A number of online services perform a phone number lookup. Normally, these services answer concerns like "who called me?" or "who is this number registered to?" While there are free phone number lookup services, the information accessible through these services is plain. At best, a searcher can expect to see information like the registered phone number owner's name and city.
On the other hand, the information accessible through paid reverse phone search services are in most cases more in-depth. Besides name and city, a searcher can also expect to see information like the unknown caller's public records and social media profiles.
What You Can Do With Reverse Phone Search
A reverse phone search can help you identify unknown callers, which works for spotting scam callers. Another use for this service is finding information about lost contacts or when you forget the name of somebody who gave you their phone number.
What Are Patrick County Area Codes?
Patrick County area codes are the special 3 digits that start every phone number belonging to a person, business, or government office in Patrick County. A typical Patrick County number begins with 276 or 540, the area code assigned to the county by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA).
NANPA introduced area codes to streamline long-distance phone calls. Today, all North American phone numbers have area codes. These digits distinguish towns and cities as numbering plan areas, or NPAs, for the purpose of making phone calls.
Although the NANPA assigns area codes in North America, the Virginia State Corporation Commission supervises the assignment of area codes to towns in Virginia. There are currently 2 area codes that cover Patrick County.
Area Code 276
Phone numbers that start with 276 tend to belong to someone in Patrick County. However, Patrick County is one of several counties under the 276 NPA. A number beginning with 276 may also belong to someone in a bordering town under the same NPA.
Area Code 540
Phone numbers that begin with 540 may also be registered to someone in Patrick County. However, this county also shares the 540 NPA with several other counties. So, it is most likely that a number beginning with 540 may even belong to an individual in another municipality.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Providers in Patrick County?
The best phone plan to choose in Patrick County is based on the user's location and the provider coverage. Telephone service is typically better in the cities than in the hills and the rural areas. The 3 main phone service providers in Patrick County are AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile.
Phone service providers in Patrick County have varying phone coverage levels. AT&T gives the best coverage, followed by Verizon Wireless. T-Mobile has the least range amongst these leading operators, but it is not far from the others.
On the other hand, major phone service companies also rent out their technology to smaller Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). In turn, MVNOs utilize this technology to offer more affordable phone plans in Patrick County.
VoIP Phone Service in Patrick County
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a service that lets a user make calls utilizing the internet instead of regular lines or radio waves.
The service works like a regular phone line and has all the call features a user would normally receive from a traditional phone company in addition to state-of-the-art call management. VoIP calls are also faster, clearer, more secure, and several times more affordable than regular calls.
What Are Patrick County Phone Scams?
A phone scam is when a person uses a phone call to trick another person to send money or share delicate important information over the phone.
In Patrick County, phone scams generally occur when a person gets an unsolicited phone call. The unknown caller uses various ways to persuade, trick, or scare a person into sending money or revealing sensitive info about themselves.
Most phone scams are random, but scams can be targeted when the scammer has some information about the unsuspecting victim.
What Are Patrick County Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated calls from tools made to reach many individuals at once and cheaply.
Political organizers and telemarketers trying to reach a mass audience were the typical users of robocalls. These entities usually work off a phone list to solicit votes or market a product to numerous people at the same time.
When it comes to scammers, the goal is to reach several possible victims at once. Nevertheless, scammers do not always have the same database that campaigners and genuine telemarketers have. So, they often use software to make up random numbers and call those numbers automatically.
How to Spot Patrick County Phone Scams
Understanding how to discern and avoid scam calls can help safeguard privacy and money. For starters, think about using spam call detectors on smartphones.
These detectors cross-check inbound calls with a database of known scam callers and automatically block the call. Although efficient, these apps are less effective against spoofed caller IDs or when the caller is a human impostor. In this case, keeping an eye out for common red flags can help identify a phone scam.
Signs of a Phone Scam
The first red flag is when the caller pretends to be a government official or a company's representative. Legit employees of public or private organizations do not usually call out of the blues. Rather, they mail letters first off and call as a last resort.
Another red flag is when the caller asks for money or specific details like full name, social security number, banking details, and passwords. A genuine official or company employee does not require this comprehensive information to assist you.
And most of all, look out for threats or implied urgency during calls. These are scare tactics used to trick an individual into providing sensitive info.
How to Report Patrick County Phone Scams
Scam calls breach federal laws. If you have received or fallen for a phone scam in Patrick County, report the scam as quickly as you can. Doing this helps public agencies hold scammers liable and, in some cases, assist people get their money back. Public agencies that assist Patrick County residents fight phone scams consist of:
Patrick County Sheriff’s Office
The Patrick County Sheriff's Office is the county's primary law enforcement agency. Residents should file reports of phone scams with the Sheriff's Office by calling (276) 694-3161. Residents can go to the law enforcement agency's office during business hours.
742 Commerce Street
Stuart, VA 24171
Phone: (276) 694-3161
Virginia State Corporation Commission
The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) is the state agency in charge of consumer protection in Virginia. Residents who have complaints about their phone service or scams may file a complaint with the Commission. The agency also maintains a resource page for spotting and avoiding common scams in Virginia. Persons affected by phone scams may file an online complaint or call (804) 371-9967.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC is the federal agency charged with consumer protection. The FTC instituted the National Do Not Call Registry to protect residents from unsolicited calls from telemarketers and services.
Adding your number to this registry restricts telemarketers from reaching you in the first place. For additional info on call-blocking and preventing scams, browse through the FTC resource page. Concerned individuals may also report scams and robocalls to the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The FCC moderates interstate and international calls in the U.S. and also protects customers from unlawful or scam calls. Tips on preventing unsolicited robocalls and phone scams are readily available on the FCC site. Victims of robocall or phone spoofing scams can file complaints with the FCC.