What are Saline County Area Codes?
Named for the saltwater springs located within it, Saline County occupies an area measuring 730 square miles at the center of the State of Arkansas. A 2019 population estimate put the total number of people living within its borders at 122,437. The county seat of Saline County is the City of Benton.
The single area code covering Saline County is area code 501. An area code is a number assigned to a numbering plan area (NPA). The set of area codes and NPAs currently in use in the US were first introduced with the creation of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947. The NANP simplified the nation’s call routing and switching systems and made long-distance calls easier to connect. While the NANP created 86 area codes at inception, the numbers of area codes and corresponding NPAs in the US have grown sharply since then. Every phone number issued in the country has an area code. This is easily recognized as the first three digits in a typical 10-digit US phone number.
Area Code 501
This is one of the original area codes created in 1947. Then, it was assigned to all of Arkansas and remained the sole area code for the state until 1995. Currently, area code 501 covers central Arkansas including all of Saline County. Communities in the county served by area code 501 include Alexander, Bryant, Benton, and Mabelvale.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Saline County?
Most of the residents of Arkansas have fully switched to wireless phone services and ditched their landline phones. This is one of the conclusions of a 2018 wireless substitution survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. The survey showed that 66.4% of adults in the state solely used wireless phones while 4.2% of them were still landline-only phone users. The divide between wireless-only and landline-only phone subscriber numbers was wider among minors in the state. About 81.2% of Arkansas residents under the age of 18 signaled they only used wireless phones. Only 1.7% of this demographic still relied solely on landline phones.
Saline County residents can sign up for cell phone plans offered by national and regional carriers. Among these phone service providers, Verizon and AT&T provide the widest coverage with their network signals available in 99.5% and 99.2% of Arkansas. T-Mobile follows closely with 91.6% coverage of the state. Most regional carriers are MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) and rely on the network infrastructure of bigger carriers. They also buy network services from major carriers in bulk and can offer them in cheaper plans to their subscribers by passing on some savings from their bulk purchases.
VoIP phone service is an alternative to cell and landline phone services for residents of Saline County. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that enables the transmission of voice signals over the internet. VoIP phone services rely on fast internet access and are most cost-effective for residents with broadband internet access at home and/or work. VoIP phone plans are usually cheaper for users placing lots of long-distance calls or using teleconferencing services.
What are Saline County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent schemes committed using phone tools and services and targeting residents of Saline County. Scammers often communicate with their targets by phone calls and text messages. They may also employ sophisticated phone tools such as caller ID spoofing, phishing, robocalls, and spam calls. Vigilant residents can learn to avoid and fight phone scams with useful phone tools such as call blocking and reverse phone number lookup.
Besides using technology to stop phone scams, residents also need to learn about commonly reported phone scams in the communities. The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office identifies some of the most common telephone frauds in the state. These include charity scams, counterfeit check scams, family emergency scams, and utility scams.
What are Saline County Charity Scams?
Charity scams involve fraudsters impersonating legitimate fundraisers. They may pretend to represent real charities or make up fake charities with names that sound similar to real charities. Charity scams are most common during holiday seasons and after widely reported charities. Charity scammers call to ask for donations. Their targets may not even know they have been duped until they learn their donations are not tax-deductible.
To avoid these scams, make sure to verify the identity of a stranger calling to raise money for charity and confirm that they indeed work for the named charity. You can do so by calling the charity with the number listed on its website and using reverse phone lookup to find out the true identity of the caller. Arkansas requires charities asking its citizens for donations to register with the Secretary of State. Therefore, residents of Saline County can check the registration status of charities asking for donations. To find out how legitimate registered charities spend the money they raise, turn to an of these independent reviewers:
What are Saline County Counterfeit Check Scams?
These fraudulent schemes involve fraudsters sending fake checks to their victims and then convincing them to wire some of the amounts on these checks. Such counterfeit checks may be sent as payments for goods and services or lottery or sweepstakes winnings. In some cases, scammers send checks for amounts in excess of what receivers are due and then ask them to wire back the overpaid amounts. Victims only find out they have been defrauded when their banks call to inform them that they presented counterfeit checks.
Residents of Saline County should be wary of strangers and online contacts paying them with checks. They should refuse to send back overpayments or parts of the amounts on such checks until they clear with their banks. If you receive a check from someone you barely know, take immediate steps to verify their identities with phone number search. Make sure the contact is trustworthy as presenting a counterfeit check is illegal.
What are Saline County Family Emergency Scams?
Sometimes referred to as grandparent scams because elderly residents are the most common victims, family emergency scams are also impostor scams. In these scams, fraudsters pretend to be family members while calling their targets to ask for urgent financial help. They may also impersonate law enforcement and court officials and lawyers willing to help victims’ loved ones or pretend to be their friends or helpful strangers. Scammers running this fraudulent scheme often claim to need the money to pay for hospital bills, bail bonds, or return flight tickets. They also beg their victims to keep their requests a secret from others.
