What are Waukesha County Area Codes?
Area codes are the first three digits of every North American telephone number. They specify the Numbering Plan Area (NPA) where calls are placed from. The Wisconsin Public Service Commission implements and regulates Waukesha County area codes. There are currently two area codes that cover Waukesha County. These include:
Area Code 262
Area code 262 covers the Southeastern part of Wisconsin. It was created as a split from area code 414 in 1999. Area 262 covers nearly all of the former area code 414 territories except Milwaukee County. It currently serves over 70 cities and villages in Waukesha County. Some of the cities covered by the area 262 code include the Cities of Waukesha, New Berlin, Big Bend, Delafield, Hartland, Sussex, Ottawa, Pewaukee, Wales, and Eagle.
Area Code 414
Area code 414 was created in 1947 as one of the two initial area codes assigned to the whole of Wisconsin. The Numbering Plan Area of the state was first split in 1955 when the western part of the state received a new area code. It was split again in 1997 when the northern part of the state moved to a new area code. Area code 414 covered only the Southeastern part of Wisconsin until 1999 when area code 262 was implemented. Area 262 was implemented as a geographic split, replacing nearly all the former area code 414 territories. Currently, area code 414 only covers a portion of Waukesha County, which includes the Cities of Muskego and Brookfield.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Waukesha County?
Phone carriers like AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, offer active cell phone coverage in Waukesha County, along with some Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). Verizon offers the best network coverage with 94% coverage. Sprint follows closely with 88% coverage and AT&T with 82% coverage. T-Mobile offers the least network coverage with only 68%. MVNOs are considered more affordable compared to major networks. Examples of MVNOs used in Waukesha County include Ting, Mint Mobile, and Tello.
According to a 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey, 54% of Wisconsin adults exclusively used wireless telephone services, while only 4.1% of the adults used landlines as their preferred telephony services. Among minors under the age of 18, 60.4% used wireless telephone services, while only 5.2% used landlines. In recent times, the percentage of Wisconsin adults and minors using only wireless telephone services has increased. With these figures, cell phones usage has superseded the use of landlines as the preferred telephony service in Waukesha County.
In Waukesha County, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has also experienced a significant increase in usage. Now, several residents use VoIP services for their businesses and for personal use. This is because it is cheaper and more versatile compared to regular telephony services.
What Are Waukesha County Phone Scams?
Waukesha County phone scams are fraudulent activities perpetrated by scammers using telephone services. They are deceptive practices used to steal money and personal information from county residents. Phone scammers generally use live calls, robocalls, voice phishing, or unwanted text messages to extort residents and over the phone. Reverse phone number lookup services can be used to expose the identities of scam callers.
Common phone scams in Waukesha County include the following:
What Are Impersonation Phone scams?
In impersonation scams, scammers pretend to be officers of the Waukesha Sheriff’s Department. They tell the residents that they have warrants out for their arrest, but they can help them avoid getting arrested if they pay certain amounts of money. Usually, they ask the residents to send the money via gift cards or wire transfers. Note that the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department never makes such demands. Calls like this are most likely from scammers. In addition, some scammers duplicate the phone numbers of officers of the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department to make their schemes believable. If you receive such a call, directly contact the Sheriff’s Department to verify the call.
A scammer may also call, pretending to be an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or Department of Treasury agent. Here, the scammer claims that the recipient owes back taxes and insists that they pay the money immediately. Note that the IRS or Department of Treasury does not contact citizens via phone calls, and if they must, they first inform the recipient of the call by email. They also never ask for money over the phone or make any threats. A free reverse phone lookup service can be used to answer the question “who is this number registered to.” This helps uncover the identity of the person calling.
What Are Family Assistance Scams?
This is also called the “Grandparent Scam.” Here, the scammer claims to be the target's grandchild or any other family member who is in some kind of trouble and needs immediate financial assistance. The scammer will also request that the recipient does not disclose the details of the call for the sake of secrecy. Usually, these scam callers request that their targets send them money via gift cards or other payment methods that are untraceable. Residents can use good reverse number lookup services to reveal the true identities of scammers.
What Are Tech Support Scams?
