What are Lackawanna County Area Codes?
Lackawanna County was formed from part of Luzerne County in 1878 and is located in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania. It is bordered by the Lehigh River to the southeast and the Choke Creek to the southwest. It is the last county to be created in Pennsylvania and the only one to be created after the Civil War. The county derives its name from a Delaware Indian word meaning "the stream that forks". The estimated population of the county as of July 1, 2019, stands at 209,674. Scranton City is the county seat and doubles as the county's largest city.
Area codes are three-digit codes that identify a specific geographic area within the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). NANP is the telephone numbering system within which telephony communications are managed in the United States, Canada, and some Caribbean countries by the NANP Administrator (NANPA). The NANP is divided into smaller Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) which are each identified by a three-digit code.
A new area code is added to a geographic area when there are no more three-digit prefixes available in the existing area code. Area codes are added in the form of a geographic split or an overlay. You can find the area code of an area in the United States by using area code lookup tools online.
There are currently two area codes serving Lackawanna County - Area codes 272 and 570.
Area Code 272
Area code 272 was created from area code 570 and was first put into use on October 21, 2013. It serves cities such as Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Williamsport, Hazleton, Bloomsburg, Pottsville, Dunmore, and Kingston.
Area Code 570
Area code 570 was created from area code 717 and was first used on December 5, 1998. It has a single overlay (area code 272) that serves the same area. It also serves Chinchilla, Clarks Summit, Scranton, Berwick, Nanticoke, Pittston, Shamokin, Tamaqua, and Lock Haven Cities.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Lackawanna County?
Wireless telephony is increasingly used in Lackawanna County and Pennsylvania when compared to wired telephony. A recent survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2018 revealed that among persons above the age of 18 in Pennsylvania, 43.4% used wireless-only telephony service, while only 4.3% used wired telephony service exclusively. Among individuals below the age of 18 in the state, 52.5% used wireless-only telephony service while 2.3% used wired telephony service exclusively.
The unrelenting nature of competition between Major Network Operators (MNOs) in the American wireless industry has created a renewed dedication to improving on performance and pocket-friendly plans for phone users at large. Over the years, coverage has got better for nearly all of the MNOs. In Lackawanna's county seat of Scranton, T-Mobile's coverage is rated the best with a 98% overall coverage. Verizon's coverage is rated at 84%, AT&T's at 76%, while Sprint has a 70% coverage score.
After finding a carrier with good network coverage in your area, you may want to consider signing up for a plan that suits your need. The MNOs offer three categories of cell phone plans: family plans, individual plans, and no-contract plans. Family plans give residents a phone line for each family member. They generally come with higher price tags. An individual plan is a one-line, one-rate cell phone plan that does not include other devices or phones. No-contract plans provide flexible pricing and payment options. However, there are additional fees for this type of convenience.
Lackawanna County residents are not restricted to cell phone plans from the MNOs. MVNOs, also known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators, offer cell phone plans in the county which are sometimes more affordable than what the MNOs offer. MVNOs are able to lease minutes and data, or infrastructures from the MNOs. Put simply, an MVNO operates under a main carrier network, hence, there is still a good chance your local area will be covered by an MVNO.
VoIP is another wireless option used by Lackawanna County residents to make and receive phone calls. VoIP service enables customers to use the same phone number and account at any location with internet access. It helps cut down costs for persons with businesses or two homes. Hence, more and more residents are adopting VoIP services for telephony communications.
What are Lackawanna County Phone Scams?
Lackawanna County phone scams are fraudulent activities of crooked persons perpetrated using phone calls with the intention of fleecing county residents or obtaining sensitive personal information from them. Phone scammers prey on unsuspecting residents and attempt to legitimize their calls by saying they are with reputable organizations. They even obtain information from the internet and spoof telephone numbers to appear real. spoofing is when a caller knowingly falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID display to disguise identity.
Scammers may use neighbor spoofing to make an incoming call appear like it is coming from a local number or spoof a number from an organization or a government body that you may already know. The illegally obtained information from targets is then used by scammers in perpetrating fraudulent activities. Phone lookup applications can help unmask the real identities of phone scammers.
What are Lackawanna County Amazon Scams?
Many Lackawanna County residents have reported receiving calls from scammers using phone numbers starting with the 570 and 272 area codes, appearing to originate from their local areas. During these calls, the callers alleged charges have been made to their online Amazon accounts. The con artist falsely claims that the target can have the charges removed by downloading an app called "Any Desk." However, Any Desk is used by the scammer to access the personal information of the target which will be later used in fraudulent activities. Lackawanna County residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers.
What are Lackawanna County Law Enforcement Impostor Scams?
In a more specific variation of the law enforcement impostor scam, scammers now contact psychologists, therapists, and counselors in Lackawanna County demanding money to avoid being arrested. These fraudsters claim that targets have warrants out for their arrest and must go to the police stations in the local areas to be arrested or pay fines over the phone or in person at suspicious locations.
Callers perpetrating these scams provide targets with credible details about judges and legal cases, the names of actual police officers, and information about the psychologists' practices, including addresses and phone numbers. In some instances, a scammer may go as far as mimicking background noise that would normally be associated with a police department. Phone lookup applications can help unmask the real identities of phone scammers.
What are Lackawanna County Stimulus Check Scams?
