What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Wayne County?
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) introduced area codes to distinguish the different numbering plan areas (NPAs) in US states. Area codes consist of the first three digits of telephone numbers and identify the origins or destinations of phone calls. In Wayne County, the Michigan Public Service Commission administers area codes.
There are two active area codes for Wayne County, Michigan.
Area Code 313
Area code 313 is the telephone area code serving Detroit and its suburbs in Wayne County. It was one of the original area codes introduced by the NANP. Cities covered under this NPA include Allen Park, Dearborn, Detroit, Ecorse, Inkster, Melvindale, Grosse Pointe, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Lincoln Park, Redford, River Rouge, and Taylor.
Area Code 734
Area code 734 is a Michigan telephone area code in the NANP that covers southern and western portions of Wayne County. It was created in 1997 and includes locations in other counties in Michigan. Cities in Wayne County under this NPA are Belleville, Canton, Garden City, Livonia, Plymouth, Romulus, Southgate, Wayne, Westland, and Wyandotte.
The State of Michigan passed a bill that allowed phone companies to discontinue “Plain Old Telephone Services” from 2017. Even though the trend was already evident, this law further ensured the demise of landlines as the preferred means of telecommunications. A 2018 National Center for Health Statistics survey estimated the percentage of the adult population in the state that still used only landlines at 4.7%. By contrast, the rate of the adult population that used wireless telecommunication services was put at 57.3%. Among children under 18 years, the difference is starker with 69.5% opting for wireless services and only 1.7% still relying on landlines.
All four major phone carriers offer coverage of Wayne County with reliable service available in the cities, though service can be patchy in remote areas. There are also numerous Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) that provide alternative phone plans to the four major carriers. In Detroit, AT&T claims 100% coverage, followed by Sprint with 99% coverage, and then T-Mobile and Verizon with 97% and 96% coverage respectively. Since the MVNOs rely on the major carriers’ infrastructure, they also offer excellent services but at lower rates.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology uses standard computer networks such as the internet to provide telephony services to consumers. VoIP has emerged as an extremely viable telecommunications alternative, especially with the advances in internet technology. These advances enable VoIP to deliver the same services more efficiently and cheaper than landline and cellular phone services. Several companies in Wayne County offer residents various VoIP services for both business and residential use.
What are Wayne County Phone Scams?
These are deceptive practices for stealing money or confidential information from Wayne County residents and enacted using telephony services. The Michigan State Attorney General issues consumer alerts and news about consumer protection in the state. Victims of scams can file complaints with the A.G’s Office or report to the FTC. Wayne County residents can also file complaints with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office by calling (313) 224-2222 or by email. Residents can use reverse phone number lookup services to identify phone scammers. Some common scams in Wayne County include:
What are Jury Duty Scams?
In this type of scams, scammers call residents claiming to be police officers or court deputies and inform them of missed jury duties. The scammers will inform the residents that they must pay a fine immediately to avoid going to jail. They then ask for the residents’ financial information or arrange to meet up to collect the payment in cash or gift cards. The county’s Third Circuit Court warns that court officials never make calls about jury duty or ask for personal information over the phone. If you receive this type of phone call, do not provide any information or meet the caller. Obtain as much information as you can and report the caller to your local police department or the Wayne County Sheriff. Reverse phone lookup services can determine if such calls are actually from the Circuit Court.
What are Lottery Scams?
With these scams, residents receive calls from persons claiming to represent the Michigan Lottery informing them of prize winnings but claim that to collect their prizes, they must pay certain fees. The callers claim the costs are required for processing the winnings or for taxes. If the receivers agree, the callers will ask for payments in cashier’s checks, wire transfers, or prepaid cards.
Wayne County residents should know that the Michigan lottery processes all prize claims for free, and prizes can only be won if you bought a ticket. Report all calls of this type to your local police department or the County Sheriff’s Office. Reverse phone searches can identify if such phone calls are from the state lottery. You can also contact the Michigan State Lottery Public Relations Division on (517) 373-1237 to verify a claim’s legitimacy.
What are Debt Collector Tax Scams?
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) uses private debt collection agencies to collect overdue federal tax debts. Scammers have taken advantage of this and call residents impersonating these agencies. They contact taxpayers claiming to be agents of these agencies and demand payment for tax debts. They threaten the taxpayers with lawsuits, imprisonment, and other enforcement actions if the debts are not settled immediately. If the taxpayers comply, they ask for specific payment methods, such as prepaid cards or wire transfers.
The IRS warns taxpayers that private debt collectors are not allowed to threaten or harass them into making payments. The IRS does not accept payments by prepaid cards and wire transfers and all tax debts must be paid directly to the IRS. Taxpayers will always receive two written notices about unpaid taxes if private debt collectors are involved. The first notice, from the IRS, will inform of the debt transfer, and the second notice is from the collection agency introducing themselves. Phone number lookup services can ascertain if these calls are from legitimate debt collection agencies. Victims of debt collector scams can file complaints with the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) by calling 1(800) 366-4484.
