What are Broome County Area Codes?
Area codes were established as part of the North American Numbering Plan in the 1940s. Before that period, telephony communications relied on human operators to connect long-distance calls. With the creation of area codes, regions were separated into geographical areas and assigned area codes. Area codes are three-digit prefixes that identify one of the telephone areas into which the United States is divided and that precedes the local telephone number when dialing a call between areas. You can find the area code of any geographical area in the United States by using an area code lookup tool online.
Only one area code currently serves Broome County - Area code 607.
Area Code 607
Area code 607 serves the southern regions of central New York covering the cities of Elmira, Ithaca, and Binghamton. It is the only area code serving these areas. Area code 607 was first used on January 1, 1954. The code is also used in locations such as Cortland, Endicott, Oneonta, Johnson City, Southport, and Norwich.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Broome County?
The most used phone plans in Broome County are purchased from wireless carriers. Wireless telephony usage in the county and New York has outgrown wired telephony in recent times. According to estimates provided in a 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, 38.8% of New York residents aged 18 and above used wireless-only telephony service, while 6% used landline-only telephony service. The survey also revealed that among residents under the age of 18, 45.9% were exclusive users of wireless telephony service, while only 2.9% used landline telephone service exclusively.
Broome County residents can purchase cell phone plans from all the four major wireless carriers in the United States. In the county seat of Binghamton, AT&T has the best overall coverage with a relative score of 98 compared to other providers. Verizon's score is rated at 94%, while T-Mobile and Sprint's network coverages are poor in the county.
In an increasingly digital world and diversified telecommunications industry, Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) are on the rise and offering value to both consumers and existing Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). MVNOs are wireless services providers that do not own the wireless network infrastructure but instead buy network capacity from existing MNOs to offer services to consumers. These smaller carriers operate in Broome County and offer residents cheap and affordable phone plans.
Broome County residents also use VoIP to make and receive phone calls as another wireless telephony option. VoIP refers to Voice over Internet Protocol - a technology that allows telephony communications through IP networks. VoIP service enables users to choose their desired phone address and area code. While some residents may not find this feature especially important, some users such as business owners might find it appealing, especially those who operate from home.
What are Broome County Phone Scams?
Broome County phone scams are fraudulent acts and deceptive practices of crooked individuals perpetrated using phone calls. The acts and practices are designed to obtain personal and financial information or defraud Broome County residents.
Phone scammers assume many characters and use diverse schemes to lure residents in and to gain their trust. These con artists purport to be who they are not, such as law enforcement officials, bank officials, insurance agents, lawyers, and public business representatives, in order to appear legitimate to targets.
Common phone scams in Broome County include IRS scams, jury duty scams, grandparent scams, and Amazon delivery scams. Broome County residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers.
What are Broome County Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
Law enforcement impersonation scams involve fraudsters purporting to represent the Broome County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) by posing as Sheriff's Office Lieutenants or other BCSO officials. These con artists may also pose as representatives of other law enforcement agencies in Broome County. The callers claim that their targets have missed jury duties or court dates and are therefore required to complete paperwork and pay fines to avoid arrests. The callers then tell the victims to meet them in the parking lot of the BCSO and wait for them there.
Note that officers of the BCSO do not collect fines from the public. Any official exchange of money or transaction is conducted within the confines of the BCSO, not in a parking lot. Broome County residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to verify the identity of callers.
What are Broome County IRS Scams?
An IRS scam starts with a call from a caller pretending to work with the Internal Revenue Service. The caller informs the target of unpaid taxes to the government which must be paid immediately. The caller uses intimidation tricks by threatening arrest, imprisonment, deportation, or revocation of business or driver’s license. To appear legitimate, the caller may have a part of your Social Security Number handy. By calling out that part, the caller is hoping to gain your trust. Payments of the “back taxes” are required to be made through wire transfers, gift cards, or other untraceable methods.
A new twist to the IRS scam involves con artists claiming their targets are due refunds due to overpayments or new government policies. The catch here is that to access the refund, a target is required to provide bank account information, credit card details, or other sensitive personal information. During tax time, the IRS received millions of fake tax returns as a result of what the government terms Stolen Identity Refund Fraud (SIRF) crimes, resulting in billions of dollars in fraudulent refunds yearly. Phone lookup applications can help unmask the real identities of phone scammers.
What are Broome County Grandparent Scams?
In a grandparent scam, the caller poses as the grandchild of the target who is in dire financial straits. The scam is targeted at older citizens in Broome County by playing on their emotions. The caller may have obtained information online from social media sites about the target's family before placing a call to the grandparent. The caller uses this information to appear legitimate to the target. If the target asks why the caller sounds different, the caller feigns sickness and claims being unhealthy may be responsible.
In another trick used, the caller starts the phone conversation by asking "Do you know who this is grandma?." Once the target mentions a name, the caller assumes that name to perpetrate the hideous acts. A grandparent scammer typically claims to need money to bond out of jail or to pay a hospital bill. These criminals ask for money through wire transfers, gift cards, or prepaid debit cards and plead with their targets to refrain from informing other members of the family. You can use free reverse phone number lookup tools online to help uncover who called and find who a number is registered to.
What are Broome County Amazon Delivery Scams?