Scammers have been using news of stimulus checks issued to taxpayers to help abate the economic crisis accompanying the COVID-19 pandemic, to steal the money and personal information of Lackawanna County residents. A scammer may contact you while pretending to be a government official claiming you need to pay an upfront fee to retrieve your stimulus check or ask you to verify your personal information. Some scammers have also contacted residents through text messages, asking them to click links to confirm payments or enter more information to access stimulus checks.
Note that no government agency will contact you to verify your information. The IRS does not call requesting payment in order to obtain stimulus checks. In fact, the IRS refers to it as the "economic impact payment." If a caller refers to as "stimulus check" or "stimulus payment", you are likely to have been contacted by a scammer. Also, in most cases, you do not need to do anything to get a stimulus payment. Lackawanna County residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers.
What are Lackawanna County Affinity Scams?
An affinity scam occurs when a con artist claims to be a member of the same ethnic, religious, career, or community-based group. Scammers who perpetrate this scam usually say statements like "You can trust me, because I am like you" or "Believe me, we share the same background and interests, and I can help you make more money."
They frequently pay high returns to early investors in the group with money generated from later investors. Due to this, early investors are enthusiastic to lump in more funds. This cycle continues for a while until the scammer makes away with a large sum of money from all the investors. Many of the investment schemes on offer are based on dire predictions of imminent financial and social chaos. 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?
Robocalls are telephone calls placed to large numbers of people using a predictive dialer or an automated dialer to deliver prerecorded voice messages. According to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, robocalls are legal when the express permissions of the persons contacted have been obtained. Under the Federal Trade Commission rules, political calls about candidates running for office or charities asking for donations are also legal.
However, many Lackawanna County residents receive unwanted and unsolicited robocalls which are considered spam calls. Using modern technologies such as VoIP, it is cheap and easy for scammers and telemarketers to make robocalls over the internet from anywhere in the world. Robocalls are often used to scam residents by fraudsters who use caller ID spoofing to make their numbers show up like trusted agencies' numbers.
A reverse phone number lookup application can identify if an incoming call is a robocall and help you avoid scams. Other steps you can take to avoid robocall scams and limit robocall intrusions include:
- Hang up on robocalls. If you answer a call and hear a pre-recorded message, hang up immediately. Do not press any number to speak with live agents.
- Do not trust the information on your caller ID display. With spoofing technology, calls with true origins outside of Lancaster County and Nebraska can appear with local area codes.
- Do not provide or confirm personal or financial information to anyone over the phone.
- Request your phone provider to block numbers associated with robocalls.
- Download and install a third-party call-blocking application on your mobile phone such as Nomorobo, Truecaller, Hiya, and YouMail.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry maintained by the FTC. Registration is free and can be done by calling (888) 382-1222 from the number you intend to register or online. Registering your phone number exempts you from receiving illegal telemarketing calls. If you get a robocall after 31 days of registration, it is probably from a scammer.
How to Spot and Report Lackawanna County Phone Scams?
Scammers are changing their tactics every day in the hope of catching people unawares. These criminals follow the latest trends, economic situations, and news headlines to adapt their methods. The aim is to get individuals to surrender personal information which will be later used in identity thefts or to receive funds from victims for different reasons. To keep yourself safe, it is important that you know how scammers use phones to trick you into revealing your personal information. Tools such as reverse phone number lookup services are productive in identifying potential phone scams. The following are pointers to identify possible phone scams:
- The caller pressures you into making an immediate decision: It is unlikely for a legitimate business or public body to insist on an immediate response to a request. You will be allowed to verify anything you have been told or offered. An unsolicited caller insisting on a response on the spot is likely to have ulterior motives.
- The caller asks you to make payment through unofficial or atypical means: If a caller insists you can only make payments through prepaid debit cards, cryptocurrencies, and wire transfers, the call is likely to be originating from a scammer.
- The call threatens you with arrest or license revocation: This is a common trick used by fraudsters to get you to do their bidding. They threaten to fine, arrest, sue, imprison, deport, or revoke your business or driver's license to scare you into transferring funds into their accounts.
- The caller asks you to make a "small" payment to access your winnings: A common trick in sweepstakes/lottery and other related scams. The caller says you have been selected as a winner in a contest or lottery. However, tax, shipping, or processing fee must be paid to have the prize shipped out.
- The caller asks for sensitive personal information: It is never a good idea to release personal information over phone calls. Any caller demanding information such as Social Security number, PINs, passwords, credit card information, and date of birth over a phone call is likely to have sinister motives.
- The caller ID is hidden: A caller with pure intentions does not have a reason to hide caller ID information. Do not answer calls from hidden numbers. If you do, do not believe what you are told. Hiding caller identification is a common trick used by scammers who do not want to be traced.
You can file complaints in Lackawanna County with any of the following public bodies if you have been contacted by a scammer:
- The Lackawanna 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 Lackawanna County Sheriff's Office at (570) 963-6719. In the county seat of Scranton, you can contact the Scranton Police Department at (570) 348-4130.
- The Pennsylvania County Attorney General's Office: If you have a complaint about an unsolicited call, contact the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) consumer protection line at (800) 441-2555 or file a complaint online.
- The Federal Trade Commission: Through the FTC's National Do Not Call Registry, phone users can reduce unwanted calls by adding their numbers to the list. If you receive unsolicited calls 31 days after adding your number to the registry, they are most likely scam calls
- The Federal Communications Commission: The FCC allows you to file a complaint with the Commission online if you believe you have received an illegal call, or if you think you are the victim of a phone scam.