What are Sheboygan County Area Codes?
The single area code serving Sheboygan County is area code 920. An area code is a number designating a numbering plan area (NPA). The current area codes used in the US are three-digit numbers introduced when AT&T created the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947. By dividing the country into NPAs and assigning area codes to them, the NANP simplified the nation’s call routing and switching systems. This made long-distance calls easier to complete and also made it easier to trace the origins of phone calls. Every phone number issued in the US has an area code. This is the first three digits in a typical 10-digit phone number. This area code designates the part of the country where the phone number was issued and registered.
Area Code 920
Created from a split of area code 414 on July 26, 1997, area code 920 serves most of the eastern part of Wisconsin. It covers 18 counties in the state including Sheboygan County. Communities in the county served by area code 920 include Sheboygan, Sheboygan Falls, Plymouth, Cedar Grove, and Cascade.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Sheboygan County?
Like the rest of the state, most of the residents of Sheboygan have replaced their landline phones and made the switch to wireless phone services. The shift in telephone preference was recorded in a 2018 wireless substitution survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. The results of that survey indicated that 54% of the adults in Wisconsin only used wireless phones for their telecommunication needs. In contrast, 4.1% of this demographic registered as landline-only phone users. Among minors in Wisconsin, 60.4% solely used wireless phones while 2% still relied on landline phone services.
Residents of Sheboygan County can sign up for cell phone plans from national carriers and regional phone service providers. AT&T has the most extensive cell phone network in Wisconsin with a 91.5% coverage of the state. Verizon and T-Mobile follow closely with 88.6% and 77.1% coverage respectively. Regional carriers are usually mobile virtual network operators or MVNOs. Therefore, they rely on the network infrastructure of major carriers and buy network services in bulk orders from them. By passing on some of the savings from the bulk purchases, they can offer cheaper, but limited, cell phone plans to phone users in the areas they serve.
Besides landline and cell phone services, Sheboygan County residents and businesses can also sign up for VoIP phone services. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a communication technology that enables the transmission of voice signals over the internet. VoIP phone services convert analog signals to digital ones and move them across the internet as data packets. These services require fast internet access and are most cost-effective for users with existing broadband internet access. VoIP phone services are cheaper than cell phone services for long-distance calls and video calls.
What are Sheboygan County Phone Scams?
These are telephone frauds committed by individuals targeting the residents of Sheboygan County as well as organizations situated there. Scammers establish communication with their victims by phone calls and text messages. Most scams conclude with victims never meeting those defrauding them. Fraudsters cast wide nets for potential targets by using spam calls and robocalls to reach large numbers of phone users. They also run impostor scams convincingly by using caller ID spoofing and phishing to gain the trust of their victims.
To avoid and unmask phone scammers, residents of Sheboygan County need to learn how to use call blocking and reverse phone lookup to fight telephone frauds. Furthermore, they should know all about the common phone scams in their communities. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) identifies commonly reported phone scams in the state including grandparent scams, lottery scams, fake check scams, and IRS scams.
What are Sheboygan County Grandparent Scams?
The targets of these fraudulent schemes are usually elderly residents tricked into sending money to strangers pretending to be their loved ones. Fraudsters claiming to be the loved ones of their targets call to ask for urgent financial help to overcome certain emergencies. They usually claim to need the money to pay hospital bills, buy flight tickets to return home from foreign lands, and pay for bail bonds to get out of jail. These scammers will often ask their victims to keep the help a secret from other family members, claiming they will be embarrassed for others to find out.
Sheboygan County residents contacted by loved ones asking for urgent financial help should refrain from hurrying to send them money. They should confirm the identities of such callers as well as their claims by calling the loved ones directly using the numbers saved on their phones. They can also call other family members to verify these claims and the whereabouts of their loved ones. Lastly, they should confirm the identities and/or locations of such callers with reverse phone number lookups.
What are Sheboygan County Lottery Scams?
There are two major types of lottery scams: those in which fraudsters claim their victims won lotteries and those in which they promise to improve their victims’ odds of winning lotteries. These scams also extend to sweepstakes and other competitions involving free products and services as prizes. Scammers contacting unsuspecting residents to congratulate them on winning bogus lotteries ask that they send money to cover taxes and fees for processing their winnings. Fraudsters promising to increase their victims’ odds of winning fleece them repeatedly by charging monthly subscriptions to their credit cards.
Sheboygan County residents should be wary of strangers promising them huge riches from lotteries. If you get a call from a stranger claiming you won a lottery, sweepstakes, or free gift, research the competition online and confirm the caller’s identity. A free reverse phone lookup can help discover the true identity of the caller and confirm that they are not affiliated with the organizer of the competition they claim you won.
What are Sheboygan County Fake Check Scams?
Victims of these scams receive checks from strangers or recent acquaintances they mostly communicate with online. Such checks may be payments for services rendered, goods bought, donations, or winnings. The scammer asks the victim to send a small percentage of the amount on the check back and keep the rest. However, the victim soon realizes they have been duped when their bank calls to inform them that the presented check is a fake.
