What are Saratoga County Area Codes?
Area codes are a part of the initiative of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). They are the first group of three numbers that appear at the beginning of every telephone number in North America. Also referred to as Numbering Plan Areas (NPA), area codes identify the geographical location, locally and internationally where every call originates from. Area codes allow phone users to determine the geographical location of calls they receive. Phone users can use reverse phone number lookup services to conduct area code lookups to find out the origin of calls. Residents may use some reverse phone number lookup free of charge if they cannot afford paid services.
The North American Numbering Plan makes sure that every region in North America has at least one area code serving it, although some regions have more than one area code. The extra area codes assigned due to the exhaustion of an initial area code are referred to as overlay codes.
Saratoga County has two area codes namely:
Area Code 518
Area code 518 was created in 1947 by AT&T and the Bell System as one of the original 86 North American area codes. It serves the Cities of Mechanicville, Saratoga Spring, Corinth, and other cities within and outside Saratoga County.
Area Code 838
Area code 838 became active on September 19, 2017. It was created as an overlay for area code 518. It serves the same area as area code 518.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Saratoga County?
The two best phone network providers in terms of coverage are AT&T and Verizon. AT&T has the best coverage with 100%, relative to other phone network providers in the county. In contrast, Verizon has an estimated 98% coverage. While other network providers, including T-Mobile and Sprint, are also present in Saratoga County, their quality cannot be compared with AT&T and Verizon. Some residents also use smaller carriers, referred to as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) that provide high-quality service.
In 2018, the CDC released the National Center of Health Statistics survey based on the National Health Interview Survey Early Release Program. The survey shows both adults and minors in New York prefer to use wireless telephony services, instead of landline services. It details that 38.8% of the New York adult population used only wireless telephones, while 6% of New York adults used only landlines as their preferred telephony service. Regarding the survey of minors under age 18 in New York, 45.9% of the minors used only wireless telephone services, while just 2.9% of the minors used only landlines.
VoIP, meaning Voice over Internet Protocol is the newest telephony innovation in Saratoga County. It uses high-speed internet connections to transmit voice and multimedia communications. VoIP offers residents and businesses in Saratoga County unrestricted access to sophisticated features at cost-effective rates, compared to traditional telephony services that only provide restricted services. Some services VoIP offers include anonymous calling, conference calling, name dialing, call routing, automated line attendants, advanced call management, call analytics, and call rejection.
What are Saratoga County Phone Scams?
Fraudulent activities carried out over the phone by con artists are referred to as phone scams. Saratoga County phone scams occur in different forms and are targeted at county residents to swindle them and deceitfully obtain their confidential information. Examples of such information are residents’ financial details, social security numbers, passwords, etc. Con artists exploit the advancement in technology to make their ploys appear credible and to gain their targets’ trust. Impersonation is a major tool that these con artists use and Caller ID spoofing makes this possible. With Caller ID spoofing, scammers easily impersonate government officials and employees of legitimate businesses such as financial institutions, the IRS, law enforcement agencies, and health departments. To combat these ploys, residents can use reverse phone number lookup tools to identify such calls and block them. The FCC educates residents on illegal Caller ID spoofing and ways to avoid them and enable call blocking on their cell phones. Residents can also use the Scam Tracker of the Better Business Bureau New York to get updates with trending scams.
Here are prevalent phone scams in Saratoga County:
What are Saratoga County Police Department Scams?
Quite prevalent in Saratoga County are scams that involve scammers posing as officers of the Saratoga County Police Department or County Sheriff’s Office. These scammers tell unsuspecting residents that they have outstanding arrest warrants for missing jury duty or committing certain crimes. They then offer to help the recipients do away with the warrants if they send money to them. Note that scammers mostly threaten their targets with arrests and other forms of legal actions. Never accept to make such payments. Be wary of making payments to callers via wire transfers, prepaid debit cards, or gift cards. These payment methods are fraudulent and are difficult to trace.
In most cases, these scammers spoof the Caller IDs of officers of the Saratoga County Sheriff Office. If you suspect a scam during such a call, just tell the so-called “officer” that you will call the police station back. On the other hand, if you receive a voicemail, the callback number for the officer should be the verified Police Department’s main number. However, if it is a strange phone number, conduct a free reverse phone lookup to find out who called you. Report these scams to the appropriate law enforcement agencies.
What are Saratoga County Relationship Scams?
Relationship scams are also known as romance scams. These scams involve scammers taking advantage of online dating apps and websites as well as social media platforms to scam innocent love seekers. They try to gain the love and trust of these love-seekers and if they are successful, they begin to request money for different false causes. In other cases, the scammers request their victims’ personal information for various seemingly justifiable reasons. However, in the real sense, this information will be used for identity fraud. These scammers also try to lure their romantic partners into undressing over a video call, while they secretly take a video. This video will then be used to blackmail them much later.
To avoid relationship scams, use only legitimate dating sites and be very cautious not to reveal personal or financial details to anyone. Victims can file complaints with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
What are Saratoga County IRS Scams?
