In the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) established by Bell Systems in the 1940s, area codes were created as routing tools to help automate telephony communications. The existing system at the time leaned heavily on using human operators to switch and route calls. Area codes were created as three-digit codes before the usual seven-digit telephone numbers which indicated the geographical area associated with telephone numbers. An area code is useful in identifying the origin and destination of a phone call. For quick information about a specific area code, use area code lookup tools online.
Currently, only one area code serves Kent Code – Area code 401.
Area Code 401
Area code 401 is one of the original 86 area codes created by AT&T and the Bell System in 1947. It originally served the entire state of Rhode Island and remains the only area code serving the whole state.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Kent County?
The preferred telephony service by the majority of Kent County residents is wireless. Estimates from a 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics reveal that 45.6% of Rhode Island residents aged 18 and above used wireless-only telephony service, while only 5.6% used landline telephony service exclusively. The estimates also revealed that 60.1% of Rhode Island residents below the age of 18 used wireless telephony service exclusively, while only 1.3% used landline-only telephony service.
When looking for the perfect cell phone plan for your budget, do not forget to consider the wireless service provider's coverage in your local area. The value of a cell phone plan is only as good as the coverage quality. All four major wireless providers have good coverage throughout the nation, including Rhode Island. In the county's largest city of Warwick, Verizon has the best overall coverage with a coverage score of 90%. Sprint and T-Mobile both have a coverage score of 80%. AT&T's coverage is rated 60%.
If you prefer cell phone plans from other carriers, you can also find smaller prepaid carriers, called MVNOs, offering cheap and niche-based plans. An MVNO typically uses one of the four major carrier's networks and resell services to no-commitment customers. These plans cover Kent County and change very frequently, but they do often represent significant savings each month.
You can also use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone plans to lower monthly phone bills in Kent County. VoIP plans offer great flexibility such as allowing subscribers to choose phone numbers with area codes that are different from their local areas and having several numbers in different area codes. Many business owners with customers from all across the globe often find VoIP service beneficial for this specific reason.
What are Kent County Phone Scams?
Kent County phone scams are illicit and fraudulent acts of crooked individuals committed through the use of phone calls to steal sensitive personal information or defraud unsuspecting Kent County residents. Scammers acquire names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of potential victims via spyware and other tools, and through various business directories, print advertisements, online sites, and anywhere that information appears on the Internet or in print. The obtained information is used to target and appear legitimate to Kent County residents. Phone scams can also occur through robocalls and text messages. Common phone scams in Kent County include tech support scams, social security scams, grandparent scams, and arrest warrant scams. Kent County residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers.
What are Kent County Tech Support Scams?
The tech support scam is a type of phone scam gaining momentum in Kent County. The scam uses social engineering and fear tactics to get the victims to take the baits. During telephone contacts, tech support scammers claim to be from tech support at reputable companies and state that they have found malware on targets' computers. The scammers then try to install remote access desktop software under the pretext of helping to remove the infestations. This allows the scammers to access the targets' devices in order to install real malware.
It can be difficult to stop tech support scammers with security software once you grant remote access. In addition to attempting to install malware on the targets' devices, these con artists often ask for fees through cryptocurrency or credit cards to fix the issues. That is one way they can steal financial information. Phone lookup applications can help uncover the true identities of tech support scammers.
What are Kent County Social Security Scams?
In the social security scam, the caller claims to work with the Social Security Administration (SSA) or other allied government agency and claims that the target's Social Security number has been suspended or used for illegal activity. The caller may even spoof the telephone call to make it appear like the call is actually coming from the SSA. The scammer promises to help fix the issue and lift the suspension only if you pay within a short period of time. Payment is typically requested through cash in the mail, prepaid debit cards, and gift cards.
Note that the SSA never suspends Social Security numbers or benefits and does not call to ask for a fee for issuing a new social security number or fixing the problem. You can use free reverse phone number lookup tools online to find out who called and who a number is registered to.
What are Kent County Arrest Warrant Scams?
Arrest warrant scams are popular in Kent County. The scammers often use spoofed numbers to make it appear like the calls are coming from local sheriff's offices. They can also mimic the phone numbers of local police departments or other law enforcement agencies. The scammers tell potential victims that they have outstanding warrants for unpaid debts or minor infractions. To stave off arrests, targets are required to pay fines. Scammers demand immediate payments through money transfer services like Western Union or MoneyGram. Alternatively, the target may be asked to purchase a prepaid credit card such as Green Dot and MoneyPak, and register it online. Reverse phone number lookup applications can prevent residents from falling victim to arrest warrant scams.
What are Kent County Grandparent Scams?
In the grandparent scam, the target, usually an elderly adult or grandparent, receives a call from someone claiming to be a relative or grandchild. The caller pretends to be in financial distress and tries to manipulate the emotions of the target. The scammers may say they were arrested, kidnapped, or have been involved in accidents. The grandparent scammer asks for financial aid to bond out of jail, pay a ransom, or offset a hospital bill.