It is possible to avoid check scams by refusing to get paid with checks. Residents receiving checks from strangers should refrain from wiring money back until the check clears into their accounts. If you get a check from a stranger, try to confirm their real identity with a reverse number lookup before presenting the check at your bank. Presenting a fake check is an offense in most parts of the US.
What are Sheboygan County IRS Scams?
These are impostor scams in which fraudsters impersonate employees of the IRS to dupe unsuspecting residents. These fraudsters may call to ask for owed taxes or offer their victims tax refunds. They are rude when demanding overdue taxes and sound helpful when offering bogus refunds. Fraudsters asking for tax remittance use threats to scare their victims into immediately sending money directly to them. Those offering refunds ask for the victims’ Social Security numbers and other confidential information they can use for identity theft.
Residents of Sheboygan County should know that the IRS does not call taxpayers except when such calls are scheduled. The IRS initiates contact and communicates by mail. Residents must never send money or release confidential information to strangers on the phone even if they claim to work for the IRS. If you can see the caller’s phone number, use a suspicious phone number lookup to verify their identity and include this in your report to the appropriate authorities.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls delivering pre-recorded messages to lots of phone users. They are useful for sending out public service announcements, political messages, charity solicitations, and telemarketing pitches. However, most robocalls received by American phone users are from scammers. Fraudsters have adopted robocall campaigns because they are easy to set and even easier to keep running. Robocalls are cost-effective mass communication tools that can be used to find new targets for fraudulent schemes.
Like robocalls, spam calls are also bulk phone calls placed to large numbers of phone numbers. However, spam calls are usually sent out by telemarketing teams delivering sales pitches. Residents of Sheboygan County intent on stopping or reducing the deluge of spam calls and robocalls should consider the following tips:
- Do not trust your phone’s caller ID to correctly identify unknown callers. Scammers use caller ID spoofing to make their calls look like they are from known and respected entities
- Do not pick calls from unknown numbers. Let these go to voicemail and review the messages left to determine which ones are from real contacts
- Hang up if you unknowingly picked a robocall or spam call
- Do not follow instructions provided during such calls about what to do to stop receiving further calls. Such prompts are provided by scammers and spammers to filter phone users willing to engage with them
- Set up your phone to block calls from unknown numbers or blacklisted ones. Smartphones have such call filtering features. Similarly, carriers and some mobile apps offer call blocking services
- Use a well-reviewed phone number lookup tool or website to identify unknown callers. This service can help you tell genuine contacts from scammers, spammers, and stalkers. The search results provided by such services are also useful when reporting fraudsters to law enforcement
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry online to stop receiving unsolicited calls from telemarketers. Robocalls received after 31 days of joining this registry are likely from scammers and dubious telemarketers. Report these to the FCC
How to Spot and Report Sheboygan County Phone Scams
Residents of Sheboygan County can easily spot scammers targeting them if they know what to look out for. Scammers need to resort to certain tactics that give them away as long as they aim to defraud their targets and steal confidential information. When speaking to strangers on the phone, look out for these red flags:
- While pretending to be authority figures, scammers threaten their victims to force compliance. They usually use the threat of arrest, deportation, loss of home, or revocation of their driver’s licenses
- While impersonating employees of reputable and well-known public and private organizations, scammers will ask for payments sent directly to them. They ask for payments via unofficial channels including by cash, wire transfer, mobile app transfer, gift cards, prepaid debit cards, and cryptocurrencies
- Fraudsters running consumer scams and investment frauds pressure their victims into committing immediately by offering steep discounts on already low prices or claiming their unbelievable offers will soon expire
- When asked to provide written documentation supporting their claims and establishing their identities, scammers redirect such enquiries and rather offer paid testimonials and vague celebrity endorsements
If any of these red flags make you suspicious of an unknown caller, try to unmask them with a reverse phone number lookup. Report such callers to the right authorities to bring them to justice and help others avoid them. Residents of Sheboygan County can report phone scams to these agencies:
- The Bureau of Consumer Protection of Wisconsin’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) - this is the state’s consumer protection agency. Its responsibilities include protecting Wisconsin consumers from scams and underhanded business practices. The Bureau publishes scam-prevention tips and consumer alerts. Residents of Sheboygan County can report phone scams to the agency by emailing DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov, calling (800) 422-7128, or sending complaints to:
Bureau of Consumer Protection
2811 Agriculture Drive
PO Box 8911
Madison, WI 53708-8911
- The Treasury Inspector General Administration (TIGTA) - this is the federal agency tasked with investigating IRS scams. If you receive a call from a stranger claiming to work for the IRS, report them immediately to the TIGTA by submitting an IRS impostor scam complaint online
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - this is the federal consumer protection agency responsible for safeguarding American consumers from unfair and deceitful business practices. The FTC has the power to investigate any fraud involving consumer transactions. Residents of Sheboygan County should report consumer scams to the FTC online or by calling (877) 382-4357
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - in addition to maintaining the National Do Not Call Registry, the FCC regulates the entire communication industry in the US. Therefore, its responsibilities include ensuring phone tools and services are used legally. Residents of Sheboygan County can report those violating the Do Not Call Registry as well as illegal robocalls, spam calls, caller ID spoofing, and phishing to the FCC. The FCC will also investigate phone scam reports submitted to its Consumer Complaint Center