What are Pinal County Area Codes?
Area codes are the three-digit NPA (Numbering Plan Area) codes introduced by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). Area codes appear at the beginning of telephone numbers and form an integral part of the 10-digit dialing sequence. Area codes help telephone users identify the destination or origin of calls. The Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) determines which city or county gets a new area code whenever an existing area code is exhausted.
Currently, there are three area codes in Pinal County. These are:
Area code 480
Area code 480 is the North American telephone area code serving Queen Creek and Apache Junction, in Pinal County. It was introduced in 1999 after a geographical split of area code 602 created mainly for Arizona.
Area code 520
Area code 520 is an Arizona telephone area code created in 1995 through a geographical split. The area code covers communities in Pinal County like the Cities of Florence, Casa Grande, and Coolidge City.
Area code 928
Area code 928 is a NANP telephone area code created from the geographical splitting of area code 520. Introduced in 2001, area code 928 covers some parts of Pinal County.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Pinal County?
All the four major phone networks in the US (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile) are active in Pinal County. Phone users also use Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), which function under the network of the four major national carriers. Generally, network coverage in Pinal County is excellent. However, remote areas with deep valleys or tall landscapes may experience poor phone networks sometimes. In Pinal County, Verizon provides the best network service coverage with 89%. AT&T and T-Mobile both offer 82% coverage. Sprint, on the other hand, offers a service coverage of 76%.
A 2018 survey on wireless substitution reveals that cell phone users of Arizona are more than landline users. In the report published by the National Center of Health Statistics, 64.9% of Arizona adults (persons above the age of 18) use only cell phones, while 3.3% use landlines only. The difference is wider for minors under the age of 18 in Arizona. The report revealed that 75.7% of minors use wireless telephones only, while 1.2% use landlines only.
Residents of Pinal County also use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services to make calls. VoIP allows individuals to make calls over an active internet connection. To make a VoIP call, a computer and high-speed internet service are required. Local and long-distance calls via VoIP are cost-effective.
What are Pinal County Phone Scams?
Phone scams in Pinal County are fraudulent calls initiated by con artists to defraud county residents by getting their financial or personal information from them. The Pinal County Attorney, Pinal County Sheriff Department, and other consumer protection organizations in Arizona offer information and assistance to help individuals avoid phone scams. Scam targets are also advised to do some personal research on scam callers by verifying their businesses on the Better Business Bureau platform before patronizing them. Identifying phone scammers is possible using reverse phone lookup services. These tools allow users to perform phone number searches and get details of fraudulent callers. Victims of scam calls can file reports with the Federal Trade Commission. Below are some of the widespread scam calls in Pinal County.
What are Tax Scams?
Tax scam calls are imposter scams targeted at county residents or tax professionals. Scam artists involved in tax scams may pretend to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Arizona Department of Revenue (AZDOR). The purpose of tax scams and other similar scams is to collect victims' details for identity theft. Generally, individuals should note that the IRS or AZDOR will never call taxpayers out of the blue. County residents who do not owe taxes are advised to end suspicious scam calls immediately. A major indication of a tax scam is a fraudster requesting payment via a Bitcoin wallet, gift card, or bank wire transfer.
County residents may also call the Arizona Department of Revenue at (602) 542-5551 for issues regarding tax payments. Note that the Internal Revenue Service will never call to demand immediate payment without initially sending a notice of tax default. Also, the department will not threaten to arrest tax defaulters over the phone. Taxpayers who notice any of these red flags or have disclosed some private information should forward the scam callers’ phone numbers to the US Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) hotline at (801) 620-7734. To confirm if a call from the IRS is valid, call the department's customer service line at (800) 829-1040.
What are Debt Relief/Collection Scams?
In debt relief scams, con artists inform unsuspecting residents that they can pay off or settle their debts. However, scam targets end up paying upfront to fraudsters without getting debt reliefs. Some phone scammers may obtain access to their targets' personal information through different social media platforms. Afterward, the scammers request additional information, which will be used for identity theft. Debt collection scammers often threaten to arrest their targets if they refuse to pay their debts. Residents who do not owe debts are advised to ask callers for “validation notices” to confirm the debt's sources.
County residents who owe debts should note that legitimate debt relief companies are required to settle debts first before charging customers. Before making payments, it is essential to do some research about debt relief or collection companies. Read up customer reviews about debt relief companies from the Better Business Bureau platform. Victims of debt relief or collection scams in Pinal County can call the Arizona Attorney General's office at (800) 352-8431. Alternatively, scammed persons can file online complaint forms provided on the website.
What are Medicare Scams?
Medicare scams are targeted at adults eligible for medicare beneficiaries. According to the US Census Bureau, more than 20% of the total population in Pinal County is made up of elderly persons eligible for Medicare benefits. In medicare phone scams, fraudsters may contact beneficiaries to offer them free medical supplies or equipment. Some scam callers inform their targets of new cards that need verification. The major aim of medicare phone scammers is to obtain targets’ Social Security Numbers or Medicare Numbers which will be used to claim their Medicare benefits. Medicare con artists are well-informed and empathetic. Most of them may have gathered basic details about their targets before making calls. Furthermore, medicare scams seem to increase from October to December every year during the Medicare Open Enrollment (MOE).
