What are Osceola County Area Codes?
An area code is a three-digit number that identifies one of the telephone areas into which the United States is divided and that precedes the local telephone number when dialing a call between areas. An area code is useful in identifying the origin and destination of a phone call. and can be split to create new codes by splitting a geographical region into new, smaller regions. Typically, one region keeps the same area code, while the other region changes to a new area code. You can find the area code of an area in the United States by using area code lookup tools online. There are currently four area codes serving Osceola County.
Area Code 863
Area code 863 covers approximately 3,951,000 unique phone numbers and 446,222 individuals. The most populous cities served by this area code include Kissimmee, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Haines, and Plant. It was created from area code 941 and was first used on September 20, 1999.
Area Code 321
Area code 321 was created from area code 407 and first used on November 1, 1999. The most populous cities served by this area code are Melbourne, Orlando, Alafaya, Apopka, Kissimmee, and Sanford. Area code 321 covers approximately 4,130,000 unique phone numbers and 740,999 individuals.
Area Code 407
Area code 407 was created from area code 305 and first put in service on April 16, 1988. It was split in 1996 to form area code 561, and again in 1999 to form area code 321. It serves cities such as Altamonte Springs, Oviedo, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Maitland, Geneva, and Monteverde. Area code 407 covers approximately 7,985,000 unique phone numbers and 709,415 individuals.
Area code 689
Following notification from the North American Numbering Plan Administrator in 2018 that central Florida numbers were running out, the Florida Public Service Commission approved the new 689 area code plan and activated it in June 2019. Area code 689 overlays the 407 area code and is overlaid by area code 321. It serves cities such as Altamonte Springs, Apopka, Casselberry, Kissimmee, Ocoee, Orlando, St. Cloud, and Wekiwa Springs.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Osceola County?
Per a survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2018, an estimated 60.9% of residents in Florida above the age of 18 used wireless-only cellular phone service, while only 4.0% used landline telephone service exclusively. The survey also revealed that among individuals residing in the state below the age of 18, 72.9% used wireless-only cellular phone service, while only 1.7% used landline telephone service exclusively.
Cellular phone service users in Osceola County can purchase phone plans from any of the four major wireless carriers: T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T. In the county seat of Kissimmee, Verizon has a coverage score of 96%, AT&T has 84%, T-Mobile has 82%, while Sprint cellular services only cover approximately 70% of the City. Osceola County residents are not restricted to only cell phone plans from the Major Network Operators (MNOs) with Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) also offering cell phone plans for residents looking to cut down on costs. Although most MVNOs run their own customer databases, billing systems, and customer-care relationships, minutes and data, or infrastructures are leased or purchased from the MNOs. Hence, it is easy for these resellers to shift with market trends toward lower costs, and more in-demand services.
VoIP phone service is yet another option for Osceola County residents looking to find cheap services to make and receive phone calls. VoIP, short for Voice over Internet Protocol, is a communications technology that allows users to enjoy telephony service through IP networks, rather than through analog or cellular connections. More precisely, VoIP uses packet-switching technology to transmit data during communications, while wireless telephones and landlines use circuit switching technology. Since no new lines are required to be laid, VoIP service is cheaper and fast becoming the standard communication option for many phone users.
What Are Osceola County Phone Scams?
Osceola County phone scams are crooked practices of fraudsters intended to steal money and private information from county residents perpetrated using phone calls. These fraudsters use several devious schemes to get residents to divulge sensitive information, such as live calls and robocalls. Many phone scammers also use caller ID spoofing to mask their identities. With caller ID spoofing, a caller can copy or clone the phone number of a neighbor, law enforcement agency, an insurance company, a technology company, or any person desired by the caller. Phone lookup applications can help uncover the true identities of scam callers.
What Are Osceola County COVID-19 Scams?
Many Osceola County residents have reported receiving calls from con artists claiming to represent the Florida Department of Health in the County (FDOH-Osceola) and demanding private information. During such calls, the caller ID may show up as the Health Department's phone number with the caller requesting the target's Social Security number in order to notify the target about the result of a COVID-19 test. Note that FDOH-Osceola does not ask county residents for their Social Security number or personal financial information. If you are unsure whether the call originates from the Health Department, hang up and call the Department's main number directly at (407) 343-2000. Residents can use reverse cell phone lookup tools to verify if a caller’s identity matches the name given.
In another variation of this scam, the caller informs you that your Social Security benefits, Supplemental Security Income, or the $1,200 CARES Act stimulus payment will be stopped or suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To avert loss or suspension, the caller will ask you to send money to provide personal or financial information. Note that the Social Security Administration does not:
- Threaten beneficiaries with benefit suspension, arrest, or other legal action unless you pay a fine or fee
- Promise a benefit increase or other assistance in exchange for payment
- Require payment by retail gift card, cash, wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or prepaid debit card
- Demand secrecy from you in handling a Social Security-related problem
What are Osceola County Grandparent Scams?
Con artists frequently engage in grandparent scams to exploit fear and emotional attachment to loved ones - a common trait of the elderly. In a grandparent scam, a grandparent receives a phone call from an impostor who claims to be in distress. Typical distressed situations include being in an out-of-state jail, injured while driving under the influence, paying a hospital bill, and stranded in a foreign country or faraway location.
A second caller may join in and pretend to be an attorney or law enforcement officer who confirms the initial story and requests the grandparent to send money by cash, gift cards, or wire transfer to pay the bail bond within a short period of time. The fake grandchild also pleads with the grandparent to refrain from telling other members of the family about the situation at hand. There are free reverse phone number lookup tools online to help uncover who called and find who a number is registered to.
