What are Salt Lake County Area Codes?
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) divides service territories into different Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs). NPAs are identified by three-digit blocks of numbers that begin telephone numbers commonly referred to as area codes. It is possible to identify the origin of a phone call from the area code. There are currently two area codes serving Salt Lake County. Area codes in Utah are under the supervision of the State of Utah Public Service Commission (PSC).
Area Code 801 was part of the original 86 area codes introduced in 1947, and formerly served the whole of Utah. It currently serves Salt Lake County and several of the surrounding counties in the state. Salt Lake County cities under the jurisdiction of this area code include Salt Lake City, West Valley City, West Jordan, Sandy, Millcreek, Taylorsville, South Jordan, Murray, and parts of Draper, Riverton, and Kearns.
Area code 385 was activated in 2009 as an overlay of area code 801. It covers all the locations in the 801 numbering plan area.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Salt Lake County?
Salt Lake County residents, like the rest of Utah, are switching their traditional landlines for other means of telecommunication. Wireless and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone services enjoy growing subscriber numbers while landline phone subscriptions keep shrinking annually. A CDC report established this trend by showing that 69% of adults in Utah use only wireless phone services while only 2.6% of the state’s adult population still use landlines exclusively in their households.
VoIP phone services use broadband internet to connect telephone calls. This makes them more affordable and convenient for businesses and home users. VoIP phone services also make telecommuting and working from home easier.
All four national telephone carriers are present in Utah. AT&T has the widest coverage with network signals covering about 99.3% of the state. Verizon and T-Mobile offer 99% coverage of the state while Sprint lags behind the other operators with coverage of about 85%.
What are Salt Lake County Phone Scams?
These are scams intended to extort money or steal personal information from Salt Lake County residents using phone services. Regular phone calls, robocalls, and text messages are the key tools used to execute these scams. The Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) under the Department of Commerce in Utah educates residents on prevalent scams in the state. Commonly reported phone scams in Salt Lake County include:
What are Treasury Phone (Steve Martin) Scams?
Treasury phone scammers use pre-recorded messages purportedly from government officials working for the U.S. Treasury to defraud their victims. The instructions, purportedly from a government official named Steve Martin, demand that residents call a particular number to prevent legal action. Calling the number leads targets to the scammers, who go on to extort money. Ignore unsolicited calls from supposed government officials threatening arrests. Conducting a reverse phone lookup on the number used for such a call can reveal the true identity of the scammer. Victims of these scams should submit complaints to the DCP.
What are IRS Scams?
IRS scams are similar to Treasury phone scams but for these cons, scammers impersonate officers of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Scammers threaten residents over phone calls with arrest over unpaid taxes. Other times, they send text messages supposedly from the IRS to execute these scams. The text messages contain links to update tax profiles. Clicking these links leads to cloned websites used to harvest personal information. Do not share your personal information with anyone over unsolicited phone calls or text messages. Report this scam to the IRS by sending an email or your complaints directly to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
What are Grandparent Scams?
Scammers target grandparent scams at elderly citizens in the county. These criminals call senior citizens pretending to be their grandchildren in distress and need urgent monetary assistance. An accomplice, who pretends to be a law enforcement officer, corroborates a phone scammer’s report for this con. Phone scammers running grandparent scams demand financial help in gift cards and wire transfers as these are hard to trace and difficult to revert.
It is possible to use reverse phone lookup to identify these scammers when they call. Authorities warn Salt Lake County residents not to send money to unknown callers claiming to be long-lost family members without confirming the exact whereabouts of the relatives in distress. Utah also wants gift card dealers to ask questions from seniors who purchase gift cards in bulk. Victims of these scams should lodge complaints with the DCP.
What are Jury Duty Scams?
Jury duty scams start with unknown callers claiming to be court officials informing residents of arrest warrants issued over missed jury duty appearances. These scammers will demand payment or their targets’ personal information to withdraw these claimed warrants. The State Court Administration has warned residents that the court will neither call a potential juror nor request their private information over missed jury duty. Personal information should remain confidential and not shared with unknown individuals who make unsolicited requests. Report incidences of these scams to the DCP.
What are Employer Scams?
