The single area code serving the communities in Jasper County is area code 414. An area code is a number assigned to a numbering plan area (NPA). The current area code system was introduced along with NPAs when AT&T created the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947. This improved call routing and switching across telephone networks in participating countries. The improved efficiency was possible by dividing the United States into NPAs corresponding to specific geographic areas. While some NPAs spanned entire states, some only covered one city or county. Each NPA was given a three-digit numeric designation referred to as an area code. Every phone number issued in the US has an area code. In a typical 10-digit American phone number, the first three digits represent the area code.
Area Code 417
Area code 417 was created in 1951 in a split plan that shrank the NPA assigned to area code 816, one of the two area codes originally assigned to Missouri. The 417 NPA is one of the least populated NPAs in the US and the area code is projected to be near exhaustion no earlier than 2031. The communities in Jasper County served by area code 417 include Joplin, Carthage, Oronogo, and Webb City.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Jasper County?
While some of the residents of Jasper County and Missouri still use landline phone services, most of them have made the switch to wireless phone services. The results of a 2018 wireless substitution survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics show that 64.2% of the adults in the state solely used wireless phone services for telecommunication. In contrast, only 3.2% of them still relied exclusively on landline phone services. A larger percentage of minors in Missouri have made the switch to wireless phone services. The 2018 survey also concluded that 74.9% of Missouri residents under the age of 18 were wireless-only phone users. Only 2.5% of this demographic indicated that they only used landline phones for telecommunication.
Cell phone plans available in Jasper County include those offered by national and regional carriers. AT&T leads the pack with 98% coverage of Missouri. Verizon and T-Mobile cover 88.2% and 83.6% of the state respectively. Regional carriers operating in Missouri are mostly mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). These rely on national carriers for network infrastructure and also buy network services from them in bulk. They can offer cheaper cell phone plans because they repackage these services and pass on some of the savings to their customers.
VoIP phone service is a third telephony option for residents of Jasper County. VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a communication technology that sends voice signals over the internet as data packets. VoIP phone services require fast internet access and are easier to deploy for residents with existing broadband internet services. There are certain advantages to enabling phone services over the internet. For example, extended calls and long-distance calls are much more affordable on VoIP phone plans than on landline and cell phone plans.
What are Jasper County Phone Scams?
These are telephone frauds targeting people and businesses in Jasper County. Scammers running such frauds may be other residents or live far away. Out-of-state and foreign fraudsters need phone tools and services to communicate with and defraud residents of Jasper County. Besides simple calls and text messages, these individuals also use robocalls and spam calls to reach out to potential victims and find new targets for their scams. After initiating communication, they may employ caller ID spoofing and phishing to gain the trust of their targets and extract money and valuable information from them using deception.
Residents of Jasper County can also counter scam attempts with phone tools. They can avoid potential scammers with call blocking and identify unknown callers with reverse phone number lookup. Along with these phone tools, it is important that residents learn about prevalent telephone frauds in their communities and how these scams are run. The most common phone scams in Missouri include lottery scams, charity scams, debt relief and credit repair scams, and travel and timeshare scams
What are Jasper County Lottery Scams?
A lottery scam starts with the fraudster calling their target and congratulating them on winning a lottery. The fraudster may also claim they won a sweepstakes or a free gift from a promotion. This is usually a lottery, sweepstakes, or promotion the target has never heard of or did not enter. Scammers that go with lotteries often name foreign lotteries their targets cannot verify easily. After getting their victims excited about bogus winnings, these fraudsters then ask them to pay some money to collect their prizes. They claim such payments will cover taxes or the costs of processing and shipping/transferring their winnings.
Lottery, prize, and sweepstakes scams are easy to spot. Jasper County residents only need to remember that it is illegal to ask the winners of lotteries, sweepstakes, and promotions to pay any amount before receiving their prizes. Legitimate organizers of such competitions and promotions do not ask winners to send money before claiming their prizes. Furthermore, a free gift is no longer free if you have to pay something to get it. If contacted by a stranger claiming you won a lottery, sweepstakes, or promotion, ask them to verify their identities and ask probing questions about the competition. Consider using a free phone number search to discover the true identity and location of the caller. Go online to research the lottery the caller claims you won. A little search will help you find out if the lottery is real or not as well as when it runs and the organization running it.
What are Jasper County Charity Scams?
These scams involve fraudsters posing as fundraisers for charities and calling unsuspecting residents to solicit donations. These scams are most common after disasters and calls for relief efforts to help survivors as well as during holiday seasons. Charity scammers may ask for money on behalf of real charities or make up fake charities with names that sound like real ones. Regardless of the tactics chosen by a scammer, make sure to ask probing questions before donating money when contacted by strange callers.
First, establish the caller’s identity. Confirm that they indeed work for the charity they claim to represent and that the charity is real. A quick and free phone number search can help determine whether the caller is who they claim they are. Call the charity directly with the number listed on their official website to ask if the caller represents them. Other questions to ask include whether donations are tax-deductible and the percentage of donations the charity uses for the cause they claim to support.
What are Jasper County Debt Relief and Credit Repair Scams?
