Area codes are specific three-digit numbers that precede every North American telephone number. Area codes are also referred to as Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs), and they identify the state, county, or city under the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) where every call originates from. Despite residents being able to identify the geographical location calls originate from, scammers still manage to use Caller ID spoofing to falsify these calls’ actual location. Therefore, residents may use area code lookup tools to identify spoofed Caller IDs, which may be potential scams. Some of these tools enable reverse phone number lookup free of charge, making the process even easier and accessible to everyone.
Based on the North American Numbering Plan, each region in North America has at least one area code serving it. Some regions may have more than one area code due to the exhaustion of the initial area code. Arlington County has two area codes namely:
Area Code 703
Area code 703 was created in October 1947 as one of the original 86 North American area codes serving the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. However, over the years, it has been split several times and now only covers Arlington, Fort Myer, Alexandria, Falls Church, etc.
Area Code 571
Area code 571 was activated on March 1, 2000, as an overlay plan with area code 703 and it covers the same areas with it.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Arlington County?
The four best phone carrier networks with the best coverage in Arlington County are T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint. Among the four phone carrier networks, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T rank the highest, each having an estimated 90% coverage. This makes them the networks with the widest coverage ratings in Arlington County. Sprint ranks the least on the list with an estimated 76% coverage, compared to other network providers. Some residents use smaller carriers, known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). These carriers are usually attached to larger carriers and share the same coverage area.
The 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey shows that 49.1% of the Virginia adult population used only wireless telephones, while 4.9% of Virginia adults solely used landlines for telephony communications. The telephone status survey of minors under age 18 in Virginia shows that 62.3% of the minors used only wireless telephone services, while just 2.3% of the minors used only landlines. Based on this survey, it can be deduced that both adults and minors in the Commonwealth of Virginia prefer to use wireless telephony services, instead of landline services. Also, the difference in the choice gap is wider among minors than adults.
VoIP means Voice over Internet Protocol and it uses active internet connections to transmit voice and multimedia data between two or more entities. VoIP in Arlington offers residents and businesses a chance at better network quality and more sophisticated features at an affordable price. It is fast becoming the major network of most businesses, especially because of the unrestricted access to advanced features that it provides subscribers at no extra costs. Some of the features VoIP offers include name dialing, call routing, conference calling, automated line attendants, advanced call management, call analytics, anonymous calling, and call rejection.
What are Arlington County Phone Scams?
Phone scams in Arlington County are perpetrated in various dimensions, but they all have a sole aim- to swindle residents and steal their personal and financial information. Phone scams are generally referred to as fraudulent practices carried out by scammers over the phone. These scams mostly employ impersonation to enhance the believability of their scams. Hence they impersonate government officials and employees of credible organizations such as the IRS, state and local law enforcement agencies, health departments, and financial institutions. Scammers have also begun to take advantage of the advancement in telephony service technology. For instance, robocalls and Caller ID spoofing have been infiltrated, making it easier for scammers to practice impersonation. Residents are encouraged to use reverse phone number lookup tools to identify and robocalls, spoofed Caller IDs, and conduct suspicious phone number lookups.
Listed below are common phone scams in Arlington County:
What are Arlington County Outstanding Warrant Scams
In outstanding warrant scams, fraudsters impersonate law enforcement officers and contact residents, claiming that they have outstanding warrants for missing jury duty. They then demand immediate payment to resolve the warrants. These scammers usually threaten to arrest victims or take legal action against them to make them feel compelled to make such payments. Another dimension of outstanding warrant scams involves scammers posing as attorneys and demanding funds to represent victims. The scammers instruct their victims to purchase prepaid debit, or gift cards and provide the identification numbers on the debit or gift cards. With this, the scammers obtain the money without physically accessing the cards. Calls like these should be reported to the Arlington County Police Department immediately. Residents can use free reverse phone lookup tools to identify scammers and block them.
What are Arlington County COVID-19 Scams?
The Virginia Office of the Attorney General and the Virginia Department of Health warns of these scams that have become prevalent, following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 scams involve scammers claiming to be legitimate health workers and calling residents in the name of contact tracing. The aim is to deceitfully obtain residents’ personal information, such as their Social Security numbers, financial or bank account information, passwords, and other confidential information that are required for contact tracing.
In other cases of these scams, scammers try to sell bogus test kits, vaccines, and other forms of medication. Also, the scammers deceive residents with supposed relief packages that require them to pay certain amounts of money. Residents are to ignore such calls and conduct suspicious phone number lookups using good reverse phone lookup tools to find out who called them.
What are Arlington County IRS Scams?
These are tax-related scams where con artists take advantage of the tax seasons to defraud taxpayers. IRS scams entail the impersonation of IRS officials, through Caller ID spoofing. These scammers contact residents and tell them that they owe back taxes to the IRS, threatening to arrest or deport them if they refuse to pay. They sometimes also threaten the revocation of the victims’ professional or drivers licenses if immediate payment is not made. Typically, these scammers request that the payments are made via untraceable means such as prepaid cards, gift cards, green dot cards, iTunes, bitcoins, and wire transfers. It is important to note that the IRS never contacts residents out of the blue. Also, the IRS never requests payment over the phone.
