A standard American telephone number is ten digits and the first three digits are what make area codes. Area codes were introduced as part of the North American Numbering Plan. They indicate a location as a numbering plan area and identify the part of the country a phone call originates.
There are currently two area codes serving Barnstable County. These codes cover all of Barnstable County and parts of other surrounding counties.
Area Code 508
Area code 508 is a telephone area code in the North American Numbering Plan for the State of Massachusetts. It serves some areas in Barnstable County and parts of other surrounding counties. Area code 508 was created in a split from area code 617 on July 16, 1988. Permissive dialing of 617 and 508 continued until January 1, 1989. Area code 508 covers several cities in Barnstable County. These include Barnstable, Brewster, Falmouth, Harwich, Mashpee, Orleans, etc.
Area Code 774
Area code 774 was created as an overlay plan for area code 508. It was added to the 508 numbering plan area on May 2, 2001. The addition of area code 774 made ten-digit dialing mandatory for all local calls. Area code 774 covers parts of Barnstable and other surrounding counties. The Barnstable County area covered by area code 774 includes Barnstable, Sandwich, Falmouth, Orleans, Provincetown Harwich, Dennis, etc.
Residents of Barnstable County may receive calls from family or friends outside the county or the State of Massachusetts. Such calls usually have different area codes from what is obtainable in the state. Scammers often take advantage of residents' ignorance to lie about where they are calling from. With area code lookup services, residents can identify where phone calls originate. As of 2018, NPA 508/774 is projected to be exhausted by 2045.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Barnstable County?
A 2018 National Center of Health Statistics Survey estimated that 39.9% of adults in Massachusetts exclusively used wireless telephone services. By contrast, only 6.5% of adults in the state chose landline as their only telephony service. Some adults in the State of Massachusetts used one of the two telephone services as their preferred choice and the other as an alternate choice. To that effect, 29.9% of adults used wireless telephone services as their preferred option, while only 7.6% used landlines as their first choice telephone services.
The disparity is more evident among minors (under 18s), with 43.7% preferring wireless telephone services as their only choice. By contrast, only 0.8% exclusively used landlines as their telephony service. 27.6% of minors in the State of Massachusetts used wireless telephone services as their first choice telephone service, while 2.9% used wireless telephone service as their second choice telephony service. These figures infer that landline is no longer the number one telephone service in Massachusetts.
Barnstable County enjoys excellent service from the three primary carriers- AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. There are several Mobile Network Operators (MVNOs) providing alternative network services to residents of Barnstable County. These smaller providers buy from major operators and sell to residents at affordable rates. AT&T provides the best service in terms of network coverage with 92%. T-mobile follows closely with 90% network coverage, while Verizon provides the least network service with 60% coverage.
Residents of Barnstable County can choose from several wireless telephone services. One of such services is the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP is a wireless telephony service that allows you to make a phone call using a broadband internet connection instead of a traditional phone line. There are several VoIP providers in the county. You can subscribe to either the business plan or personal plan. The business plan allows users to enjoy modern features such as video conferencing, telepresence, auto-attendant, etc. Subscribers of home VoIP can enjoy features like caller ID number authentication, 24/7 voice mails, etc.
What are Barnstable County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are scams that target residents of Barnstable County using phone lines or other telecommunication products. Phone scams occur in different ways, including phone calls, text messages, emails, or via fake business websites. You may use reverse phone number lookup tools to identify who called you and where the calls originated. The Barnstable County Sheriff's Office assists residents of the county on how to deal with scam calls. The office is committed to providing updates on the prevalent scams in the county. Common scams in Barnstable County include:
What are Barnstable County Law Enforcement Agency Impersonation Scams?
In these scams, the victims receive calls from people claiming to be officers of the Barnstable County Sheriff's Department. The callers often inform the victims that there are problems with their social security benefit records that need to be resolved urgently. To resolve the issue, the callers typically ask the victims to provide their social security numbers for verifications. Such verification calls are scams with the intent of retrieving confidential information from unsuspecting residents. Scammers may also call to inform victims that they have been contacted by the IRS to arrest or collect money owed by the victims. The callers often go ahead to ask the victims to make payments via prepaid money cards or wire transfers. Reverse phone number searches can help residents reveal where calls originated.
Residents of Barnstable County must understand that the Sheriff's Office does not make calls to residents or businesses related to social security benefits, money for warrants, jury duties, taxes, etc. If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and if the call persists, report to your local police department.
What are Barnstable County Covid-19 Scams?
