What are Brown County Area Codes?
Every North American telephone number under the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) is preceded by specific three-digit codes that represent the Numbering Plan Areas (NPA), where the calls originate from. Area codes appear at the beginning of each North American telephone number, making it possible for individuals to identify the geographical area (state, county, or city) where the calls were placed from. Interested persons can perform area code lookups using free reverse phone number lookup services to identify the geographical areas certain calls originated.
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission is charged with administering and maintaining area codes in the state.
Area Code 715
Area code 715 was one of the original 86 area codes that AT&T and the Bell System created in October 1947. It has an overlay code, area code 534, which covers the same cities and towns. Area code 715 and its overlay code serve 238 towns and cities, some of which include Abbotsford, Babcock, Baldwin, Hazelhurst, Greenwood, and Three Lakes.
Area Code 920
Area Code 920 was created from area code 414. It became active on July 26, 1997. It covers most of Eastern Wisconsin and serves 129 towns and cities. Some of these include Greenleaf, Green Bay, New Franken, Pulaski, Oneida, and Wrightstown.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Brown County?
There are predominantly four phone network providers in Brown County. Of the four, AT&T has the widest coverage with 98% compared to the other networks. This is followed by Verizon with 90%, Cellcom with 76%, and lastly Sprint with 58% coverage. While the network quality of these phone carriers is relatively good, densely populated areas of the county may experience poor network quality. Harsh weather conditions may also negatively affect network quality.
The 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey shows that 54% of the Wisconsin adult population used only wireless telephones, while 4.1% of the Wisconsin adult population solely used landlines. In juxtaposition with the telephone status survey of the Wisconsin minors under the age of 18, 60.4% used only wireless telephone services, while just 2% of the minors used only landlines. From the survey, it can be deduced that Brown County residents (including the adults and minors) prefer to use wireless telephones for telephony services instead of landlines.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is also referred to as calls over the Internet, broadband cable phone service, or digital calls. It has experienced rapid growth as a viable alternative to traditional phone services in Brown County. This is not unconnected to its affordability and new features. Some of its features include advanced call management, call analytics, anonymous call rejection, and call routing. Residents and businesses also choose VoIP due to the ability to connect with persons almost anywhere in the country and even internationally at a relatively low price.
While VoIP appears to be a good option for calls, it has certain limitations as regards calling the 9-1-1 Center in an emergency. A major limitation is the inability of the 9-1-1 Center to automatically discern the location of your VoIP phone. However, this may not be the case if your current location is properly registered with the service provider and the service provider adequately supports 9-1-1 features. Make sure to inform your direct contacts about your VoIP service. In addition, post your address and call-back phone number near your phone. You may also consider getting a landline phone for ease of access to 9-1-1 emergency services.
What Are Brown County Phone Scams?
Brown County phone scams are deceptive acts carried out with the sole aim of stealing county residents’ money, and personal and financial information. Phone scams in Brown County have continually evolved and advanced with the emergence of technology. Most of the information scammers gather is used to impersonate legitimate entities or steal their money. Impersonation is the general tool phone scammers use to perpetrate their scams and with advanced telephony technology, it has become easier to do this. Robocalls and Caller ID spoofing are technological innovations approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). However, due to their misuse, the FCC has regulated them. The FTC provides residents with information on how to avoid falling victim to illegal Caller ID spoofing and educates residents on how to activate call blocking on their phones to eliminate unwanted calls that may be from scammers.
Brown County residents can activate reverse phone look up applications on their mobile phones to identify suspicious calls and block them. These reverse phone number lookup services can also be used to expose the intentions of phone scammers.
Here are common phone scams in Brown County:
What are Foreclosure Scams
In these scams, county residents receive calls from phone scammers telling them that they are about to have their property foreclosed. These scammers may also make their targets believe that they owe back taxes on their properties and if immediate payment is not made, the ownership of the property would be withdrawn from them, leading to their eviction. Scammers mostly use robocalls for scams like these and give the recipients phone numbers to call to satisfy the order of foreclosure. In other cases, the scammers may demand the recipient's bank account information to obtain payment. They may also request their social security numbers for verification.
Never give out any personal or financial information over the phone or computer. Hang up and check the identity of the caller by conducting a suspicious phone number lookup using a reverse phone lookup service.
What are Credit Card Scams?
Credit card scams involve fraudsters contacting residents and posing as representatives of MasterCard, Discover, and Visa. These fraudsters offer recipients of their calls 0% interest on their credit cards due to COVID-19 relief. They also offer to refund any interest paid on credit cards used. The fraudsters request the residents’ credit card and bank account information, claiming to require them for credit card verification or to directly deposit the refundable interest back into their bank accounts.
