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What are Sarasota County Area Codes?

Area codes comprise the three numbers at the beginning of American telephone numbers. They were introduced when the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) ushered in a new telephone numbering and switching system. NANP’s numbering system involves merging close cities and towns to form Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs). Each NPA has a unique code, called area codes, and every telephone number registered within each NPA bore the given area code. All the area codes within Florida’s territory are under the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC)’s administration. Currently, Sarasota County is served by only one area code (941).

Area Code 941

Area code 941 is a Florida telephone area code in the NANP that covers Sarasota County and surrounding neighborhoods. The code became active in 1995 as a result of the split of the 813 NPA. North Port, Sarasota, Venice, and the Town of Longboat Key are communities in Sarasota County under the 941 NPA.

What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Sarasota County?

The continuous shift to wireless telephony services is telling on the usage of traditional landlines in Florida, including Sarasota County. According to a 2018 CDC survey, about 60.9% of Florida adults used wireless telephony services exclusively in their homes. This is a wide margin compared to the 4.0% that resided in landlines-only households. According to the survey, wireless telephony services were more embraced by the child population in Florida. An estimated 72.9% of Florida children lived in households that used wireless services exclusively. Those that used landlines solely for telecommunication made up about 1.7%. Undoubtedly, the continued use of traditional landlines in Florida is under threat.

Sarasota County residents enjoy outstanding cell reception from the four major national carriers. Verizon takes the lead, boasting a presence in all parts of the county with 100% coverage. T-Mobile and Sprint cover 90% and 70% of the county, respectively, while AT&T has a 68% spread. Several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MNVOs) also operate in the county. They complement the national operators’ efforts to provide access to more affordable network services.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) adoption is becoming widespread in Sarasota County. It is a form of telephony service that transmits voice and multimedia messages over broadband internet connections. A single VoIP subscription typically covers business, cable, residential internet, and telephony services. The proliferation of VoIP service providers in Sarasota County is evidence of the growing status of the technology.

What are Sarasota County Phone Scams?

Sarasota County phone scams are the telephone-aided dubious schemes executed by fraudsters to steal money or obtain confidential information from county residents. Phone scammers use phony text messages or phone calls to con their targets into parting with money or personal information. They usually impersonate legitimate businesses or government agencies to earn their targets’ trust. Authorities advise county residents to always conduct free reverse phone lookups on unknown phone numbers to prevent falling victim to scams. Reverse phone number lookups can unveil the true identities of persons registered to phone numbers used to perpetrate scams. The Florida Attorney General’s Office (AGO) is at the forefront of the fight against phone scams. It educates residents on prevalent scams with Scams at a Glance hosted on its website. The prevalent phone scams in Sarasota County include:

What are IRS Scams?

IRS scams are a type of imposter scams where fraudsters pretend to be Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents and demand immediate payment of owed taxes. These impersonators often spoof their targets’ caller IDs to display IRS official phone numbers. They may even call out fake badge numbers to make unsuspecting residents believe the calls originated from the IRS. Common tactics deployed to aid the execution of this scam are the use of pressure and threats. The con artists will threaten to arrest, deport, or seize targets’ licenses or properties if they do not make the required payment. These scammers have a preference for receiving payments through irregular means such as gift cards, wire transfers, or prepaid debit cards. Doing reverse phone lookup on unfamiliar phone numbers can help ascertain the true identities of such callers and prevent you from falling victim to IRS scams.

What are Tech Support Scams?

Tech Support scams are imposter scams. The callers impersonate employees of major tech companies to access their targets’ computers. They may deploy pop-ups on their targets’ computers or contact them by phone call. Once the scammers establish contact with their marks, they convince them to grant remote access to their computers for urgent repairs. Naive residents often grant admit requests, which allows the scammers to harvest their marks’ confidential information from their PCs and then charge excessive fees for the fake repairs. Sarasota County residents should desist from granting unknown persons remote access to their computers, especially if they did not initiate the contact. Sarasota County residents can perform phone number searches on such callers’ phone numbers to uncover their identities.

What are Charity Scams?

In charity scams, fraudsters set up fake charity organizations and prey on Sarasota County residents’ goodwill. These scammers steal targets’ money by seeking donations on behalf of their non-existent charities. Typically, these con artists give their fake charities names similar to those of reputable charities. A phone number lookup by address can prevent you from falling victim to this scam as it will reveal the caller’s actual identity and address. Sarasota County residents should always verify any charity organization’s registration status at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) before donating to them.

What are Utility Scams?

Utility scams are imposter scams where fraudsters claim to represent targets’ utility companies and request immediate payments for past due bills. They often threaten to shut down gas, power, or water if their marks do not make the required payments. Free reverse phone lookup services can reveal such callers’ identities and prevent Sarasota County residents from falling prey. If you receive this type of call, end it immediately and contact your local utility company to verify the caller’s claim and confirm your account status.

What are Grandparents Scams?

