Michigan Phone Number Lookup

(616) 208-5808

What are Ottawa County Area Codes?

Named after the Ottawa Nation, an Indigenous American ethnic group, Ottawa County occupies an area measuring 1,631 square miles in Michigan. It is home to four rivers and three lakes. The 2010 census puts the population of Ottawa County at 263,801. Its county seat is the City of Grand Haven.

There are two area codes serving the communities making up Ottawa County. These are area codes 616 and 231. Area codes are numeric designations that describe NPAs (numbering plan areas). NPAs and area codes were first introduced in the United States in 1947 when the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) was instituted. An area code is a three-digit number. It is the first three digits in a 10-digit North American phone number. This code is useful for determining where a phone number was registered. The introduction of area codes made it easier to route long-distance calls across North American phone networks.

Area Code 616

As one of the original area codes created in 1947, area code 616 covers a large swath of counties and communities. It was one of the three area codes assigned to Michigan and the largest too. However, it has since been reduced in three splits that created area codes 906, 231, and 269 in 1961, 1999, and 2002 respectively. Currently, area code 616 serves the following cities in Ottawa County: Grand Haven, Holland, Zeeland, Hudsonville, Ferrysburg, and parts of Coopersville.

Area Code 231

When it was put into service in June 1999, area code 231 took over the upper half of the areas previously assigned to area code 616. It was created in a split plan that opened up new phone numbers to the rapidly growing communities in that part of Michigan. Some of the communities in Ottawa County covered by this area code include parts of Coopersville, Allendale, Lamont, and Marne.

What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Ottawa County?

There are more people in Ottawa County, and the rest of Michigan, using wireless phone services than those with landlines. In a 2018 survey conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, the results showed that 57.3% of the adults in Michigan relied solely on wireless phone services while 4.7% of them only used landline for telecommunication. The gap between these groups of phone users was even wider among minors in the state. Residents under the age of 18 favored wireless phone services with 69.5% of them only using these for telecommunication. In contrast, only 1.7% of minors in the state still solely relied on landlines.

Residents of Ottawa County enjoy phone services from the four major carriers in the US. AT&T has the most extensive coverage among the Big Four with its signals reaching 97.6% of Michigan. T-Mobile has a network coverage of 91.2% and Verizon follows closely with 90.2% coverage of the state. Sprint’s network is only available in 56.1% of Michigan.

Mobile Virtual Network Operators or MVNOs also provide phone services in the county. These are smaller network operators that rely on the infrastructure of the big carriers. MVNOs are regional carriers that buy network services in bulk from national carriers. They repackage these services into bundles that are attractive to locals and pass some of the savings from their bulk purchase to end users.

For Ottawa County residents with broadband internet access, there is a third option for phone services. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is communication technology that delivers multimedia signals over the internet as data packets. VoIP phone services are often more affordable than landline and cell phone services. They also offer unique add-on features and are cost-effective for long calls and long-distance calls.

What are Ottawa County Phone Scams?

Ottawa County phone scams are frauds conducted using phone services and tools and targeted at residents of the county. The numbers of phone scams reported in the county and state keep rising every year as fraudsters hatch new schemes to defraud residents or steal confidential information. These scammers find and trick their victims using tools such as robocalls, spam calls, and caller ID spoofing. These tools let scammers cast wider nets for victims and spend less to contact a lot more people.

While some telecommunication tools and services enable phone scams, others are useful for curtailing these frauds and even finding those responsible for them. Examples of these services are reverse phone lookup and call blocking. In addition to using these tools, residents of Ottawa County should also be aware of the most common phone scams reported in their communities. These phone frauds include grandparent scams, lottery/sweepstakes scams, charity scams, travel scams, and credit repair scams.

What are Ottawa County Grandparent Scams?

Also known as emergency scams, these cons involve scammers calling elderly residents and asking for immediate financial help while claiming to be their grandkids. A grandparent scam exploits familial love and relies on the target’s readiness to help their loved one. The scammer running this con usually does preliminary research on the target and the family member they are impersonating. Alternatively, the scammer may start with a warm greeting and then wait until the grandparent calls out the name of the loved one they believe is calling.

