What are Sebastian County Area Codes?
An area code is a unique three-digit number that precedes a ten-digit telephone number. It is used to identify the geographical area where a call originated from. The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) divides every geographical area in the North American region into Numbering Plan Areas (NPA). Each of these NPAs is allotted at least one area code. However, some geographical areas tend to have more than one area code due to the exhaustion of the originally assigned area code. Residents can optimize the use of reverse phone number lookup services for easy identification of area codes.
Area Code 479
Area code 479 is the area code covering the northwestern part of the State of Arkansas. It was created on 19th January 2002 as a split from area code 501. The coverage areas of area code 479 are the Cities and Towns of Sebastian, Fort Smith, Hartford, Greenwood, Lavaca, Huntington, etc.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Sebastian County?
In Sebastian County, there are two major cell phone carriers with the best network coverage, and they are Verizon and AT&T. AT&T has the best network coverage with 94%, while Verizon comes next with 88% coverage. Notwithstanding these network qualities, certain factors like population density and harsh weather conditions can adversely affect network quality.
According to the 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey, an estimate of 66.4% of the Arkansas adult population used wireless telephones only, while 4.2% of the Arkansas adult population used landlines only. In comparison, an estimate of 81.2% of minors in Arkansas used wireless telephones only, while 1.7% of minors in Arkansas used landlines only. This survey indicates that both adults and minors in Arkansas prefer wireless telephones to landlines.
Voice over Internet Protocol, known as VoIP, is fast gaining recognition in Sebastian County by individuals and businesses alike. VoIP is a technology that utilizes internet connections to enable voice and multimedia communications. Businesses mainly prefer to use VoIP because of its affordability, flexibility, and sophisticated features, which are unavailable on traditional telephony services. VoIP also enables businesses and individuals to make local and international calls at inexpensive rates. Some advanced features of VoIP are audio and video conferencing, auto line attendants, call waiting, voicemail/call forwarding, call recording and monitoring, name dialing, Caller ID spoofing, etc.
What are Sebastian County Phone Scams?
Sebastian County phone scams target both young and old residents using telephony technology to defraud and steal from them. Phone scams also involve scammers stealing personal information from residents to commit identity theft. Scammers usually adopt various tactics to execute these scams better. They maximize the use of easily accessible and affordable technological innovations such as robocalls and Caller ID spoofing. The scammers use robocalls to send unwanted pre-recorded messages in bulk to residents. They also use Caller ID spoofing to conceal their Caller IDs and copy the Caller IDs of the entities they intend to impersonate. Residents should use reverse cell phone lookup applications and websites to conduct phone number lookups to identify fraudsters easily.
The Arkansas Attorney General's office educates residents on common scams in a bid to combat phone scams. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) helps create awareness to help residents deal with illegal Caller ID spoofing. The FCC also educates people on how to recognize and block unwanted calls.
Prevalent phone scams in Sebastian County include:
What are Sebastian County Sheriff Department Scams?
Sebastian County Sheriff Department scams occur when con artists disguise themselves as officers of the Sheriff’s Department or other law enforcement agents. The scammers then inform the recipients of unresolved warrants for missing jury duties and demand payments to resolve the warrants. Usually, the scammers insist that such payments are made via gift cards, Walmart, Walgreens, GreenDot, or even cash. They also insist that the recipients stay on the line throughout the payment duration.
In Sebastian County, the Sheriff's Department has revealed that scammers hide their Caller IDs and use the phone number 479-221-9427 to contact residents. Scammers also adopt the names of former or current deputies.
Hence, the Sheriff's Department has publicized that the Department will never call residents concerning payment for warrants. Residents should never share their personal information. They should also understand that not all Caller IDs that reflect on their phones can be trusted. Residents can conduct phone number lookups free using reverse phone look up tools to answer the question “who is this number registered to?” Victims of these calls can call the Sebastian County Sheriff Department for verification on 479-783-1051 to report.
What are Sebastian County Social Security Administration Scams?
Social Security Administration scams are scams perpetrated to steal residents’ hard-earned money and personal information. In these scams, scammers pretend to be Social Security Officers and demand personal information, claiming that their targets’ social security numbers have been compromised. They also state that the payment is required to avoid the suspension of their targets’ social security numbers. Typically, scammers mandate that the payment is made with gift cards, bitcoins, cash, or wire transfers.
Residents should be wary of these tactics and avoid disclosing personal information such as date of birth, social security number, address, etc., over the phone. They should never rush to make payments or give out information but always investigate and verify the claims. Residents can use reverse phone number lookup tools to answer the question “who called me?” The government will never demand up-front payment or payment via any of those means. Victims of these scams may report by calling the fraud hotline of the Social Security Administration on 1-800-269-0271.
What are Sebastian County Medicare Scams?
Medicare scams occur when scammers pretend to be Medicare officers. They claim that there have been suspicious activities on the recipients’ accounts, which requires them to verify their identities to retain the benefits. They adopt diverse tactics to get residents to divulge personal information or make payments.
