What are Carroll County Area Codes?
Area codes are also known as Numbering Plan Areas (NPA), created as part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). These codes are the sets of three digits at the start of all telephone numbers. Individuals can easily detect the location of phone calls using area code lookup tools. The Maryland Public Service Commission (MPSC) monitors the administration of telephone numbering resources for the State.
There are currently three area codes that cover Carroll County. These area codes serve all of Carroll County and parts of other surrounding counties.
Area Code 410
Area code 410 is a North American telephone area code created to cover the eastern part of Maryland. It was formed in 1991 from a split of area code 301. Area code 410 covers the county seat, Westminster, and Union Bridge.
Area Code 443
Area code 443 is the Maryland telephone area code that serves the Towns of Manchester and Sykesville. Introduced in 1997, area code 443 is an overlay of area code 410, created due to exhaustion of the telephone numbers.
Area Code 667
Area code 667 was created in 2012 as an overlay for area code 443 due to the increase in the number of cell phone users. Phone users covered by area code 667 are required to use the ten-dialing code system. Communities in Carroll County covered by this area code include the Towns of New Windsor and Hampstead.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Carroll County?
The four major network providers in the US are active for phone users in Carroll County. These network providers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint) deliver outstanding service throughout the county. Verizon provides the best service with 98% coverage, while T-Mobile comes next with 80% coverage. AT&T offers 74% coverage, and Sprint covers 70%. Apart from the major network providers, phone users often prefer Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). These small networks operate on the main carriers' networks, providing fantastic options for locals. The quality of the network in Carroll County is excellent, except in densely populated areas and mountainous regions.
A 2018 Survey on Wireless Substitution shows that 39.4% of adults in Maryland households only used cellular telephony systems. Adults that preferred landlines only accounted for 3% of the state's adult population. Meanwhile, 49.1% of minors in the state used only wireless networks, while landline-only subscribers accounted for 0.8% of the minors. The report published by the National Center for Health Statistics reveals that the use of mobile phones as the primary method of telecommunications in Maryland has surpassed landline usage.
Some telecommunication firms in Carroll County provide VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions at very low prices. VoIP is a telephony system that enables individuals and businesses to make calls easily using the internet. As an alternative to traditional network providers, VoIP services are more versatile and cheaper for long-distance calls. Some of the features of VoIP include conferencing, advanced call routings, and centralized administrative portals.
What are Carroll County Phone Scams?
Phone scams in Pinal County are deceptive calls made by fraudsters with the intent of defrauding county residents and obtaining their personal or financial details. The Carroll County Attorney's Department, the Carroll County Sheriff's Office, and other consumer protection agencies in Maryland have resources and information to help residents avoid being victims of phone scams. Targets of phone scams can also do independent research on fraudulent callers by checking their companies on the Better Business Bureau website before doing business with them. Also, reverse phone lookup applications can help residents identify these con artists. With the help of these applications, phone users can look up phone numbers and learn more about scam callers. It is also important to report all scam calls to the Federal Trade Commission to help other individuals know how to deal with scammers.
The following are common phone scams in Carroll County.
What are Carroll County Mortgage Scams?
Mortgage scams in Carroll County target individuals looking to secure real estate or home financing. In most cases, victims of mortgage loan scams either lose money or give out confidential details to con artists. County residents looking for fast and simple mortgages are easily persuaded by con artists disguising themselves as agents of mortgage loan servicers. Some fraudsters promise fast and easy-to-get loans while requesting upfront payments. Other con artists ask for personal details from homeowners to expedite the processing of their mortgage or avoid foreclosure.
Note that most of these scammers may be aware of public foreclosure advertisements. This prior knowledge makes their claims look valid. However, residents are advised to find out who called by using online services that provide phone number searches free of charge. Furthermore, terminate any calls that request payments via bitcoins, gift cards, wire transfers. Ignore requests for social security numbers. It is best to consult only housing counselors in Maryland that the Department of Housing and Urban Development approves.
What are Carroll County IRS Scams?
Phone scammers carry out IRS scams to steal the personal and financial information of taxpayers in Carroll County. In these scams, fraudsters pretend to be representatives of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to gather personal information from victims, which is used for identity fraud. The scam callers inform their targets of their tax default and threaten them to pay immediately or risk going to jail. Some scammers promise to clear all debts if individuals provide their social security numbers.
County residents should note that the IRS does not:
- Threaten taxpayers.
- Call taxpayers without prior notice.
- Demand payment via unconventional means like bitcoins and gift cards.
Only fraudsters make such demands. Residents should terminate all calls showing any of these red flags. They may confirm the fraudsters’ claims by calling the IRS customer service line on (800) 829-1040. Residents can perform phone number lookup by address or name using reverse phone lookup databases. This will reveal the identities of imposters. IRS scams can be reported to the US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) hotline at (801) 620-7734 to report the scam callers.
What are Carroll County Grandparents Scams?
