Area codes distinguish the Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) in the United States and are represented by the first set of three digits of American phone numbers. They are provisioned by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP).
Currently, the only active area code in Manatee County is 941.
Area Code 941
Split from the 813 NPA in 1995, area code 941 serves Manatee County and some parts of four other counties in Florida. The communities and cities within the 941 NPA in Manatee County include Bradenton, Samoset, and Palmetto.
The Florida Public Service Commission (PUC) is responsible for area code administration in Florida, including Manatee County.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Manatee County?
A significant part of the Manatee County population prefers the use of cell phones for telephony services. In 2018, the CDC surveyed household telephone usage in the United States. Data for Florida revealed that an estimated 60.9% of the adult population used wireless-only telephone services, while 4.0% used landline phones exclusively. The survey also showed that about 72.9% of the under-18 population adopted only cell phones for telecommunication, while an estimated 1.7% of them used landline-only telephone services. It is clear from this analysis that wireless telephone services are gradually taking over as preferred means of communication in Florida.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) uses high-speed internet connections and provides a cost-effective means of telecommunication for Manatee County residents. With VoIP phone services, residents and businesses can access telephony services from phones and computers while spending less on voice and video calls. VoIP is gradually replacing standard phone systems and is affordable for long-distance calls.
Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint provide telephone services in Manatee County. However, they have varying network coverage depending on location. Sprint and AT&T cover 70% of the City of Bradenton each, while T-Mobile has a spread of 90%. Verizon extends the highest coverage of 98% in the city. Some Mobile Virtual Network Services (MVNOs) also provide network services in Manatee County.
What are Manatee County Phone Scams?
Manatee County phone scams are frauds that are conducted over the phone in the county using telephone services. Phone scams take many forms and are often tricky. Fraudsters use live phone calls, text messages, and robocalls to cheat county residents out of their money and unlawfully obtain their information. Typically, people who share personal and financial information with phone scammers suffer identity and financial loss. In Manatee County, phone scammers conceal their real identities when preying on targets to avoid being tracked by law enforcement. However, reverse phone number lookup services can help uncover their identities. Phone scammers often pretend to be representatives of legitimate and familiar businesses or the government to fool naive individuals.
The Florida Office of the Attorney General (OAG) is the chief consumer protection agency in Florida, and it educates residents on how to avoid phone scams. Manatee County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller also provide scam alerts to keep them abreast of scammers' tricks. The commonly perpetrated phone scams in Manatee County include:
What are Social Security Scams?
You can avoid social security scams by running unknown caller phone numbers through websites that offer reverse phone lookup services. Doing this usually helps ascertain callers' true identities. In this scam, fraudsters pretend to be calling from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and deceive their targets with false claims. They may say there is a problem with their targets' social security numbers (SSNs) or accounts and request them to confirm their SSNs for supposed verifications in a purported attempt to fix the issue. Never disclose your personal information or pay anyone over the phone, especially if you did not initiate such a call.
In some instances, social security scammers will inform their targets that their SSNs have been linked to some grievous crimes and offer to clear their names from it. However, they will only help on the condition that the targets pay them. These scammers often threaten to involve law enforcement when dealing with hesitant persons. They favor payment by wire transfers, gift cards, or cash(mailed). The SSA warns that its employees will never request money, SSNs, or any other information from anyone over the phone. It is essential to know that the SSA has your information on file and will not solicit the same over the phone.
What are Grant Scams?
In grant scams, the callers usually claim to be employees of the US Government Grant Department, Federal Bureau of Grand Awards, or Federal Grants Administration. These scammers trick Manatee County residents into believing that their regular tax payment qualifies them for such opportunities. They also inform them that they will never have to pay back the grants. The callers will request personal and bank account information from their targets to enable them to process such grants. Note that there are no such government institutions like the ones listed earlier in the United States. It is a ploy by the callers to make you think they are legitimate.
If you receive an unexpected call from an unknown person claiming that you were selected for a free government grant, end the call immediately. A phone lookup application can help you fetch the caller's identity. It will also reveal the origin of such a call. Never disclose personal and financial information or send money to anyone over the phone to avoid being ripped off. Government agencies do not call residents about grant awards or solicit confidential information over the phone.
What are Credit Scams?
Fraudsters initiate loan scams by advertising low-interest rates credit facilities via text messages to their targets. Such text messages typically provide phone numbers that interested persons can call to access credits. Phone scammers perpetrating loan scams often impersonate legitimate lenders to fool Manatee County residents into sharing financial information and parting with money. When someone calls any of such numbers, the fraudster will inquire about their personal and financial information and then promise to avail them of a loan. Always protect your such information and do not share them with anyone over the phone or other means.
Typically, the phone scammer will send credit application forms via email to their target, which they must complete and return, also by email. Such a person must fill out fields for credit card information, phone number, name, SSN, bank account number, and address on the credit application form. The fraudster may also instruct the target to pay a non-refundable application fee which they often collect by gift cards or wire transfers. The unfortunate thing is that in the end, the victim would have disclosed some confidential information and lost money but will never get such credit.