Fraudsters running grandparent scams may claim to need the requested amounts because they are in jail, had an accident, or are stranded in a foreign country. Regardless off the emergency claimed by the caller, local law enforcement warns residents not to send money without corroborating the caller’s claims from friends and other family members. To prevent their targets from doing this, scammers beg their victims not to tell others about their requests out of shame.

Scammers running grandparent cons usually request money via quick and irreversible means. These include prepaid cards and wire transfers. One way to catch them in their lies is to run their phone numbers through reverse phone lookup free services to determine whether they are who they claim or where they claim to be stranded.

What are Ottawa County Lottery/Sweepstakes Scams?

Lottery, sweepstakes, and free prize scams also involve impersonating others. In these cases, scammers impersonate agents of recognized organizations when calling their targets with congratulatory messages that they won some money, free vacations, or other free prizes. Lottery scammers may also make up fake lotteries, usually in foreign countries or out of state, and hope their targets cannot confirm their lies. They ask unsuspecting residents to send some money before receiving their winnings/free prizes. They claim these are to cover taxes, processing and shipping fees, or some other charges.

Ottawa County residents should know that legitimate lotteries and sweepstakes do not require winners to pay anything before receiving their winnings. If someone claims you qualify for a free gift or vacation but wants you to pay some amounts to claim it, they are most likely scammers. A quick area code lookup can help you determine whether the caller is in the state where they claim they are. Use a phone number lookup to determine whether the unknown number calling you is registered to the organizations the caller claims to represent.

What are Ottawa County Charity Scams?

Charity scams are most common after natural disasters and similar events. Con artists claiming to represent charities solicit donations on behalf of the victims of these disasters. These scammers may impersonate approved fundraisers for legitimate charities or make up fake charities. Often, the made-up charity sounds very similar to a well-known one. Before making donations, Ottawa County should verify that the charities contacting them are legitimate. They can verify charities requesting donations in Michigan by contact any of the following agencies:

  • Attorney General’s Consumer Charitable Trust Section- (517) 373-1152
  • Better Business Bureau (located in Grand Rapids) - (800) 684-3222
  • Better Business Bureau (located in Southfield) - (248) 223-9400
  • Charity Watch - (773) 529-2300

Another way to search for legitimate charities is to do so on the GuideStar website or by calling (800) 421-8656. Ottawa County residents can also conduct quick suspicious phone number lookups on unknown phone numbers calling to solicit donations to confirm that they are indeed registered to the charities they claim to represent.

What are Ottawa County Travel Scams?

Fraudsters running travel scams exploit their targets’ eagerness to find great deals on their favorite travel destinations. These scams promise cheap travel packages with good accommodation and dining experiences. Telemarketers selling these packages often use high-pressure tactics and promise even more discounts just to get their targets to sign up. These scammers may abscond after receiving payments from unsuspecting residents or send them to destinations that look nothing like the ones described in the sales pitches.

To avoid travel scams, only buy travel packages from reputable agencies after checking with the Better Business Bureau. You can also search the number of the caller trying to sell this package with a reverse phone lookup service to confirm that they indeed represent the travel agency they claim to represent. Pay for a travel package with your credit card so you can get a refund if you believe the travel agency is trying to scam you. Never give out your credit card details to a stranger over the phone.

What are Ottawa County Credit Repair Scams?

The scams are run by illegal credit repair companies promising to clean up their victims’ credit reports. They charge recurring fees to remove bankruptcy records from credit reports and improve their credit scores. However, there is no way to remove such information from a credit report before it elapses by law. Credit repair companies are fraudulent and misrepresent their capabilities to desperate individuals looking to quickly improve their credit reports.

Signs to look out for to when determining whether a company claiming to provide credit repair services is a scammer include:

  • Asking for payment before providing any service
  • Recommending that you do not consult credit reporting companies directly
  • Encouraging you to create new credit identity or other illegal actions

If you receive a call from a stranger claiming to be capable of improving your credit, hang up immediately. A quick reverse phone lookup search on the number used will reveal that this individual is not affiliated with credit card companies. Such searches may also unearth reports of credit repair scams previously perpetrated using that number.

What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?