Grandparent scams target aged persons in Carroll County. In these scams, con artists, armed with some background information on social media sites, pretend to be related to their targets. The imposters make up false claims and create false injuries to defraud their victims. Sometimes, they make their fraudulent acts look real by employing other actors who pretend to be law enforcement officers or lawyers. Like every other scam, the fraudsters ask for secrecy and immediate payments through untraceable means like bitcoins, gift cards, and wire transfers.
In some grandparent scams, fraudsters impersonate Medicare agents and promise free Medicare supplies and tools to aged persons in the county. In return, they request Medicare numbers which will be used to claim the Medicare benefits of their targets. Scam artists who prey on Medicare patients are often well-informed and sympathetic, making their deceptions look genuine.
Do not take action right away. Ignore all urgent requests and hang up the call. Speak with other relatives to confirm the claims. Verify who called by using suspicious phone number lookup applications. Victims of family emergency scams should discuss the scams with their families. It is also crucial to contact the Maryland Division of Consumer Affairs or dial (410) 528-8662 to report the incident. To prevent the proliferation of imposter scams, victims should file complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
What are Carroll County Sheriff Impersonation Scams?
In sheriff impersonation scams, fraudsters impersonate law enforcement officials and attempt to defraud county residents. The scammers come up with different false claims to achieve their aims. While some con artists demand payments for debts owed or unpaid traffic ticket fines, others may claim that relatives of their targets are in jail. In most cases, these impersonation scams are difficult to detect because the fraudsters may have spoofed the caller ID. Spoofed caller IDs may appear to be from the Sheriff’s County, but they are actually from scam callers. Reverse cell phone lookup applications can help individuals verify the true identities of callers. After verifying the identities of scam callers, it is important to call the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office on (410) 386-2600 to report the case.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated calls used by telemarketers, politicians, and non-profit organizations to send pre-recorded messages to phone users. When used legally, according to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), robocalls are effective in targeting several individuals in a limited amount of time with minimal effort. However, these great features of robocalls have helped several scammers perpetrate their fraudulent activities. Generally, robocalls help phone scammers stay anonymous since no real people are on the telephone and the numbers are quickly changed. Like illegal robocalls, spam calls are used by phone scammers to steal citizens' financial and personal details.
If robocallers ask for payments via bitcoin or request personal details,
- Hang up immediately
- Use a good reverse phone lookup tool to detect a robocall or spam call
- Block all robocalls that require you to push a button for any purpose.
- Call only authorized government agencies to verify the caller's claims.
- Call the FTC at 1-888-382-1222 to report robocalls or file online complaints.
- Submit your mobile number to the National Do Not Call Registry to stop telemarketer robocalls.
Generally, telemarketers are required by law to refrain from sending robocalls to consumers who register with the DNCR. Any other robocalls received after registering phone numbers are illegal and are from potential phone scammers. More consumer information on how to block unwanted calls is available on the FTC website.
How to Spot and Report Carroll County Phone Scams?
Scammers are always coming up with new ways to steal consumers' identification details and money. Reverse phone search apps can help reveal details of spoofed calls. However, the most effective tools against scammers are knowledge and awareness. Pay attention to the following red flags if you get suspicious calls from anonymous numbers:
- Use of threats: These are common aggressive techniques used by scammers to coerce their targets into making payments immediately. Such threats can be suspension or revocation of licenses, jail, or fines.
- Requests for private information: Unsolicited demands for personal information from strangers are almost always scams. Legitimate businesses will not make demands for classified information until the client requests it.
- Requests for payment via untraceable systems: Scammers often provide detailed guidance about how to make purchases, such as using gift cards, bitcoins, or wire transfers to individual accounts. It is often impossible to recover money paid into these payment mechanisms.
- Huge offers and rewards: These are presented as ‘once in a lifetime’ offers to divert victims' attention away from the ridiculous claims.
It is difficult to completely avoid becoming targets of phone scams. Nevertheless, understanding common scam patterns is the most reliable way of dealing with fraudsters. Using tools like reverse phone number lookups also helps in identifying and overcoming the attempts of phone scammers.
The following government entities aid citizens of Carroll County in dealing with scammers:
Carroll County Attorney: County residents can call the Fraud and Illegal Activity hotline on (410) 386-5030. The hotline is available 24/7, and callers can remain anonymous. Alternatively, individuals can fill and submit the Report Fraud form to:
Office of County Attorney
225 North Center Street
Westminster, MD 21157
Phone: (410) 386-5030
100 North Court Street
Westminster, MD 21157
Phone: (410) 386-2600
Maryland Attorney General: The Consumer Protection Division of the AG’s Office is tasked with resolving consumer complaints in the state. Victims of phone scams can complete the online complaints form.
Federal Trade Commission: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises people to register their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry. The registry is created to protect US citizens from phone scams. Individuals who register their phone numbers on the list are not subject to telemarketer robocalls. After 31 days of registering with the Do Not Call Registry, every robocall is considered a phone fraud.