Area codes are three-digit codes preceding ten-digit phone numbers in North America. They identify the destination or originating locations of specific calls. The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) serves every geographical area in North America and divides them into Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs). Each NPA is allocated at least one area code. With these area codes, residents can determine the originating locations of the calls when they perform area code lookups using reverse phone lookup tools.
Area Code 320
Area code 320 mainly covers most of central Minnesota, apart from the Twin Cities metro. It was the fourth area code to be created in Minnesota. Area code 320 was created in 1996 from the western part of area code 612. Some cities and communities area code 320 covers include Howard Lake, Clearwater, Cokato, etc.
Area Code 763
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Wright County?
Verizon has the overall best coverage in Wright County. Covering most cities in the county, it has 100% coverage, compared to other phone carrier networks, like T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. However, the data quality in Wright County is poor in most areas.
In 2018, the National Center of Health Statistics conducted a telephone status survey in the US to ascertain the percentage of residents that used landlines and wireless telephones. From the survey, a distinct difference is observed in the telephone choice of adults and minors in Minnesota. The distinct difference is even more evident in the telephone status survey of minors. The survey shows that approximately 56.2% of adults in Minnesota solely used wireless telephones, while about 4.4% of the Minnesota adult population used only landlines. On the other hand, the telephone status survey of minors in Minnesota reveals that an estimate of 63.2% of the Minnesota minors solely used wireless telephones. In comparison, only 1.9% of Minnesota minors exclusively used landlines.
VoIP means Voice over Internet Protocol, which refers to a medium of disseminating voice and multimedia messages over high-speed internet connections. In recent times, Wright County has experienced a significant switch to the use of VoIP for telephony services. More residents and businesses now accept VoIP as a viable option for making local and international calls, mainly because the services are available at very affordable prices. Business owners, in particular, exploit the use of VoIP for the scalability of their businesses because of VoIP’s numerous advanced features. Generally, companies that offer VoIP services have different subscription packages; hence, residents can choose the ones that perfectly suit their needs. Some advanced features of VoIP are call recording/monitoring, call screening, Caller ID spoofing, conference calling, automated attendant, call forwarding/voicemail, etc.
What are Wright County Phone Scams?
Wright County phone scams are deceptive acts and crimes committed over the phone by scammers to steal county residents’ valuables and confidential information. Phone scams prey on unsuspecting residents and are facilitated by advanced telephony services, including Caller ID spoofing and robocalls. These telephony services are readily available to interested persons, and unfortunately, fraudsters take advantage of them. Fraudsters use Caller ID spoofing to spoof the Caller IDs of legitimate organizations and individuals, hence claiming to be who they are not. They mostly impersonate legitimate entities like the IRS, Social Security Administration, law enforcement agencies, health institutions, financial institutions, legitimate businesses. Residents can maximize the use of free reverse phone lookup services to perform phone number lookups. These services help identify spoofed Caller IDs and reveal who called when residents receive calls from unknown phone numbers and Caller IDs.
Common scams perpetrated in Wright County are:
What are Wright County COVID-19 Scams?
In Wright County COVID-19 scams, scammers try to sabotage the efforts of the Wright County Health Department. These scammers call residents and pose as representatives of legitimate health agencies. Pretending to be calling for contact tracing, they tell the recipients that they have been in contact with persons who recently tested positive for COVID-19. The scammers then request personal information like credit card numbers and social security numbers for contact tracing. In other cases, they invite recipients to take COVID-19 vaccines.
Residents are encouraged to ignore such calls and hang up immediately. They may then directly contact the Wright County Health Department on 763-682-7607 to verify the callers’ claims. Also, detailed COVID-19 updates are available to residents on the health department’s website. This equips residents with adequate information that will help them avoid falling victim to COVID-19 scams.
What are Wright County Grandparents Scams?
Con artists target senior citizens in grandparent scams as they are more likely to fall for their schemes. These con artists come up with false stories to play on the emotions of their targets and extort them. In most cases, they may claim that they need money urgently to bail themselves out of police custody, pay hospital bills, etc. They also plead with the targets to keep the calls confidential because they do not want other people to know about their so-called predicaments. Usually, this is a major red flag because the aim is to discourage the recipients from verifying the information. Persons who receive such calls should ignore the pleas and verify the claims before committing any funds or giving out their credit card details.
Recipients of these calls can conduct phone number lookups free by name to determine who called them.
What are Wright County Arrest Warrant Scams?
Here, scammers use Caller ID spoofing tools to spoof the Caller IDs of the Wright County Sheriff Office. With this, scammers contact residents and pretend to be from the Sheriff’s Office. They tell their targets that they have warrants for their arrests and that the warrants require them to pay certain fees to avoid arrest. They threaten to arrest residents if they fail to comply and make payments. Residents should ignore the calls they receive from suspected imposters as the Sheriff’s Office never calls to threaten individuals with arrests. If unsure whether you actually have a warrant, contact the Sheriff’s Office at (763) 682-1162 to verify. You may also conduct a reverse cell phone lookup to know who called you.
What are Wright County IRS Scams?
