What are Oneida County Area Codes?
Area codes are the three-digit codes at the beginning of American telephone numbers. Making a phone call from one geographic region to another in the United States requires putting an area code before the local number. Established by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), Oneida County area codes differentiate one Numbering Plan Area (NPA) from another within the county. The New York Department of Public Service (DPS) is authorized to administer area codes in New York State, including Oneida County.
Oneida County currently has two active area codes. These are:
Area Code 315
Area Code 315 is a New York telephone code that was put into service in 1947 as one of the original 86 area codes. It covers Oneida County and various others in New York State. Some of the cities and towns within the 315 NPA in Oneida County are Utica, Clinton, Holland Patent, and Boonville. Others include Rome, Remsen, Camden, and Whitesboro.
Area Code 680
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Oneida County?
The adoption rate of wireless telephony services by residents of Oneida County is steadily growing. This is confirmed by a 2018 CDC survey conducted among New Yorkers to determine the distribution of household telephone status. The data obtained showed that 45.9% of the children population had adopted cell phones exclusively for telephony. Only 2.9% of them used landline phones alone. As of that year, the adult population had 38.8% and 6.0% of them solely using wireless and landline telephony services, respectively.
Oneida County residents use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) as an alternative to regular telephony services. VoIP offers advanced telephony functionality at more affordable rates for both businesses and individuals. It conveys communication over IP connections, meaning that residents must own internet-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets to benefit from its flexible services. VoIP supports phone calls, video conferences, and text messaging.
All major phone carriers provide network services in New York and offer reliable coverage, but not all of them exist in some parts of Oneida County. Various Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), however, complement the major carriers in locations outside their network spread. They provide good services at lower rates in most parts of the county. For instance, only Verizon has a full coverage of 100% in the City of Rome. It is supported by smaller MNVOs.
What are Oneida County Phone Scams?
In Oneida County, fraudsters perpetrate phone scams using services such as text messages, live phone calls, and robocalls. Phone scams typically aim to steal money and fraudulently acquire confidential information from unsuspecting persons. Since phone scams are committed with phone numbers, reverse phone lookup applications can uncover scammers' identities. Generally, phone scammers favor phone spoofing. They do this to fool their targets into believing they are being contacted by familiar persons or entities and increase their chances of success.
There are dedicated public agencies that ensure Oneida County residents' protection against phone scams. These agencies provide phone scam awareness and sometimes roll out scam alerts to educate residents. They include:
- The Office of the Attorney General, Utica (OAG)
- The New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP)
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
- The Oneida County Sheriff's Office (OCSO)
The popular phone scams in Oneida County include:
What are Social Security Scams?
Phone scammers are pretending to be employees of the Social Security Administration (SSA) to cheat Oneida County residents out of their money. In this scam, the callers use aggressive tactics to scare their targets to coerce payments and obtain sensitive information. Social security scams have many variations. In a widespread version of the scam scheme, fraudsters will inform their marks that the SSA has suspended their social security numbers because they were used for some criminal activities. During the call, these scammers will ask their targets to verify their social security numbers in an attempt to obtain the numbers and commit identity theft. The callers often threaten that unless the victims act quickly, they will stop receiving government benefits. They will warn their victims of the possibility of freezing their accounts and ask them to withdraw all the cash in there. The scammers will tell them to purchase gift cards with such money and send the numbers to them for safe keeping pending resolution.
Persons who perpetrate social security scams favor phone spoofing. They spoof the official phone numbers of the SSA to convince their targets into answering their calls. Oneida County residents can identify spoofed phone calls using services that offer free reverse phone lookup and avoid social security scams. The Social Security Administration does not use scare tactics or ask residents to send money via gift cards or other odd payment channels. Its employees will also not request you to verify your social security number over the phone as they have such information on file. If you receive such a call and have any doubts, contact the SSA directly at 1 (800) 772-1213 to verify the caller's claim.
What are One-Ring Phone Scams?
Oneida County residents should know that many three-digit calls are being routed through the Caribbean and connecting unsuspecting persons to international phone numbers. Fraudsters do this to cheat residents out of their money. If you get one of such calls, do not answer it. If they leave a message and ask that you call back, do not return such a call to avoid being ripped off.
These scams are usually targeted at Oneida County residents at odd hours, especially in the middle of the night. The scammers make numerous phone calls with strange-looking area codes that ring out once or twice and then cut. While some of these calls come through residents' cell phones, many are targeting traditional landline phone users. The callers typically hope that their targets will call them back. Because these calls come in the middle of the night, targets may think that there might be family emergencies and then return them. Those who return such calls are connected to international phone numbers and hit with expensive international calling charges. Scammers have a way of converting such charges for personal benefits. Residents who fall victim to one-ring phone scams only get to know about these charges when they check their monthly bills. Websites that provide phone number lookup services can identify international phone calls and retrieve information on the geographic locations of phone numbers used by these scammers.
What are Jury Duty Scams?