Foiling a family emergency scams is as easy as telling others about demand for money from a loved one. Call the loved one directly with the number saved on your phone to confirm that they indeed need help. If you can’t reach them, call other family members to verify the caller’s claims. Lastly, use a suspicious phone number search to verify the identity and location of the caller. This search may also reveal that the number used has been linked to previous scams.
What are Saline County Utility Scams?
In these impostor scams, fraudsters pretend to be bill collectors acting on behalf of local utility companies. They threaten to cut off gas, electricity, or water supply to their victims’ homes and businesses if they do not immediately pay outstanding utility bills. Residents of Saline County can thwart such scam attempts by calling their local utility companies to ask if the strangers calling them work for these organizations. They should also know that utility companies do not threaten their customers and only cut off utilities after sending multiple notices of overdue bills by mail. If you receive a call from a stranger claiming to be from the local utility company, ask them to identify themselves and then use a free reverse phone lookup to dig up their true identity.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls sent out to deliver pre-recorded messages to lots of phone users. When they were first introduced, robocalls were mostly used to send political messages, public service announcements, and telemarketing pitches. These days, most robocalls are from scammers looking for new victims. Scammers adopt robocalls because they are cost-effective mass communication tools that require little effort to use.
Spam calls are also phone calls sent out in bulk. However, they are likely to be placed by employees of telemarketing groups targeting as many people as possible with their sales pitches. Most American phone users receive more spam calls and robocalls than actual calls from genuine contacts. To stop or reduce the number of such unsolicited calls, residents of Saline County should consider the following steps:
- Do not trust your phone’s caller ID feature to accurately identify unknown callers. Scammers and spammers often use caller ID spoofing to get phone users to pick their calls
- Do not pick calls from unknown or unrecognized numbers. Let these go to voicemail and then review the messages left to decide which ones to return
- Hang up as soon as you realize a call is a robocall or spam call
- Do not follow instructions provided during robocalls and spam calls on what to do to stop receiving such calls. Scammers and spammers use such prompts to find phone users willing to engage with them and then target them with more unsolicited calls
- Set up the call-blocking feature on your phone to filter calls from blacklisted or unknown numbers. You can also ask your carrier if they offer call blocking services. Alternatively, download a well-reviewed call blocking app from your phone’s official app store
- Use reverse phone number lookup to identify unknown callers. This can help you unmask scammers, spammers, and stalkers and provide relevant information if you decide to submit a complaint to law enforcement
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry to stop receiving robocalls from legitimate telemarketers. Unwanted robocalls and spam calls received 31 days after joining this Registry are illegal and should be reported to the FCC
How to Spot and Report Saline County Phone Scams
In addition to learning about prevalent phone scams in their communities, residents of Saline County should know how to spot phone scams. This requires them to look out for certain red flags when on the phone with strangers. Irrespective of the fraudulent schemes they are pushing, scammers resort to one or more of these tactics:
- Threatening their victims while posing as authority figures. If a strange caller demanding money or confidential information is likely a scammer if they also threaten to arrest, prosecute, or deport you. They may also claim you will lose your home or driver’s, professional, or business license
- Asking for money sent via unofficial channels. Only a scammer will want you to send money for fines, outstanding bills, overdue taxes, and other official payments by cash, prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfer, mobile app transfer, or cryptocurrency
- Pressuring their victims to commit immediately. Scammers hurry their targets along and give them very little time to consider their bogus offers. They will use aggressive sales tactics and inspire a fear of missing out on great deals and supposedly once-in-a-lifetime opportunities by claiming these will soon no longer be available
- Refusal to provide written documents supporting their claims and identities. Scammers do not want a paper trail linking them to their crimes. Therefore, they redirect enquiries for official documentation spelling out their claims and confirming their identities
If any of these signs make you suspicious of a strange caller, find out more about them by using a reverse phone search to look up their real identities and possible locations. Report such callers to the right authorities. Scam reports help law enforcement bring fraudsters to justice and inform the public about new scam trends. Residents of Saline County can report phone scams to the following agencies:
- The Consumer Protection Division of the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office - this is the state’s consumer protection agency. Its responsibilities include mediating disputes between consumers and businesses in the state. It also prosecutes violators of the Arkansas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Residents of Saline County can report consumer scams to this Division by filing their complaints online, sending complaint emails to [email protected], or calling (800) 482-8982
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - the FTC is the federal consumer protection agency and Saline County residents can report unfair and deceitful business practices to the agency. It investigates reports of consumer scams occurring anywhere in the country. File a consumer scam complaint to the FTC online or by calling (877) 382-4357
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - as the regulator of the US communication sector, the FCC handles all phone scam reports. It also maintains the National Do Not Call Registry and prosecutes those convicted of violating its rules. Therefore, Saline County residents can report illegal robocalls, spam calls, caller ID spoofing, and phishing to the Commission. They can also submit reports of phone scams using the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center