What are Orange County Area Codes?
As designed by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), area codes identify the Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) in the county. Area codes are the leading three-digit numbers of American phone numbers and identify where these numbers were registered. Population growth and increasing number of phone users have led to the creation of more area codes over the years. The Florida Public Service Commission (PUC) is responsible for area code management in the state and provides area code lookup on its website.
Orange County currently has three active area codes. These are:
Area Code 407
It is a Floridan telephone area code in the NANP that came into service in 1988 from a split of the 305 area code. The cities of Orange County served by area code 407 include Orlando, Apopka, Sanford, Winter Park, Saint Cloud, and Kissimmee.
Area Code 321
Created in 1999, area code 321 is an overlay of the 407 area code. It serves the same locations as area code 407.
Area Code 689
Area code 689 is a telephone area code in Florida under the NANP. It was put to service in 2019 as a distributive overlay of the 407 area code. It covers the same region as the 407 NPA.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Orange County?
A survey conducted in 2018 by the CDC shows an upsurge in the use of cell phones for telephone services as most residents abandon landlines. According to the report, an estimated 60.9% of the state’s adult population only used wireless telephone services. Only a small fraction (4.0%) of that population exclusively used landline devices.
All four major carriers operate in Orange County. However, network coverage and strength vary from one location to another. Carrier network services are generally better in major cities than in villages/small towns. Verizon has the best coverage and covers 94% of the City of Orlando, followed by AT&T with 86% coverage. Sprint and T-Mobile provide 80% and 74% coverage respectively.
Excellent broadband internet access in Orange County provides a third telephony option for residents. VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is an internet-based phone service gaining widespread adoption in the county. VoIP routers phone calls through the internet and serves as a more affordable and flexible alternative to landline and cell phone services..
What are Orange County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are fraudulent activities conducted over the phone and meant to trick unsuspecting individuals into sending money or divulging confidential information to scammers. Residents who are victims of phone scams can file complaints with the FTC or report online to the Orange County Consumer Fraud Unit. Reverse phone number lookup services are usually helpful in avoiding phone scams. They can help identify the individuals behind these scams. The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) warns consumers about scams and how to avoid them. Also, the Consumer Fraud Office of Orange County provides tips for avoiding scams. Commonly reported phone scams in Orange County include:
What are Charity Scams?
This kind of scam targets people willing to donate to charities and social justice causes. Scammers typically take advantage of natural disasters and state/national emergencies to commit this deceptive act. They call and pretend to be representatives of charity organizations and make emotional appeals for donations. They may even offer to send a 'runner' for cash pickup. At other times, they request contribution by money transfer.
If you receive such a call, confirm the identity of who called by doing a reverse phone number lookup before donating. If you suspect the caller is a scammer, report them to the Orange County Sheriff's Office by calling (407) 836-4357. The County Sheriff's Office warns residents to never yield to charity scammers’ pressure tactics. No reputable charity organization will pressurize you for donations.
What are Tax Scams?
Do a quick reverse phone lookup if you receive a call from anyone claiming to be an employee of the Internal Revenue Services (IRS). This will help you avoid falling victim to tax scammers. This type of scam targets taxpayers and is used to steal their identities and financial information. Scammers inform unsuspecting individuals of unpaid taxes and threaten them with arrests if they fail to pay immediately. They advise victims to pay with credit cards while still on the phone, and in the process, obtain their confidential information. They also request for SSN confirmation, date of birth, and other personal information. The IRS warns taxpayers to beware of scammers posing as their employees. IRS staff will never ask for tax payment over the phone. Call the IRS on 1 (800) 829-1040 to resolve all tax-related issues. Residents who are victims of tax scams can file complaints online with the FTC.
What are Emergency Phone Scams?
Emergency phone scammers usually target senior citizens within the county. Often, they pretend to be the grandchildren of their targets to request for money to bail them out of a difficult situation. The scammers appeal that victims keep such conversations secret to avoid embarrassment. Typically, wire transfers are their preferred means of getting payments. Many senior residents have lost their savings to this scam. Using applications that provide reverse phone lookups could have prevented these losses. Victims who are residents of Orange County can report scammers to the Orange County Sheriff's Office by calling (407) 836-4357.
What are Jury Duty Scams?
Reported cases of missed jury duty scams in Orange County points to scammers who identify themselves as employees of the County Sheriff Office. The Orange County Sheriff's Office cautions residents that its officers will never call about missed jury duties. Residents who receive calls from persons alleging to work for the Sheriff's Office can confirm callers' identities by doing reverse phone number lookups on their phone numbers.