Here, targets receive automated calls claiming that their accounts have been charged by Amazon or that they have an outstanding balance on their accounts. The fraudsters leave callback numbers for the targets to contact to get refunds or resolve the charges. When targets call back, the fraudsters request their Amazon account information, credit card details, or bank account information. The con artist may also try to gain remote access to the target's computer.
In the Amazon delivery scam, targets may receive text messages claiming that they have packages waiting to be delivered, but they need to verify their account information. Note that if you are concerned about charges made to your account, contact the company directly. Do not click on any links received in text messages. You can use a reverse cell phone lookup tool to verify if a caller’s identity matches the name given.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is a recorded message delivered to your phone through automatic dialing announcing device (ADAD). ADADs are capable of storing thousands of telephone numbers and dialing them automatically to deliver preset messages. If you answer the phone and hear a recorded message instead of a live person, it is a robocall. Schools, fire protection agencies, public health agencies, or agencies acting on the behalf of these entities are typically permitted to use robocalls to contact telephone users. However, if the recording comes from a sales message and you have not given express permission to receive calls from the company on the other end, the call is illegal.
Robocalls have become intrusive and annoying, compromising privacy and public safety in many cases. Over 2.5 billion robocalls were placed to New York residents in 2020. Between January and March 2021, over 725 million robocalls have been placed to New York residents, an average of 27.6 robocalls per person. Many of these calls were made illegally to telephone users without their consent. The majority of these are unwanted and are spam calls often targeted at defrauding County residents.
A reverse phone number lookup application can identify whether an incoming call is a robocall or not. Other steps you can take to avoid robocall scams and limit robocall intrusions include:
- Add your number to the National Do-Not-Call-List: Although the Do Not Call List maintained by the Federal Trade Commission does not stop all robocalls, it is a valuable tool for removing your number from the call lists of companies that do not want to violate the law. You can add your number to the registry by calling (888) 382-1222 from the number you want to register or by visiting the Registry online.
- Revoke your consent: If you keep receiving robocalls from a business or organization you do business with, such an agency likely has your consent to robocall you. Under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, you are permitted to revoke your consent. You can contact customer service to inform them to stop contacting you through robocalls.
- Do not engage with the caller: Many robocalls include prompts to press some keys to give a voice command. Do not hit any button, even if the recording says it is to remove your number from the list.
- Block or refuse to answer calls from unknown numbers: Do not answer calls from persons with numbers unknown to you. If the message to be delivered is urgent or important, the caller will leave a message in the voicemail. Many smartphones also have features to block calls from unknown numbers and unsolicited callers within their operating system. You can use this feature to block an unwanted call.
- Install call-blocking apps: You can download various call-blocking apps such as Nomorobo, YouMail, Truecaller, and Hiya from most mobile application stores. Many of such applications provide free or low-cost service to mobile smartphone users that filter out identified scam robocalls and allow users to block specific numbers and report the calls.
- File a complaint with the FCC: The Federal Communications Commission is tasked with upholding and strengthening the TCPA's rules and regulations. While filing a complaint may not prompt immediate response, complaint data may prompt the FCC to take action. You can file a complaint on the FCC website.
How to Spot and Report Broome County Phone Scams?
Recent reports of phone scams involve new twists to long-familiar tricks. However, con artists continue to look for specific circumstances or unique vulnerabilities that make their deceptions cruel and unfortunately, sometimes successful. As these fraudsters can target anyone and can be anywhere in the world, education is the best defense against their schemes.
The following are red flags in identifying phone scams:
- The caller asks for financial or other personal information over the phone: Any caller demanding your personal information such as Social Security number, date of birth, PINs, and other financial information over a phone conversation is likely to be a scammer.
- The caller insists you have to decide immediately: This is a common trick used by scammers to stop you from verifying the information provided. If the caller has got nothing to lose, there would be no need to coerce you into making an immediate decision.
- The caller wants you to pay through certain methods: Scammers want to receive payment through methods that are difficult to trace. These include wire transfers, gift cards, cryptocurrencies, and prepaid debit cards. Be wary when an unsolicited caller insists on getting funds through any of these means.
- The caller asks you to make an upfront payment to receive a prize or winning: If you actually won a prize, you should not have to pay to obtain the free gift. Do not make any upfront payment for a gift or prize that you are yet to receive.
- The caller threatens you: Reputable companies or government agencies do not threaten residents. If a caller threatens to arrest, imprison, deport, or revoke your license, the caller is likely to be a scammer.
While services that conduct reverse phone number lookups by address, name, and phone number are helpful against phone scams, local, state, and federal institutions are also committed to fighting the scourge of phone scams and provide information and assistance to residents. These include:
- The Broome County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments: If you have received a call from a scammer, you can contact your local police department or the Broome County Sheriff's Office at (607) 778-1911. In the county seat of Binghamton, you can contact the Binghamton Police Department at (607) 723-5321.
- The New York Attorney General's Office: To report a scam, you can file a complaint online to the Attorney General’s Office or call the office’s line at (800) 771-7755.
- Federal Communications Commission: If you receive unwanted robocalls and text messages, you can file a report online with the FCC.Federal Trade Commission - The FTC protects consumers from deceptive and fraudulent practices. You can file a phone scam report with the FTC by completing the online complaint form.