Scammers are taking advantage of the pandemic to steal from unsuspecting residents. In these scams, victims receive calls from people who try to sell test kits for Covid-19, or vaccines to them. Scammers may also promise their victims faster stimulus payments. These calls aim to get the victims to reveal sensitive information to the callers. This information may include the victims’ social security numbers, dates of birth, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, etc. Residents of Barnstable County should note know that government agencies will not call to request their personal information. If you receive one of these calls, hang up immediately and contact any local law enforcement agency. Reverse phone number lookups can help identify potential scam calls.
What are Barnstable County Utility Scams?
Utility scams are often associated with electricity providers. In these scams, victims receive calls from people claiming to be representatives from their utility providers. The callers claim they have orders to cut the victims' electric power, impose fines, or even enforce jail penalties unless payments are made immediately. The common payment options are credit/debit cards or reloadable debit cards. Residents should be informed that utility companies will not force them to make late payments over the phone using bank cards. If you receive this type of call, contact a phone number search service provider to identify who the phone number is registered to. You may also contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities if you are unsure of any utility bill.
What are Barnstable County Charity Scams?
Here, scammers try to take advantage of residents’ generosity by impersonating charity organizations and soliciting donations. Charity scams are very common after recent disasters or diseases. The scammers typically solicit for checks payable to them and not the charity organizations they are impersonating. Such requests are indications of potential scams. Residents can use reverse phone number lookup tools to verify whether the phone numbers are registered under legitimate charity organizations or not. The Division of Non-Profit Organizations and Public Charities of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office provides important information on legitimate charity organizations in the state.
What are Barnstable County Lottery Scams?
In these scams, scammers call and inform residents that they have won lotteries. However, the victims are asked to pay processing fees or taxes upfront to receive their winnings. At times, the scammers may claim that lotteries were won in foreign countries and require that funds be sent through wire transfers to get the prizes. Residents should disregard such information as they are mostly fake and aim to steal from unsuspecting victims. Victims of lottery scams should contact the local police. Suspicious phone number lookups are essentials at identifying who called you.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is a phone call that uses an auto-dialer to send a pre-recorded message to a target audience. According to M.G.L.c.159C, robocalls are illegal in the State of Massachusetts. These usually make bogus claims and offers. Senders of robocalls can readily use technology to access phone numbers, even the ones that are unlisted. Scammers input these numbers into automated systems that immediately send pre-recorded messages to the line users. These systems can falsify caller-ID information to impersonate legitimate organizations and government agencies. It is advisable to use reverse phone lookup services to confirm whether incoming calls are robocalls or not.
Here are a few ways to deal with a robocall:
- Do not answer a call if you suspect it is a robocall. The FTC explains that answering a robocall allows the system to identify that a recipient is a real person.
- Hang up if you mistakenly pick the call. Do not follow any instructions given by the system.
- Copy the suspicious phone number and do a reverse lookup with a reputable app.
- Use call-blocking services that alert you when scammers call, by checking the phone numbers against databases of phone numbers commonly used by illegal robocalls.
- Report unauthorized robocalls to the FTC online or call 1-888-382-1222.
- Add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry.
Phone number searches may help verify whether robocalls are from legitimate businesses or not.
How to Spot and Report Barnstable County Phone Scams?
Scammers are inventing new scam tricks regularly. The best way to combat phone scams is by educating residents on some of the tricks scammers used. Phone number lookup services may help residents identify potential phone scams. Indications that a phone call is a scam include:
- Requests from the caller to divulge your personal information, such as social security number or credit card number.
- A recorded voice tells you to press a number to opt-out of further calls.
- The caller demands payment for a late bill, missed jury duty, etc., and threatens arrest if payment is not sent via gift card.
- Calls with instructions to make advance payments for benefits or prizes the caller claims you won.
- The caller asks you to keep the conversation a secret.
Companies that provide reverse phone number services are helpful against phone scams. Residents can use either free phone number lookups or paid phone number search services to identify who called them. Some public institutions in Barnstable County are committed to helping members of the public address the menace of phone scams. These institutions include:
Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations- The Office provides updates on prevalent phone scams in the state. It also assists residents with tips on how to deal with unsolicited robocalls in the state. Contact the Office using either the Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787 or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-375. The department may assist residents with reverse phone number searches when necessary.
Barnstable County Sheriff's Office - The Office assists residents of the county who fall victim to phone scams. It provides updates on recent scam activities in the county. Call 508-563-4300 to report phone scams. The department conducts reverse phone lookups during the investigation. Residents may identify who called them with the help of these services.
Better Business Bureau - The Better Business Bureau provides information on legitimate businesses registered in the county. The BBB also provides updates on the recent business scams in the county.
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC protects citizens of the United States from all kinds of frauds. The FTC initiated the National Do Not Call Registry as part of its efforts to eliminate unwanted calls. Register your number on the registry to reduce your chances of receiving unsolicited calls.