes offering reimbursement for interrupted supply. To provide the so-called refund, however, county residents must provide their bank account information. They may also request consumers’ personal information before allegedly restoring services. The scammers sometimes threaten to leave residents’ interrupted utility unattended if certain payments are not made immediately. Never act based on any information provided by unknown callers. Instead, hang up and call your utility company directly on their verified phone numbers to authenticate unknown callers’ claims. Legitimate representatives of utility companies do not coerce their customers to pay bills over the phone. Also, they will never solicit payments through gift cards, cryptocurrencies, or money transfers. Using suspicious phone number lookup tools, Monroe County residents who get these types of calls can answer the question, “who is this number registered to?” They can report utility scam incidents by calling the Michigan Public Service Commission on 1 (800) 292-9555.
What are Monroe County Family Emergency Scams?
These are telephone scams that prey on residents’ eagerness to assist family members in distress and often target older people. Callers pose as relatives or friends of potential targets and make false claims to con their marks into sending money or revealing confidential information. They sound panic during the calls and may claim to be in police custody, on a hospital bed, or involved in a road accident. Alternatively, they pretend to be attorneys of their targets’ relatives who were allegedly kidnapped and need money to pay a ransom. These scammers demand urgent payments to handle such emergencies and usually keep their targets engaged on the phone lines until the money is sent. Sometimes, even after getting paid, they claim that the money was not received and compel their victims to pay again. Unfortunately, many Monroe County residents take these fraudsters’ bait and fail to realize until it is too late.
The FTC warns residents never to send money to unknown callers. You can run the phone number of a caller with such claims through a phone number search application to verify their identity. It is best to also confirm these callers’ claims by reaching out to other family members or friends.
What are Monroe County Prize and Lottery Scams?
Monroe County residents receive unexpected phone calls from unknown persons announcing they are lucky winners of prizes or lotteries. Such winnings can range from money to expensive electronic gadgets. The “winner” is, however, required to pay certain fees to cover government taxes, insurance, and shipping before claiming their prize. These fraudsters can also glean personal data from their targets for allegedly processing their wins. All these claims are false, and scammers can easily use any information they get to steal their targets’ identities. Scammers usually urge unsuspecting victims to keep their wins confidential until they receive them. This is a ploy to dissuade them from getting opinions from independent sources who can advise them against complying with the scammers’ demands.
Monroe County residents must know that they cannot win a lottery or competition they never entered. Never indulge any caller who says you must pay an up-front fee to claim a prize. Legitimate lotteries do not operate this way. You can verify the genuineness of such a call by independently researching the lottery organization and the details of the competition referenced in the phone call. Doing a reverse phone lookup on the caller will help you know who called.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are robot-like calls by automatic dialers that deliver programmed messages to selected mass phone numbers. They can be used for both legitimate and illegitimate purposes. Political organizations, non-governmental organizations, and telemarketing companies use this form of communication to disseminate information to mass audiences. However, scammers also use them to reach large numbers of targets in their scam schemes. Spam calls are telephone calls that convey unsolicited information in bulk to people who are not interested. They are tools that can be used by genuine businesses or scammers to identify active phone numbers based on responses for follow-up engagement. Scammers usually spoof robocalls to appear legitimate. County residents can, however, use reverse phone number services to reveal the true identities of persons behind such calls. Some of the best ways to handle robocalls abuse are:
- Register your phone number in the National Do Not Call Registry to opt-out of receiving unsolicited sales calls.
- Hang up once you recognize any robocall and refrain from following any instruction it may pass to avoid erroneously subscribing to more robocalls
- Report robocall abuse to the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Use reverse cell phone lookup services to identify spoofed robocalls and leverage free call blocking applications to bar identified robocalls and spam numbers.
How Can You Spot and Report Monroe County Phone Scams?
Residents can spot Monroe County phone scams by getting knowledge from the various phone scams awareness by relevant government agencies. These agencies update residents about prevalent phone scams in the county to protect them from being fleeced by scammers. Although scammers often disguise their identities, county residents can figure out their real identities using reverse cell phone lookup applications. Telltale signs of phone scams in Monroe County include:
- The caller demands personal data or money aggressively and threatens to arrest you for failure to comply. Legitimate entities will never ask for confidential information over the phone. They also would not use threats to extract information from you.
- An unverified caller offers you attractive investment opportunities while trying to convince you that there is no risk involved. Decline such offers because the sole aim is to abscond with your money.
- A caller insists on specific payment methods such as gift cards, bitcoins, and wire transfers. Legitimate businesses do not request payment through any of these odd channels.
- A caller offers short-lived investment opportunities with limited slots. The aim is to persuade you into investing your money without having sufficient time to research their proposals.
Several public agencies are responsible for protecting Monroe County residents from phone scams. They also provide opportunities for residents targeted by phone scams to file complaints. They include:
- Monroe County Sheriff’s Office: Monroe County residents can report phone scams to the Sheriff’s Office via email or by calling (734) 240-7550.
- Michigan Attorney General’s Office: Monroe County residents who are victims of phone scams can report to the Consumer Protection Division of the Michigan Attorney General’s Office by filing a consumer complaint online or calling (877) 765-8388.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Any resident targeted with phone scams can file online complaints with the FTC. The FTC also manages the National Do Not Call Registry. Residents who wish to stop receiving unsolicited calls from telemarketers can enlist their phone numbers on the DNC. If you get any robocall 31 days after registration, the odds are that it is a scam call, and you should report it to the FTC.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC): Monroe County residents can report phone scams to the FCC by filing online complaints.
- Michigan Better Business Bureau (BBB): If you were scammed by a business in Monroe County, report it to the Michigan BBB by calling (419) 531-3116.