The shift to the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) led to the introduction of area codes. NANP ensured seamless switching of phone calls by categorizing different regions into different Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) and assigning unique area codes to them. The three-digit area codes at the beginning of American phone numbers represent particular regions. Identifying area codes can help to determine the origins and destinations of most phone calls. All the area codes representing different regions within the Commonwealth of Virginia’s territory are under the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC)’s regulation.
Presently, the only area code covering Henrico County is 804.
Area Code 804
Area code 804 is a Virginia telephone area code in the NANP that was put into service in 1973. Currently, it serves Henrico County and surrounding neighborhoods. Henrico County census-designated places under the 804 NPA include Laurel, Highland Springs, East Highland Park, Glen Allen, Lakeside, and Wyndham.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Henrico County?
The gradual shift towards modern telephony services has led to a decline in traditional landline phone usage. A 2018 CDC report confirmed this. Data from the survey showed that 49.1% of Virginia adults were exclusive subscribers to wireless telephony services. Those that used landline-only services made up about 4.9%. The survey also revealed that wireless telecommunication adoption is more widespread among Virginia’s under-18 population. About 62.3% of Virginia’s children lived in wireless-only homes, while 2.3% of them resided in households with exclusive landline subscriptions.
The four major telephone carriers serve Henrico County, and they all provide satisfactory network services. Verizon’s coverage is the widest, extending to 90% of the county. Following closely are T-Mobile and AT&T, covering 86% and 82% of the county, respectively. Sprint boasts a 72% spread. Henrico County residents also enjoy adequate network services from several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MNVOs).
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) contributes to the continued decline in traditional landlines’ patronage. It relies on broadband internet to provide excellent telephony services to Henrico County residents. It is incredibly cost-effective for business enterprises to integrate VoIP with their business needs for greater efficiency. The growing popularity of VoIP in Henrico County has led to the influx of many VoIP service providers.
What Are Henrico County Phone Scams?
Henrico County phone scams are perpetrated when fraudsters use telephony services to steal money and obtain personal information from Henrico County residents. These scammers place live phone calls or use text messages to pass misleading information in a bid to extort county residents. Prevent phone scams by conducting reverse phone lookups on unknown phone numbers to identify the callers’ true identities. Several agencies provide Henrico County residents with regular updates on prevalent phone scams and ways of avoiding them. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in Virginia, through its Consumer Protection Division, is at the forefront of phone scams awareness in the Commonwealth. Common scams in the Commonwealth as identified by the OAG include:
What are Charity Scams?
This scam exploits unwary Henrico County residents’ benevolence and misleads them into donating money to non-existent charity organizations. Charity scams occur when fraudsters impersonate charity organizations and seek contributions from unsuspecting targets. Reverse phone number lookup services can help identify the unknown callers’ true identities and prevent this scam. Henrico County residents can verify the registration status of any charity before making donations. By law, every charity organization in Virginia must enroll with the Virginia Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs (OCRP).
What are Grandparent or Relative Scams?
These scams are primarily targeted at aged Henrico County residents. Grandparent or relative scams occur when fraudsters pretend to be their targets’ grandchildren or relatives and place distress calls to them. During such phone calls, the imposters will seek urgent financial assistance to either post bails, receive medical aids, or pay for certain damages. In some instances, accomplices pose as law enforcement agents, attorneys, or other authority figures and place the distress calls supposedly on the relatives’ behalf. These accomplices usually promise to resolve such emergencies once targets make the required payments. Henrico County residents should consistently execute phone number lookups on unknown incoming calls to avoid falling victim to scams. Authorities urge residents to be wary when they receive sudden distress calls from grandchildren or relatives. Do not send money to alleged distressed relatives without independently verifying such relatives’ actual whereabouts from other trusted family members.
What are Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams?
Lottery scams promise Henrico County residents the chance to redeem great prizes from lotteries and sweepstakes once they make certain upfront payments. Unsuspecting targets who make these payments end up forfeiting their money to these fraudsters because the rewards are non-existent. Conducting reverse phone lookups helps targeted residents prevent this scam. Authorities warn Henrico County residents to be particularly wary about calls from phone numbers that begin with the area code 1 (900). These calls usually request targeted residents to give them callbacks. Calls from residents to these numbers are charged at premium rates, and marks will lose a lot of money placing these callbacks.
What are IRS Scams?