Typically, these fraudsters plead with the targets to refrain from telling anyone about the call. For instance, a con artist perpetrating this scam may ask the target not to tell other family members supposedly because of possible repercussions or embarrassment from relatives. Grandparent scammers ask for money through wire transfers, gift cards, or prepaid debit cards. To verify that callers are who they say they are, you can use good reverse phone lookup tools online to quickly do a number lookup or reverse number lookup.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are telephone calls delivering prerecorded messages using computerized telephone dialing systems or auto-dialers. Robocalls are used by many legitimate businesses to contact customers or pitch sales to potential customers. However, many persons or businesses contact telephone users indiscriminately and illegitimately. These persons have not obtained the express permissions of the contacted persons as required in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA). These unsolicited calls sent out to telephone users randomly are referred to as spam calls.
In 2020, over 100 million robocalls were placed to Rhode Island residents. Between January and March 2021, these residents received over 29.5 million robocalls, an average of 282 robocalls per person. These are largely spam calls targeted at illegally obtaining sensitive information or extort money from Rhode Island residents. You can protect yourself against these spam calls by using reverse phone number lookup tools to identify incoming robocalls.
Kent County residents can also take the following steps to limit the intrusion of robocalls:
- Do not answer. If you are unfamiliar with a phone number, do not hesitate to let the call go directly to voicemail.
- Hang up. Do not press any numbers. Scammers usually ask you to press a number to speak with a live operator. Pressing the number indicates to the scammer that the line is active, which in turn means that more robocalls can be made to the phone line. If you press the button to speak to a live operator, the operator who doubles as the scammer will eventually ask for money or say they will remove you from their list, which ends up being untrue.
- Report robocalls online to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or call the FTC on 1 (888) 382-1222. The more complaints are filed, the more the FTC can help stop robocalls and share the information in the public space and with law enforcement agencies.
- Subscribe to the FTC's Consumer alerts.
- Contact your phone service provider if it has call-blocking tools that you can use to block unwanted calls on your phone.
- Install a third-party call-blocking app, such as Hiya, Nomorobo, and Truecaller
- Register your number in the National Do Not Call Registry.
How to Spot and Report Kent County Phone Scams?
Daily, the young and old are duped by scams that they believe are real. Scammers are skilled in knowing just what to say to make their story sound plausible, and new schemes emerge all the time. Sometimes, elderly adults are the prime targets in certain scams because they may not be fully alert and aware of what is happening. They tend to not be as up-to-date on technology and are more willing to share personal or sensitive information. Regardless of age or whether scammers believe you are more likely to fall victim to their scams, you can stay alert and ward off scam attacks by performing free phone number lookups for incoming calls. These tools also allow users to perform phone number lookup by address or name.
You should also get to know the tactics used by scammers in order to limit the odds of falling victims to these fraudulent practices.
Be on the lookout for these red flags:
- The caller leaves an urgent message and instructs you to return the call right away: Many scams originate from robocalls through callback numbers left in the voicemail. Do not contact an unknown caller through callback numbers left in your voicemail.
- The caller insists you can only pay in a certain way: Con artists will not give you multiple options to transfer funds to their accounts. Many insist on cryptocurrencies, prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers. Legitimate companies or government agencies are not rigid with their payment options.
- The caller says you have won a prize, vacation, or free gift but have to pay a fee or come to a local office to claim your winning: Legitimate prize promotions do not require purchases or payments for consumers to participate or win.
- The caller asks you not to take time to think about an offer that is "guaranteed" or "risk-free": Fraudsters know that the odds of being successful with their schemes are greatly reduced when they allow targets to speak with other persons or search online to verify their claims. They use promises, threats, or intimidation to lure or coerce you into acting immediately.
- The caller demands sensitive personal information: Any caller who asks you to provide your personal information such as Social Security number, bank account information, and credit card information is likely to have ulterior motives. Real government agencies and legitimate private businesses do not ask for personal information.
You can file complaints with any of the following public bodies if you have been contacted by a scammer:
- The State of Rhode Island Division of Sheriffs and local police departments: If you have received a call from a scammer, you can contact your local police department or the Division of Sheriffs, Department of Public Safety at (401) 275-2900. In the county’s largest city of Warwick, contact the Warwick Police Department at (401) 468-4200.
- The Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office: Kent County residents who have been contacted by a scammer or fallen victim to a phone scam may file formal complaints online to the Consumer Protection Unit of the Attorney General’s Office or at (401) 274-4400.
- The Federal Trade Commission: If you receive unsolicited calls 31 days after adding your number to the National Do Not Call Registry, you can file a complaint online with the FTC.
- The Federal Communications Commission: The FCC allows you to file a complaint online if you believe you have received a call from a spam call, or if you think you are the victim of a phone scam.
- Social Security Administration: If you receive a scam call or you suspect you have been a victim of a scam from the Social Security Administration, report such calls by calling the Office of the Inspector General at (800) 269-0271 or make a report online.