Scammers go through classified ads and contact legitimate job seekers about fake employment opportunities. Some may even place phony job ads to receive applications from unsuspecting victims. The aim is to retrieve personal information from applications solicited with the promise of granting interviews to those that responded to job ads. Before submitting a job application in response to an ad, make sure to investigate the potential employer by conducting a phone number lookup using the phone number or address provided to retrieve information about the organization. Report any fraudulent activity to the DCP.
What are Texting Scams?
Scammers send text messages to their targets informing them of the expiration or suspension of their debit or credit cards. A phone number is usually attached to such a text message for targets to call to reactivate or renew their cards. When victims call such numbers, scammers pretending to be representatives of card companies request their personal information or payment to sort out the problems with their cards. Do not respond to text messages about your bank accounts. Contact your bank or credit card company directly and seek clarification. If you are a victim of this scam or contacted by scammers using these tactics, submit a complaint form to the DCP.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls deliver pre-recorded messages using machines that auto-dial phone numbers randomly. Robocalls are telemarketing tools used by businesses to give information to current and potential clients. However, scammers have adopted this tool and are using it to extort Salt Lake county residents.
The Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act was signed into law to help curb robocall menace, with severe sanctions levied against defaulters. Manufacturers of mobile phone devices have developed features to identify and block suspected spam calls. Phone users can set this function up by activating it on their devices. Call filtering and blocking are also offered by network providers.
Listed below are essential tips to know to reduce the number of robocalls and spam calls received:
- Leave calls from unrecognized numbers unanswered. Let them go through to your voicemail.
- Go through your voicemail and call back those that left messages. Treat every missed call without a voicemail as a robocall.
- Set up a password for your voicemail. Scammers can spoof your number and access your voicemail if it does not have a password.
- Inquire about call blocking services from your telephone carrier and find an affordable option to us.
- Look for free call blocking apps and install this on your phone.
- Register on the National Do Not Call Registry by listing your number. Legitimate telemarketers do not call the numbers on the list.
- If robocalls persist after registering on the National Do Not Call Registry, report them to the FCC or the FTC.
How to Spot and Report Salt Lake County Phone Scams?
Scams have common patterns, and the authorities have advised Salt Lake County residents to be wary and look out for the following red flags:
- Callers claiming you won a sweepstake, lottery, or free prizes but require upfront payment to process your winnings. Stop communicating with any individual that asks you to pay for taxes or shipping costs before receiving a prize.
- Calls from supposed government agencies or courts that threaten arrest over unpaid debts or make personal information requests are scams. No government agency will call to threaten arrest over outstanding debts.
- Scammers will not give you adequate time to research any business or investment opportunities proposed to you. Do not let an unknown caller hurry you along to make a quick decision in a bid to take advantage of a supposedly fast-moving opportunity.
- Be wary when you suddenly receive a call from a grandchild or another relative in distress. Reach out to mutual contacts to confirm their story before parting with your money.
- Be wary of supposed representatives of government agencies, charities, and businesses demanding payment in gift card and cryptocurrency and by wire transfer.
To reduce reports of phone scams, different agencies provide scam alerts to residents of Salt Lake County regularly. Keeping residents up to date with the latest scams will prevent many from becoming victims. These agencies also have platforms for reporting scams. Reporting scams will help in arresting fraudsters and recovering the funds stolen, if possible. Salt Lake County residents can rely on the following government agencies for updates and to report scams:
Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office receives complaints of scams via phone calls. Residents can reach the Sheriff’s Office by dialing (801) 743-7000. The Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake (UPDSL), consisting of the Sheriff and other local law enforcement agencies, receives anonymous tips via email.
The Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) of the Utah Department of Commerce releases regular scam alerts. The DCP has an online complaints form for residents to report scams and downloadable forms that should be printed, filled, and submitted.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the watchdog of the telecommunications industry. They have resources that will help residents identify spoofing and activate call blocking. The FCC has now made it compulsory for network operators to improve caller authentication in order to eradicate spoofing. Scams can also be reported to the FCC.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ensures consumers’ rights are protected. Their resources can help residents identify common phone scams and avoid robocalls. The National Do Not Call Registry is also under the supervision of the FTC. The FTC’s complaint assistance page receives scam and robocall abuse complaints to ensure every claim’s swift resolution.