What are Muskegon County Area Codes?
Muskegon County is located in the State of Michigan. It was founded in 1859. Based on the 2019 census, the population is 173,566. Its county seat is the City of Muskegon, and its largest city is Norton Shores. The total area of the county is 3,781 km².
An area code is a set of three numbers that prefixes the main telephone number. Area codes help determine the geographical areas where specific calls originate from or their destination. Under the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), every geographical area is allocated at least one Numbering Plan Area (NPA). However, some areas have more than one area code due to the exhaustion of the originally assigned area codes. Residents can conduct area code lookups with reverse cell phone lookup services to identify the geographical areas certain area codes represent.
Only one area code covers Muskegon County, which is:
Area Code 231
Area code 231 serves the northwestern portion of the Lower Peninsula in Michigan. It became active in June 1999 as a split from area code 616. Area code 231 mostly covers the northern half of the old 616 area code. Some cities area code 231 serves are Muskegon, Norton Shores, Twin Lake, Whitehall, etc.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Muskegon County?
Verizon and Sprint are the two cell phone carriers with the best network coverage in Muskegon County. Verizon has the best coverage with 98%, while Sprint has considerably good coverage with 64%.
From the 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey, it is apparent that most adults and minors in Michigan prefer to use only wireless telephones instead of landlines. The telephone status survey reveals that 57.3% of the Michigan adult population only used wireless telephones, while 4.7% of the adults in Michigan used only landlines as their chosen telephony service option. In contrast, 69.5% of minors in Michigan used only wireless telephone services, while only 1.7% of minors used only landlines.
Voice over Internet Protocol is popularly known as VoIP. It has become quite popular in Muskegon County. It provides advanced telephony services that are essential to both residents and businesses alike. Therefore, both residents and businesses prefer to use VoIP for voice and multimedia communications, among other related uses relevant to them. VoIP is cost-effective in that it facilitates several advanced telephony services, including long-distance calls, at minimal costs compared to telephony services. Other services that VoIP offers are auto line attendants, conference calling, advanced call management, name dialing, anonymous calling, call routing, voicemail/ call forwarding, call analytics, call rejection, etc.
What are Muskegon County Phone Scams?
Muskegon County phone scams are scams targeted at residents, both young and old. Over time, phone scams have caused serious problems for residents by defrauding them of their hard-earned money and stealing their personal information. These scams involve scammers calling residents randomly to perpetrate fraudulent schemes over telephone conversations. The scammers take advantage of technological advancements that enable them to impersonate, deceive, and implicate innocent residents. Some of these technological advancements are robocalls and Caller ID spoofing. They facilitate the fraudulent schemes of scammers who use them illegally. For instance, fraudsters use Caller ID spoofing to conceal their phone numbers and show the Caller IDs of persons they wish to impersonate. Residents can fight these schemes by downloading reverse phone look up apps on their cell phones and using them to conduct phone number lookups. This makes it possible to identify impostors and report them to the appropriate authorities.
Phone scams that are prevalent in Muskegon County include:
What are Muskegon County Apple and Amazon Support Scams?
These scams begin with a prerecorded voice claiming to be from the Apple or Amazon support team and telling you of certain account issues or unapproved purchases. The recorded message may allege that there has been an unauthorized $700 purchase or a suspicious activity on your Apple iCloud account, leading to a breach of the account. The prerecorded message then tells you to press 1 to speak with a customer service representative. However, instead of being connected with a customer service representative, you will be connected with a scammer who attempts to manipulate you into providing personal information.
Residents are advised not to press any numbers or share their personal information in response to such calls. If they believe their accounts have problems, they may contact Amazon or Apple directly using the phone numbers listed on their verified official websites. Residents can conduct suspicious phone number lookups using reverse phone lookup tools to identify such scam callers and block their phone numbers.
What are Muskegon County Arrest Warrant Scams?
In arrest warrant scams, con artists pretend to be Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office employees. They tell the call recipients that they have arrest warrants for them, and they can only escape arrest if they pay bonds using “Green Dot” or “MoneyPak” cards. The Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office warns of these scams and insists that the office does not contact residents to tell them to pay bonds over the phone. Anyone that receives such a call should simply hang up and not send any money. Victims may contact the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office to file reports.
Note that these scammers sometimes use Caller ID spoofing to make the calls look like they are actually from the Sheriff’s Office. However, a recipient of such a call may conduct a phone number search to determine if the call is really from the County Sheriff’s Office.
What are Muskegon County Charity Scams?
Here, con artists take up the identities of legitimate charitable organizations or claim to represent bogus charitable organizations. They then seek the financial support of unsuspecting residents. The con artists pretend to need the funds to help residents that have been displaced or adversely affected by catastrophic events. In some cases, the con artists play on the emotions of residents by showing them false representations of residents in need of help. While the pictures or documents they present may appear convincing, residents should be wary of these scams because the aim is to gather funds and embezzle them.