Be wary of such scams and never share your personal information with anyone over the phone. Immediately contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) online or call 1-800-366-4484. You can also conduct a phone number search with a free reverse phone lookup tool to avoid falling victim to such scams.
What are Arlington County Dominion Energy technicians Scams
These scams involve impostors acting as Dominion Energy technicians. These impostors contact residents telling them that they have unpaid utility bills. The Dominion Energy impostors tell the call recipients that their power will be disconnected if they do not make payment immediately. The impostors tell victims to pay the bills using gift cards or prepaid debit cards, and other payment methods that make it difficult to track down and retrieve paid funds.
Note that scammers have access to tools that enable them to conceal their Caller IDs and steal that of legitimate Dominion Energy technicians. Hence, residents should always verify the Caller ID information of calls they receive through reverse phone number lookup tools. To do this, they can conduct reverse phone number lookups. If the reverse phone number search field does not show any search results after a phone number search, it is an indication that the Caller ID was spoofed.
Residents can also verify claims of unpaid utility bills by contacting Dominion Energy directly at 866-366-4357. Be informed that Dominion Energy never calls, emails, or texts customers asking for their personal information. Residents can visit the Dominion Energy website for fraud prevention tips.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated calls that deliver prerecorded messages to a target audience. These calls are programmed with computerized autodialers and are mostly used to pass across vital information to several persons at the same time. Although robocalls are designed to be solely informational, some persons use them illegally by including prompts for the recipients to connect with live representatives. Individuals should not pay attention to such robocalls as they may have fraudulent intentions, like to advertise bogus products or services, extort the recipients, or steal confidential information. Illegal robocalls also contain prompts for recipients to press specific numbers to avoid receiving future robocalls. If the recipient presses the numbers, instead of stopping the calls, the recipient is targeted with more robocalls.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA) to regulate the use of robocalls. The Act provides that telemarketers can only send robocalls to residents that give their approval. Hence robocalls without prior consent are illegal and can be reported through the online complaint assistant. These calls can also be categorized as spam calls, which refer to unwanted calls sent to several persons to advertise, proselytize, or deliver irrelevant messages to recipients. Only certain robocalls are permitted to be placed without prior consent. They include:
- Solely informational robocalls
- Robocalls for debt collection
- Robocalls sent by political parties, legitimate charitable organizations, and legitimate health institutions
Follow these procedures to avoid receiving falling victim to robocalls scams:
- End the call the moment you recognize that you have picked a robocall. Also do not heed the instructions given during the call.
- Report such calls to the FTC using the online complaint assistant or contact 1-888-382-1222 to report over the phone.
- Utilize good reverse phone number lookup services to identify and block robocalls using or reach out to your phone network service provider for call blocking options.
- Add all your phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry to curb robocalls and other unsolicited calls.
How to Spot and Report Arlington County Phone Scams?
The best way to spot phone scams is to stay alert and informed of the scammers' latest schemes and techniques scammers. Typically, phone scams have specific characteristics that are common to phone scams. They include:
- Speaking with a sense of urgency - End the call up immediately you notice this and do not make any decisions under pressure. Note that government agencies and legitimate organizations never call with a sense of urgency.
- Impersonating legitimate entities - If you suspect impersonation, conduct a suspicious phone number lookup to verify the caller’s identity. When a reverse phone number lookup is conducted for a suspected spoofed Caller ID, the reverse phone number search field will not show any search results. This is usually an indication that the Caller ID was spoofed.
- Requesting recipients’ personal details - Ignore such requests and hang up. Conduct a phone number search and report the call.
- Requesting payments for any reason - Ignore such requests and end the call. Credible organizations and government agencies never request financial information or payment over the phone. Note that a payment made with a prepaid card, wire transfer, gift card, bitcoin, and cash is not traceable, and processing a refund may be impossible.
- Refusing to identify themselves when they call - Hang up and conduct a suspicious phone number lookup to find out who called you.
- Promising offers that are too good to be true
Arlington County residents can report phone scams to these government agencies:
Arlington County Police Department - Call the department at 703-558-2222 to report or visit 1425 N Courthouse Road, Arlington, VA 22201 to report in person.
Office of the Attorney General of Virginia Consumer Protection Section - Use the Agency Locator to determine where to file your complaint and then file a report using the Online Complaint Form. You may also download and complete the complaint form and submit a copy to:
Office of the Attorney General of Virginia
Consumer Protection Section
202 North Ninth street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
Contact the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-552-9963 (calls within Virginia) for more information. You may also call (804) 786-2042 if calling from the Richmond region or outside Virginia. The business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, Monday to Friday.