In a tech support scam, the caller claims to be calling from Microsoft, Google, or any other known IT company and informs the recipient that they have detected a problem with the recipient's computer. The caller then tells the recipient to check a place on their computer where they will see an error message. The error message is usually something completely normal on any functioning computer. The caller uses this to get their target to pay for fake products and services.
The caller may also request access to the target's computer under the pretense of helping them get rid of a virus or to fix specific software issues they claim the target's computer has. Usually, once they gain access to the target's computer, they lock the target out with ransomware and steal sensitive financial information such as saved passwords, credit card pins, and card numbers. Avoid answering unsolicited calls and use free reverse phone lookup services to identify and block scam callers.
What Are Investment Scams?
In investment scams, scammers claiming to be stockbrokers or portfolio managers call residents to offer financial or investment advice. They pretend to offer investments with low-risks and high returns. Sometimes, the scammers persuade the victims to invest in international companies. Note that offers like this sound legitimate and the scammers may even have resources to back up their claims. The scammers ask their victims to pay money upfront to take advantage of the seemingly great offers. Once the money is paid, the scammers take the money and the victims never get to hear from them again. Phone number search services can help verify whether these types of calls are made from legitimate investment businesses.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A Robocall is an automated phone call placed using an autodialer to deliver a prerecorded message. Typically, robocalls are used by telemarketers and political parties, or government agencies to manage public announcements. Robocalls are also used to carry out scams. Some robocalls are spam calls that attempt to sell fake products and services.
Phone scammers use robocalls to target many Waukesha County residents because they can reach many people with minimal effort and at really low costs. A reverse phone number search can help differentiate a robocall from a live call. The following are the different ways to handle robocall phone scams:
- Hang up the phone. Do not press any prompted number as this may lead to more robocalls.
- Enlist your telephone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. This will exempt you from receiving unwanted robocalls and other unsolicited calls.
- Some cell phone carriers offer tools for dealing with unwanted calls, for example, AT&T offers a free app called “Call Protect”. Contact your phone carrier to find out the available call blocking options.
- Ignore calls from unknown numbers and use reverse phone number lookup services to identify unknown numbers.
- Report illegal robocalls to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or call 1-888-382-1222. Note that the FTC also provides information on how to block unwanted calls.
How Can You Spot and Report Waukesha County Phone Scams?
Several institutions in Waukesha County have advised their residents about the prevalence of phone scammers in the county. These scammers use different tactics to defraud innocent people of their money. Residents must be vigilant and cautious when answering calls from unknown callers. Some of the common indicators that you are dealing with a scammer are;
- The scammer requests your personal information or asks you to make payment over the phone - The scammer may also impersonate legitimate agencies or businesses. However, it is important to note that legitimate agencies and businesses do not make calls like these. Terminate the call immediately and call the impersonated agency to report this.
- The call involves threat and a sense of urgency - Terminate the call immediately
- You receive intrusive calls from unfamiliar numbers, asking you to take the opportunity of an investment - Use a good reverse phone number lookup service to identify the caller.
- The callers request payment via gift cards, bitcoins, or wire transfers - This is an indicator that they want the payment to be untraceable and impossible to retrieve.
- Any calls asking residents to pay money before receiving a prize, grant, or holiday package - Hang up such calls and use call blocking apps to block such phone numbers.
Some institutions that provide information and assistance to residents of Waukesha County when dealing with phone scams include the following:
Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP): The DATCP provides residents with relevant information that protects them from falling victim to deceptive business practices. Victims of scams can file complaints with the DATCP or call 1-800-422-7128.
Wisconsin Department of Justice: The Wisconsin DOJ conducts investigations on consumer complaints and prosecutes scammers who disregard consumer laws. Victims of scams can file complaints with the DOJ.
Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department: Waukesha County residents who have been victims of phone scams can file reports in person at the department or by calling 262-548-7122
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC protects consumers from deceptive and fraudulent practices. The FTC initiated the National Do Not Call Registry as part of its efforts to eliminate unwanted calls. Any calls received after registering numbers on the DNC register are most likely scam calls.
Better Business Bureau -The Better Business Bureau investigates and exposes fraud against consumers in Waukesha County. They also provide information to consumers on legitimate business entities registered in Waukesha County.