What are Hamilton County Area Codes?
An area code is the part of a telephone number that is responsible for routing long-distance calls to their destination. When the area code is combined with the first three digits of a seven-digit local telephone number, a geographic address is created that routes calls through the telephone network. An area code 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 for a community or region in the United States by using area code lookup tools online.
Only one area code currently serves Hamilton County.
Area Code 423
Area code 423 serves central Tennessee and the north and south of Knoxville. It includes the cities of Johnson, Kingsport, and Chattanooga. Area code 423 was first used on September 11, 1995, and was created from area code 615. Other cities served by area code 423 include Cleveland, Morristown, Bristol, East Ridge, Greenville, and Elizabethton.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Hamilton County?
The National Center for Health Statistics through a survey conducted in 2018 estimated that 61.2% of persons aged 18 and above in Tennessee adopted the use of wireless telephony service exclusively, while only 3.7% used landline-only telephony service. By contrast, 71.4% of individuals below the age of 18 in the state used wireless-only telephony service compared to only 1.6% who used landline telephony service exclusively.
Hamilton County residents are not short of options when selecting cell phone plans. America's four major wireless telephony service providers all have wide coverages in the county. In the county seat of Chattanooga, Verizon and AT&T both have the widest coverage with 94% and 92% coverage scores respectively. Sprint covers 84% of the city, while T-Mobile records a 70% coverage score. Residents who cannot afford cell phone plans from the major carriers can purchase plans offered by Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) in the county. These plans are usually cheaper because the MVNOs buy minutes and data from the major carriers in wholesale and do not have to maintain or build their own infrastructure.
Hamilton County residents can also make calls using VoIP service provided by VoIP service providers. VoIP, an acronym for Voice over Internet Protocol, is a technology that allows for the transmission of voices, sounds, and multimedia content over internet protocol networks. Most traditional telephony business models are built on upselling extra functionality to customers who want better experiences with their voice calls. On the other hand, VoIP offers a whole raft of extra features like video conferencing, call forwarding, caller-ID services, call waiting, and three-way calling in with the standard rate and call provision. Hence, more and more Hamilton County residents are beginning to use VoIP for making calls.
What Are Hamilton County Phone Scams?
Hamilton County phone scams are deceptive and fraudulent acts of criminals perpetrated through phone calls with the aim of obtaining the personal and financial information of Hamilton County residents.
These scams may come from real persons, or through robocalls, or text messages. Scammers often make unfounded promises, including bogus offers to buy products, invest money, get free grants, lotteries, or obtain free vouchers or product trials. At other times, scammers may call with threats of lawsuits or license revocation if you do not pay up. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Attorney General's Office provide regular consumer alerts and awareness of current and popular phone scams carried out in the state. Hamilton County residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers.
What are Hamilton County Grandparent Scams?
Grandparent scams are usually targeted at grandparents. Here, the scammer calls or sends a message claiming to be a grandchild in trouble and urges the grandparent to send financial aid immediately to help with an emergency. Such emergencies typically involve getting out of jail, paying a hospital bill, or returning from a foreign country. Grandparent scammers try to play on the emotions of senior citizens in order to rob them of money. The caller may not always play the grandchild card, sometimes, they can also pretend to be an old neighbor or a family friend.
In grandparent scams, the caller usually requests that the money be sent through a money transfer service such as MoneyGram and Western Union. The scammer may claim to be embarrassed by the situation and ask the victim to keep the assistance secret from other members of the family. There are free reverse phone number lookup tools online to help uncover who called and find who a number is registered to.
What are Hamilton County IRS and Government Impostor Scams?
In an IRS scam, the caller contacts you and tells you that you owe back taxes and must pay immediately. The caller threatens you with arrest, license revocation, or imprisonment if you do not pay the tax owed. IRS scammers typically use caller ID spoofing to mimic the phone number of the Internal Revenue Service and pose as representatives of the organization. An IRS scammer may also claim that you qualify for a tax refund. However, you need to provide personal information such as bank details and a Social Security number to receive the refund. If you think you owe taxes, visit the official IRS website to find a real telephone number to contact the organization. The IRS would probably have contacted you by mail and email if you owed money. Note that the IRS does not immediately send taxpayers to jail; there is a long process involved before a taxpayer will be required to face any criminal penalty.
There are a few variations of the government impostor scams. In its most common form in Hamilton County, scammers pretend to be from the sheriff's office or local law enforcement and demand money from residents. Often, a government impostor scammer 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 made to a particular account through wire transfer 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 Hamilton County “Say Yes” Scams?
Phone scammers are getting more devious in their schemes by the day as they are adopting several tactics to trick Hamilton County residents into saying "yes" on the call. In this scam, the scammer will typically call using local area codes to lure you into answering the call. Once you say hello, they will ask "can you hear me?" to elicit a response of "yes." What residents do not realize is that the scammers record the "yes" and later use it in fraudulent acts. A scammer takes the "yes" recording and uses it to authorize unwanted charges whether that is on a phone or utility bill or even on a credit card.