Individuals should ensure that their personal information is kept private. It is also important to verify the true identity of callers before making any vital decision. Free reverse phone lookup apps are available to individuals who may need to identify scam callers. Alternatively, hang up and call 1-800-MEDICARE to confirm the caller’s claims before providing any personal information. Victims of medicare scams are advised to file complaints with the FTC or look up how to report medicare frauds provided on the official webpage for US Medicare.
What are Mortgage Loans Scams?
Mortgage loan scams involve real estate or home financing. Residents who are desperate to keep their homes are often vulnerable to mortgage loan scams. Also, some individuals who are keen to obtain quick and easy mortgages may fall prey to con artists posing as mortgage loan servicers representatives. Victims of mortgage loan scams end up losing funds or giving out personal information to scammers. According to a 2018 report from the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, 11,300 cases of real estate scams resulted in losses amounting to over $149 million.
In this scam, phone scammers may pose as representatives of mortgage loan companies offering quick and easy loans, while demanding processing fees. Some scam callers with knowledge of public foreclosure notices may contact homeowners with promises of loan modification. Other scammers may ask for homeowners' private information to help process their mortgage faster or remove foreclosure. County residents are advised not to provide personal information without doing proper research. Note that there are non-profit housing counselors endorsed by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. These approved counselors provide counseling on mortgages and loan modification issues for free. It is also possible to find HUD Approved Housing Counseling Agencies in Arizona.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are pre-recorded automated calls used by some telemarketers to reach many consumers directly within a short period. Generally, a robocall is legal if a company asks the customer for consent before initiating the call. However, robocalls without consent may be lawful if they are from politicians, health care providers, or organizations providing vital information. Over the years, phone scammers have utilized the anonymity provided by robocalls to their advantage.
Spam calls are unsolicited calls that are sent in bulk. These calls generally contain information that is irrelevant to the recipients of the calls. Some scam callers use spoofing techniques to fake Caller IDs. With this method, individuals are misled to believe that the calls are from government agencies or neighboring counties. County residents can use suspicious phone number lookup services to know the true identities of spam callers. Other steps that individuals can take to tackle illegal robocalls are:
- Hang up any suspicious call asking to confirm personal information
- Terminate any robocall asking to hit a button for any reason
- Verify the caller’s claims by calling the official number of the agency or company personally.
- Use a good reverse phone lookup service to identify a robocall or spam call.
- Report the spam call to the FTC by calling 1-888-382-1222
- Avoid robocalls from telemarketers by adding your phone number to the National Do Not Call registry.
More tips on how to block unwanted calls are available to consumers on the webpage of the FTC.
How to Spot and Report Pinal County Phone Scams?
In recent times, fraud has become as common on phones as they are on the internet. According to the 2019 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, 69% of scams reported to the FTC involve phone calls. The report shows that between 2018 and 2019, about $429 million was lost to scam callers.
Phone scammers use innovative methods like spoofing and voice phishing to advance their scams. These techniques make it difficult for people to recognize scammers. As such, county residents need to be aware of how phone scammers operate and the tools they employ. Generally, individuals can find who certain phone numbers are registered to by using free reverse phone lookup services. With these tools, these persons can perform free phone number search by name or address to identify scam calls. It is also advisable to look out for red flags when dealing with con artists on the phone. Some of these red flags are:
- Use of threat and intimidation to scare targets.
- Offers that are too good to be true.
- Aggression and a sense of urgency to make individuals pay immediately.
- Requests for individuals’ personal or financial details.
- Requests to pay into the fraudster’s cryptocurrency wallet or gift card.
Hang up a call if any of these common red flags are recognized. Afterward, use a phone reverse lookup app to know who called. You can also use a call blocking tool to block the caller from ever contacting you. County residents should also report scam calls to public agencies in Pinal County. Below are public agencies that help county residents deal with phone scammers.
Pinal County Attorney’s Office: The Attorney‘s Office in Pinal County is open to victims of scam calls and all other kinds of crimes. An individual who may have disclosed their financial or personal details over the phone can send an email or call the office at (520) 866-6271.
Pinal County’s Office of Internal Audit: The Internal Audit Office is in charge of the County Fraud Hotline, available from 8:00 am to 5:00 am on every business day. County residents can report fraudulent activities by calling (877) 874-8416 or Submitting Reports online.
Pinal County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO): Being the county's primary law enforcement agency, residents can report scam calls to any PCSO substations or police departments. Use the directory provided on the county attorney's webpage to locate the nearest Sheriff's Office.
Arizona Attorney General: The AG's office's Consumer Protection Unit is tasked with protecting individuals from consumer fraud. Victims of fraud can file consumer complaints online or request complaint forms by calling (800) 352-8431. Completed forms should be sent via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): The FTC plays a vital role in protecting citizens in the US from scams. The risk of falling victim to scams can be reduced by registering your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Individuals who include their phone numbers on the registry are exempted from receiving robocalls from telemarketers. Any other call received after 31 days of registering with the Do Not Call Registry is identified as a phone scam.