What are Osceola County Sheriff Impostor Scams?
Osceola County sheriff impostor scams are one of the most common government impostor scams. Here, scammers pretend to be from the sheriff's office or other local law enforcement and demand money or personal information from residents. Often, a sheriff impostor will claim the target has missed jury duty or will be arrested for a fictitious offense. To avert an arrest, payment will be required to be sent by wire transfer, prepaid debit cards, or gift cards. To help verify that callers are who they say they are, you can use good reverse phone lookup tools online to quickly do a number lookup or reverse number lookup.
What are Osceola County IRS Scams?
In an IRS scam, a fraudster calls an Osceola County taxpayer and claims to be an official of the Internal Revenue Service. The fraudster demands the target to pay bogus tax bills in back taxes or outstanding payments due to the government. These con artists may have some of the taxpayers’ information, including their address, the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, or other personal details – making the phone calls appear legitimate. During the conversation, the scammer may threaten the resident with jail time, deportation, or revocation of a driver's license. Individuals who are recent immigrants are vulnerable to this type of phone scam. Payment is typically requested through a prepaid debit card or wire transfer.
Many IRS scam calls originate outside the shores of the United States. You may conduct a “reverse phone lookup international” search online to verify the source of such calls. A “reverse phone lookup USA” search will help track the origin of a call placed within the United States.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is an automated telephone call used to deliver a prerecorded message typically to a large audience. Robocalls employ computerized autodialers to send out recorded messages to recipients. They are often used by the government, public entities, telemarketers, and political organizations to deliver announcements or important notices. Such announcements include pre-recorded school announcements, general reminders of upcoming events, campaign advertisements, and emergency disaster warnings.
Pursuant to the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, the United States government placed certain restrictions on the use of automatic dialers, fax machines, and unsolicited automated calls to protect the privacy and public safety interests of telephone subscribers. According to the TCPA, telemarketers are required to obtain the express permission of telephone subscribers before placing robocalls to them. Although robocalls have several useful purposes, many of the robocalls received by Osceola County residents are unsolicited calls designed to fleece them. Such intrusive and unwanted robocalls are spam calls. To limit the chances of being fleeced by robocalls placed by scammers, you may use reverse phone lookup tools to verify the identity of incoming calls.
Other steps to take to stop robocalls include:
- Hang up on calls from unknown callers. Do not answer calls with unfamiliar caller IDs
- Hang up on robocalls. If you unknowingly answer a call and hear a prerecorded message, hang up immediately. Do not press any number to get removed from any list or to speak with a live agent. Doing so will only indicate to the scammer that the line is active, which will lead to more robocalls
- Do not give out personal or financial information over a telephone call.
- Set your phone to block unwanted calls. The setting is available on both Android and iOS devices.
- Contact your telephone service provider to inquire about available tools to deal with robocalls.
- Download and install a third-party call-blocking application, such as Nomorobo, YouMail, Hiya, and Truecaller. These applications are available on the Android and iOS application stores.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Illegal telemarketers are prohibited from calling numbers added to the list. If you get a robocall after 31 days of registration, it is likely to be a scam call.
How to Spot and Report Osceola County Phone Scams?
Scammers are creative, tenacious, and willing to invest their time for potential payouts. They might call hundreds of phone lines to get one hit, netting them hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Growing access to personal information through the internet gives scammers additional tools and insights to use against unsuspecting residents. New capabilities for spoofing caller identification can make the phone number appearing on your caller ID look like a trusted company's telephone number. Spoofing makes it easier for scammers to deceive you and makes it more difficult for you to immediately verify the call. Because of the trust generally placed on caller IDs, spoofing can cause even the most alert and savvy consumer to fall victim. Tools such as reverse phone number lookup services are effective in identifying potential phone scams.
Here are some tell-tale signs of phone scams:
- The caller demands sensitive information: If you answer a call and the caller tries to coerce you into releasing personal and sensitive information, such as Social Security number, bank information, and credit card details, it is likely to be a scammer.
- The caller pressures you into making an immediate decision: If a caller denies you the opportunity to consider your options, it is likely to be a scammer trying to defraud you.
- The conversation becomes heated: If the caller making an unsolicited call suddenly becomes hostile and threatens to arrest, deport, or revoke your license, chances are that the caller is a scammer.
- The caller asks for payment through specific or dubious methods: If a caller claims to represent a reputable organization but requests payments through prepaid debit cards, internet currencies, gift cards, or cash by mail, MoneyGram, or Western Union, do not take the bait. Hang up immediately.
- Shut-off scare tactic: Scammers posing as utility company employees may call you threatening to disconnect your service unless you make an immediate payment. This is likely to be a scam call. Trusted service providers may remind you that your service may be disconnected but never in a threatening tone. They will also not demand that your pay right away.
You can file complaints in Osceola County with any of the following public bodies if you have been contacted by a scammer:
- The Osceola County Sheriff's Office and other local police departments: If you have fallen victim to a phone scam in Osceola County, you may contact the county sheriff's office at (407) 348-2222 or your local police department.
- The Florida State Attorney General's Office: The Florida Attorney General's Office maintains a consumer protection line at (866) 966-7226. The Office has the legal right to prosecute residents engaging in fraudulent practices. You can also file a complaint online.
- Federal Communications Commission: If you receive unwanted robocalls and text messages, you can file a report online with the FCC.
- Federal Trade Commission - The FTC protects consumers from deceptive and fraudulent practices. You can file a phone scam report with the FTC by completing the online complaint form.
- Office of the Inspector General Social Security Administration: If you have received a call informing you of an alleged problem with your Social Security number, account, or payment, report such to the OIG by filing a complaint online.