Robocalls are automated phone calls placed by auto-dialers to deliver pre-recorded messages to large groups of people. They were first used by political campaigns, telemarketers, and organizations delivering public service announcements to quickly contact phone users. These days, most robocalls are from scammers and dubious telemarketers. Ottawa County residents receive thousands of such illegal robocalls every day as fraudsters cast a wide net for potential victims.

Spam calls are just as annoying as robocalls. These unsolicited calls are also placed in bulk to large groups of people. While robocalls usually have their messages delivered in robotic voices, spam calls may use recordings of actual persons. Both types of unwanted phone calls are getting increasingly common and popular with scammers. Here are some useful tips for reducing the number of robocalls and spam calls you receive:

  • Do not trust your phone’s caller ID to correctly identify callers as scammers often use caller ID spoofing
  • Hang up on a robocall or spam call as soon as you realize an unsolicited call is one of these
  • Do not follow the prompts provided during robocalls about pressing certain key combinations to remove your number from their call lists. Doing so only confirms that your line is active and guarantees that you will receive a lot more of these unwanted calls
  • Identify the caller registered to a number that repeatedly calls you with a reverse phone lookup search. If you find that the number is for a robocaller or spammer, promptly block it
  • Use the call-blocking feature built into your smartphone to stop calls from certain numbers or numbers not in your contact list. Carriers also offer call blocking to their subscribers. There are also call-blocking apps that rely on crowdsourced blacklists to block phone numbers used by scammers and spammers
  • Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. You stop receiving calls from legitimate telemarketers after 31 days of adding your number to this registry. Subsequent robocalls received are illegal and most likely from scammers

How to Spot and Report Ottawa County Phone Scams?

Learning about prevailing scams in the county and state is a key step to foiling phone scams. Scammers change their tactics just enough to trick unsuspecting residents. This means that all new scams are variations of the same old tricks. A phone scammer’s aim remains defrauding their victim and falsely or forcefully obtaining personal and confidential information. They will lie, plead, commiserate, and threaten to achieve these goals.

To avoid falling for phone scams, Ottawa County residents should look out for the following red flags when speaking with strangers on the phone:

  • Caller does not properly identify themselves - scammers try to hide their true identities and are cautious about providing full names even when impersonating others
  • Caller speaks bad English - a large number of phone scammers are outside the US and live in countries where English is not their first language
  • Caller uses threats and fear to obtain compliance - scammers try to scare their targets so they do not question their claims and simply obey their directions
  • Caller is rude - phone scammers may become rude when they sense hesitation from their targets
  • Caller claims to be from a known organization - Law enforcement, IRS, and Social Security Administration are government agencies usually impersonated by phone scammers. They may also claim to be representatives of financial houses and tech companies. Note that these public and private organizations rarely call residents first
  • Caller uses aggressive sales tactics - in addition to using fear to get their victims to act, scammers may also appeal to their fear of missing out by claiming their free gifts, offers, and investment opportunities are only available for a limited time
  • Caller demands payment by prepaid debit card, gift card, Venmo or other mobile payment app, or cryptocurrency

When in doubt, investigate a stranger calling with an unknown number or an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be from an organization you know. Do so by running a phone number search on their number. Ottawa County residents are also encouraged to report all instances of attempted and successful phone scams. Reporting these will help law enforcement apprehend and prosecute scammers. Just as importantly, reporting also helps others learn about new tricks and emerging tactics used by phone scammers in the state.

Ottawa County residents can report phone scams to these county, state, and federal agencies:

  • The Consumer Protection Division of the Michigan’s Department of Attorney General - this agency upholds the state’s Consumer Protection Act and protects residents from bad actors trying to defraud them. Submit a scam report online or call the tool-free line (877) 765-8388
  • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - this is the federal consumer protection agency responsible for protecting residents against frauds involving deceptive business practices. It accepts phone fraud reports involving fake charities, investment scams, and other scams involving breaches in consumer trust. Residents can submit their fraud complaints to the FTC online
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - the FCC regulates communications services in the United States. Phone scams conducted using illegal robocalls, caller ID spoofing, or spam calls can be reported to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center
  • The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office -  this is the primary law enforcement agency in the county. You can report a phone scam to the Law Enforcement Division of the Sheriff’s Office. Find the right number to call in the directory of the main offices as well as units in other cities and towns of the county