The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) marked out Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) to designate telephone service territories. These NPAs are identified by area codes, which are the sets of three digits that begin all American telephone numbers. The Missouri Public Service Commission is in charge of administering and maintaining area codes in Jackson County. There is only one area code in service for Jackson County, which is area code 816.
Area code 816
Area code 816 is one of the two original area codes implemented for Missouri in 1947 by the NANP. It originally covered the entire western section of Missouri. It now covers Jackson County and most of the surrounding counties in north-west Missouri. Jackson County cities in this NPA include Lee’s Summit, Kansas City, Independence, Blue Springs, Buckner, Grandview, Grain Valley, Lake Tapawingo, and Lake Lotawana.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Jackson County?
According to a 2018 CDC Survey, 64.2% of adults over 18 years in Missouri used wireless-only telephone services and 2.5% used only landlines. For children or residents under 18 years, the survey reported that 2.5% used only landlines while 74.9% used wireless-only telephone services. This report suggested that wireless telephone technology had become the most commonly used form of telephony service in Jackson County.
The major network carriers all provide cell phone services in Jackson County. AT&T has the most robust coverage with 98% followed by Verizon at 88.2% and T-Mobile with 83.6%. Sprint has the lowest coverage at 56.2% but has roaming agreements with the other networks that allow Sprint customers to connect through their networks. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), smaller network operators who run on the major networks infrastructure, are also present in the state. They provide similar services for cheaper rates and are reasonable alternatives to the larger carriers.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a communication technology and delivers phone services over the internet. It is gaining popularity in the state because of its improved flexibility and lower cost compared to traditional telephone services. Jackson County has VoIP providers catering to home and business users.
What are Jackson County Phone Scams?
These are fraudulent acts committed using telephone services in order to steal sensitive information or money within the county jurisdiction. The Jackson County Sheriff's Office and the Missouri Attorney General's Office are the primary law enforcement agencies concerned with combating scams in the county. They provide information and alerts on scams occurring in the county and give aid to victims of scams. Some of the scams that are common in the county include:
What are Elderly Medicare Scams?
These scams mainly target the elderly. Elderly residents are contacted by scammers posing as representatives of local health departments or national organizations like Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS). Sometimes the scammers offer free medications or vaccines, and other times they claim the targets have problems with their medicare cards or health insurance. They will then ask for banking information to pay for shipping these medicines or ask for personal information to fix the problems with the Medicaid cards.
These scammers aim to deceive these senior citizens into parting with sensitive personal information or money. Never give out sensitive information to strange callers. As for the Medicaid cards, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) already have your information and will not call to ask for it. Hang up if you receive such calls and contact the CMS independently to confirm any issues with your account.
What are the C.A.R.E.S Act Payment Scams?
The recent CARES Act was passed to provide aid and relief to small businesses and individuals during the Coronavirus outbreak. Scammers are trying to take advantage of this to steal personal information and money from potential beneficiaries. They call residents and ask them to sign forms to get their payments early. Any person who calls and asks for your banking information, social security number, or other personal information is a scammer. There is no need to sign-up to become eligible to receive relief under the CARES Act. As long as a resident filed taxes for 2018 or 2019, the government already has all the information it needs to process the payments. No legitimate government representative will call to ask for your details or to help get payments early. Residents that have received calls like this can contact the Missouri Attorney General's Office at (800) 392-8222 or report to the FTC online.
What are Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office has alerted residents to scammers impersonating deputies of the Sheriff’s Office. Residents are receiving calls from a “Lieutenant Sullivan” and “Lieutenant Davis” in the Sheriff’s Office’s Warrant and Citations Unit. The scammers claim the targets have arrest warrants issued in their names and demand they pay to avoid arrests. Residents are advised that no such division exists within the Sheriff’s Office. Employees of the Sheriff’s Office will never call county residents and ask for money for any reason. If you have received such a call, contact the Sheriff’s Office immediately on (816) 541-8017.
What are Fake Charity Scams?