Wright County IRS scams target taxpayers in the county, particularly during tax seasons. Scammers pose as IRS representatives in these scams and call residents to tell them that they owe back taxes. The scammers demand immediate payment and issue threats of arrest, deportation, or revocation of licenses if the recipients do not comply. Usually, scammers prefer that their potential victims remain on the phone as they make the payments to prevent them from verifying the calls. Also, scammers always insist that their victims pay using prepaid cards, gift cards, green dot cards, PayPal, iTunes, bitcoins, or wire transfers because these payment methods are untraceable. The IRS never requests payment over the phone through these payment methods. The IRS also never randomly calls residents without first prompting them of the calls with multiple mails.
Wright County residents are encouraged to hang up immediately if they receive such calls. They should then confirm the claims through the Minnesota Department of Revenue’s Customer Service. Residents can also report the calls to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) online or call 1-800-366-4484. The IRS educates residents on IRS scam red flags. Conducting phone number searches using good reverse phone lookup tools will help you avoid falling victim to IRS scams.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls refer to automated calls structured to deliver pre-recorded messages to a target audience consisting of several persons. Telemarketers, political parties, and government agencies use robocalls to reach several persons within a short period. Fraudsters also use robocalls to carry out their criminal acts over the phone to extort residents and steal their personal information. Consequently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 1991 to control the use of robocalls. The TCPA mandates that telemarketers and other intending users of robocalls must first obtain consent from the recipients before sending robocalls.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) authorizes these robocalls to be sent without prior consent:
- Robocalls for political campaigns
- Robocalls for debt collection
- Robocalls by legitimate health institutions
- Solely informational robocalls
- Robocalls by charitable organizations
Unconsented robocalls are often fraudulent, and under the TCPA, recipients of such calls can report to FTC. Spam calls are unwanted calls sent out in bulk to transmit messages that recipients consider irrelevant. Examples of these messages are messages for advertisement and proselytization.
The best response to unsolicited robocalls is not to answer them, but if you unknowingly answer, take these steps:
- Hang up immediately and do not follow the instructions given during the call. Unsolicited robocalls usually prompt recipients to press specific numbers to unsubscribe from the robocalls or be linked up with live agents. Such prompts often lead to more robocalls, information breaches, or exposure to potential scams.
- Refrain from answering any questions, especially yes or no questions, during calls. Doing this may cause you to experience personal information theft. The scammers may also order items or services at your own expense unknown to you.
- Determine the source of the robocall and block it using a good reverse phone lookup tool. You can also use the in-built call-blocking app on your phone or contact your telephone service provider for call-blocking options.
- Enlist your personal phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry (DNCR) to limit robocalls by calling 1-888-382-1222 (TTY 1-866-290-4236) from the number you want to register. After 31 days of your registration on the DNCR, any unsolicited robocall received is most likely fraudulent.
- Report all complaints on robocalls to the FTC through the online complaint assistant or call 1-888-382-1222.
How to Spot and Report Wright County Phone Scams?
Phone scams constitute nuisances to Wright County residents by stealing their valuables and personal information. Unfortunately, scammers do not relent in perpetrating fraudulent schemes; hence, residents are encouraged to take the initiative to look out for scam red flags and hang up immediately if they identify any. The red flags include:
- The caller threatens you with arrest, deportation, and license withdrawal in a bid to obtain your personal information or enforce payment fraudulently. Pay no attention to the threats and reach out to the impersonated entity through their verified contact to confirm claims.
- The caller demands specific payment methods like gift cards, wire transfers, bitcoins, cash apps, etc. These payment methods are difficult to track down, and retrieving payment may be impossible.
- The caller demands that you take instant action on the subject of the call without first conducting the necessary research. Do not give in to the pressure. Take your time to research appropriately. You may also conduct a phone number lookup to determine who called.
- The caller requests payment for upfront taxes, courier charges, clearance, etc., for fake winnings. End the call immediately and research the offer.
- The caller requests undue confidentiality for “security reasons.” There are high chances that such a call is a scam; conduct a reverse cell phone lookup to answer the question, “who is this number registered to?”
- The caller demands private information, like account numbers, date of birth, social security number, mother’s maiden name, etc. Ignore such demands and hang up. Legitimate entities will never demand personal information over the phone.
- The caller makes payment demands for the retrieval of money previously lost to scams.
Wright County residents can contact any of these government agencies to report scams:
Wright County Sheriff’s Office - Wright County citizens can reach out to the Sheriff’s Office at (763) 682-7622 to report phone scams. The County Sheriff’s Office also provides regular updates on prominent phone scams in the county through its Wright County Citizen Alert System. Residents can sign up with their contact and location information.
Minnesota Attorney General’s Office - The Attorney General’s Office makes available up-to-date information on trending phone scams and how to spot them. Residents can report phone scams to the Attorney General’s Office by completing the online fraud report form or calling (651) 296-3353 and (800) 657-3787.
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC provides information on common phone scams and tips to avoid them. Residents can reach out to the FTC to report phone scams, Caller ID spoofing, identity theft, and violation of the National Do Not Call Registry.
Federal Bureau of Investigation - The FBI helps investigate and track down the reported scammers. Victims may report phone scams by calling (202) 324-3000.
Federal Communications Commission - The FCC provides information on illegal Caller ID spoofing and how to enable call-blocking tools and features. Victims of phone scams, unwanted robocalls, Caller ID spoofing, and identity thefts can report online or by calling the FCC on 1-877-382-4357.