Jury duty scammers request fines from their targets who they usually claim have missed jury duties. They threaten unsuspecting targets with arrests if they fail to comply. In most cases, they request that victims pay by money transfer or prepaid cards. If you have lost funds or divulged personal information to a jury duty scammer, report the incident to the Orange County Sheriff's Office for investigation.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Using robocalls for disseminating information is helpful when targeting a sizable audience. Robocalls deliver pre-recorded audio messages from auto-diallers. Although created for the legitimate use of the government, telemarketers, and veritable entities, robocalls are now utilized by scammers in defrauding unsuspecting individuals. Sometimes, scammers spoof phone numbers to make their robocalls appear as those from familiar government agencies and companies.
To avoid falling victims of illegal robocalls, residents can identify callers by using applications that provide suspicious phone number lookup services. The Federal Trade Commission provides guides on how to stop unwanted robocalls.
Residents should observe the following precautions when they receive robocalls to avoid falling victim to phone scammers:
- Never trust caller ID for the caller information that shows up on your phone. Scammers know well to spoof phone numbers to make them look legitimate.
- Hang up when a robocall comes through your phone. Don’t be tempted to act on voice prompts that instruct you on how to remove your number from the robocall’s list. Doing this will lead to more messages that may get you scammed.
- Contact your telephone company to find out if they have call-blocking tools. If they do, block all unsolicited calls that come through your phone. Most phone companies offer this service for free. If they are not free, consider the cost when signing up or look for a free alternative.
- Sign your phone number up on Florida Do Not Call List, and the National Do Not Call Registry. Doing this will stop legitimate robocalls from reaching your phone. All unsolicited calls you get afterward are potential scams.
- Run the caller IDs of unknown callers through search engines that provide free phone number lookups by name. Also, report the phone number to Orange County Sheriff's Office on (407) 836-4357. Residents can also report the number to FTC on 1 (888) 382-1222 or file complaints online with them.
How Can You Spot and Report Orange Phone Scams?
Phone scammers try new cons just to steal money and confidential information from their targets. Having an understanding of their various tactics is key to avoiding falling victim. Additionally, phone number search free services are effective for identifying phone scammers. Residents of Orange County can protect their identities and hard-earned money by looking out for the following signs when receiving calls from unknown numbers:
- Scammers pose as representatives of charity organizations to solicit donations. Ensure to verify that the Charity soliciting money is legitimate. You can search through their websites for phone numbers to call.
- A phone call informing you about being specially selected for a prize and requesting upfront payment to claim it is a scam call. No real business will demand money from prize winners to claim their prizes.
- Con artists impersonate County Sheriff's Office employees with different claims. They threaten arrests if residents fail to comply and pay fines. The employees of Orange County Sheriff's Office do not threaten arrest nor demand fines via phone calls.
- Scammers do not want to leave any trail leading to them. Therefore, they demand payment via unconventional channels like wire transfer, bitcoin, and gift cards.
- Scam artists instill fears by creating a sense of urgency to obtain personal and financial information unlawfully. In many cases, they pretend to work for government agencies to verify confidential information just to steal them. Government officials will ask for such details over the phone because they already have them on file.
Government authorities and consumer protection agencies have identified continually engaging with residents as one way of preventing them from falling prey to phone scams. Hence, the provisions of scam alert and reporting platforms for scam victims by these agencies:
Orange County Sheriff’s Office - The Sheriff's Office provides scam alerts on robocalls and common scams. They investigate cases of phone scams using the services of websites that offer paid and free phone number lookups. Residents who believe they are scam victims can report to the Sheriff's Office by calling (407) 836-4357.
Orange County Consumer Fraud Unit - The Consumer Fraud Protection Unit offers tips to consumers on how to avoid scammers' deceptive schemes. It also works at resolving complaints sent by residents by email. The investigators in this unit periodically educate identified groups on the latest consumer issues and scam prevention methods. County residents can report fraud cases to the County Fraud Protection Unit on (407) 836-2490.
Florida Office of the Attorney General - The Attorney General's Office protects consumers by ensuring fair practices in trades. It also educates consumers by publishing consumer alerts and how to avoid falling victim to scams. Consumers can report cases of scams to the Office of the Attorney General online or call 1 (866) 966-7226.
Federal Trade Commission - Among its many channels of consumer protection, the FTC developed the Do Not Call Registry for consumers who wish to curb excessive robocalls. They also implement policies toward combating frauds and nabbing their perpetrators. The FTC online complaint assistant is always available to receive consumers' complaints. Residents who have lost money and divulged confidential information to con artists can report to the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.