IRS scams are scams targeted at taxpayers to defraud them. These scammers pose as IRS officials and accuse residents of owing back taxes. They threaten to arrest or deport their targets or even revoke their victims’ professional or drivers licenses if they do not pay up. IRS impostors mostly request that payments for the supposed “owed back taxes” are made via unconventional means such as prepaid cards, gift cards, green dot cards, iTunes, bitcoins, and wire transfers. It is important to note that the IRS never contacts residents randomly to threaten them and request payments. The IRS mostly contacts residents via mail and if they at all they call, they always first prompt the recipients with multiple mails before the actual call.
Residents should be careful not to fall victim to such scams. Personal and financial information are confidential and should never be shared with anyone over the phone. Anyone requesting confidential information or asking you to make payment is most likely a scammer. Do not yield to such demands, instead, immediately report to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) online or call 1-800-366-4484. You can use a free reverse phone lookup service to conduct a phone number search. This will help unveil the impostor.
What are Saratoga County Charity Scams?
Con artists prey on generous individuals in the county by targeting them with their fraudulent schemes. These scammers take advantage of tragic events that occur in the county such as earthquakes and pandemics and sometimes, they just randomly contact residents and solicit donations from them. It is important to note that while some scammers merely create fake charitable organizations, others actually impersonate legitimate charitable organizations. Here, they spoof the Caller IDs of these charitable organizations and solicit donations on their behalf. Be wary of these ploys and research charities before making any donation. Residents should not always trust their Caller ID information; instead, they are to use phone number search tools to verify the authenticity of these calls before making donations to them. This is because the fraudulent persons actually gather the donations, embezzle them, and cut off contact with the donators. Note that legitimate charitable organizations request donations in cash, by wire transfer, or gift card. Avoid such payment methods.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are calls placed using computerized autodialers to disseminate important information to many people at the same time. These calls mostly deliver pre-recorded messages to a target audience and are designed to be exclusively informational. However, some persons use robocalls illegally by including instructions for the recipients to contact live representatives. In most cases, these robocalls aim to advertise bogus products or services, swindle the recipients, or deceitfully obtain confidential information. Some robocalls also contain prompts for recipients to avoid receiving future robocalls. Note that such prompts are almost always designed as traps for the recipients to be targeted with more robocalls, instead of stopping the calls.
In an attempt to reduce the menace of robocalls, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) initiated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA). This Act regulates the use of robocalls by only authorizing robocalls that are sent to residents that give their prior consent. Therefore unsolicited robocalls are illegal and can be reported to FTC through the online complaint assistant. Only these robocalls are permitted to be placed without prior consent:
- Robocalls for informational purposes
- Robocalls for debt collection
- Robocalls sent by political parties, legitimate charitable organizations, and legitimate health institutions
Unauthorized robocalls can also be classified as spam calls. Spam calls are unwanted calls sent in bulk for advertisement or proselytization. Spam calls mostly constitute a nuisance to the recipients.
Take note of these precautions to avoid falling victim to illegitimate robocalls:
- Terminate the call the moment you perceive that you have picked a robocall. In addition, do not heed the directives given during the call.
- Use the FTC’s online complaint assistant platform to report illegal robocalls or contact 1-888-382-1222 to report over the phone.
- Conduct reverse number lookup using telephony services that help identify and block robocalls. Interested persons may also reach out to their phone network service providers for other call blocking options.
- Utilize the National Do Not Call Registry to curb robocalls and other unsolicited calls by including your phone number on the registry.
How to Spot and Report Saratoga County Phone Scams?
While phone scams regularly evolve their scams, residents can avoid falling victim to these scams by staying vigilant and looking out for the red flags of phone scams. These red flags include:
- The caller requests your personal information - Do not share your personal information over the phone. Simply hang up and conduct a phone number search to find out who called you.
- The caller tries to put you under pressure to make a decision - Scammers often speak with a sense of urgency, knowing that individuals are prone to making mistakes when they are under pressure. Hang up immediately and do make any decisions in the heat of the moment.
- The caller demands payments for any reason - Hang up and verify the caller’s identity with a reverse phone lookup. Also, verify their claims before anything. Note that credible organizations and government agencies do not demand financial information or payment over the phone. Be informed that payments made with prepaid cards, wire transfers, gift cards, bitcoins, and cash are difficult to trace and retrieve.
- You suspect that the scammer is an impostor - Do not ignore such suspicions, you may just be right; instead, conduct a suspicious phone number lookup to clarify your doubts. A reverse phone number lookup can be used to identify a spoofed Caller ID. If the search field of the tool used does not show any search results, it may be a sign that the Caller ID was spoofed.
- The caller does not identify themselves when they call - Try to get the caller to identify himself or herself and if they still do not respond, hang up and conduct a suspicious phone number lookup to answer the question “who is this number registered to”.
- The caller promises offers that are too good to be true - Do your personal research extensively before considering any offer.
Saratoga County residents can report phone scams to these government agencies: