What are Winnebago County Area Codes?
Area codes are the sequence of three numbers that precede all ten-digit North American telephone numbers. Winnebago County area code specifies the Numbering Plan Area (NPA) in the county as provided by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oversees all area codes in the United States. However, it authorizes the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin to administer and implement them in Wisconsin, including Winnebago County. Only area code 920 currently serves Winnebago County.
Area Code 920
Area code 920 is a Wisconsin telephone code created from a split of the 414 NPA and put into service in 1999. It includes Winnebago County and many other counties in Wisconsin. The major cities and communities in Winnebago County within the 920 NPA include Oshkosh, Winneconne, Pickett, Omro, Larsen, Neenah, and Menasha.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Winnebago County?
A 2018 CDC survey conducted for Wisconsin residents showed a decline in the use of landline phones and widespread adoption of cell phones for telephony services. The survey estimated that 54.0% of adults in the state used cell phones only, while only 4.1% exclusively used landlines for telecommunications. Wisconsin's children (under 18 years) showed appreciable adoption of wireless telephony services. About 60.4% of them used cell phones solely, while an insignificant 2.0% still used landline phones exclusively.
Although the four major network operators provide services in Winnebago County, not all four have a full representation in some of the communities within the county. Residents of such locations enjoy more affordable network services offered by numerous Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MNVOs). In Oshkosh, the county seat, the only operating national phone carrier, Verizon covers the entire city at 100%. However, in the City of Neenah, AT&T and Verizon boast the best service coverage with the same coverage score, followed closely by Sprint. T-Mobile provides the least network coverage in the city.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a communication technology that uses broadband internet connections to provide telephony services for business and home uses. Its growing usage in Winnebago County cannot be separated from residents' widespread adoption of cell phones as their major telephony devices. VoIP offers telephone services that are more flexible and efficient than wireless telephony and landlines.
What are Winnebago County Phone Scams?
Scammers usually extort unsuspecting Winnebago County residents using phone scams. Phone scams are deceptive cons that use telephone services as the medium of stealing money and obtaining information for financial and identity theft. Reverse phone number lookup services can return information on phone scammers who use live phone calls, text messages, or robocalls to defraud Winnebago County residents. Phone scammers favor phone spoofing as it helps them impersonate veritable businesses and government agencies in a bid to fool unsuspecting targets into trusting them. Scam schemes that employ phone spoofing stand a high chance of being successful. However, using applications that offer free reverse phone lookup services, residents can identify spoofed calls and avoid falling victim to scams.
There are two major actors when it comes to consumer protection in Winnebago County. These are the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office (WCSO). The DATCP periodically publishes and documents scam alerts to keep residents abreast of the latest scams and protect them from falling prey. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) also play significant roles in ensuring the protection of residents against phone scams.
Some of the frequently perpetrated phone scams in Winnebago County are:
What are Winnebago County Jury Duty Scams?
Winnebago County residents contacted by phone out of the blue by persons who claim to be with the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office (WCSO) and suspect scams should hang up immediately. Reverse phone number lookup services can uncover the real identities of such individuals. In jury duty scams, fraudsters attempt to defraud residents by falsely representing themselves as officers of the WCSO and informing them that they failed to appear for jury duty. They often spoof targeted residents' Caller IDs to make them believe that legitimate officers of the WCSO are calling them. However, phone number search applications can help identify spoofed phone calls and prevent residents from these scams. The scammers tell their victims to pay associated fines for missing jury duty immediately or risk the consequences. Their preferred mediums of receiving payment include wire transfers, gift cards, credit cards, and sometimes, mailed cash. During their conversation, they may ask marks to provide some identifying information such as their names, addresses, and social security numbers for supposed verifications. The scammers threaten targets who they observe as hesitant to pay requested fines with immediate arrest.
Winnebago County residents should know that it is illegal for employees of the WCSO to solicit payment of fines from jurors. They will never do that or inquire about your personal information over the phone. The agency warns residents to be careful of such callers preying on their data to commit financial and identity thefts.
What are Winnebago County Grandparent Scams?
These scams target elderly residents of Winnebago County, earning them the grandparent scams name. Scammers who employ this scheme pretend to be their targets' grandchildren or distant relatives and claim to be in some predicaments and require money urgently to resolve them. Their identities can be uncovered using reverse number lookup applications. The reports from most cases within the county have it that they typically claim to have been hospitalized, arrested, involved in road crashes or stranded overseas. The scammers usually prey on their targets' emotions and plead with them to send money immediately to avoid something terrible from happening to them. They appeal to their marks to keep such phone conversations secret from their parents and other relatives, a trick to dissuade them from reaching out to confirm their bogus claims. The scammers blame embarrassment for wanting to keep such engagement private.
In another variant of these scams, the fraudsters will have their accomplices who may pose as law enforcement or attorneys speak with their targets to corroborate claims. The WCSO advises that you should always find a way of verifying the claims, regardless of the scammers' threat. The best way to do that is by contacting other family members before responding to the scammers' demands. Winnebago County residents should be careful if they receive these suspicious calls to avoid scams. They can run such callers' phone numbers through suspicious phone number lookup applications to identify them.
What are Winnebago County Utility Scams?
Never be fooled by unknown callers pretending to be employees of your local utility provider and attempting to rip you off. Applications offering number lookup services can help you confirm if such a caller is a representative of your utility company and avoid scams. The callers leverage the fact that legitimate utility providers allow various channels for paying bills. However, none of such methods is unconventional. The scammers often claim that targeted Winnebago County residents have delinquent energy, water, or phone bills that must be paid immediately. They like requesting payment via wire transfers or ask their targets to purchase gift cards and send the card numbers. The callers will threaten to shut off services to their marks if they do not make payments the same day.
