What are Richmond City Area Codes?
Area codes were created as part of the North American Numbering Plan established by AT&T and the Bell System in the 1940s. Up until then, long-distance calls were connected using human operators. Area codes were created to automate calls using the different geographical areas. Area codes are three-digit prefixes appended in front of telephone numbers to route calls through to their geographical destinations and the particular call recipients. This help removed the heavy reliance on human operators in the earlier telephony communications systems. You can find the area code of any geographical area in the United States by using an area code lookup tool online.
Only one area code currently serves Richmond City – Area code 804.
Area Code 804
Area code 804 was first used on June 24, 1973. It was split in 1996 to form area code 757, and again in 2001 to create area code 434. It is the only area code serving Richmond, Tuckahoe, and Mechanicsville. Other cities using area code 804 include Petersburg, Short Pump, Hopewell, Chester, Meadowbrook, Colonial Heights, Laurel, and Bon Air.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Richmond City?
The majority of phone plans purchased in Richmond City are from wireless carriers. As evidenced in a 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, less than 8% of the entire Virginia population used landline or wired telephony service exclusively. According to the survey, an estimated 49.1% of Virginia residents above the age of 18 used wireless-only telephony service, while only 4.9% used landline-only telephony service. The survey also revealed that 62.3% of Virginia residents below the age of 18 used wireless telephony service exclusively, while only 2.3% used landline-only telephony service.
Two primary components to consider when choosing which mobile phone plan to subscribe to in Richmond City are reception quality and coverage. Identifying the wireless carrier with the strongest coverage throughout Richmond City is not a difficult task. Of the four major wireless carriers, AT&T has the best overall coverage at 96%. T-Mobile's coverage in the city is rated 90%, Verizon's at 84%, while Sprint has a coverage score of 62%.
Cellular reception and coverage from the Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are also excellent. MVNOs offer various no-contract plans which may suit certain consumers. These smaller carriers can offer strong reception and wide coverages because they run on the network of the Major Network Operators (MNOs). VoIP plans are also available from VoIP service providers for users with constant access to broadband connections. VoIP allows business owners and frequent travelers to use their plans even when on the move.
What are Richmond City Phone Scams?
Richmond City phone scams are fraudulent activities perpetrated using phone calls by criminals to extort money or obtain sensitive personal information from Richmond City residents. The illegally obtained information is then used by scammers to commit frauds or identity thefts. These criminals do not play by the book. They use various schemes to gain trust and appear real to residents. Many phone scams are perpetrated using modern technology such as caller ID spoofing which allows users to copy the phone number of any organization or business. Common phone scams in Richmond City include law enforcement impersonation scams, social security scams, grandparent scams, and vaccine scams. Phone lookup applications can help unmask the real identities of phone scammers.
What are Richmond City Law Enforcement Impostor Scams?
Law enforcement impostor scams are one of the most common scams in Richmond City. Here, a caller poses as a Richmond Police Department detective and threatens the target with arrest for an outstanding warrant. The target is advised to call another number with a local area code to pay a huge sum of money or be locked up. At other times, perpetrators of this scam may ask their victims to provide their credit card information in order to have the arrest warrants waived.
The Richmond City Police Department does not ask or call residents demanding money or credit card information. There are free reverse phone number lookup tools online to help uncover who called and find who a number is registered to.
What are Richmond City Vaccine Scams?
While supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine may be in short supply, attempts to defraud residents of Richmond County remain widespread. Scammers perpetrating this scam are majorly targeting elderly citizens in Richmond City. You may receive a call from someone posing as a representative of the local health district claiming to help you get in front of the line or to remind you of your slot for receiving a vaccine shot. In exchange, the caller asks for sensitive personal information such as credit card information or Medicare numbers which will be later used for fraudulent acts. The caller may also ask for payment to “hasten” the process.
Vaccine scammers are leveraging the fact that when people are emotional, they tend to not make the best decisions. Their minds are clouded, and they can be rushed into conversations where they can be easily manipulated and pressured into making rash decisions. The Richmond City Health Department does not ask for payment. There is no cost, fee, copay, or deposit to sign up for a vaccine or to be put on a waitlist. Richmond City residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers.
What are Richmond City Grandparent Scams?
The grandparent scam is quite devious as it attacks one of the most reliable assets of the elderly - the heart. As the name suggests, this scam is typically targeted at older adults who are more likely to be tender-hearted towards grandchildren. The conversation during a grandparent scam may begin with "Hi grandpa, do you who this is?" When the unsuspecting adult guesses the name of the grandchild who sounds like the scammer, the scammer assumes the identity to play on the target's emotion.
Once the scammer has been able to gain the trust of the target, the "grandchild" asks for money to solve some unexpected financial problems such as overdue rent, payment for car repairs, paying a hospital bill, and getting out of jail. Payment is usually requested through Western Union or MoneyGram. It is also typical for grandparent scammers to plead with their targets to keep the problems and conversations secret from other family members for fear of embarrassment or punishment. You can use a reverse cell phone lookup tool to verify if a caller’s identity matches the name given.
What are Richmond City Social Security Scams?
Social Security scams often involve people using live calls or robocalls pretending to be employees of the Social Security Administration (SSA) who try to get Social Security numbers or demand money. These callers sometimes use spoofing techniques to make the genuine Social Security hotline number (800) 772-1213 appear on the recipients' caller ID screens. The callers may also identify themselves using the names of actual SSA officials.
