There are two area codes serving residents of New London County. These are area codes 860 and 959. Telephone area codes are three-digit designations for NPAs (numbering plan areas). These were first introduced in 1947 when the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) was created and implemented. Area codes make call routing easier across different North American phone networks. An area code is the first three digits in a 10-digit North American phone number. It points to the geographical location where the number was assigned and can be used to find the origins of phone calls placed with that number.
Area Code 860
Area code 860 came into service on August 28, 1995. It was split from area code 203 when that code was restricted to the southwestern part of Connecticut. Communities in New London County served by area code 860 include New London City, Groton, Lyme, Lisbon, Salem, and Norwich.
Area Code 959
Following an overlay proposal in August 1999, area code 959 was created as an overlay for the 860 NPA. However, it took over a decade for this overlay code to become active. It was officially launched on August 30, 2014 but the first phone with the code was issued in December 2015. Area code 959 serves the same communities in New London County as area code 860.
What are the Best Cell Phone Services in New London County?
Most residents of Connecticut and New London County meet their telecommunication needs with a combination of landline and wireless phone services. A 2018 Wireless Substitution Survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics showed that 40.8% of adults in Connecticut relied exclusively on wireless phone services for telecommunication. On the other hand, 6.6% of the state’s adult population solely used landline phones for the same purpose. Minors in Connecticut were more likely to be wireless phone users. The survey showed 50.6% of the state’s population under the age of 18 only used wireless phone services while 2.3% of this demographic still relied solely on landlines.
AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint provide wireless phone services in New London County as well as the rest of Connecticut. Among these major carriers, AT&T has the widest coverage with its network covering 99.9% of the state. T-Mobile and Verizon both cover 98% of Connecticut while Sprint’s network extends to 95% of the state. Besides these Big Four, there are also MVNOs offering cell phone plans in New London County. Mobile Virtual Network Operators or MVNOs are smaller regional carriers that rely on the network infrastructure of the major carriers. They buy wireless phone services in bulk from major carriers and resell them in attractive bundles to phone users in areas where they operate.
Besides major carriers and MVNOs, VoIP service providers also offer phone services to residents of New London County. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a communication technology that relies on the internet to transmit phone calls. It converts voice signals into data packets sent and received over broadband internet connections. VoIP phone services are usually more affordable than landline and cell phone services especially for long-distance and international calls. Residents can also make VoIP calls from their phones, tablets, and computers.
What are New London County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent activities and cons conducted using phone services and tools and targeted at New London residents. Scammers use services like robocalls, caller ID spoofing, phishing, and spam calls to find targets and convince unsuspecting phone users to part with their money and confidential information. Just as phone services and tools have it easier for scammers to reach more people, they have also made it easier to track, find, and identify phone scammers. Tools such as reverse phone number lookups are helpful for identifying strangers calling with unknown numbers. Call blocking is useful for avoiding deceitful telemarketers and scammers hunting for targets.
The most common phone scams in New London County and Connecticut are lottery scams, charity scams, emergency scams, IRS scams, investment scams, and utility scams.
What are New London County Lottery Scams?
A lottery scam usually starts with a call from a stranger claiming you won a lottery. Scammers usually mention lotteries in other states or countries so their victims cannot easily verify their claims. Usually, victims have never heard of, and did not enter in, the lotteries they supposedly won. A lottery scammer asks that you send a certain amount to cover taxes and other fees for processes required to release the winning. They usually ask for this payment in wire transfer, cryptocurrencies, and prepaid cards.
New London County residents contacted by strangers claiming they won lotteries or sweepstakes should be wary. Lottery winners never have to pay before receiving their prizes. If an unknown caller claims you won a lottery or any type of free gifts and prizes, first run their phone numbers through reverse phone lookup free searches. Lookup services can help you determine whether these numbers are registered to legitimate organizations or not.
What are New London County Charity Scams?
It is quite common for charities and fundraisers to cold-call people to ask for donations. Scammers exploit this expectation and prey on the goodwill of unsuspecting residents to solicit donations for fake charities. They may also impersonate real charities and redirect donations. One way to spot a potential scammer impersonating legitimate fundraisers is to search their phone number using a reverse lookup service. If the search returns a result that shows the unknown number is registered to a party other than a legitimate charity, then the caller is most likely a scammer.
New London County residents should also check the director of legitimate charities and other non-profits before making donations. Trustworthy third-party organizations like GuideStar provide ready lists of such charities that anyone can consult.
What are New London County Emergency Scams?
Emergency scams involve scammers impersonating friends and relatives when calling their targets. These scams are usually directed at elderly residents. The scammer claiming to be a loved one usually asks for urgent financial help and claims they are in trouble. They may collect some information about their target and the person they are impersonating online, usually from social media channels. With such information, they may sound convincing to their targets.
Connecticut law enforcement recommends residents refrain from sending money to anyone calling them for help. They should first corroborate the claims of callers asking for financial help with other loved ones. Running the phone number used by the caller through a reverse phone lookup check can also help determine who they really are.
What are New London County IRS Scams?
Scammers impersonating officers of the Internal Revenue Service contact New London residents and demand immediate payment of owed taxes. These scammers exploit the complexity of tax preparation to get unsuspecting taxpayers to send them money. They often threaten their victims with immediate arrest, deportation, and business license revocation to get them to believe their lies.