What are Debt Collection Scams?
Be wary of callers who pretend to be with debt collection agencies to demand that you settle delinquent loans by wire transfers or prepaid credit cards. Legitimate debt collectors will never request loan repayment via such unconventional methods. In these scams, fraudsters will contact targeted Manatee County residents and inform them they have outstanding loans that require immediate payment. Such loans may include mortgage loans, auto loans, credit cards, or payday loans. They often threaten to bring in law enforcement to arrest targets or tell their employers about such debts if they fail to pay promptly. In some cases, these fraudsters will attempt to collect loans that have been settled or those that do not even exist. If you receive this type of call, verify who called using free reverse phone lookup services. You can also ask questions about the agency they claim to represent and observe whether their responses will be coherent or not. If you have reasons to think the caller's claim may be legitimate, hang up, and contact the agency using the contact information on your original contract papers or their official website. To avoid debt collection scams, do not be pressured into sending money to anyone over the phone or into sharing confidential information with them.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls deliver automated or pre-recorded messages to selected mass phone numbers via telephone calls. They are sometimes referred to as calls from robots. Robocalls are most often associated with scammers, but some are from legitimate businesses. They are widely used in Manatee County by political campaign organizations during elections. Telemarketers also adopt robocalls for advertising products and services. Robocalls come in handy any time the government wants to make a public announcement to residents, especially during emergencies. Manatee County residents can differentiate robocalls from regular phone calls using reverse phone lookup applications. Robocalls are a part of spam calls, and phone scammers use them to identify active phone numbers. Phone scammers favor robocalls because they are cheap and can deliver recorded information to a mass public with minimal human input.
Robocall scams are the most filed phone scam complaints at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) yearly in the United States. It is possible to avoid robocall scams by using reverse phone number lookup services. Phone scammers in Manatee County also favor spoofed robocalls. They know that they must earn their targets' trust to achieve their fraudulent goals. This is why they often pretend to be representatives of the government or other familiar businesses. Residents are encouraged to always search reverse phone lookup websites for all unknown incoming calls to ascertain if they are spoofed robocalls and avoid scams.
Do the following if you wish to reduce the inundation of phone scams:
- Do not interact with a robocall. You will end up a regular target for future robocalls and other phone scams if you press any button as it may instruct.
- Block robocalls using the call-blocking feature of your cell phone. Doing this will block all identified incoming robocall numbers from getting through.
- Download third-party call-blocking applications such as Truecaller, Nomorobo, and Hiya to screen unwanted calls.
- Register your phone number on Florida Do Not Call List and the FTC's DNC Registry to reduce inundation by unsolicited calls. Any robocall that comes through your phone after registering on these lists is possibly a scam call. You can enlist your number in the DNC Registry by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 from your phone number.
How Can You Spot and Report Manatee County Phone Scams?
Phone scammers often disguise their identities, but services that offer phone numbers lookup by address can return information about their real identities and their calls' origins. You can avoid falling victim to phone scams if you can identify the tell-tale signs. Typically, falling prey to phone scams is frustrating as they often lead to financial and identity theft. Continuous education by consumer protection agencies is crucial to the fight against the phone scams menace in Manatee County. You may be a target for a phone scam if you notice the following during a phone call:
- The caller demands immediate payment by gift cards, cryptocurrency, or wire transfer and stays on the phone waiting for you to pay.
- The caller says you have won a prize in a contest you did not enter and ask you to pay a fee to claim such a gift.
- The caller requests personal information and payment of fines for them to cancel an arrest while claiming to be a law enforcement officer. No law enforcement officer will do that in Manatee County.
- An unknown person attempts to sell fake products to you over the phone and requests credit card information for payment. The caller may also want you to make quick decisions and send money immediately.
It is essential to report phone scam incidents in Manatee County to the relevant agencies. The information they receive from phone scam complaints forms a better part of scam alerts which serves as an educational resource in the fight against phone scams in the county. You can file reports of phone scam cases in Manatee County with the following agencies:
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC's DNC Registry can help residents who wish to reduce inundation by unsolicited calls and avoid phone scams to do so. The FTC provides tips for residents on how to block unwanted calls to avoid being scammed. Phone scam victims in Manatee County can file reports with the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 or online.
Florida Office of the Attorney General - The Consumer Protection Division of the OAG protects Manatee County residents from deceptive and unfair practices. The Office educates residents on identifying phone scams by publishing scam alerts. To file a phone scam complaint with the OAG, call 1 (866) 966-7226 or register it online.
Manatee County Sheriff's Office - You can visit the MSCO in person or write a letter to them to file a phone scam complaint. It is located at Manatee County Sheriff's Office Operations Center, 600 Highway 301 Boulevard West, Bradenton, FL 34205. To register a complaint by phone call, contact the MCSO at (941) 747-3011.
Federal Communications Commission - The FCC regulates communications in the United States and provides education on preventing scams. If you receive a suspicious unsolicited call, report it to the FCC.