Area codes are the sequence of three-digit numbers at the beginning of North American phone numbers. They were created by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) and represent the Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) of specific regions within NANPA territories. Scott County residents can access online area code lookup resources on the NANPA website. The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) maintains area codes and telecommunication infrastructures in the state. Currently, only one area code covers Scott County.
Area Code 952
Area code 952 was put into service in 2000. It was created from a split of the 612 NPA, and it serves several counties in Minnesota, including Scott County. Cities in Scott County within the 952 NPA include Shakopee, Belle Plaine, Jordan, Elko New Market, Prior Lake, and New Prague.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Scott County?
Cell phones are preferred for telecommunication in Minnesota, as revealed by data from a 2018 CDC survey. An estimated 56.2% of Minnesota adults are strict cellphone users, while only 4.4% still used landlines only for telecommunication. Similarly, about 63.2% of children below 18 years had embraced cell phones exclusively for telephony, while 1.9% of them solely used landline phones.
The best cell phone plans in Scott County are provided by AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. These network carriers serve the various towns and cities in the county at different coverage levels. The City of Shakopee enjoys 92% coverage from Verizon, which is the best in the city. It is trailed closely by T-Mobile with 88% network spread, while AT&T reaches about 74% of Shakopee. Sprint offers the least coverage at 72%. Some smaller network carriers, known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), also provide network services to county residents at affordable rates. MVNOs typically depend on the network infrastructures of the major carriers to offer telecommunication services.
Scott County residents also use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony services for text messaging, video conferencing, and voice calls. VoIP technology transmits communications over IP networks, majorly broadband internet connections. County residents are gradually adopting this technology because it is easy to use and very portable.
What are Scott County Phone Scams?
Scott County phone scams are illegal activities perpetrated using telephony services and aim at tricking county residents into parting with money or personal information. Scammers use telephone services such as text messages, live calls, or robocalls in their scam schemes. The culprits responsible for these acts usually hide behind fake Caller IDs to appear as representatives of reputable agencies and businesses. They use phone spoofing technology to manipulate their caller IDs to make targets feel comfortable to answer their calls and respond to their requests. However, free reverse phone lookup services can help residents recognize spoofed phone numbers and avoid scams. Scammers who successfully acquire their targets' personal and financial details use such information to steal money and identities.
Different public agencies protect Scott County residents from phone scams and update them with information about scammers' tricks. They include the Scott County Sheriff's Office, Minnesota Attorney General's Office, and Minnesota Better Business Bureau (BBB). Others are the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Common phone scams in Scott County include:
What are Scott County Fake Check Scams?
Scammers contact unsuspecting Scott County residents and employ various tricks to dupe them using counterfeit checks. In a popular version, scammers call residents who place items for sale online and offer to patronize their businesses. The scammers then send checks for an amount higher than the value of the goods on sale. They then instruct the sellers to deposit the check in their bank accounts and wire the balance back to them. Unknown to the sellers, the checks are counterfeit. In another variant, fraudsters call residents to inform them about sweepstakes they supposedly won and send checks as part payments from such winnings. However, the “winners” will be required to wire some amount, usually less than the check value, to cover shipping charges or taxes. Scammers can also pretend to be calling from foreign countries and ask unsuspecting targets to deposit checks in their bank accounts for safekeeping. Afterward, they tell the target to transfer some of the money and keep the rest for themselves as their reward. Fake checks are difficult to identify because of their similar features to genuine ones. The fact that the bank honored a check instrument does not mean it is authentic. Banks are legally obligated to treat checks within a short time frame. They will eventually discover the fake check instruments and will require the scam victims to repay such money. Unfortunately, many fall prey to these scams and end up losing their savings.
Never send money from a check through wire transfers or gift cards to unknown persons. Residents engaging in online sales are advised never to accept checks above the price of items they put on sale to avoid these scams. Running the phone numbers of these callers through suspicious phone number lookup services can help victims retrieve information on them. Residents can report counterfeit checks sent to them via U.S. mail to the US Postal Inspection Service by calling (877) 876-2455.
What are Scott County IRS Scams?
These scams trick taxpayers into sending money or revealing sensitive information that makes them vulnerable to identity theft. Scammers take advantage of the limited information their targets have about the tax system to dupe them. They identify themselves as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees when they call Scott County residents, claiming they are behind in tax payments. They then insist that the targets pay up immediately or risk getting arrested. If the targets object to such allegations, the scammers will ask them to provide personal information for supposed verifications. In another variant, scammers will claim that targeted residents are eligible for a tax refund but need to provide certain information for processing. Irrespective of their claims, the primary goal of these con artists is to steal money or obtain personal information from their targets for identity fraud. They prefer odd payment channels like wire transfers, gift cards, or cryptocurrencies. These payment methods make the payments untraceable and hard to recover. These scammers often spoof their phone numbers to make them appear as IRS official phone numbers.
