What are Douglas County Area Codes?
The single area code serving all of Douglas County is area code 785. An area code is a numeric designation for a numbering plan area (NPA). When AT&T created the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947, it also introduced NPAs and area codes. There were 86 area codes created when the NANP was adopted and each one represented a defined geographical area in the US. The NANP made call routing and switching more efficient by replacing the conflicting systems in place before 1947. As the number of phone subscribers increased, more area codes and NPAs were created to accommodate them. In a typical 10-digit US phone number, the area code is easily recognized as the first three digits.
Area Code 785
Area code 785 was created from a split of area code 913 on July 20, 1997. It spans from Kansas’ border with Missouri on the east side and Colorado on the west side. This area code serves all four cities in Douglas County as well as its 9 townships. Notable municipalities in the county covered by area code 785 include Baldwin City, Eudora, Lawrence, and Lecompton.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Douglas County?
Most of the residents of Kansas and Douglas County have made the shift from landline phones to cell phones. The results of a 2018 wireless substitution survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics showed that 64.6% of adults in Kansas solely used wireless phone services for their telecommunication needs while a small percentage (3.4%) indicated they were landline-only phone users. The gap between wireless-only and landline-only phone subscriber numbers was wider among minors in the state. About 77.2% of Kansas residents under the age of 18 confirmed they were exclusive wireless phone service users. On the other hand, only a slim 0.7% of minors in the state still relied solely on landline phones.
Douglas County residents can sign up for phone services from national carriers as well as regional MVNOs. Among these phone service providers, AT&T and Verizon lead in terms of coverage with their signals available in 99.9% and 99.8% of the state respectively. T-Mobile covers 91.9% of Kansas State. MVNOs, or mobile virtual network operators, are small carriers that often rely on the network infrastructure of bigger carriers. They also buy network services in bulk from these national carriers. MVNO cell phone plans are often cheaper because they pass on some of the savings from their bulk purchases to their customers. However, they offer fewer services and much shorter coverage.
VoIP phone services are also available to the residents of Kansas and Douglas County. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a communication technology capable of transmitting voice signals over the internet as data packets. VoIP phone services rely on fast internet access and are most cost-effective for residents that already signed up for broadband internet service. VoIP phone plans are especially cheaper for long-distance calls and teleconferencing calls.
What are Douglas County Phone Scams?
These are telephone frauds committed by dishonest individuals targeting residents of Douglas County. Most scams now involve some form of phone tools and services. Scammers often find, contact, and communicate with their victims by calling and texting them. They may also use spam calls and robocalls to fish for new targets for their scams and then use caller ID spoofing and voice phishing to deceive them. To avoid phone scams and fraudsters, residents of Douglas County need to know about the most common scams in their communities. The Consumer Protection Division of the Office of Kansas Attorney General identifies the most prevalent phone scams in the state. These include computer repair scams, government impostor scams, Social Security scams, and lottery scams.
What are Douglas County Computer Repair Scams?
A computer repair scam starts with a stranger calling to claim that your computer needs urgent repairs to avoid an imminent crash. They often claim to be from a well-known tech company, such as Microsoft or Apple, and scare their target by telling them their computer is infected with viruses. The scam artist then asks for remote access to this machine to supposedly help remove the viruses on it. Once granted access, this scammer may then proceed to steal personal files or install malware on the computer. Such malware include viruses, adware, spyware, and ransomware.
The aim of a computer repair scammer is to steal confidential information from their victim’s computer or defraud them. They can lock the victim out of their own computer with ransomware and then demand to be paid. They may turn the victim’s machine into a remote bot that spreads adware for them. To avoid such scams, do not give strangers remote access to your computer. Computer companies do not remotely scan their customers’ computers without permission and do not offer unrequested tech support. If you receive a call from someone claiming to work for such organizations, use a reverse phone number lookup search to discover their real identity.
What are Douglas County Government Impostor Scams?
These scams involve scammers pretending to work for government agencies when talking to their targets on the phone. They may pretend to represent local, state, and federal agencies as well as courts. If you receive a call from a stranger claiming to represent a government agency, be wary of their demands. If they ask for money or confidential information, hang up immediately and take steps to confirm their identity. Use phone number lookup to find out who called and visit the official website of the agency the caller claims to represent to find their official phone numbers. Call any of these to confirm the caller’s claims and identity.
What are Douglas County Social Security Scams?
This is a type of government impostor scams that is quite common in Kansas. Fraudsters running these scams claim to work for the Social Security Administration (SSA) and inform their victims that their benefits will be stopped if they do not immediately provide certain confidential information or send money to certain accounts. Residents of Douglas County should know that the SSA does not call citizens to cut off their benefits. They also do not ask for money or information over the phone.