These fraudulent schemes target people seeking urgent financial help and those recovering from bankruptcies and debilitating debts. Scammers target these individuals by offering to help them get business, personal, or student loans, repair their bad credit scores, and help them get lower credit card interest rates. However, these fraudsters ask their targets to pay for their services before rendering them. After getting paid a fee, a credit repair/debt relief scammer may disappear with the victim’s money or offer ineffective and illegal solutions to their problems. Such fraudsters may ask their victims to create new identities and buy new Social Security numbers. These solutions are illegal and/or can ruin victims’ credit further.
Do not believe anyone claiming they can repair your bad credit. Restoring a bad credit requires paying off your debts, maintaining financial discipline, and time for these good deeds to reflect on your credit scores. Be wary of callers claiming they can help you get government loans if you send them some money. The government does not require those requesting loans to pay before receiving such financial help. Investigate such callers with phone number lookup searches to determine the real identities and affiliations to the organizations granting loans.
What are Jasper County Travel and Timeshare Scams?
Travel scams involve fraudsters peddling free or low-cost vacations and hoping to defraud residents who are eager to travel. In some cases, victims only realize they have been duped when their scammers disappear after receiving payments. In other instances, the vacations offered deliver sub-par experience and have hidden costs. The free or low-cost vacation deals may be basic packages that require vacationers to pay to upgrade to better accommodation, flight, or tour options.
Timeshare scams involve scammers promising to help their victims list and sell their timeshares for some money. These fraudsters make no effort to help sell such timeshares after getting paid. Before paying for a discounted travel package or timeshare resale service, make sure to verify the identity of the person offering the deal. Use a free phone number lookup to see if their number has been flagged for previous scam attempts. Also, read the fineprints of vacation deals before signing up and looking out for hidden costs and unfavorable conditions and requirements.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls delivering pre-recorded messages to large groups of phone users. These calls are placed by auto-dialers that require little further effort to keep running after initial set up. Robocalls are commonly used by political campaigns, telemarketers, and organizations delivering public service announcements. Scammers have also adopted robocalls and are responsible for most robocalls received by American phone users.
Like robocalls, spam calls are also unwanted phone calls sent out to lots of phone users. However, spam calls are likely to be placed by people, rather than auto-dialers, delivering scripted telemarketing messages. There are efforts to curtail the scourge of robocalls and spam calls. However, residents of Jasper County can stop, or at least reduce the number, of these unsolicited calls reaching their phones by following these steps:
- Let calls from unknown numbers go to voicemail where you can review them and decide which ones are from genuine contacts
- Do not trust your phone’s caller ID function to identify unknown callers. Scammers using caller ID spoofing can easily change their caller information to increase the chances that their targets will pick their calls
- Hang up as soon as you discover a call is a robocall or spam call
- Identify unknown callers with reverse phone lookup tools. These will help determine whether they are scammers, spammers, or stalkers. The information gathered from such searches can be included in reports given to law enforcement
- Use call filtering solutions to block calls from unknown or blacklisted numbers. Smartphones, carriers, and third-party phone apps offer call blocking functions. Use one or more of these to stop unwanted calls from your ringing your phone
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry and Missouri’s No-Call List to stop receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls. Note that scammers and dubious telemarketers do not obey the rules of these registries. You can report illegal robocalls received, after the wait periods for both lists, to the right authorities.
How to Spot and Report Jasper County Phone Scams
Learning to spot telephone scams requires knowing how these scams work. However, there are a lot of phone scams out there. Fortunately, these scams have certain common threads that wary targets can look out for. As long as scammers aim to defraud their targets or use deception to steal their confidential information, they will do one of more of these:
- Use threats to force compliance. While posing as authority figures, scammers will resort to threats when their targets resist their demands. Common threats used include immediate arrest, jail, deportation, loss of homes, and revocation of licenses
- Ask for money sent via unofficial channels. Only a scammer will request that you pay a fine, outstanding tax, and utility bill or send charity donation by cash, prepaid debit cards, gift cards, mobile app transfer, wire transfer, or cryptocurrency
- Get aggressive when pushing business and investment offers. Scammers make their victims fear they will miss out on great deals by claiming their no-risk, high-reward opportunities are only available for a limited time
- Refuse to provide written documentation supporting their claims and establishing their identities. Scammers avoid providing documents that can reveal their true identities and cannot provide genuine documents to make their outlandish claims official
Residents of Jasper County tipped off by these signs should try to identify the strangers trying to defraud them by searching them numbers with reverse phone number lookup tools. They should also report these scams whether they are successful or not. Jasper County residents can help law enforcement find fraudsters and help raise public awareness about prevalent phone scams by reporting them to the following agencies:
- The Consumer Protection Section of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office - this agency enforces the state’s consumer protection laws and ensures a fair marketplace for residents. Report a scam by filing a consumer complaint on the Attorney General’s website
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - as the federal consumer protection agency, the FTC protects Americans from unfair and fraudulent business practices. It receives reports of consumer scams and investigates fraudsters and dishonest businesses suspected of cheating American consumers. Residents of Jasper County can report consumer scams to the FTC online or by calling (877) 382-4357
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - as the regulator of all communication in the country, the FCC’s authority extends to the telecommunications industry. It enforces the National Do Not Call Registry and prosecutes those deploying illegal robocalls, spam calls, caller ID spoofing, and phishing. The FCC also investigates phone scam reports. Report a successful or failed telephone fraud attempt to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center