The IRS does not threaten residents or demand tax payments over the phone. Taxpayers' information is readily available on their database, so residents do not need to verify them in unsolicited phone calls. Residents should never divulge confidential information to unknown callers. If you receive this type of call, contact the IRS on their official phone numbers to confirm the caller's claim. Reverse phone number applications can help residents detect spoofed phone calls and avoid IRS scams.
What are Scott County Fake Charity Scams?
Fraudsters makeup names of fake charities and call Scott County residents to solicit contributions. To avoid charity scams, residents should properly research any charity organization before making donations. The scammers leverage the generosity of their targets to steal money. Usually, these scams prevail during natural disasters like hurricanes or wildfires to get targets' attention. Scammers convince their targets that they will channel the funds towards helping sick children or providing shelter for disaster victims. They eventually divert such money for personal use. They may also impersonate reputable charities and request funds from previous donors. They are often successful in pulling this trick by spoofing their target’s Caller IDs to display the names of the charities. Luckily, residents can use websites that offer good reverse phone number lookup services to verify the callers. They can also contact the charities directly on their official phone numbers before making any donations.
As a common practice, scammers pressure their targets to make immediate payments and may insist on collecting the donations through wire transfers or in cash. It is, however, safer to pay with checks or credit cards and document your contributions. Residents are advised never to share any personal information with these callers to avoid identity theft. To report fake charities extorting residents through natural disasters, you can file a complaint with the National Centre for Disaster Fraud.
What are Scott County Technical Support Scams?
In these scams, fraudsters take advantage of Scott County residents by calling to offer technical assistance while posing as employees of familiar tech companies. The scammers may appear helpful and kind or employ fear tactics to trick the targets into taking their bait. They call their marks and notify them about malware supposedly found on their computers. They then provide instructions to the resident on how to handle the problem. They usually get targets to install fraudulent software that will allow them to gain remote access to their computers. That way, they can block the owners’ access and glean confidential information from the computer to use for money or identity theft. They then inform their victims to make immediate payment for the fake repair service before allowing them to regain control of such PCs.
Software companies do not offer unsolicited technical assistance to their customers. Hence, residents should hang up on any caller offering such a service because it is a potential scam. Although residents of any age can fall prey to this scam, elderly residents are at greater risk. Residents can subscribe to services that offer free reverse phone number searches to unveil such callers' identities.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Telemarketers, political campaign organizations, and government agencies use robocalls to disseminate information to the public. Robocalls are telephone calls from automatic dialers that transmit recorded messages to selected phone numbers at once. Most robocalls are intrusive and deliver irrelevant information to recipients. Spam calls disperse unwanted messages, usually pre-recorded, in bulk. Scammers often use spoofed robocalls to steal personal information and money from unsuspecting targets. However, reverse phone number services can help residents identify incoming calls as robocalls and avoid scams. To lessen robocall disturbance, residents can take the following actions:
- Enlist your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Reject calls from unknown phone numbers and if you unintentionally answer a robocall, hang up immediately. Ignore any instructions from the robocall to avoid signing up for more robocalls.
- File reports of illegal robocalls with the FTC and report spoofed robocall numbers to the FCC.
- Run unknown phone numbers through reverse number lookup applications and use third-party call-blocking tools to stop future calls from those phone numbers.
How Can You Spot and Report Scott County Phone Scams?
You can spot Scott County phone scams by staying updated with fraudsters' ever-changing tricks and remaining alert when answering calls from unknown phone numbers. Scammers often disguise their phone numbers and impersonate legitimate entities in their scam schemes. Regardless of their method, they aim to glean confidential data and steal money from their targets. Residents can use reverse phone lookup services to uncover scammers’ real identities. Some red flags of imminent phone scams are:
- A caller who insists on collecting payments through wire transfers or bitcoins because these channels make transactions difficult to trace and reverse.
- A caller who uses an aggressive approach when trying to elicit an immediate response from you. They try to intimidate you into complying with their demands without giving them proper consideration.
- An unknown caller claims to be affiliated with a legitimate entity but demands confidential information like social security numbers, PINs, or passwords from you.
- An unknown caller presents attractive investment opportunities but disregards your request for legal documents to back their proposition.
Scott County residents who are victims of phone scams can get help from any of the following public agencies:
- Scott County Sheriff's Office: Scott County residents can report phone scams to the County Sheriff's Office by calling (952) 496-8300. Residents can also file in-person complaints by visiting the Sheriff's Office at 301 Fuller Street South, Shakopee, MN 55379.
- Minnesota Attorney General's Office: The Minnesota Attorney General's Office provides Consumer Information to residents about different scams, including phone scams. County residents who are victims of phone scams can file complaints at the Attorney General's Office.
- Minnesota Better Business Bureau (BBB): Scott County residents scammed by businesses can file a report to the Minnesota BBB by calling (651) 699-1111.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Scott County residents who are victims of phone scams can file online complaints with the FTC or call 1 (888) 225-5322. The FTC manages the DNC Registry to bar unsolicited robocalls and encourages residents to enroll their phone numbers.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC): Scott County residents can report phone scams to the FCC online or by calling 1 (888) 225-5322. Residents can also leverage the online resource provided by the FCC on blocking unsolicited robocalls.