Targets of these scams receive calls supposedly from charitable organizations asking them to donate money to their causes. These scammers attempt to get money or banking information from the targets. Do not give out sensitive information to strangers over unsolicited phone calls. Always research charities before donating to avoid gifting scammers your money. An easy way to do this is by using a free phone number lookup application to answer the question “who called me?”
The Missouri Attorney General's Office invites each charity to provide an information package about itself. This package contains a description of the charity's mission, money collected during the reported year, and money spent that year on charitable programs, administration, and fund-raising. Residents can access a list of these charities as well as tips on donating to a charity on the Attorney General’s website.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is an automated telephone service that calls a number and plays a recorded message when the call is answered. This technology was created for political organizations and marketers to reach several potential customers and with minimal human interactions. However, scammers have co-opted the technology because it allows them to target many people covertly. Residents who receive such calls can put them through reverse phone lookup applications to retrieve information about the numbers used for these phone calls. This will allow the screening of calls from these phone numbers in the future.
Some ways to deal with these robocalls listed below:
- Hang up on the call as soon as you discover it is a robocall.
- Allow phone calls from unknown numbers to go to voicemail or answering services and only call back the numbers that leave valid messages.
- Do not follow any prompts or instructions during the call, even if they are instructions to stop more calls. Obeying such prompts only identifies your number as active and confirms it for more robocalls.
- Add your number to the Missouri No-Call List and the National Do Not Call Registry. Organizations that use robocalls subscribe to these registries and know to avoid numbers on them. This will help identify and screen illegal robocalls.
- Research and download a free phone number lookup application to help identify and block robocalls.
- Inform the Federal Trade Commission or the Federal Communications Commission of any robocall abuse. Residents can file complaints online or call the FTC at 1(888) 382-1222.
How Can You Spot and Report Jackson County Phone Scams?
Fraudsters are continuously devising new ways to steal information and money from unsuspecting residents. A lot of these are simply variations of old scams. The best way to combat scams is to be educated on the different cons and how they operate. Some signs that indicate a phone call is from a fraudster are:
- A call from a government organization employee who asks you to make a payment using an unofficial channel. Payments to government agencies are usually made via their websites or at their offices, not through wire transfers and gift cards.
- A call from a law enforcement officer asking for a payment to overlook a crime or rescind a warrant and threatening arrest if you refuse. Legitimate law enforcement officers will never ask for payments over the phone or threaten you to obtain your compliance.
- A caller is trying to actively dissuade you from asking questions or cross-checking their information and claims. These are scammers who are unable to back up their stories with proof.
- A caller insists on immediate payment and uses threats or pleas of urgency to push you into action. The scammers do not want targets to take the time to think clearly and make logical conclusions.
- If you are still receiving robocalls even when your number is listed on the national and state do not call registers, these are most likely scam calls.
Jackson County residents can protect themselves by using phone number lookup applications to identify callers by name, number, or address. Government agencies provide information and aid to residents in the fight against phone scams. Some of these government agencies are:
Local Law Enforcement
The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office is the main arm of law enforcement in the county. Along with the police departments in major cities of the county, it provides regular alerts and updates about scams in the county. They use local news outlets and social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to do so. Victims and targets of these scams can contact the Sheriff’s Office at (816) 541-8017.
State Division of Consumer Protection
The Missouri Attorney General Office has a Consumer Protection Division whose main duty is to ensure a safe and fair business environment for all residents. It protects consumers that live and work in the state from fraudsters. It also operates the Missouri No-Call List. Fraud victims in the state can report online or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1 (800) 392-8222.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The Federal Communications Commission is in charge of the communications sector nationwide. Its duty includes the protection of residents from phone scams and frauds. It distributes regular scam alerts about phone scams. It also provides advice on how to avoid phone spoofing and how to stop robocalls. Residents can file reports online at the FCC if they have been targeted by phone scams.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The Federal Trade Commission is the federal body in charge of ensuring safe and fair business practices. It provides advice on how to block unwanted calls and sends out regular scam alerts on their website. It also maintains and updates the National Do Not Call Registry. Residents can report scams online or call the FTC at 1 (888) 382-1222.