What are Milwaukee County Area Codes?
A Milwaukee County area code identifies a specific Numbering Plan Area (NPA) within Wisconsin as provided by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). Wisconsin area codes are administered by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin. They are useful for identifying the origins of long distance calls and are represented by the first three-digit codes in telephone numbers.
The only active area code in Milwaukee County is the 414 area code.
Area Code 414
This is a Wisconsin telephone area code in the NANP that primarily covers Milwaukee County. Area code 414 serves the cities of Franklin, Milwaukee, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee, West Allis, Greenfield, Greendale, and several towns in Milwaukee County.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Milwaukee County?
All four major carriers, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T, provide network coverage in Milwaukee County. Carrier coverage varies from one location to another in the county. In the City of Milwaukee, Verizon offers the widest coverage at 94% followed by Sprint at 88%. AT&T covers 80% of Milwaukee while T-Mobile has the least coverage with signals covering 68% of the city. Residents in urban locations generally enjoy better network services than those in the smaller towns and villages.
An NHIS survey conducted in 2018 revealed a shift from landline to cell phone usage among Wisconsin residents. The report showed that 60.4% of the children, below 18 years, and 54% of the adult population used cell phones exclusively. In contrast, only 2% of the children population in the state and 4.1% of adults live in landline-only households.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offers alternative and more affordable phone services for Milwaukee County residents. VoIP services transmit phone calls over the internet. With the growing preference for cell phones (obviously due to mobility) over landlines, many residents now adopt VoIP as an alternative for voice calls.
What are Milwaukee County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are frauds using telephones with the intent of stealing money from innocent persons. Phone scammers in Milwaukee County are constantly developing tricks to steal from unsuspecting residents. This is why residents must remain vigilant and read the scam alerts published by consumer protection agencies. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) creates public service announcements on phone scams and educates residents on how to avoid them. Similarly, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) releases consumer alerts to protect residents from phone scams. Interested residents may sign up to receive DATCP scam alerts via email. Residents of Milwaukee County can report cases of phone scams to the FTC through its online complaints assistant or to the MCSO by email.
Popular phone scams in Milwaukee County include:
What are COVID-19 Contact Tracing Scams?
Some scammers use the COVID-19 contact tracing program in Milwaukee County to defraud residents. There are different versions of this scam. In the most common one, scammers call targets and tell them they have been in contact with someone who tested positive to COVID-19. They instruct these residents to self-isolate and then start probing for personal and financial information.
While legitimate tracers make contacts by phone calls, residents must know that they will never ask for financial information. Real contact tracers typically ask questions about your medical history, recent contacts, and travels. The caller's identity can be searched by doing a reverse phone number lookup. Residents who believe they have fallen victim to this scam can report to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office by calling (414) 278-4766.
What are Power Scams?
In this scam, con artists pretend to work with power companies and scare residents into giving them money by claiming to be collecting on overdue bills. If you receive this type of call and believe it is a scam, do a phone number lookup to find out who called. These scammers aim to get targets to pay for supposed outstanding bills by threatening to turn off power supplies to their apartments. They typically request immediate payment by cryptocurrencies, money transfers, and prepaid cards.
The MCSO warns residents to be wary of this trick. Persons who are victims of this scam can complain to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office by calling (414) 278-4766 or report to the FTC. Residents should always contact their energy companies to verify this type of call and desist from making payments over the phone.
What are “One Ring” Phone Scams?
Scammers send out numerous calls that ring once and then disconnect. It is only natural for anyone to be curious to find out who called them and return such calls, especially from unknown numbers. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) in Wisconsin warns Milwaukee County residents never to return a one-ring phone call, especially from unknown phone numbers. Those who have fallen victim reported they were charged for each minute of the calls they tried to return, including international call fees. These unauthorized charges ended up in their monthly phone bills. Residents who believe they may have fallen victim to this scam should quickly contact their phone companies and file complaints with the FTC.
What are Social Security Phone Scams?