What are Government Grants Scams?
These scams involve the callers posing as representatives of government agencies and calling residents to inform them they were selected to receive government grants. To obtain the grants, however, the residents are required to pay upfront processing fees. The callers also ask for the residents’ bank account information so the money can be deposited directly into the account. Government grants are not benefits or entitlements and are not for personal use. They are issued to institutions and non-profit organizations to carry out projects with a public purpose that can stimulate the economy. Government agencies will not make phone calls to solicit money or personal information from potential grant recipients. There are also no processing fees associated with receiving government grants. Report such phone calls to the FTC or the Michigan State Attorney General’s Office.
What are Robocall and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are phone calls automated to deliver preset recorded messages, and are commonly used by businesses, politicians, and non-profit organizations. Robocalls allow these entities to reach a multitude of consumers in a short period with minimal effort. These abilities make robocalls attractive to phone scammers, who have adopted it as a “tool of the trade.” Robocalls also provide a level of anonymity because you are not speaking to actual persons, and the phone numbers can be easily changed. Consumers are likely to be less alert when answering robocalls, increasing the scammers’ chances of being successful.
Scammers use robocalls to pretend to be legitimate organizations to steal financial or identity information from their targets. Using a reverse number lookup service can verify an incoming call is a robocall.
Best practices for dealing with illegal robocalls include:
- Hang up once you realize it is a robocall. Ignore all the prompts asking you to follow instructions. These just lead to more automated messages and set you up for more calls in the future.
- Inquire about the procedures for blocking numbers from phone service providers, and if the services are free, use them.
- Reverse phone search free services can identify if incoming calls are robocalls. Use these services to identify these numbers and block them.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Phone numbers that have been on the registry for up to 31 days are restricted from receiving robocalls. If you still receive robocalls after then, these are most likely scam calls.
- File online complaints with the FTC or call 1-(888)-382-1222.
Consumer tips on blocking unwanted calls on any platform are also available on the FTC website.
How to Spot and Report Wayne County Phone Scams?
Scammers are always after financial and identity information and continually come up with new fraudulent ways to get them. While services that perform phone number searches can assist with suspicious phone number lookups, education and awareness remain the most effective tools against scammers. Red flags to look out for when you receive a call from an unknown call, who might be a scammer, include the following:
- The caller repeatedly asks for your confidential information. The caller even gets hostile when you fail to provide it. A legitimate organization will not ask for confidential information on an unsolicited call and will not force you to reveal it.
- The caller uses hostile and intimidatory tactics to coerce you to comply with their requests. The tactics may include threats of lawsuits, fines, audits, license or permit revocations, and even jail.
- The caller avoids answering any question you ask and always tries to dissuade you from verifying their claims independently.
- The caller makes overly generous offers. The investment or business opportunities scammers offer are typically “high reward for little or no risk.”
- The caller claims to represent a reputable business or government agency and asks for payment via informal channels such as prepaid cards, cryptocurrency, and wire transfers.
You cannot definitively avoid being a target of phone scams, so keeping informed on trends and staying alert remain the most assured means of avoiding them. Reverse phone number lookups by name, number, and address are adept at finding answers to “who is this number registered to?” and “who called? Public agencies committed to aiding residents of Wayne County fight the threats of scammers include:
Michigan State Attorney General’s Office - The State Attorney General’s Office provides residents with information on consumer protection against scams. Residents who believe they have been victims of fraud can also file complaints with the State A.G’s Office.
Wayne County Prosecutor - The County Prosecutor pursues justice and safeguards residents against perpetrators of crime and deviant activities. Residents can contact the County Prosecutor on (313) 224-5777.
Wayne County Sheriff’s Office - The Sheriff’s Office is the primary law enforcement agency for Wayne County. Residents can contact the Wayne County Sheriff on (313) 224-2222 or by email. Residents can also contact their local law enforcement agency to report scams.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The FTC protects consumers in the U.S. from deceptive and unfair practices. It established the National Do Not Call Registry that serves to protect consumers from robocalls from telemarketers and businesses. Unsolicited calls received after adding your number to the registry are most likely scam calls. The FTC also provides tips on call blocking that are useful against phone scammers. Cases of illegal robocalls and other deceptive practices can be reported to the FTC online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - This is the federal authority that regulates interstate and international communications and protects consumers from illegal robocalls and phone spoofing scams. Guidelines on stopping unwanted robocalls and avoiding phone scams are available on the FCC website. Victims of any of these offenses can file complaints with the FCC.