What are Utah County Area Codes?
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) created telephone service territories called Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs). Each NPA is represented by a sequence of three numbers called an area code and begins every 10-digit phone number in America. This code establishes a phone call’s source and where the phone number used was registered. Maintaining and updating area codes in Utah is the responsibility of the Utah Division of Public Utilities. These are currently two area codes serving Utah County.
Area code 801
Area Code 801 was one of the original area codes created in 1947 and originally covered the whole of Utah. Now it covers Utah County and four surrounding counties in north-central Utah. Locations in Utah County covered by this code include Alpine, American Fork, Cedar Hills, Eagle Mountain, Elkridge, Highland City, Lehi, Lindon, Mapleton, Salem, and Provo.
Area code 385
Area code 385 is the overlay area code for the 801 NPA. It was activated in June 2008 and covers the same communities as 801.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Utah County?
A 2018 survey on household telephone distribution showed that wireless-only telephone services had become the main form of telecommunication in American households. In Utah, the survey reported that 69% of adults used wireless-only telephony while only 2.6% used only landlines. The report also noted that 71.7% of minors in Utah used wireless-only telephone services while only about 1.6% of them used landlines only.
All of the major carriers have a presence in Utah, although the mountainous terrain and large rural areas make cell phone coverage a bit challenging. Among the four largest carriers, AT&T has the best coverage with its network spanning 83.3% of the state. It is followed by Verizon with 78.2% coverage and T-Mobile with 66.1%. Sprint covers only about 18.4% of Utah but has roaming agreements with the other network providers. Several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) also provide telephony services to residents. MVNOs are smaller operators that run on the big networks’ infrastructure. They buy network services at wholesale prices and pass these savings to the customers by charging lower rates.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) delivers telephone services over broadband internet connections. Several companies now offer VoIP as a cheaper alternative to landline and cellular phone services. VoIP offers cost-effective bundled telephone services and a flexibility and convenience unrivaled by competing services.
What are Utah County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent acts committed in the county through telephone services to steal money and sensitive information. The Utah County Sheriff's Office and the Division of Consumer Protection of the Department of Commerce are two law enforcement agencies that combat phone scams in the state. Residents can also report suspicious calls and cons to the Federal Trade Commission. They can also use phone number lookup services to identify suspicious phone numbers by name or by address. Some of the common scams that occur within the county are discussed below.
What are IRS Scams?
In these scams, residents receive calls from persons claiming to be from the IRS. A caller tells the resident that they need to update their IRS account information. They may direct the target to a website where they enter their details or collect the details over the phone. Residents should be wary of such callers as the IRS will never ask for personal information over the phone. Do not give out any information on the phone to a strange caller.
Carefully pay attention to the URL of the website you are directed to. The IRS website is www.irs.gov but scammers create clone websites with similar names designed to steal any information you enter into it. If you receive a suspicious call from someone claiming to be with the IRS, report it to the Treasury Inspector General (TIGTA) online or call 1 (800) 366-4484. You can also use a reverse phone number lookup service to identify the caller.
What are Tax Refund Scams?
In these scams, the scammers try to obtain personal information from their targets while claiming to be from the U.S. Treasury Department. They claim that their targets are due tax refunds and ask for personal information to verify the targets’ accounts and process the refunds. If such confidential records are provided, they will use them to steal the targets’ identities.
Never give out personal and banking information on an unsolicited phone call. The Treasury Department will never ask you to submit your details for tax refund requests. Residents who receive such calls can use phone number lookup services to check if these callers are actually who they say. Report any treasury impersonation scams to the Office of the Inspector General by email.
What are Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
The Utah County Sheriff’s Office alerts residents, via local news and social media, of scammers impersonating Sheriff’s Office employees. These scammers call residents and claim they have arrest warrants in the residents’ names for missing jury duty. The scammers ask their victims to pay fines to avoid arrest and demand the money in gift cards, prepaid debit cards, and wire transfers. Some scammers also ask for the targets’ personal information for verification purposes.
Hang up immediately when you receive such a call. Never give any money or sensitive information to these callers as it will result in both financial and identity thefts. The Sheriff’s Office employees will never ask for personal information or money to prevent arrests. Report suspicious calls from persons claiming to be law enforcement employees to the Sheriff Office at (801)794-3970.
What are Grandparent Scams?
This scam begins with a senior citizen receiving a call from a scammer claiming to be a family member or a friend in distress. The scammer will pretend to be in some emergency or trouble that requires immediate monetary assistance. The emergency may be an arrest overseas or a sudden medical expense. They will pressure the target to send money immediately so they can resolve the pending issues.
Authorities warn residents never to give out money to unknown callers and never agree to meet these callers in person. Ask the callers pertinent questions or confirm their identities independently by directly calling the relatives in question or other family members. A reverse phone number service can help identify the caller and answer the question, “who called me?”
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Automated phone calls designed to deliver preset messages to their receivers are called robocalls. They were initially used by political organizations and marketers to reach multiple residents easily, but robocalls have become synonymous with phone scams. Scammers like to use robocall because it allows them to contact potential targets anonymously. Residents who receive these types of phone calls can use reverse phone number lookup services to identify the strange callers and determine “who is this number registered to?”
Some tips for dealing with illegal robocalls include:
- Hang up on calls you discover to be robocalls. Do not follow any instructions given during the call. Obeying instructions on these calls will mark your number as active and direct more robocalls your way.
- Report cases of robocall abuse to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission.
- Use a phone number lookup free service to identify and screen illegal robocalls.
- Submit confirmed robocall numbers you identified to the call-blocking application you use to block these numbers automatically.
- Register your phone numbers with the National Do Not Call registry. Telemarketers and other sales organizations consult this list and do not call numbers on it.
How Can You Spot and Report Utah County Phone Scams?
Most scams are variations of older scams that have existed for a long time while scammers continuously modify them to fit current times. The most efficient way to avoid scams is to stay informed of emerging scams and their workings. Residents can also use phone number lookup applications to retrieve information on the registrants of suspicious phone numbers.
Red flags to look for when determining whether unsolicited calls are scam calls include:
- Calls from relatives asking for help but are unable or refuse to answer any questions you ask satisfactorily. Scammers impersonate relatives, but some careful questioning can always expose them.
- Calls from government organizations asking you for information they should already have. Calls purportedly from the IRS and Social Security Administration asking you to confirm your account details and personal data should be ignored. Organizations like these will never ask you to reveal sensitive information over unsolicited phone calls.
- Robocalls when you are listed on the Do Not Call register. These calls are illegal and very likely scam calls.
- Calls from law enforcement agencies asking for money to prevent arrest.
- Government employees asking to collect payments through untraceable mediums and outside official channels. Scammers ask for payment by wire transfers and prepaid debit cards because these payment forms are almost impossible to trace and recover.
Government organizations and law enforcement agencies are continuously trying to educate residents and protect them from scams. Some of the organizations that help residents who have been victims of scams are listed below.
Local Law Enforcement
The Utah County Sheriff’s Office is the principal law enforcement for the county. They use local TV news and social media platforms to issue scam alerts. Residents who have been scams targets can call the Sheriff’s Office on (801)794-3970 or file reports at their local police departments.
State Division of Consumer Protection
The Utah Department of Commerce-Division of Consumer Protection is the chief consumer advocate for the state. It educates and alerts residents about common scams in the state. Victims of scams can file reports online on their website.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The Federal Trade Commission protects residents from unfair and criminal business dealings nationwide. It runs the National Do Not Call Register and educates residents about popular phone scams. Report all scams to the FTC online or by calling 1-(888)382-1222.