If you receive a call from someone who poses as an employee of the Social Security Administration (SSA) but suspects it may be a scam call, hang up. You can uncover the person's identity by doing a reverse phone number lookup. To trick their targets, these scammers usually spoof their phone numbers to display that of the SSA on receivers’ phones. In all the variations of the social security scam, fraudsters will request targets' SSNs and other identifying information. They use the information obtained for identity thefts. Milwaukee County residents should beware of these impostors. The SSA will never ask for residents' SSN or money over the phone. The Office of the Inspector General accepts complaints from residents who believe they may have fallen victim to social security scams.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
If you receive a call and hear an automated voice, that is most likely a robocall. Robocallers can send out thousands of calls per minute at relatively low costs. It is possible to confirm that an automated call is a robocall by using applications that provide free reverse phone lookups. Even though they are meant for legitimate purposes, con artists are now using robocalls to defraud innocent residents. In many instances, scammers spoof government agencies' phone numbers when robocalling to request money or personal information. The spate of robocall scams in the county has negatively impacted companies that use robocalls for legitimate purposes.
These are things you should do to avoid falling for robocall scams:
- End a robocall as soon as you recognize it and do not press any number as may be instructed. If you do so, it may lead to more robocalls.
- Be cautious if the number used looks like that of a familiar organization. Scammers know well to spoof phone numbers to gain the trust of their targets.
- Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. Doing this will help you identify fraudulent robocalls.
- Adopt the guides developed by the FCC on how to stop unwanted and illegal robocalls.
- File complaints with the FTC with the call details or report to them by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
How Can You Spot and Report Milwaukee County Phone Scams?
There is nothing more upsetting than falling victim to totally avoidable scams. Phone scammers make use of different tactics to fool their targets and are not relenting on frustrating every effort used for combating their cons. To avoid phone scams, residents of Milwaukee County must educate themselves about scammers' various ploys. The Federal Trade Commission recognizes the best way to prevent phone scams as not answering calls from unknown numbers. Residents must always look out for tell-tale signs when answering telephone calls from unknown callers to avoid scams. Some of these signs include:
- Scammers will ask you to make payment quickly. You do not have to pay immediately for legitimate offers.
- Con artists request payments through unusual payment channels. They often ask targets to pay via money transfers, bitcoins, and prepaid cards.
- Scammers will adopt every possible trick to have you disclose your personal information, such as PINs and passwords. They will commit financial and identity thefts with your information once divulged.
- Scammers will try to win targets over with offers that are too good to be true.
- Only a scammer will inform you of winning a contest you never entered and still request you to pay some fees to claim your winnings.
- Scammers pretend to be government officials and threaten you with arrest if you fail to pay some fines or disclose personal information.
Many residents of Milwaukee County have fallen victim to phone scams due to ignorance. To fight this menace, every resident must learn from the information and scam alerts shared by the several consumer protection agencies around. These agencies also have reporting channels for residents who are victims of phone scams. They include:
Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office - The MCSO provides support for other consumer protection agencies in the fight against phone scammers. It investigates reported cases of phone scams within the county. The MCSO uses search engines that offer phone number search free services to uncover fraudsters' identities and addresses during investigations. Milwaukee County residents conned by phone scammers can report to the MCSO by calling (414) 278-4766 or by email.
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC provides information on call blocking in a bid to protect residents from falling prey to phone scammers. It also advises residents to add their numbers to the Do Not Call Registry to prevent scams by unwanted robocalls. Registered residents will be able to ascertain that robocalls that come through after 31 days of joining the registry are potential scams. The FTC’s online complaint form can be used by scam victims to report their encounters.
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trading and Consumer Protection - The DATCP is Wisconsin's primary consumer protection agency. It protects Milwaukee County residents by providing consumer alerts to keep them abreast of the latest scams. Victims of phone scams can file complaints online with the DATCP. Alternatively, they can call (608) 224-4953 to report the details of the scams.