IRS scams occur when scammers impersonate Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees to extort money or extract personal information from targets. This scam has many variations. The prominent one in Henrico County aims to steal targeted residents’ money by placing aggressive phone calls to targets. Usually, the imposters spoof their targets’ Caller IDs to contact them. They will disclose their badge numbers and provide the last four digits of the targets’ Social Security Numbers to make them appear legitimate. The callers will threaten to arrest, deport, and seize targets’ properties if they do not make immediate payments to cover back taxes. Another variant of this scam is targeted at obtaining residents’ personal information. Typically, marks receive phony text messages, phone calls, or emails purportedly from the IRS requesting their personal information for tax refunds. These fraudsters deceive targets into completing some forms containing fields for personal information on fake websites that look authentic. Performing free reverse phone lookups on unknown numbers can prevent this scam. Henrico County residents risk falling victim to this scam once they disclose their personal numbers to unverified persons, especially over unsolicited phone calls.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are placed by automatic dialers and are used to deliver pre-recorded messages to phone users once they answer such calls. In Henrico County, robocalls offer telemarketers the opportunity to communicate to a large section of the county at a minimal cost. The affordability and potential wide reach of robocalls appeal to fraudsters who have adapted robocalls for their use. Scammers’ use of robocalls led to increased robocall scams and a general rise in the frequency of spam calls targeted at Henrico County residents. Authorities are dogged in their efforts to curtail robocall abuse in the county. Some of the steps taken include restricting most organizations from placing unsolicited calls to residents. Most businesses can only place robocalls to county residents if they have their written consent. Only a few agencies are exempted and permitted to place robocalls to residents without their consent. These organizations include charity organizations, political campaigns, debt collectors, and healthcare providers. However, this restriction has not given the best of results as expected. Fraudsters found loopholes and continued placing robocalls to residents. To further reduce the frequency of robocalls received, Henrico County residents can take the following steps:
- Ignore phone calls from unknown phone numbers. Divert such calls to your voicemail and return the calls of those that left messages.
- End a robocall immediately you know what it is. Do not act on any prompts.
- Identify robocall numbers and use your network provider’s call-blocking tool to block such numbers. You can also download third-party call-blocking apps and use them.
- Add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry. This register is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and it restricts calls by legitimate telemarketers to numbers on the list. Registering your phone number on this list helps you identify illegal robocalls. You can register yourself on the list by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 from the number you intend to enroll.
- File reports of continued robocall abuse to the FTC online.
How Can You Spot and Report Henrico County Phone Scams?
Eliminating the scourge of phone scams in Henrico County is difficult because the fraudsters keep evolving new schemes to extort residents. Performing reverse phone lookups on unknown phone numbers can prevent you from falling prey to phone scams. If residents can answer the “who does this number belong to?” question for all unknown incoming calls, they will be able to avoid phone scams. Below are some of the common tell-tale signs of phone scams in Henrico County:
- The caller pretends to be with government agencies or familiar businesses and requests personal information. Utility companies or government agencies like the IRS do not solicit personal information over the phone.
- The caller offers overly attractive investment opportunities with purportedly high yields and accompanying low risk in a very short period. Only scammers present their targets with such opportunities and give them no time to carry out their due diligence.
- The caller is aggressive while claiming to be with legitimate organizations such as the IRS or utility companies and threatens to jail, deport, or disconnect services. These agencies have laid down procedures for recovering delinquent bills which do not include the use of threats.
- The caller insists on being paid by specific odd payment channels such as cryptocurrencies, gift cards, preloaded debit cards, and wire transfers. Scammers typically prefer these methods because they are usually untraceable.
- The caller offers prizes that can only be redeemed by making certain upfront payments. Prizes are supposed to be free.
- The caller offers illegal services such as credit repair and rebuilding after targets make upfront payments. Marks whose poor credit scores have made some loans inaccessible must note that no individual or agency can repair or rebuild bad credit scores. Individuals’ credit ratings only improve if they fulfill the necessary financial obligations.
Henrico County residents must stay informed with information regularly published by authorities to fortify themselves against phone scams. Some of the agencies that provide county residents with scam updates and phone scam incidents reporting platforms are:
Henrico County Police Division maintains law and order in the county. The Police Division’s CrimeStoppers program receives anonymous crime tips through its P3Tips app or (804) 780-1000. Alternatively, residents can reach the Police Division directly by calling (804) 501-5000.
Virginia’s Office of the Attorney General (OAG), through its Consumer Protection Division, educates county residents on prevalent phone scams and how to manage robocalls. The OAG encourages residents to file phone scam complaints by completing online complaints forms or submitting downloadable forms. Completed downloadable forms should be submitted to:
Office of the Attorney General of Virginia
Consumer Protection Section
202 North Ninth street
Richmond, VA 23219
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the telecommunications industry. They provide county residents with guides on managing Caller ID spoofing that can help prevent scams. The FCC has mandated the network operators to come up with an upgrade on the current Caller ID authentication systems to help combat phone spoofing. Henrico County residents can file complaints with the FCC via their online consumer complaint center.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protects consumers’ interests and encourages fair competition. The FTC educates county residents by providing resources on identifying common phone scams and managing robocalls. The FTC developed the National Do Not Call Registry to protect residents from unwanted robocalls. Legitimate telemarketers comply with the FTC’s directives on the DNC list, and as such, do not place unsolicited spam calls to numbers on the register. The FTC’s consumer complaint assistant is also available for county residents to lodge complaints on phone scam incidents.