What are Miami-Dade County Area Codes?
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) was introduced as a replacement to the previously existing local numbering system. This gave the county distinct Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) or area codes, as they are commonly known. These area codes are maintained by the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). The two area codes serving Miami-Dade County are area codes 305 and 786.
Area code 305 is a Florida telephone area code in the NANP. It covers the entire Miami-Dade County and parts of Monroe County in Southern Florida. Major cities that are covered by this area code include Miami, Hialeah, Miami Gardens, Miami Beach, Kendall, Homestead, Kendale Lakes, North Miami, Aventura, South Miami Heights, Cutler Bay, and Richmond West.
Area code 786 is an overlay on area code 305 and serves the same area.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Miami-Dade County?
Telephony preferences have shifted towards wireless services in recent years resulting in a sharp decline in the use of traditional landlines in Florida. A 2018 NHIS report by the CDC indicates that 60.9% of adults in the state (aged 18 and above) exclusively use wireless phones. In contrast, traditional landline usage dropped to only about 4%. Among households with children (under 18), wireless service usage is at 72.9%, while only 1.7% reside in households with only landlines. The decline in the use of traditional landlines does not look likely to cease anytime soon, and it is quite possible that landline phones will disappear.
The four major carriers are present in Miami-Dade County, and each provides reliable services. In Miami, AT&T offers the best service with 100% coverage. Following closely are Verizon and T-Mobile, with 98.5% and 94.8% coverage respectively. Sprint is further behind with a network coverage of 87.6% in the county.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the communication technology that uses the internet to deliver telephony services. The popularity of VoIP is evident in Miami-Dade from the proliferation of companies offering these services. There are currently over ten VoIP companies providing services to residents of Miami-Dade County.
What are Miami-Dade County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are fraudulent acts executed by criminals against residents of Miami-Dade County over the phone. The aim is to defraud targets of their money or obtain sensitive vital information needed for identity theft. The Department of Consumer Protection releases fraud alerts to update residents about these scams. Additionally, the county has a platform for victims of phone scams to lodge their complaints. Victims can also report such fraudulent activities through the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Some of the common scams prevalent in Miami-Dade County include:
You are a Winner Scam
This scam is executed by informing the victim that prize money has been won, usually from a foreign country. The victim is required to send some money upfront before the prize is redeemed. Alternatively, scammers can deceive victims into revealing their bank information. Phone number lookup services can identify numbers by address and show the exact origins of calls to help residents avoid falling for this scam.
Victims are tricked into accepting checks for bogus transactions with attractive commissions used as baits. The victims deposit the checks and send part of the amounts to the scammers expecting to be repaid when their checks clear. The checks eventually fail to clear and the victims realize they have been scammed and are liable for the entire amount. A reverse phone search can find information about a company offering deals and help verify its authenticity.
Sold to the Highest Bidder Scams
Winners of online auctions and those that have just purchased merchandise online are the targets of these scams. The targets are convinced to make payment by alternative payment services. Doing this will allow the scammers to receive funds from victims without sending the goods as agreed. Residents are advised to make payments online only via legitimate means.
This scam is executed to retrieve the target’s personal and financial information, which is used to commit identity theft. Marks are called or sent emails with links they are instructed to click in order to update their records but these lead to clone versions of legitimate websites. Residents are advised never to provide confidential financial information for requests they did not initiate. If you receive these types of requests, reject them and end the call. Phone number searches can answer the “who called me?” question and identify these callers.
Robocall Scams and Spam Calls
Robocalls are automated calls that are intended to deliver pre-recorded messages to the recipient. It is a standard marketing tool used by businesses and political parties to reach their targets. Scammers have also devised a means to use these automated messages to scam unsuspecting victims.
Switching on spam call detection options on mobile phones can warn residents of suspicious incoming calls. These functions are made available by phone manufacturers, who integrated them in the mobile operating systems installed on phones. Network operators also offer this service to subscribers on a free or premium basis. For an unrecognized number, a reverse phone search will be useful in confirming the identity of the owner.
Take the following steps to reduce the number of unsolicited robocalls reaching your phone:
- End a call immediately you realize it is a robocall. Do not follow any instruction provided during the robocall for removing your number from its call list. This only confirms that your number is active and will likely lead to more robocalls.
- Register on the Do Not Call list. Any unwanted robocall received after registering is most likely a scam.
- Ask your carrier for available call-blocking service. If the service is free, block the numbers used to robocall.
- Use free phone lookup services to confirm the origin of any unrecognized number and block it if the owner is unknown.
- Submit a robocall complaint to the FTC.
How to Spot and Report Miami-Dade Phone Scams?
Scams keep evolving with criminals coming up with more ingenious ways to defraud unsuspecting victims. Sensitizing residents about the different forms of scams is critical in protecting residents from falling victims to phone scams. The following indicators are possible red flags that point to a scam:
- If you have to pay to redeem any prize you have won, it is no longer a prize. It is most likely a scam.
- Calls purportedly from government agencies that threaten residents with immediate arrest for unpaid debts is another sign. No government agency will make threatening calls for outstanding debts or require you to reveal personal information.
- Investment offers that offer enticing returns but give the individual very little time to decide are also suspicious. Scam offers leave the targets with no time to research them.
- No government agency will initiate contact with any resident and try to obtain personal information. The authorized bodies with the need for this information have it already and do not need to coerce residents to produce it.
Keeping abreast of the various scam alerts released by government agencies is vital to avoiding falling victim to these scams. Knowing how to conduct a reverse phone lookup is another way of preventing phone scams. Scam calls, from numbers flagged by phone number lookup services, are easily ignored.
The following government agencies are tasked with protecting residents of Miami-Dade County from scammers:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ensures fair practices in the marketplace and seeks to protect consumers from being defrauded. One of the ways they do this is to come up with scam alerts periodically. They also maintain the National Do Not Call Register, where subscribers can register to reduce robocall abuse. Phone users can dial 1-888-382-1222 to get their numbers on the do not call list. The FTC also has a platform where victims of scams can file reports.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the regulator for the telecommunications industry. They provide tips on how to avoid scams like phone spoofing and unsolicited robocalls. The FCC has also tasked network operators with upgrading caller authentication to better fight robocalls and phone spoofing. Subscribers who suffer robocall abuse or have had their numbers spoofed can complain to the FCC.
The Miami-Dade Department of Consumer Protection also issues periodic scam alerts to keep residents updated on scammers’ devious schemes. The Department partners with the National Consumers League to collate complaints of fraudulent activities received by residents. The Miami-Dade Police Department is another agency that provides residents with resources to identify and avoid common scams. It allows residents to submit anonymous tips that will aid crime prevention and investigation. Submit a tip by dialing the number(305) 476-5423. Once a fraudulent complaint is received, the police can use a phone number search to unmask the scammer’s identity and apprehend the criminal.