Area codes are the sequence of three-digit codes at the beginning of American phone numbers, and they determine the origins of phone calls. Area codes are designated by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) to specify the Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) in a state. All the area codes in Florida are administered by the Florida Public Service Commission (PUC). The only Collier County area code represents the county's telephone service area.
Area Code 239
Area code 239 is a Florida telephone area code that became officially active in 2002. It is a split of the 941 NPA serves Collier and Lee Counties. Collier County communities within the 239 NPA include Naples, Chokoloskee, Naples Park, and Immokalee.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Collier County?
As recorded by a 2018 CDC survey report, cell phones have gained preference among state residents as means of telecommunications. The survey recorded household telephone status among Americans. Data recorded for Florida showed that an estimated 60.9% of the adult population had adopted cell phones as their sole telephony devices. About 4.0% of them still used landline phones exclusively for telecommunication. The rates of cell phone use were even higher among the minors surveyed in that year. 72.9% of them had adopted wireless telephone services as against only 1.7% that still used landline phones.
Collier County is served by three out of the four major United States phone carriers. However, network services are generally stellar in the major cities than the suburban areas of the county. Some Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) also extend network services to a few neighborhoods in Collier County. Verizon has the best network coverage in Naples, with about 96% coverage. T-Mobile is next, spanning 86% of the city, while AT&T provides network coverage of 64%. Sprint has no cover area in Naples at all.
Collier County residents who own internet-enabled devices can use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology to communicate at more affordable rates. VoIP is a telephony service that transmits communication over broadband internet connections at little or no cost to users. It supports video calling, text messaging, and audio calling.
What are Collier County Phone Scams?
Collier County phone scams are illegal practices perpetrated over the phone to extort money and personal information from county residents. Phone scammers use all forms of telephone services to trick their marks into disclosing their confidential data to commit identity and financial thefts. The Consumer Protection Division of the Florida Office of the Attorney General (OAG) investigates and prosecutes incidents of deceptive practices and their perpetrators.
In Collier County, phone scammers prey on residents' fears or capitalize on their ignorance to rip them off. They often disguise and take up the identities of legitimate businesses to fool their marks. However, county residents can use search engines that provide free reverse phone lookup services to retrieve phone scammers' identities. Collier County residents can avoid phone scams by using number lookup applications to search suspicious phone numbers. The Collier County Sheriff's Office is committed to preventing frauds, including phone scams in the county.
The phone scams frequently committed in Collier County include:
What are Rental Car Scams?
Rental car scams are prevalent in Collier County and are phone scams involving rental cars. Quite a lot of people have been ripped off by fraudsters who engage in these scams. Typically, the scammers will have some information about their marks when perpetrating rental car scams. Such information may include the names and the last four digits of their targets' social security numbers. The caller will inform the target their identity was used to rent a car somewhere outside Collier County that was recovered in a crime involving drugs or armed robbery. The scammer will then offer to cover it up and ensure that the target is not brought in as a defendant in the case. To do this, however, the caller will demand a certain amount of money for a bond and may even request the target's complete social security number. They mostly request payment by wire transfers and prepaid cards.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office warns residents about phone scams involving rental cars. If you receive this type of call, you should gather as much information as you can, hang up, and call your local enforcement office to report it. Using an application that provides reverse phone lookup free service to search the caller's phone number will return useful identifying information about the caller. Do not share your social security number with anyone on the phone, either.
What are Utility Scams?
In utility scams, the callers claim they are employees of local utility companies in attempts to dupe Collier County residents. Although it is widely targeted at residential customers, businesses in the county are also not spared. When they call, the fraudsters will threaten to disconnect service from their targets' homes or apartments for owing utility bills. They often demand immediate payment of such delinquent bills. Their preferred means of receiving payments include wire transfers and prepaid cards. Sometimes, the scammers spoof their marks' Caller IDs to make them look legitimate. A free reverse phone number lookup can help you identify a spoofed call and avoid this scam. Typically, a utility company would have sent multiple written notifications by mail to a customer before disconnecting their service.
It is important to state that legitimate utility service providers in Collier County do not request payment via odd channels and will never threaten service disconnection over the phone. Do not send money by any means over the phone to settle your outstanding utility bills. If you get this type of call, end it immediately and call your local utility service provider on their official phone number to validate the caller's claim. You may be able to retrieve the caller's identity using a reverse phone lookup service.
What are Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
Beware of phone scammers who impersonate law enforcement officers in Collier County to extort residents. The fraudsters will say anything to fool unsuspecting individuals into believing they might have unpaid fines for offenses they cannot recall committing. During such calls, the caller will threaten immediate arrest for not paying such fines as and when due and offer their targets the last chance to do the right thing right there on the phone. The scammers can also threaten to commit their targets to jail if the payment is not made promptly. They favor payment by green dot money cards, cryptocurrencies, and wire transfers. In many cases, these phone scammers will mention the names and badge numbers of legitimate cops to gain credibility and deceive their marks. The scammers may also obtain their confidential information for both financial and identity theft.
