Area codes are the three-digit numbers that appear at the beginning of all North American phone numbers. The NPA (Numbering Plan Area) codes were also introduced as part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). Area codes show individuals the source or destination of phone calls. In Connecticut, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) is responsible for assigning new area codes in different communities.
Four area codes are currently active in Litchfield County. These include:
Area Code 203
Area code 203 is one of the 86 original numbering plan area codes introduced in 1947 for Connecticut. It was eventually split in 1995 to form area code 860. Area code 203 covers part of Litchfield County like the Town of Bethlehem and some parts of Woodbury.
Area Code 475
Area code 475 was implemented in 2009 after the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority suggested an overlay for area code 203. As such, residents within the same area code have to use the 10-digit dialing system to make local calls. Area code 475 serves communities like the Town of Woodbury and the Town of Canaan.
Area Code 860
Area code 860 is a Connecticut telephone area code created in 1995 from a geographical split of area code 203. Major communities in Litchfield County covered by area code 860 include the City of Torrington and Winchester.
Area Code 959
Area code 959 is a Connecticut overlay area code created from area code 860 in 2014. The overlay area code 959 serves Litchfield County communities like the Town of Plymouth and the Town of Litchfield.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Litchfield County?
In Litchfield County, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile provide coverage for telephone users. However, county residents can use Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) as alternatives to the major phone operators. They sell lower-cost networks after buying network facilities from significant telecom providers at wholesale prices. MVNOs and leading service providers all offer exceptional service. On the other hand, poor weather and the existence of tall structures may affect the efficiency of these telecom operators.
Typically, all telecom providers offer excellent operation. Verizon tops all other phone networks in Litchfield County with 92% coverage. T-Mobile follows with 90% coverage, while AT&T provides 84% coverage in the county. Sprint offers the lowest network service with 76% coverage.
In 2018, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released a report revealing that cell phone users outnumber landline users in Connecticut. According to the report on wireless substitution, 36.2% of individuals above 18 use mobile phones only, while 7.4% use landlines only. The report showed a more significant gap between adolescents using cell phones and adolescents using landlines: 47.1% use cell phones only, while 2.7% use landlines only.
Apart from the primary network operators and MVNOs, individuals can also use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services to make calls. The number of VoIP users in Litchfield County is increasing rapidly. This is because phone users in the county need cheaper, faster, better, and versatile network services. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a telephony platform that converts voice signals into digital signals before transmitting them. This feature allows VoIP subscribers to perform web conferencing and direct inbound calling at a cheaper rate. However, VoIP users must have excellent internet connections to make calls successfully.
What are Litchfield County Phone Scams?
Phone scams in Litchfield County are perpetrated by con artists wishing to swindle the phone users. To execute this scheme, the scam artists make fictitious claims over the phone or via text messages to obtain monetary and personal information. Understanding the techniques used by phone scammers can help individuals avoid being scammed. Many fraudsters use innovative technologies that help maintain anonymity or fake caller ID. With the use of phone applications like reverse number lookup and area code lookup, county residents can distinguish between genuine and fraudulent calls.
Individuals targeted by scammers should report the cases to law enforcement agencies in Litchfield County. Note that there is no Sheriff in Litchfield County due to the absence of county governments in Connecticut. However, individuals can find police departments in the county’s cities and towns. Alternatively, scam targets can locate State Marshals in Litchfield County to report fraud cases. At the state level, the Connecticut State Police and Office of the Attorney General are open to state residents wishing to report phone scams.
Examples of phone scams in Litchfield County include:
What are Litchfield County Employment Scams?
Employment scams in Litchfield County are forms of imposter scams in which unscrupulous individuals, acting as recruitment agencies or employers, provide appealing work offers in exchange for money upfront. In these scams, crooks impersonate reputable companies and organizations and use them to deceive job applicants into disclosing sensitive details and defrauding them of funds. Some of the scammers use spoofing techniques and create fake websites to make their deception look real.
Job seekers can protect themselves from employment scams by:
- Using the Better Business Bureau platform to verify employers’ claims. The real websites and contact details of companies are available on Better Business Bureau.
- Performing phone number searches on reverse phone lookup databases to know the true identities of organizations.
- Looking for grammatical inconsistencies and misspelled words used in text messages or emails received. Legitimate companies do not make cheap blunders when sending emails to texts.
- Maintaining the confidentiality of personal records. Avoid applying for jobs that require personal information or initial deposits.
What are Litchfield County Foreign Lottery Scams?
In foreign lottery scams, fraudsters use the telephone and direct mail to entice citizens to purchase tickets in high-stake overseas lottery tickets in Australia or Europe. Generally, selling or buying lottery tickets across international borders by mail or telephone is illegal in the US. However, the promise of big winnings and prizes makes individuals easy targets to foreign lottery scams. The con artists inform their targets to pay processing fees, taxes or provide their bank account details.
