Area codes are the sets of three-digit numbers at the beginning of American phone numbers established by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA). They group NANPA territories into Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) to help specify the origins of phone calls. The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) is responsible for maintaining and administering area codes in Florida.
There is currently only one active area code in Hernando County:
Area Code 352
Area code 352 was put into service in 1996. It was created as a split from the 904 NPA, serving Hernando County and other neighboring counties in Florida. Cities and towns in Hernando County within the 352 NPA include Brooksville, Spring Hill, High Point, and Brookridge.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Hernando County?
The four major national phone carriers and other smaller Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) provide network services in Hernando County. They, however, offer varying coverage throughout the county. T-Mobile has the broadest coverage at 94%, followed closely by Verizon with an 84% score. AT&T has an 82% spread, while Sprint covers about 80% of the county.
The vast majority of Floridan adults (60.9%) had adopted wireless phones as their only means of telecommunication. This was brought to light in 2018 by a National Center for Health Statistics Survey conducted to ascertain telephone status among Americans. The data also revealed that only 4.0% of the adult population still used landline phones. The disparity was more glaring among the under-18 population as 72.9% of them were strictly cell phone users. Only about 1.7% still used landlines. This strongly suggests that landline phones are now being phased out and gradually replaced by cell phones in Florida.
Hernando County residents are fast adopting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology as an alternative telephony service option. VoIP is a telecommunication innovation that routes calls and other telephone services over IP networks, mainly broadband internet connections. It has more advanced and flexible features than the usual phone lines.
What are Hernando County Phone Scams?
Phone scams in Hernando County are calls made to unsuspecting county residents geared towards duping them. Scammers often isolate their targets and employ the schemes that uniquely suit them. They use phone spoofing technology to make their caller IDs appear legitimate, enabling them to steal money or garner information from targets for identity theft. Free reverse phone lookup applications can be used to retrieve the actual caller IDs of spoofed phone numbers. The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office urges residents not to hastily give out confidential information or money when unknown callers make demands of them. Several public institutions in Hernando County protect residents from scams and update them with information about scammers’ new tricks. They include:
- Hernando County Sheriff’s Office
- Florida Attorney General’s Office
- Florida Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Phone scams that frequently occur in Hernando county include:
What are Hernando County Grandparent Scams?
These scams are perpetrated against the elderly residents of Hernando County and leverage their compassion for their grandchildren and relatives at large. Scammers call their targets posing as their grandchild in distress in an attempt to cheat them. These con artists frantically ask for financial assistance to handle urgent matters such as bail money or life-threatening medical conditions. In some instances, they mention the names of some known family members, which they gleaned from a genuine relative’s social media activity to sound convincing. These scammers usually coerce their victims into making immediate wire transfers or ask them to purchase gift cards and share the details. Typically, they appeal to their targets not to disclose details of the call to their parents or other family members to avoid punishment or embarrassment. Sadly, many grandparents end up becoming victims of these fraudsters. The FTC advises county residents who receive these types of calls to always authenticate callers’ claims through other family members before offering any assistance. Residents who have installed applications that offer free phone number lookup by name can verify such callers’ identities and avoid grandparent scams.
What are Hernando County COVID-19 Vaccination Scams?
This scam started after the introduction of vaccines to contain the novel coronavirus pandemic. Scammers take undue advantage of this global pandemic to steal from unsuspecting Hernando County residents by impersonating healthcare officials in charge of vaccination. They call their targets and demand payments to secure vaccine doses. Alternatively, they may ask their targets to confirm personal information or pay a fee to be included on the vaccination waiting list. These fraudsters sometimes resort to threatening targets with arrests if they fail to comply with their demands. In a bid to appear genuine, they spoof their marks’ Caller IDs to display the official phone numbers of the local health department. However, good reverse phone lookup services can help recipients identify who called and avoid these scams. The County Sheriff’s Office advises residents to report anyone who asks them to pay before being vaccinated for COVID-19. They should also disregard phone calls from unknown sources or telemarketers advertising vaccination and offering to ship vaccine doses for a fee.
What are Hernando County Gift Card Scams?
Scammers often use different variants of gift card scam schemes to extort naive Hernando county residents. They sometimes impersonate government tax officials, utility company employees, or technical support personnel from big tech companies offering remote services for a fee. They persuade their targets to pay through gift cards and provide clear instructions on how to go about it. In many cases, they stay on the phone while their victim follows their instructions on purchasing and loading the cards. They then collect the gift card numbers and PINs and disappear without a trace. Typically, gift cards are not meant for payments but gifts. Hence, anyone asking for payment via this means is a potential scammer. You can use applications that offer suspicious phone number lookup to answer the question “who called me?” and block the phone number from contacting you subsequently. If you paid a fraudster with a company’s gift card, call to inform the company immediately for chances of recovering your money. Scammers are, however, often very smart and use up the money on the cards before their victims realize. The FTC encourages victims to file reports of gift card scams with the agency to facilitate the investigation of such fraudsters.