Another kind of IRS scam has the scammer call to tell their victim that they are due tax refunds. They ask the target to send their checking account information, Social Security number, or credit card details. They claim these details are required to refund them properly. However, scammers promising refunds steal these confidential information and use them to impersonate their victims and steal money from their accounts or make huge purchases on their credit cards.
Confirming that the unknown number calling you is a listed IRS number is possible with reverse phone lookups. However, IRS scammers may use caller ID spoofing to change their caller IDs to that of the IRS when running this con. New London County residents should know that the IRS does not initiate contact by phone, do not threaten taxpayers, do not request confidential information over the phone, and do not ask to receive payment with gift cards, wire transfers, and cryptocurrencies.
What are New London County Investment Scams?
Fraudsters running investment scams call unsuspecting phone users to tell them about high-profit, low-risk investments and then run away with their money when they invest. Quite a number of people have lost their life savings to investment scams perpetrated by smooth-talking con artists impersonating employees of reputable financial houses. Investment scammers usually tell their targets that the promising offers presented are fleeting or only open to a few investors.
When contacted by a stranger offering an investment opportunity that promises a huge payday, take the time to closely examine the offer. Confirm the identity of the caller as well as the organization they claim they represent by running the phone number through reverse phone lookup services. Do not be hurried into making a quick decision and completely determine that the investment offered is real.
What are New London County Utility Scams?
In a utility scam, a New London County resident receives a call from an unknown number claiming to represent any of the local utility companies. The strange caller claims that the resident owes the utility company and demands to collect on overdue bills immediately. They threaten to cut off service to the resident’s home if payment is not sent immediately. New London County residents should know that utility companies do not act in this way. Before cutting power or gas to a home, they send multiple notices of outstanding bills. They do not call residents to threaten them and do not ask for payment in cash, cryptocurrency, or by prepaid cards.
To determine whether the stranger demanding payment of utility bill is from the company they claim to represent, submit their phone number for a reverse lookup search. You can also contact the utility company in question and enquire about calls to your address.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls placed by auto-dialers to deliver pre-recorded messages to large groups of people. When they were first introduced, robocalls were meant for political campaigns, telemarketers, and large organizations delivering public service announcements. They make contacting a large audience easier and cost significantly less than the calling individual numbers on a call list. These advantages make them attractive to phone scammers trying to cast a wide net to catch more victims.
Spam calls are bulk, unsolicited phone calls placed to large groups of people. They are similar to robocalls but usually feature messages recorded by actual people rather than read in machine voices.
Robocalls and spam calls have broadened the reach of phone scammers and reduce the cost of contacting prospective victims significantly. This is why the number of unwanted calls received by New London County residents keep increasing every year. However, there are steps you can take to reduce the number of robocalls and spam calls ringing your phone.
- Set up your phone to block calls from certain numbers or all numbers not in your contact list. Carriers also offer call-blocking services. You can also find reputable call-blocking apps in your phone’s app store that serve the same purpose
- Hang up on a robocall or spam call as soon as you discover them
- Do not press any key combination as instructed during a robocall. A robocall message may promise doing so will remove you from its call list but following this prompt will only increase the number of unwanted calls received
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. This will stop calls from legitimate telemarketers. Robocalls and spam calls received 31 days after adding your number to this registry are most likely from scammers
- Use reverse phone lookup services to identify unknown callers and phone stalkers. Flag these numbers and add them to your phone’s call blocking list
How to Spot and Report New London County Phone Scams
Phone scams may expand and evolve with time and the advent of new technologies but they retain the same overall tactics. Scammers intend to defraud their victims or steal other valuables such as confidential information. They will lie and impersonate others to do so. Other red flags to look out for when dealing with unknown callers and potential scammers include:
- Threats - scammers aim to obtain compliance from their targets by making them fearful. They do so with threats meant to break down resistance to their cons
- Urgent response - the chances of a success of a scam declines rapidly the longer it takes. Scammers want to close the deal quickly. They demand their targets make spot decisions, pay up immediately, and provide confidential information readily. Do not be rushed into making a decision. Take a breather and think about the information given before making a commitment
- Payment via irreversible channels - scammers demand payment through unofficial means that are hard to trace and reverse. These include prepaid cards, gift cards, wire transfers, and cryptocurrencies. Some even demand cash and will send their associates to collect
- Vague details and promises - scammers are usually unable to fully explain their products, services, and offers they are peddling. This is because they are impersonating people trained and authorized to sell these items
It is important to report a phone scam whether you foil it or fall for it. Reporting phone scams help law enforcement and consumer protection agencies investigate, find, and prosecute scammers. Reports are also useful for determining prevailing phone scams in an area and for educating others about these. Residents of New London County can report phone scams to these county, state, and federal agencies:
- The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection - this agency protects residents of the state from unfair business practices and frauds. Report scams to the agency’s Consumer Complaint Center by calling (860) 713-6300 or the toll-free line (800) 842-2649 during business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The FTC protects also consumers from deceptive business practices and takes complaints about scammers impersonating legitimate businesses and charities. Submit your fraud complaint to the FTC online
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - The FCC is the federal agency tasked with monitoring all communications services in the country. Phone scams involving illegal robocalls, caller ID spoofing, and spam calls should be reported to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center
- Incidences of phone scams can also be reported to local law enforcement agencies in New London County. Call the Sheriff’s Office at (860) 447-5200 to report a scam or the New London City Police Department at (860) 447-5269