Grandparent scam in Sarasota County primarily targets aged persons, and there are multiple variations of the scheme. In a version, scammers contact their targets and pretend to be law enforcement agents or attorneys to their grandchildren or close relatives. They will say their grandchildren are in jail and need money to bond out. In another version, they pose as their targets’ grandchildren and claim to have been hurt or arrested and require a certain amount of money to resolve the issues. Unsuspecting marks often make these payments in an attempt to secure their grandchildren’s release. Doing reverse phone look ups can prevent residents from falling victim to this scam. Residents are advised not to make any payment until they confirm their relatives’ actual status from other family members.

What are Sweepstakes or Lottery Scams?

Fraudsters pretend to be with familiar lottery companies and deceive their targets into believing they have won lotteries, usually from foreign countries. However, they must make upfront payments to cover taxes, shipping, and processing fees. Victims of this scam end up not receiving any winnings after payment. Conducting phone number lookups by address will reveal such calls’ origin and reveal the callers’ real identities.

What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?

Robocalls are automated phone calls that deliver pre-recorded information. Robocalls are legitimate telemarketing tools that have been abused by fraudsters. The ease with which robocalls deliver messages appeals to many users, including fraudsters who now use robocalls to steal unwary Sarasota County residents’ money and personal information.

The authorities have taken several steps in the attempt to curtail the robocalls abuse and spam calls menace.

Even with the restriction on some unsolicited robocalls, many residents still report constant robocall abuse. You can take the following steps to reduce the inundation of robocalls:

  • Ignore phone calls from unknown numbers. Hang up the phone immediately if you receive a phone call that turns out to be a robocall and do not act on the instruction of pressing certain numbers. Doing that will notify scammers that the phone number is active and attracts more of such calls.
  • Use phone number lookup free services to uncover unknown callers’ true identities.
  • Identify phone numbers that have been used to place robocalls and use your network provider’s call-blocking feature to bar them from calling you in the future. You can also use third-party call blocking applications.
  • Enlist your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry and Florida Do Not Call to bar legitimate robocalls. Subsequent robocalls you receive after registration are potential scam calls.
  • Report every case of robocall abuse to the FTC by filing complaints online or calling 1-888-382-1222.

How to Spot and Report Sarasota County Phone Scams?

Phone scammers employ various schemes to extort Sarasota County residents. However, these schemes all involve certain actions that, if identified, can warn residents of imminent phone scams. Sarasota County residents should be wary if they notice these warning signs:

  • Unsolicited phone calls from seemingly reputable organizations threatening residents with extreme actions if they do not make urgent payments or disclose personal information are highly suspicious. There is no need for any agency to request your personal information, especially on unsolicited phone calls. Do not disclose such.
  • Investment opportunities that promise quick gains in a short time, provided county residents fund such businesses immediately to beat the limited window of opportunity are mostly cons. Scammers usually pressure their targets to immediately make funding available for such opportunities and dissuade them from investigating the legitimacy of such business opportunities.
  • Unnecessary pressure to make payments through unconventional platforms. Unknown callers from unsolicited phone calls that demand financial requests through cryptocurrencies, gift cards, or debit cards are potential scammers. These means of receiving payments are mostly untraceable, making them suitable for fraudsters.
  • Unsolicited calls that promise winnings from foreign lotteries but demand that marks make upfront payments to redeem them. Typically, prizes should not require any financial commitment from winners.

Phone scams awareness in Sarasota County helps prevent residents from falling victim to scammers’ deceptive schemes. Some agencies provide county residents with regular updates on phone scams and provide platforms for residents to report phone scam incidents.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protects consumers’ interests and ensures service providers adhere to laid down rules while competing. The FTC provides Sarasota County residents with information on avoiding robocalls and phone scams. It developed the National Do Not Call Register to curtail the robocall menace. County residents can also report incidents of scams to the FTC online.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates telecommunications in the United States. It provides guides on how to deal with phone spoofing and has mandated telephone carriers to implement a higher level of caller authentication. It is hoped that this will ultimately eliminate phone spoofing and significantly reduce phone scams. The FCC provides a complaint assistant platform for victims of phone scams to report their cases.

Some Florida departments complement federal agencies’ efforts in keeping Sarasota County residents safe from phone scammers. The Attorney General’s Office, for instance, provides Scams at a Glance on its website to keep residents abreast of prevalent scams in the state. The Attorney General’s Office takes complaints of phone scam incidents online.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) provides an online search platform for registered charitable organizations in the state. It also maintains Florida Do Not Call list. The FDACS also provides residents with resources on scams to help them identify and avoid fraudsters. Residents can file reports of scams online with the FDACS.

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office provides residents with resources on managing unsolicited nuisance phone calls. The Sheriff’s Office also educates residents on ways to protect their identities from fraudsters. Victims of phone scams can call (941) 861-5800 to report scam incidents to the County Sheriff’s Office.