Residents are warned to be cautious because scammers often copy the Caller IDs of actual Medicare officers to deceive residents; hence not all Caller IDs can be trusted. Residents can conduct reverse phone number lookups to uncover the identities of scammers. The Attorney General's Office advises residents against giving out personal information without thoroughly verifying the callers’ claim. Residents should also note that Medicare officers will not demand residents’ personal information. Persons that receive such calls can contact Medicare on 800-633-4227 to report.
What are Sebastian County Utility Scams?
In utility scams, con-artists pose as representatives of the residents' utility companies requesting payment for supposed unpaid bills. Scammers demand immediate payment and threaten to cut off the recipients’ utilities if the payments are not made. Residents who receive calls of this nature can conduct suspicious phone number lookups with free reverse phone number lookup tools to easily identify the callers.
Residents should be wary of such calls and note that legitimate utility organizations do not demand bank or credit card details from recipients. Recipients with unpaid bills should immediately hang up and call the phone numbers on the utility bills to confirm the claims. Payments should be directly made to the utility companies via their official websites.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Pre-programmed calls that utilize auto-dialers to deliver pre-recorded messages are called robocalls. Essentially, robocalls are used to disseminate information and pass across emergency announcements to a target audience. Robocalls can be legal or illegal. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) established the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 to control the use of robocalls. It mandates that before a robocall is sent, the willful permission of the target audience must be obtained from residents. For this reason, any robocalls sent without prior consent are considered illegal and can be reported to the FTC. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) allows only specific robocalls to be sent to residents without their prior consent. These calls include:
- Debt collection robocalls
- Robocalls from political parties
- Robocalls by legitimate health institutions
- Strictly informational robocalls
- Robocalls by charitable organizations
Fraudsters use robocalls to steal residents’ personal information and send unwanted and unsolicited messages. Robocalls often contain instructions for recipients to press specific numbers to stop receiving robocalls or speak with live agents. These instructions, if followed, may result in more robocalls. Hence, they should be ignored. Spam calls are unwanted calls that disturb recipients with irrelevant messages, such as adverts and bogus promotional broadcasts.
As a way of avoiding robocall scams, do not pick robocalls, but if you unknowingly pick, you may take the following actions:
- Do not engage with the call; instead, hang up immediately.
- Block the phone number using a reverse phone number lookup service. You can also use the options provided by your cell phone service provider or the in-built call-blocking app on your phone.
- Pay no attention to any instructions given during the call.
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to restrict robocalls. Unsolicited robocalls can be reported 31 days after registration.
- Report the unwanted robocall to the FTC through the online complaint assistant portal or by calling 1-888-382-1222.
How to Spot and Report Sebastian County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are on the rise in Sebastian County, with scammers using dynamic and technology-aided approaches. Therefore residents need to be vigilant so as not to fall victim to the scams. Below are some red flags residents should look out for to avoid falling victim to scams. They include:
- The caller demands payment and specifies that it must be made via a wire transfer, gift card, cash, or prepaid card. No legitimate organization will demand payment through any irretrievable and untraceable means.
- The caller tries to pressure the recipient to make immediate payment or disclose personal information while issuing threats of arrest, deportation, and license revocation for non-compliance.
- An unknown caller asks for the confidentiality of a call. Utilize a reverse phone look up service free to conduct a phone number look up to answer the question, “who called me?”
- The caller uses scare tactics to take advantage of the recipient’s emotions. For instance, they may inform the recipient that their loved one is in danger. Make sure to verify the caller’s claims before taking any action.
- The caller demands payment of certain fees for supposed prizes won. Supposed winnings that require advance payment of fees should be ignored.
- The caller offers assistance to retrieve money lost to a scam for a fee.
- The caller requests the disclosure of financial or personal information, such as social security number, account details, date of birth, passwords, etc. Do not disclose sensitive information; instead, contact the impersonated organization to confirm such claims.
Residents who notice red flags during calls or victims of scams in Sebastian County can report them to these government agencies:
Sebastian County Sheriff's Office - Phone scam complaints can be reported by calling the Sheriff’s Office at (479) 783 1051. The Sheriff’s Office phone number can be called at any time of the day. Residents can also report phone scams by contacting the Greenwood District at 479-996-2145 or by visiting the Fort Smith District:
800 South A Street,
Fort Smith, AR 7290.
Arkansas Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General's Office - To report phone scams and other unwanted calls, file a complaint online, via email, or call (800) 482-8982.
Federal Trade Commission - Victims of illegal Caller ID spoofing, spam calls, illegal robocalls, identity theft, unsolicited telemarketing, and all other scams can report using the FTC’s online consumer complaint assistant. You can also report by calling 877-FTC-HELP or 877-ID-THEFT.
Federal Bureau of Investigation - General fraud and Criminal matters can be reported by calling (202) 324-3000.