If someone claiming to an SSA employee calls with such claims, use a phone number lookup free service to investigate them. You can also call the SSA directly using the number listed on their official website to enquire about the caller’s claims.
What are Douglas County Lottery Scams?
Fraudsters claiming to work for Publishers Clearing House, or some other lottery/sweepstakes organizers, call up unsuspecting residents to congratulate them on winning huge sums of money. After getting their victims excited, they ask that they send some money to cover taxes and/or processing fees on the winnings. Douglas County residents should know that legitimate lottery/sweepstakes organizers do not ask their winners to pay some fees before claiming their prizes. Such fees are taken out of the winnings.
If you receive a call from a stranger claiming you won a lottery or sweepstakes, do not get too excited or hurry to send them money or provide confidential information. First, confirm the identity of the caller with a reverse phone search. Next, confirm the lottery or sweepstakes is legitimate. Finally, confirm the current winner of the lottery or sweepstakes. You can do so by calling the organizer directly.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
These are unwanted and unsolicited calls usually sent out in bulk to lots of phone users. A robocall is an automated phone call delivering a pre-recorded message. The same message can then be sent to any number of phone users. Robocalls are easy to set up and require very little effort to keep running. When they were first introduced, they were mostly used by political campaigns, telemarketers, and organizations delivering public service announcements. However, the ease and affordability of robocall campaigns have made them the go-to tools for scammers looking for new victims for their fraudulent schemes.
Spam calls are similar to robocalls but are mostly used by dishonest telemarketers sending out their sales pitches to anyone who would listen. Spam calls may not be pre-recorded and may actually be placed by people rather than auto-dialers. With Americans receiving more robocalls and spam calls than calls from actual contacts, there are efforts to curb these unwanted phone calls. Residents of Douglas County can stop robocalls and spam calls, or at least reduce the frequencies of these calls, by following these steps:
- Do not answer calls from unknown numbers. Let these go to voicemail where you can review the messages left to decide which ones to return
- Hang up as soon as you realize you are on a robocall or spam call
- Do not follow prompts given during a robocall or spam call on what to do to stop receiving further calls. Such instructions only serve to identify callers willing to engage and then target them with more unsolicited calls
- Set up your phone to block calls from unknown or blacklisted numbers. Alternatively, ask your carrier for their call-blocking service. There are also well-reviewed call-blocking apps on your phone’s official app store
- Do not trust your phone’s caller ID feature to correctly identify unknown callers. Scammers can easily spoof caller ID to make their targets believe they are representatives of government agencies and trusted organizations
- Identify unknown callers with reverse phone lookup search. This can help determine whether such callers are spammers, scammers, or stalkers and also provide helpful information to include when reporting these calls to law enforcement
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to stop receiving calls from telemarketers. Robocalls and spam calls received after being on the list for 31 days should be reported to the FCC
How to Spot and Report Douglas County Phone Scams
In addition to learning about prevalent phone scams in the communities and using phone number search, residents of Douglas County can also spot telephone frauds by looking out for the following signs:
- Scammers are quick to threaten their targets especially when running impostor scams. They may threaten to arrest, prosecute, or deport them if they do not send the money or provide the information requested
- Scammers ask for payments to be made via unofficial channels. While asking for outstanding taxes, fines, unpaid bills, or payment for goods and services, they may ask to be paid in cash or by wire transfer, prepaid debit cards, gift cards, Venmo transfer, or cryptocurrencies
- Scammers use aggressive tactics when pushing consumer and investment scams. They want their targets to sign up immediately and, therefore, offer very steep discounts or claim their once-in-a-lifetime offers will expire very soon
- Scammers refuse to provide written documentation establishing their identities and supporting their claims. When asked for supporting documents, they would rather offer vague and paid-for testimonials from strangers
Look out for these red flags when talking to strangers on the phone. If you suspect a strange caller is a scammer, use reverse phone search to identify the caller. Report such callers to law enforcement. Scam reports are useful for apprehending fraudsters and also for helping the public learn about new tactics employed by these scam artists. Residents of Douglas County can report telephone frauds to the following agencies:
- The Consumer Protection Division of the Office of Kansas Attorney General - This is the state’s consumer protection agency. Residents can file complaints about phone scams to the Division online via its Complaint Center or by calling (800) 432-2310
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - the FTC is the federal consumer protection agency and part of its responsibilities is protecting American consumers from unfair and dishonest business practices. Residents of Douglas County can report consumer scams to the FTC online or by calling (877) 382-4357
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - the FCC is the federal regulator of the communication industry in the US, including its telecommunication sector. In addition to ensuring proper use of phone tools and services, the FCC also administers the National Do Not Call Registry. Report any violation of this Registry to the FCC. Residents can also report illegal robocalls, spam calls, caller ID spoofing, and phishing as well as scams perpetrated using these tools to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center