By obtaining a "yes" recording, a scammer has your verbal okay to agree to something. The scammer probably has your name, phone number, and other information, and as such can make certain purchases using the information gathered.
What are Hamilton County Health Insurance Scams?
The health insurance scam is one of the most common phone scams in Hamilton County. Scammers who use caller ID spoofing technology to clone the telephone number of the Tennessee Department of Health contact Hamilton County residents posing as representatives of the Department of Health to obtain sensitive information. When residents answer the calls, they are asked to provide their health insurance information and other personal information. In some instances, the scammers pose as representatives of the BlueCross Blue Shield.
Note that the Tennessee Department of Health does not contact people by phone to request personal information, such as health insurance information. Residents are advised not to share any personal information in this manner. While patients are making appointments for services at a local health department, the health department clinic staff member may ask for a patient's insurance carrier but will not demand the policy numbers or other details over the phone. You can use free reverse phone number lookup tools online to verify the true origin of a call.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is an automated phone call that delivers a pre-recorded message to an individual or group of people. Robocalls use automated dialers known as automatic dialing announcing devices (ADADs) to contact a pre-selected list of phone numbers. Robocalls are often used by advertising agencies, government agencies, and political campaigners to send recorded messages to an existing or potential audience at much cheaper rates than traditional calls.
Although telemarketers or agencies view robocalls as viable tools for publicity, some robocalls are illegal and are designed to publicize information on underhanded products and services. Such robocalls are spam calls intended to fleece unsuspecting persons. One way to combat the scourge of robocalls is to use reverse phone lookup tools to verify the identity of incoming calls. Other steps that may be taken to limit robocalls include:
- Do not interact with a robocall: If you answer a call and hear a prerecorded message, hang up immediately. Do not press a button, wait for an agent, or even speak. Anything you do that shows that your number is real and active makes you a bigger target for promotions, real or fake, in the future.
- Do not answer calls from unknown numbers. If you do, do not respond to any questions, especially those that can be answered with "yes."
- Do not trust your caller ID. With spoofing technology, it is now possible to falsify the name on the caller ID display.
- Set up a password for your mobile voicemail. This prevents your voicemail from being hacked.
- Register your number on the Do Not Call Registry: Register your number on the National Do Not Call List maintained by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC requires legitimate telemarketers to consult the list before placing robocalls.
- Ask your phone service provider to block unwanted calls. Some of these providers provide call-blocking options at extra costs.
- Use a third-party call-screening app. You can download a third-party call-blocking app from major mobile application stores. Examples include Nomorobo, Hiya, and Truecaller.
- Sign up for free scam alerts directly into your inbox with the Federal Trades Commission (FTC).
How to Spot and Report Hamilton County Phone Scams?
Scammers are very good at what they do and are constantly shifting strategies to appear real to their targets. By employing more sophisticated tactics, such as using caller ID spoofing, scammers increase the odds of successfully defrauding their targets.
Although organizations like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are working to alleviate the impact of spam phone calls on phone users, there are ways to be proactive and notice the telltale signs of phone scams. Here are the top signs that you are talking to a scammer:
- The caller makes an offer too good to be true: A scammer may devise this trick to lure a target into making a small payment to obtain a big prize or product. If a caller demands that you make payment before accessing winnings, it is likely to be a scam.
- The caller asks for personal information. If an unsolicited caller asks for your information such as password, Social Security number, and bank information, do not give them up. Such unsolicited calls are likely to spam calls.
- The caller claims to represent a reputable organization and asks you to make a payment through money transfer services such as MoneyGram and Western Union. Con artists are fond of asking for payments through prepaid debit cards, gift cards, cryptocurrencies, and wire transfers. Transfers made through this means are very difficult to retrieve. Do not fall for this trick.
- The caller uses a generic greeting: Another indication that a caller could be a scammer is addressing you generically. If the caller knows you, you will be greeted with your name. Some calls start with "Hello resident" or "Hello citizen". Starting a conversion that way could mean that your number is on a list of potential marks or the scammer is dialing randomly.
- You need to act fast to take advantage of an offer: Scammers often play on your emotion to make you act fast when they call. Sometimes the offer may be legitimate, but you have to take time to question it. For instance, you enter a contest and won a prize. However, you should not have to do something immediately or you miss out. If the caller insists that you have to make a decision now, it is likely to be a scam.
Services that conduct reverse phone number lookups by address, name, and phone number are helpful against phone scams. Both state and federal institutions are committed to fighting the scourge of phone scammers and provide information and assistance to residents. These include:
- The Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs: Contact the Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) at (800)342-8385 or (615) 741-4737, or visit the DCA website to file a complaint online.
- Local Police Departments and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office: If you receive a scam call in Hamilton County, you can report it to your local police department or the sheriff’s office by calling at (423) 209-7000
- Federal Communications Commission: If you still receive unwanted phone calls after adding your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry, you can file a complaint with the FCC online.
- Federal Trade Commission: The FCC protects American citizens from illegal robocalls. If you still receive robocalls aimed at defrauding you, file a complaint with the FTC online.