The Collier County Sheriff's Office does not solicit money or personal information from residents over the phone, especially not by irregular payment methods. If someone calls you with such demands, know that it is a call targeted at cheating you out of your money. A reverse phone lookup will provide an answer to the question: "who called me? Law enforcement officers will never threaten to arrest anyone or put them in jail over the phone.
What are Grandparent Scams?
The elderlies are primary targets for grandparent phone scam schemes in Collier County because it is widely believed that most elderly persons have substantial savings in their bank accounts. The scammers often retrieve their targets' grandchildren's names and a few other information from social media accounts. In other cases, they wait for their marks to mention the names and then impersonate such persons. Grandparent scams are sometimes referred to as emergency scams. In these scams, the callers will pose as the grandchildren of their targets and claim to need money urgently to resolve emergencies such as bonding out of jail or paying hospital bills. Their usual methods of receiving payments include wire transfers and retail gift cards. Such payment channels are good enough red-flags to help anyone avoid falling prey to this phone scam.
Elderly residents in Collier County are encouraged to ignore calls from unknown phone numbers to avoid falling victim to these scams. If you receive a call from a phone number you do not recognize, and the caller claims to be a relative in need of help, end the call immediately. You can search websites that offer phone numbers lookup by address to determine the call’s origin. Contact the person through a known phone number to confirm the caller's claim. You can also reach out to other family members if you cannot get through to the supposed relative on their known contact. Do not be pressured into sending money until you can validate such a claim.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated calls that deliver prerecorded messages to a mass audience at once. They use autodialers to make such calls. Government agencies and telemarketers in Collier County use robocalls for legitimate purposes. However, many robocalls are illegal, annoying, and intrusive and are aimed at extortion. Typically, phone scammers use spoofed robocalls to steal money and personal information from Collier County residents. Consequently, residents should beware of calls bearing the caller ID information of legitimate and trusted entities to avoid falling victim to robocall scams perpetrated by spoofing. Spam calls are unsolicited and irrelevant communications sent to mass recipients. They are dangerous and have no regard for any communication laws. Illegal robocalls are a type of spam call.
Your best line of actions if you are getting overwhelmed by robocalls and want to avoid scams are:
- Report illegal robocalls online to the FTC and spoofed robocalls to the FCC.
- Do not answer calls from phone numbers you do not recognize. If you do answer a call and realize it is a robocall, disengage your phone immediately.
- Join the National Do Not Call Registry by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 from your phone number or online. Any robocall you receive after 31 days of registration is a potential scam call. You can also enroll your number in Florida Do Not Call List. It serves the same purpose as the DNC list.
- Install a third-party call-blocking application on your phone to block each robocall number that tries to call you.
- Run incoming calls from unknown phone numbers through an application that provides reverse phone lookup services to identify whether they are robocalls or not.
How Can You Spot and Report Collier County Phone Scams?
Although phone scammers keep discovering new ways to fool Collier County residents, staying informed can help you spot phone scams before you get cheated. The best way to avoid falling victim to phone scams is to be able to identify them. Doing reverse phone number lookups can help you identify phone scams and retrieve the identities of phone scammers. Signs that you may be speaking with a phone scammer include:
The caller scares you to act immediately in a way that you are unable to reach out to anyone for help or confirm their claims and tell you that hesitating to comply with their demands will lead to your arrest.
- The caller asks you to pay via unofficial channels. Phone scammers typically prefer wire transfers, gift cards, and bitcoins because payments via those methods are hard to trace and reverse.
- The caller pressures you into making a decision on the spot or sharing confidential information. Legitimate companies will not pressure you into making an impulse purchase.
- The caller pretends to be an employee of a company you have never had a business transaction with and is requesting that you send money. In such a case, they will use call spoofing to make their phone number appear legitimate on your Caller ID display.
- The caller is unwilling to answer your questions on the offer they present to you. Such reluctance is often due to a lack of knowledge about their offer.
- The person claims to be an employee with a government agency and demands money or asks you to disclose confidential information. No legitimate government employee will ever do that.
Relevant government agencies in Collier County are resolute on combating the bane of phone scams in the county and will stop at nothing to achieve that. They publish scam alerts to educate residents and provide tips on how to avoid phone scams. These agencies also implement policies to protect residents from deceptive practices. They include:
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC manages a Do Not Call Registry for persons who want to opt-out from getting unwanted calls. You can report phone scams perpetrated with unsolicited calls online with the FTC or call 1 (888) 382-1222.
Collier County Sheriff's Office - The Sheriff's Office is at the front league of the fight against phone scams in Collier County. Cases of phone scams within Collier County can be reported to the Sheriff's Office online or by calling (239) 252-9300.
Florida Office of the Attorney General - The OAG provides tips across all consumer protection areas to educate residents and prevent them from falling prey to scams. It also provides scam alerts to get residents to familiarize themselves with the latest scams. Collier County residents who want to file phone scams with the OAG can do so by calling 1 (866) 966-7226 or online.