Individuals should never trust persons calling to seek donations over the phone because they may most likely be scammers. It is essential to verify the callers by performing reverse phone number lookups to identify who called. Performing a background check on the charitable organization the caller claims to represent is also necessary before donating. To be on the safer side, residents should directly donate to verified charitable organizations and not random callers soliciting donations.
What are Muskegon County Social Security Administration Scams?
Social Security Administration scams involve fraudsters posing as Social Security Administration (SSA) representatives and telling residents that their social security numbers have been compromised. In most of these cases, the fraudsters duplicate the Caller IDs of the SSA with Caller ID spoofing to appear genuine. During the calls, the fraudsters make their targets believe that unknown persons have used their social security numbers or that their social security numbers are linked to crimes. They then tell the targets to pay some money to resolve the situation. The fraudsters typically specify that the mode of payment must be via prepaid cards, PayPal, gift cards, bitcoins, or wire transfers. They may also request their targets’ financial information to resolve the situation.
Residents should be wary of such calls and be informed that the SSA will never contact citizens to demand money or personal information for any reason. Individuals that receive such calls should verify the calls by performing suspicious phone number lookups with free reverse phone lookup tools to answer the question, “who is this number registered to?.”
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Calls programmed to deliver prerecorded messages with the use of autodialers are known as robocalls. These calls are structured to deliver information to a target audience within a specified time frame. Robocalls are used to disseminate emergency announcements and create awareness for good causes. Note that robocalls may be either legal or illegal. The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, created by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), regulates robocalls in the United States generally. Under the TCPA, anyone looking to send robocalls must first get the willful permission of each recipient before sending the robocalls. Hence, robocalls sent with the recipients’ consent are considered illegal and can be reported. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) permits the following robocalls to be sent with or without residents’ prior consent:
- Robocalls for political campaigns
- Robocalls by charitable organizations
- Debt collection robocalls
- Robocalls by legitimate health institutions
- Exclusively informational robocalls
Fraudsters hide under cover of robocalls and illegally send several scam calls to advertise bogus products and services and steal residents’ personal information. Some of these robocalls contain prompts to transfer recipients to live agents or for them to opt-out of the calls. Illegal robocalls are similar to spam calls that are sent out in bulk. Spam calls do not always have fraudulent intentions. However, in most cases, they advertise or proselytize without passing across any message directly relevant to the recipients. Spam calls can also be very frustrating.
Avoid falling victim to robocalls scams by taking these steps:
- Avoid answering robocalls and hang up immediately if you pick one unknowingly. Also, block the numbers from sending future calls. Phone network providers always have call-blocking options; contact them for this.
- Ignore any prompts given during the call.
- Maximize the use of the National Do Not Call Registry by registering all your phone numbers on it to restrict robocalls. Robocalls received after 31 days of registration are most likely robocalls and can be reported.
- Report unsolicited robocalls to the FTC through the online complaint assistant portal or call 1-888-382-1222 to report.
How to Spot and Report Muskegon County Phone Scams?
Some tactics are peculiar to phone scams, making it possible to identify scam calls or potential scam calls. However, to identify these scams, vigilance is key because some scammers copy the phone numbers of legitimate agencies. For cases like these, reverse phone look up tools can be used to conduct number lookups to uncover spoofed caller IDs. Indicators of phone scams are:
- The caller pressurizes the recipient, using fear tactics to cause them to act in the spur of the moment.
- The caller tries to appeal to the emotions of the recipient with claims that are not verifiable.
- The caller insists that payment is made only by unconventional means, which may be via wire transfers, bitcoins, cash, gift cards, prepaid cards. Tracing and retrieving such payment is usually difficult and somewhat impossible.
- The caller refuses to introduce themselves and demands that the details of the call be kept a secret.
- The caller requests payment before you are given supposed winnings.
- The caller tries to scare you with threats of arrest, license revocation, deportation, and other serious consequences while requesting money or personal information. Personal information such as social security numbers, mothers' maiden names, credit card numbers, passwords, etc. should not be shared.
- The caller offers to assist you in retrieving money lost to a scam for a fee.
- The caller tries to persuade you to engage in investment or business opportunities that are too good to be true.
Persons that notice any of these red flags during calls can report them to these government agencies:
Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office - If you receive calls appearing to be arrest warrant scams or other calls from supposed fraudsters, file a police report by calling 231-722-3524 or 911 (for emergency cases only)
Michigan Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office - Scam victims can report by calling ( 517) 335-7632 or toll-free at 1 (877) 765-8388. They may also report online.
Federal Bureau of Investigation - Scam victims can report general fraud and criminal matters to (202) 324-3000.
Federal Trade Commission - Anyone that is a victim of identity theft, illegal Caller ID spoofing, illegal robocalls, unwanted telemarketing, texts, or spam calls, and other scams can report using the FTC’s online consumer complaint assistant. Reports can also be made by calling 877-FTC-HELP or 877-ID-THEFT.