Legitimate utility service providers do not call residents to threaten disconnection at short notice. Generally, they notify customers with overdue bills, usually more than once, using written letters and sending them by mail. Anyone claiming to be with your local utility company and threatening disconnection without prior correspondence is a scammer. If you receive this type of call and suspect it might be a scam call, hang up immediately. If you are unable to match the caller's identity with your local utility provider using a reverse phone lookup service, then the caller is possibly a fraudster. Verify such caller's claims by calling your service company on the phone number provided on your monthly utility bill. Never send money to them, regardless of their threats of disconnection.
What are Winnebago County Social Security Scams?
These scams are popular in the United States and are primarily perpetrated to steal unsuspecting residents' confidential information and money. Scammers claim to be with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and call Winnebago County residents to inform them that law enforcement is investigating fraudulent activities linked to their Social Security Numbers (SSNs). They further claim that the agency has suspended their Social Security Numbers (SSNs) for that reason. Typically, the scammers will offer to help and then provide phone numbers for the targets to call in a bid to resolve the issues with their SSNs. Residents can conduct phone number searches to ascertain if the phone number provided is registered to the SSA.
In most cases, the scammers inform people who call these phone numbers to visit their banks, withdraw all their money, and wire it to them for safekeeping. They fool their victims into believing the SSA will refund their money once they are issued new SSNs. The SSA or its agents do not operate in this manner. Anyone who calls you to claim that your SSN has been suspended is a fraudster. Reverse phone lookup services can help you retrieve the real identity of such a person and avoid social security scams. The SSA advises that you end such a call and file a report with the Office of the Inspector General by calling 1 (800) 269-0271.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls deliver pre-recorded messages using auto-dialers, and it does so to mass phone numbers. While they are used legitimately in some quarters to disseminate information, phone scammers use robocalls for extortion and all kinds of malicious purposes. Anyone can identify a robocall and avoid scams using reverse number lookup applications. Spam calls are unwanted calls directed to random mass phone numbers, usually for phishing and advertising. Robocalls are a form of spam calls. They are intrusive and usually get residents overwhelmed daily.
Typically, scammers spoof robocalls and impersonate legitimate agencies in an attempt to steal unsuspecting residents' money and personal information. However, free reverse phone lookup services, if used by residents, can help them to identify spoofed robocalls. Robocalls provide scammers with anonymous identities, which is why it is difficult for law enforcement to track them. The following are the actions to take to avoid robocall scams:
- Use applications that provide phone number search services to retrieve caller’s identity and ascertain if they are registered to the Caller ID name. Once identified as a spam number, block it from further calling you using call-blocking applications.
- End a call as soon as you recognize it is a robocall. Listening further only leads to more messages that could end up defrauding you.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Any robocall that comes through your phone after 31 days of registration is likely a scam call.
- Report robocall abuse online to the FTC or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222
How Can You Spot and Report Winnebago County Phone Scams?
Phone scammers are good at what they do and mostly impersonate veritable entities to convince Winnebago County residents and then dupe them. You can uncover unknown callers' real identities using reverse phone number lookup applications and avoid scams. Fraudsters usually manipulate their targets' ignorance to obtain personal and financial information to commit identity and financial fraud. However, Winnebago County residents can avoid scams by learning to identify the tell-tale signs of phone scams, and these include:
- Scammers usually offer free services or inform you that you have won a gift. They will further tell you to pay some fees to benefit from such services or redeem your prize.
- Fraudsters pretend to be employees of government agencies and request confidential information. They may inquire about PINs, passwords, and social security numbers but do not disclose them for any reason.
- Scammers are fond of requesting payment via prepaid cards, wire transfers, or mailed cash. In some instances, they may ask you to provide your credit card numbers and PIN to conclude payment.
- Scammers frequently pose as law enforcement to threaten arrest or other stringent actions for undisclosed crimes and ask you to send money to cancel proposed actions.
- Fraudsters seek quick payments when they offer you something that appears overly attractive without giving you time to think about your options. Legitimate businesses will never coerce you into making impromptu purchases.
Winnebago County residents who have been victims of phone scams can file their complaints with relevant consumer protection agencies. These agencies provide phone scams awareness and are fully involved in the fight against phone scams. They include:
Winnebago County Sheriff's Office - The WCSO protects county residents from falling victim to scams. Persons who believe they may have been victims of phone scams in the county can report to the Sheriff's Office by calling (920) 236-7300. They can also file complaints with the WCSO in person at 4311 Jackson St, Oshkosh, WI 54901.
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trading and Consumer Protection - The DATCP is the primary consumer protection agency in Wisconsin. The agency educates residents with consumer alerts to keep them informed of the scam trends. Winnebago County residents can file phone scam complaints with the DATCP by calling (608) 224-4953 or online with the DATCP.
Federal Communications Commissions - The FCC educates residents on how to stop robocalls and avoid phone scams. Winnebago County residents who fall victim to illegal and spoofed robocalls can file complaints with the FCC online or by calling 1 (888) 225-532
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC manages the National Do Not Call List. Winnebago County residents whose phone numbers are registered on this list are not likely to fall victim to illegal robocalls. You can report robocall scams and other phone scams with the FTC online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.