The scammers typically state that due to improper or illegal activities with the targets' Social Security numbers or accounts, they will be arrested or face other legal actions unless they call a particular phone number to address the issue. Any supposed help rendered will involve collecting money or obtaining the Social Security number of the target. Richmond City residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are prerecorded messages delivered through automated calls made by auto-dialers. If you have ever received a phone call where the caller was a robot delivering a recorded message, then you have been contacted by a robocall. Auto-dialers are tools designed to place thousands of calls to preselected numbers. Robocalls can be legal or illegal. Robocalls are legal when used by public bodies to disseminate public service announcements. Schools may also use robocalls to send information to students, parents, and employees. Political campaigners use robocalls to reach voters to canvass for votes during election processors.
In addition to these legitimate uses of robocalls, the United States and the State of Virginia also have specific guidelines for the use of robocalls. However, crooked persons often disregard stipulated rules to contact telephone subscribers in Richmond City with robocalls intended to defraud them of money or obtain sensitive personal information. These persons use auto-dialers to place thousands of calls in the hope that some unsuspecting residents will take the bait. Such calls are unwanted, unsolicited, and are considered spam calls.
Richmond City residents may use phone lookup services to determine if incoming calls are robocalls. You can also follow these guidelines to limit the scourge of robocalls:
- Register or confirm that you are on the national Do-Not-Call List: The federal Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act enacted in 2019 requires telemarketers to consult the national Do-Not-Call List before placing robocalls to telephone users in America. Call (888) 382-1222 from the phone you want to register or register online at DoNotCall. Register your home and cellphone numbers or confirm those numbers are already on the list.
- If you still receive unsolicited calls 31 days after completing your registration, you may report such calls as scam calls.
- Allow calls from unknown callers to go to voicemail: Many scammers call severally thereby making their calls hard to ignore. However, if an unknown caller keeps calling you, do not feel pressured to answer the call. If the message from the caller is so important, a message will be left in the voicemail.
- Use your smartphone's in-built call-blocking feature: Nearly all smartphones have a basic in-built call-blocking feature. With it, you can block calls from unknown numbers for good. Check your phone call settings to activate this feature. This is usually an effective option for most people.
- Enquire from your phone service provider about call-blocking services: Many phone service providers offer free call-blocking features. Some offer this feature bundled with your plan, while others require you to purchase the feature as an add-on service.
- Download a third-party call-blocking application: Phone applications such as Nomorobo, RoboKiller, Hiya, and Truecaller help block calls from scammers. These applications maintain databases where phone numbers associated with scammers have been registered. By installing one such application, you can stop many scam calls from reaching you. These applications are available from major mobile application stores.
- Hang up on robocalls. If you answer a call and hear a recorded message instead of a live operator, hang up immediately. Do not follow any instructions provided on the call.
How to Spot and Report Richmond City Phone Scams?
Scammers use clever schemes to defraud several hundreds of Richmond City residents every year. They often combine sophisticated technology with common tricks to get residents to send money or give out personal information. This could be by phone call, email, texts, or social media. They add new twists to old schemes and pressure people into making important decisions on the spot. However, Richmond City residents can take caution by using reverse phone number lookup tools to help spot scam calls. Other telltale signs to watch out for include situations in which:
- The caller asks you to pay for something through wire transfers and prepaid gift cards. Scammers put plans in place to remain elusive even after perpetrating illegal acts. Hence, requests for payments are usually demanded through difficult-to-trace methods such as wire transfers, cryptocurrencies, prepaid debit cards, and gift cards. If a caller insists you have to pay through any of these means, it is likely to be a scammer.
- The caller threatens to arrest or revoke your license. If an unsolicited caller claims to represent a government body or trusted business but threatens to arrest, imprison, or revoke your license, do not hesitate to hang up immediately.
- The caller claims you have been selected as a winner in a competition or sweepstakes. Scammers who use this trick typically claim targets have won prizes but need to make immediate payments for processing, taxes, or shipping. Do not take the bait.
- The caller wants you to make a decision now. This is a classic pressure tactic used by criminals. They want to put their targets in difficult situations where they do not have the chance to think over their options or call other persons to corroborate the information given them. Resist the pressure by hanging up. Conduct research online where necessary or call a friend, relative, adviser, or a trusted organization to ascertain what you have been told.
- The caller asks you to confirm an account detail by providing personal information such as your name, address, workplace, Social Security number, password, PIN, and date of birth.
Scammers find it easy to perpetrate more and more frauds and other illegal acts due to few victims or targets reporting the devious acts experienced at the hands of perpetrators. If you have fallen victim or have been contacted by a scammer, you can file complaints with any of the following public bodies:
- The Richmond City Sheriff’s Office: If you have received a call from a scammer, you can contact the Richmond City Sheriff's Office at (804) 646-4464.
- Richmond City Police Department: You can report a scam call to the Richmond Police Department by calling (804) 646-5100.
- The Virginia Attorney General’s Office: To report a scam, you can file a complaint online to the Attorney General’s Office or use the downloadable printable complaint form. For further assistance, you can call the Office's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 552-9963 if calling from Virginia, or (804) 786-2042 if calling from the Richmond area or from outside Virginia. The Office's business hours are between 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Federal Communications Commission: If you receive unwanted robocalls and text messages, you can file a report online with the FCC.
- Federal Trade Commission - The FTC protects consumers from deceptive and fraudulent practices. You can file a phone scam report with the FTC by completing the online complaint form.
- Social Security Administration: If you receive a scam call or you suspect you have been a victim of a scam from the Social Security Administration, report such calls by calling the Office of the Inspector General at (800) 269-0271 or make a report online.