What are Hernando County Inheritance Scams?
Con artists pose as attorneys or bankers to inform Hernando County residents about large sums of money they supposedly received as an inheritance from distant relatives. This scam is usually well planned out as the fraudsters often send fake documents such as bank statements, court documents, and birth certificates to appear veritable. The scammers often claim that the relative resided in a foreign country. As such, the beneficiaries would have to pay taxes to that foreign government to take possession of their inheritances. They usually spoof their phone numbers to change the area codes that appear on their targets’ phones as international. County residents can uncover these schemes using reverse phone lookup international services. Also, residents should be aware that beneficiaries of legitimate inheritances would not be required to pay money before they can lay claim on what is theirs. Any fees or taxes on such benefits are deducted before being sent to beneficiaries. If an unknown caller contacts you and demands payment for an inheritance, hang up immediately and report to law enforcement.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are telephone calls, usually unsolicited, that convey pre-recorded messages to several phone numbers in mass within a short period. They are a form of spam calls that deliver unwanted messages in bulk. Robocalls are very common and can be used for both legal and illegal purposes. Fraudsters use robocalls to mark active phone numbers as potential targets. Reverse phone lookup services are proficient in identifying robocalls and preventing residents from falling victims to illegal robocalls.
You can take the following steps to protect yourself against unsolicited robocalls:
- Register your phone number in Florida Do Not Call List to be exempt from receiving unwanted sales calls or texts. After registration, you can classify any telemarketing robocall you receive as a scam.
- Instantly end a call once you realize it is a robocall. You can unintentionally sign up for more robocalls if you follow the robocall’s instructions.
- Report unwanted robocalls by filing an online complaint with the FTC or calling 1 (888) 382-1222. You can also register your phone number on the National Do Not Call List maintained by the FTC to exclude yourself from receiving unsolicited telemarketing calls. Enrolling your phone number on the list will help you identify illegal robocalls.
- Use reverse cell phone lookup services to spot spoofed robocalls and leverage call blocking applications to block identified robocall and spam numbers.
How Can You Spot and Report Hernando County Phone Scams?
Hernando County phone scams are sophisticated and require apt knowledge from residents to tackle them. The responsibility lies with both residents and law enforcement to unravel and bring its perpetrators to book. Residents can stay ahead of scammers by keeping abreast of the latest phone scams. Numerous applications offer free reverse phone lookup services, which county residents can use to spot scams and avoid them. Some indications of phone scams in Hernando County are:
- A caller who poses as a government official and threatens to arrest you for failure to send money to them is a potential scammer.
- A caller who asks you to make payments via gift cards, cryptocurrencies, or wire transfers is likely out to extort you. These payment methods are not typically used by legitimate organizations.
- A caller who makes urgent demands for money or personal information and insists that you keep it to yourself is possibly a fraudster.
- An unfamiliar caller who gives attractive business propositions with minimal risk but cannot provide supporting documents for the offers and digresses whenever you enquire is a potential scammer.
The public agencies actively involved in protecting Hernando county residents from scams and receiving reports from scam victims include:
- Hernando County Sheriff’s Office: Hernando County residents who are phone scam victims can report to the Sheriff’s Office by calling 1 (352) 754-6830.
- Florida Attorney General’s Office: Hernando County residents can file reports on phone scam incidents with the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1 (866) 966-7226.
- Florida Better Business Bureau (BBB): The Florida Better Business Bureau receives and investigates reports about business scams. County residents who have been defrauded by businesses can file reports with the BBB by calling (727) 535-5522.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Hernando County residents can file phone scam complaints online with the FTC or call 1 (888) 382-1222 to report. Residents can also enlist their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce the frequency of unsolicited phone calls from telemarketers. They are encouraged to report any unsolicited telemarketing call that comes in after enlisting in the DNC.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC): Hernando County residents can report phone scams to the FCC online and arm themselves with information on how to block unwanted calls provided by the FCC.
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS): Hernando County residents can enroll in Florida Do Not Call List to be excluded from receiving telemarketing calls. The FDACS maintains the state’s DNC list and allows residents to report unsolicited sales calls that come in after their phone numbers have been registered.