In jury duty scams, the callers pretend to be with law enforcement or the courts to defraud Oneida County residents. Reverse phone number lookup applications can return identifying information on the callers and prevent residents from falling prey to scams. They tell their targets that there are warrants out for their arrests for failing to report for jury duty. The fraudsters will also claim that they must pay court fines for missing jury duty and that unless such fines are paid immediately, law enforcement will arrest them. In Oneida County, jury duty scammers often spoof their targets' Caller IDs to fool them. Such phone calls may display the official phone numbers of the Oneida County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) or the courts. Their preferred payment methods include gift cards, wire transfers, and mailed cash. These are odd payment channels and are enough to alert residents of potential scams. Sometimes, the scammers may insist on taking marks' credit card information to effect payment.
Oneida County residents should beware of persons who claim to be with law enforcement to solicit money over the phone. No legitimate employee of the OCSO will do that or threaten any resident with arrest for not appearing for jury duty. The OCSO warns residents never to send money or provide any information to persons they cannot positively identify over the phone. If you get this type of call, hang up immediately and contact your local court or law enforcement to find out if there is an arrest warrant against you.
What are Lottery Scams?
Applications that offer reverse phone lookup free services can prevent Oneida County residents from falling victim to lottery scams. Phone number lookup services help to retrieve information on unknown callers. In lottery scams, the callers tell their victims that they have won foreign lotteries and ask them to wire money or send checks to cover processing fees and taxes. Most residents targeted with lottery scams have not entered such competitions, but unfortunately, they end up as victims. These scammers often pretend to be with familiar legitimate lottery companies or may make up official-sounding names. They may even reference a government agency such as the Attorney General's Office of the FTC to appear authentic and gain their targets' trust. Lottery scammers usually insist that required fees be paid upfront to enable them to send their marks' winnings. They favor payment by wire transfers and gift cards.
During telephone engagement, the scammers may request personal information and banking details and claim they will electronically send their winnings in there. County residents must know that it is only an attempt to steal their identity and probably wipe out the money in their bank accounts. Legitimate lottery companies do not request advance payment for processing fees or taxes as they are usually deducted from lottery winnings. Anyone who claims you won a lottery when you did not buy a ticket or enter any competition is a scammer. If you get such a call, glean as much information as possible, hang up and report it to your local law enforcement.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls that use auto-dialers to convey pre-recorded information. They allow persons or organizations to disseminate information to a mass audience at the same time and at affordable rates. Robocalls are a category of spam calls in that they are sometimes used to identify active phone numbers. Spam calls are unwanted and intrusive calls placed to random phone numbers. Robocalls require less human involvement, which is why they appeal to scammers. In Oneida County, scammers often spoof robocalls to deceive residents into answering their calls and then extort them. Although several of these calls come from within the United States, most are initiated by foreign callers who engage in phone spoofing. The appropriate response to robocalls can help you to avoid robocall scams. These include:
- Inquire from your phone service provider about their call-blocking service to block robocall numbers. You can also use third-party call-blocking applications on your cell phone to bar spam numbers and robocall numbers.
- Run unknown caller phone numbers through applications that offer suspicious phone number lookup services to confirm if incoming calls are robocalls or not.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry to stop legitimate telemarketers from contacting you via robocalls. Any telemarketing calls you receive after 31 days of registration are potential scam calls.
- If your phone number is listed on the FTC's DNC registry and receives an unsolicited call, you can file a complaint online with the FTC or call 1 (888) 382-1222.
- End a call immediately you confirm it is a robocall or a spam call.
How Can You Spot and Report Oneida County Phone Scams?
While protecting Oneida County residents from phone scams is a responsibility of consumer protection agencies, residents must make deliberate efforts on their own to avoid scams. They must be abreast of current scams and learn to identify scams, especially when answering calls from unknown phone numbers. The warning signs of phone scams in Oneida County include:
- Fraudsters claim to be with lottery companies and ask their victims to make upfront payments before claiming their winnings, even when they did not buy tickets for such lotteries. Note that lottery companies do not contact winners by phone.
- Scammers become agitated and hostile when they observe that their targets are not complying with their demands.
- Fraudsters demand immediate payments via untraceable means such as prepaid cards, cryptocurrencies, and wire transfers.
- Scammers pretend to be with government agencies and threaten arrest, license suspension, or deportation to obtain money or confidential information from unsuspecting residents. Legitimate employees of government agencies do not threaten residents with extreme actions to obtain compliance.
- Phone scammers employ high-pressure tactics in an attempt to obtain their targets' personal information.
To report phone scam incidents or attempts in Oneida County, residents can contact any of the following government agency:
New York State Division of Consumer Protection - The DCP protects residents against phone scams by educating them on avoiding scams. It resolves various consumer complaints through voluntary intervention. Oneida County residents can file phone scam complaints online with the DCP.
Oneida County Sheriff's Office - Incidents of phone scams in Oneida County can be reported to the OCSO by calling (315) 768-7804. Alternatively, residents can visit the Sheriff’s Office at 6065 Judd Road, Oriskany, NY 13424 to file in-person complaints.
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC developed the DNC Registry to combat illegal robocalls. Oneida County residents can add their phone numbers to the registry for free to reduce unwanted telephone solicitations. Registered residents who receive unsolicited calls 31 days after registration can file complaints with the FTC or call 1 (888) 382-1222 to report other phone scams.