Some fraudsters send counterfeit checks to their targets to deposit them in banks. Afterward, the scam callers instruct their victims to deposit in their bank accounts and return a portion of the money. According to the FTC, the best way to deal with foreign lottery scams is to ignore all calls and messages regarding foreign lottery promotions. It is also necessary to find out who a phone number is registered to by using a good reverse phone lookup application.
What are Litchfield County Online Dating Scams?
Popularly known as romance scams, online dating scammers promise fake love and compassion to deceive people. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, there has been a surge in the use of dating apps, social media sites, and online forums to connect with individuals from other parts of the world. Scammers take advantage of this opportunity to create fake online profiles used to lure victims and then demand money or luxury products be shipped to them. In these scams, con artists profess fake love to their targets, disarming them with false claims. Some claim to be US citizens that are currently out of the country due to military assignments. Other scam callers express their intentions to visit the US but need to resolve some financial issues first.
To avoid being victims of online dating scams, individuals are advised to refrain from giving out private information to unknown social media platforms. It is possible to discover real identities of scammers through phone lookup apps. Victims of romance scams are often reluctant to report cases due to embarrassment or shame. However, they can talk with closest friends and relatives about the frauds before choosing to report anonymously to the FTC or Department of Consumer Protection in Connecticut.
What are Litchfield County Charity Scams?
Charity scams are rampant during disasters and pandemics like the COVID-19. Scammers take advantage of these tragedies to exploit generous individuals, soliciting donations for residents that are in need. These scam callers pose as agents or associates of reputable charity organizations. They call potential donators on behalf of the 'charity organizations' to collect donations. Although charity organizations and their representatives call and solicit contributions frequently, people should be mindful that scammers have taken advantage of this tactic to defraud unsuspecting victims. A reverse phone search will help you determine if the caller is from a reputable charity. Note that legitimate charity organizations are required to register with the Department of Consumer Protection. As such, you can look up licensed charities in Connecticut to verify callers’ claims.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls used by political candidates, telemarketers, and non-profit groups to send pre-recorded messages. Fraudsters use robocalls to carry out fraudulent activities due to the obscurity it provides. For scammers, impersonating reputable organizations is easier using robocalls. Robocall scams are designed to obtain personal information that can be used to defraud people or commit identity fraud. Individuals can use free reverse phone lookup applications to detect the true identities of robocallers. Like robocalls, spam calls are pre-recorded messages sent in bulk to defraud residents. Although some robocalls are legal, all spam calls are illegal.
You can handle illegal robocalls and spam calls by:
- Terminating all calls requesting private information like credit card details and social security numbers
- Refusing to follow call prompts
- Using phone number search tools to find out who called.
- Blocking all phone numbers sending spam calls
- Reporting phone scammers to the Federal Trade Commission at 1-(888)-382-1222.
- Filing online reports to the FTC
- Registering phone numbers with the National Do Not Call Registry (DNCR) to avoid receiving spam calls and robocalls.
After 31 days of registering on the DNCR, phone numbers will be blocked from receiving robocalls. Robocalls received after 31 days are most likely from scammers. Report these phone numbers to the FTC at once. Note that the FTC also provides consumers with information on how to block unwanted calls.
How to Spot and Report Litchfield County Phone Scams?
Scam callers are always looking for new strategies to defraud people in Litchfield County. The best way to detect a phone scam is to keep up to date with fraudsters’ latest tactics. People are urged not to answer or return phone calls, particularly if they do not recognize the caller. This is the most secure way to escape being a victim of fraud. However, for citizens that pick up the phone, here are some tips for recognizing scam calls:
- They demand payment immediately using aggressive techniques like arrest or jail threats.
- They lure people with huge promises, winnings, and return on investments.
- They reject questions about their company, goods, or services offered.
- They repeatedly ask for private information claiming that it is to verify eligibility or information.
- They demand payment through unconventional methods that cannot be traced. Examples of these methods are Bitcoin, gift cards, and wire transfers through Western Union.
If you spot any of the warning signs mentioned above, hang up and use a reverse cell phone lookup tool to figure out who the caller is. Contact the city police departments in Litchfield County or Connecticut State Police at once to report the case.
Other public agencies dedicated to helping county residents deal with scam calls are:
Torrington Police Department: As the largest city in Litchfield County, residents living in the city can contact the police department using the address below:
Torrington Police Department
576 Main Street
Torrington, CT 06790
Phone: (860) 489-2007
Residents living outside the City of Torrington can locate the police departments in their respective cities.
Connecticut Attorney General: The Department of Consumer Protection is a division under the Attorney General's Office responsible for protecting county residents from consumer fraud. Scam call victims can file complaints online.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC): County residents can find information on how to stop illegal robocalls and phone scams via the FCC website. Phone scam victims can file online complaints with the agency.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC protects citizens from fraudulent activities. As part of its attempts to reduce unnecessary calls, the FTC established the National Do Not Call Registry. If you've added your phone number to the DNC list but still get unsolicited messages, they're most likely fraud calls. Call the FTC at 1-(888)-382-1222 or report fraudulent calls to the federal agency.