Make sure you do not give out your personal, credit card, or banking information over the phone in response to such calls. Report such calls to the local law enforcement office or the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. You may also conduct a suspicious phone number lookup to answer the question “who is this number registered to?”
What are IRS Scams?
IRS scams involve tax-related scams mostly perpetrated during tax seasons. Here, scammers posing as IRS representatives contact residents and request payment for owed back taxes. The scammers threaten their targets with severe consequences such as deportation or arrest if they do not pay up. It is important to note that the IRS never contacts anyone out of the blue, neither do they make such requests for payments over the phone. In some cases, the so-called IRS representatives demand the recipients’ personal and financial information. They may also request payment via prepaid Visa, green dot cards, bitcoins, wiring money, PayPal, or iTunes. Be wary of such payment methods. Residents that owe back taxes should directly contact the IRS to make payment.
To report IRS scams, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 or report online. Persons that receive such calls can conduct phone number searches using free reverse phone lookup websites or mobile apps to reveal the scammers’ identities. Also, Brown County Economic Support has Fraud Investigation Services that help combat IRS scams.
What are Charity Scams
Goodwill residents help other residents out during or after disastrous events such as earthquakes and pandemics. However, scammers exploit these good intentions by swindling residents’ money. They claim that the funds that are gathered will be used to help less privileged individuals. However, contrary to their claims, the scammers embezzle the donated funds. Note that these scammers sometimes pose as representatives of legitimate charitable organizations and may even spoof the Caller IDs of these organizations. Reverse phone look up services can be used to verify such claims.. If you suspect that a spoofed Caller ID was used to contact you, do a phone number search on a reverse phone lookup app or website. A spoofed Caller ID will most likely not deliver any results from the phone number search.
To avoid falling victim to charity scams, do not make donations to unverified charitable organizations, instead, make your donations directly to verified charitable organizations.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are pre-recorded calls that disseminate voice messages to large groups of people through autodialers. Robocalls are mostly sent during political campaigns and to pass across important messages to residents. Despite being strictly informational, some robocalls contain instructions for recipients to follow to be connected to live representatives. Robocalls with such instructions are suspicious as they sometimes have fraudulent intentions to steal residents’ personal and financial information or advertise bogus products or services. These illegal robocalls may also ask recipients to press numbers to unsubscribe from future calls. However, the real intention is to identify active phone numbers and target them with more robocalls.
The Federal Trade Commission, identifies the following robocalls as legitimate and they can be placed without residents’ permission:
- Robocalls from legitimate charities
- Robocalls for political robocalls
- Strictly informational robocalls
- Robocalls for debt collection
- Robocalls from legitimate health institutions.
All other robocalls require the recipient’s prior consent before they are placed. Spam calls refer to unsolicited calls that have the purpose of advertising, proselytizing, or other purposes not directly relevant to the recipients.
Here are important steps to combat Illegal robocalls and spam calls:
- Terminate the call the moment you discover that you have answered a robocall. Also, avoid following any instructions given during the calls.
- Use the FTC’s online complaint assistant to report such calls or contact 1-888-382-1222 to report over the phone.
- Flag and block robocalls using reverse phone number lookup mobile applications or websites
- Include all your personal phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry to limit robocalls and other unsolicited calls.
How to Spot and Report Brown County Phone Scams?
Phone scams in Brown County come in different dimensions and are targeted at both old and young residents in the county. It is important not to be ignorant of the schemes of phone scams, this will enable residents to be vigilant and look out for the red flags of scammers. Some of these include:
- Personal or financial information is demanded for any reason - Do not respond to such a request.
- Claims of the recipients winning “prizes or incentives” - Such offers should be ignored and reported to the law enforcement agency closest to you.
- Unsolicited calls from an unknown caller - First use a reverse phone look up service to find out who called you. Avoid picking such calls from unknown callers, as these callers may turn out to be from con artists. Reverse phone number lookup services can be used to block certain phone numbers from future calls. You may also reach out to your phone network service provider to get other call blocking options.
- Payment by gift cards, wire transfer, bitcoins, cash, and other untraceable means - These payment methods usually have fraudulent intentions. Sometimes the callers may impersonate representatives of government agencies and demand payment. In such cases, verify the calls by contacting the government agency the caller claims to represent. Typically government agencies and legitimate businesses do not request payment over the phone. Such cases should also be reported to the law enforcement agency nearest to the victims.
- Caller insisting on maintaining anonymity and refusing to reveal their identities during the calls - Do a suspicious phone number lookup to find out who called.
Brown County residents can report phone scams to these government agencies: