What are Rankin County Area Codes?
Area codes were created by the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), and they are the first three numbers of American phone numbers. Area codes identify geographic locations in North America through Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) and indicate the origins of telephone calls. The Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC) maintains area codes in the state. Two area codes currently serve Rankin County. These are:
Area Code 601
Area code 601 was put into service in 1947 as one of the original 86 NPAs. It is a Mississippi area code that serves the central and southern parts of the state apart from the Gulf Coast. Rankin County cities and towns within the 601 NPA include Brandon, Florence, Flowood, Pearl, and Pelahatchie.
Area Code 769
Area code 769 is a Mississippi area code put into service in 2006 as an overlay to the 601 NPA. In Rankin County, it serves the same cities and towns as area code 601.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Rankin County?
Rankin County residents enjoy network services by the major phone carriers in the United States. The extent of coverage provided by each of these carriers varies. In Brandon City, AT&T has network coverage of 98%, followed by T-Mobile, which covers 68% of the city. Verizon and Sprint both provide 66% network spreads in Brandon.
Landlines are steadily being phased out in Mississippi as the majority of its residents now favor wireless telephones. A 2018 National Health Interview Survey conducted for the state clearly showed this trend. According to the survey, 66.5% of adult residents had cell phones as their only means of telecommunication. Only 3.9% of them still used landline phones exclusively. The majority of the children (80.9%) under 18 years were strict cell phone users, while only 0.6% resided in landline-only homes.
With the advent of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, Rankin County residents now have more telephony service options. VoIP is an innovation that uses IP networks such as broadband internet connections to convey voice calls, video conferencing, and text messages between users. It is cheaper and more flexible than traditional phone services, making it a popular choice for homes and businesses in the county.
What are Rankin County Phone Scams?
Rankin County phone scams are cunning practices aimed at defrauding unsuspecting county residents through telephone services. Fraudsters usually use live phone calls, robocalls, or text messages to elicit responses from their targets. While some phone scams dupe county residents out of their money, others aim at stealing their identities. Scammers usually adopt various tricks to fool their targets and often use phone spoofing technology when preying on them. Phone spoofing allows them to hide behind fake IDs, but county residents can use free reverse phone lookup applications to identify spoofed calls and avoid scams. The Rankin County Sheriff's Office advises residents never to let their guards down even if their caller ID information display phone numbers that appear genuine. Other public agencies charged with consumer protection in Rankin County include:
- Mississippi Attorney General's Office (Consumer Protection Division)
- Mississippi Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The frequently reported phone scams in Rankin County include:
What are Rankin County Car Warranty Scams?
These are scams aimed at duping car owners in Rankin County. Fraudsters posing as representatives of reputable car dealerships or insurers call to inform targeted county residents that their car warranties are expired. Usually, this scam starts with a robocall. A live caller then contacts the target for further engagement. They advise their unsuspecting mark to renew the supposedly outdated car warranty and explain how to go about it. In other instances, they employ high-pressure sales tactics to pitch new warranty contracts to their targets. The scammer may even threaten to invalidate the existing insurance if their target refuses to comply. They often ask for money or personal information, which they claim is essential for issuing new auto warranty contracts.
Contrary to their claims, however, there is no contract, and the personal information they collect is used for identity theft. These fraudsters can be pretty convincing and may even mention your name, type of insurance coverage, and car model. Do not be distracted by this because fraudsters often purchase such information from illegal websites. If contacted by an unknown person demanding personal information purportedly for issuing a car warranty extension, hang up immediately. Verify the caller's information by calling your actual insurer using their official phone numbers. You can also use free reverse phone lookup services to identify spoofed phone numbers and robocalls. Residents can report to the FTC or the County Sheriff's Office if they are targeted by this scam.
What are Rankin County Debt Collection Scams?
Scammers pretending to be with debt collection agencies call Rankin County residents in a bid to defraud them. They are usually hostile and use scare tactics to coerce their targets into parting with money they do not owe. Scammers call their targets, informing them of alleged debts they owe creditors. They often resort to threats of arrests, lawsuits, or license revocation if their demands are unmet by their marks. These con artists often insist on collecting debts through wire transfers, gift cards, or other unconventional means. Although genuine creditors sometimes hire debt collection agencies, legitimate debt collectors do not use scare tactics. Also, the typical payment channels they accept are checks, credit cards, and debit cards.
The FTC urges county residents never to pay debts they do not recognize. If the debt collector references an unfamiliar creditor, it is most likely a scam. You should demand a validation letter that proves a debt before making payment. However, scammers can sometimes purchase this information illegally. Therefore, you should contact your creditor directly on their official phone numbers to determine if they assigned you any debt collector. You can run the caller's phone number through a phone number search application to verify their identity.
What are Rankin County Car Wrap Scams?
Scammers claiming to be with advertisement companies call Rankin County residents and offer to pay them a weekly fee for wrapping their cars to advertise a brand or events. The offer is attractive to many residents because they get paid to continue their daily routines without additional responsibility. College students in the county are the usual targets of this fraud, and unfortunately, many fall victim. If a target takes the bait after the call, the scammer sends them a fake check via mail to credit their bank accounts. The bank quickly makes money available as is required of them by law. The scammer then instructs their victim to send a portion of the money to a so-called specialist. This specialist would be responsible for designing the advert and placing it on the cars. Unknown to the victim, both the initial caller and the specialist are scammers and might even be the same individual. These fraudsters end all communications with their victims after receiving the money. It might take a while, but the bank will eventually recognize the fake check, and the victim will have to repay the bank.
The Federal Trade Commission warns residents to reject unsolicited checks from unknown persons. Always research the advertisement company mentioned by such callers independently to avoid these scams. You can also use reverse cell phone lookup to answer the question “who called me?”.
What are Rankin County Inheritance Scams?
In this scam, unknown callers tell Rankin County residents about estates left for them by distant relatives who recently passed. The scammer usually poses as a law firm representative, responsible for finding relatives of the deceased to claim such inheritance. To appear believable, the scammer presents letters and other documents from a law firm that seems genuine. Among the documents they usually send is a letter stating the amount their target stands to inherit. Also included is an administrative fee, which they must pay before claiming their fortune. Usually, such fees are insignificant compared with their phony inheritance. Many residents fall prey to this scam scheme because such offers are hard to resist. Also, during their conversation with targets, scammers request personal and bank account information, supposedly for verifications. It is a ploy to commit identity and financial theft.
Typically, you are not obligated by law to pay a fee before accessing an inheritance. Any legitimate charge should be deducted from the estate before you get it. If you receive such suspicious calls, never share confidential information or send money to the caller. Instead, note down all the information you can, including details of the dead relative and the law firm. Research this information on the internet and from other relatives. You can verify if such calls are spoofed by running the phone numbers through a reverse number lookup application.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are pre-recorded voice calls that automatically distribute messages to mass phone numbers within a short period. Several organizations use robocalls for teleselling and political campaigns. Scammers also use robocalls when trying to reach mass audiences because it allows them to manipulate their caller IDs and remain discrete. Nevertheless, applications that offer reverse phone number search services can decipher robocalls and prevent residents from falling prey to illegal robocalls. Spam calls are calls that convey irrelevant messages in bulk. Scammers often distribute spam robocalls to mark active phone numbers for future scams. You can reduce the frequency of robocalls you get by doing any of the following:
- Enlist your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to stop unsolicited robocalls. You can also enter your phone number in the Mississippi No Call Program by registering online to reduce unwanted telemarketing calls and scam calls. If you continue receiving unwanted sales calls, file a complaint with the Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC) for investigations.
- Hang up if you answered a robocall and report the phone number to the FTC by filing an online complaint or calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Use websites that offer reverse phone number lookup to identify robocalls and spam numbers and block them using the call-blocking feature on your cell phone.
How Can You Spot and Report Rankin County Phone Scams?
To spot Rankin County phone scams, residents must be alert for red flags indicating fraud. Some government agencies educate Rankin County residents on how to recognize these red flags and avoid them. Running unknown callers’ phone numbers through applications that offer suspicious phone number lookup services can help Rankin County residents avoid phone scams. The indications of possible scams include:
- An unknown caller claiming you have an inheritance from a deceased relative but demands immediate up-front payment from you or personal information. Anyone making such insistence is a fraudster trying to trick you.
- A supposed law enforcement officer uses a hostile approach to convince you to make payments or share confidential information. Legitimate law enforcement agents do not operate in this manner. Also, they will never solicit payments from residents over the phone.
- A caller insists on payments through a specific, unconventional channel. Scammers usually demand money through channels like gift cards, bitcoins, or wire transfers, unlike legitimate organizations that prefer checks or credit cards.
- A caller with an investment proposition evades questions about legal documents as proof of their business agreement and pressures you to invest urgently. Decline such offers because genuine businesses will generally provide contract documents without hesitation and give you enough time to decide.
Rankin County residents can report phone scams to any of the following public agencies:
- Rankin County Sheriff's Office: Rankin County residents who are victims of phone scams can report to the Rankin County Sheriff's Office by calling (601) 825-1480. Alternatively, they can file in-person complaints by visiting the agency at 221 N Timber St, Brandon, MS 39042.
- Mississippi Attorney General's Office: The Consumer Protection Division of the Mississippi Attorney General's Office investigates reports of scams registered with it. County residents can report phone scam incidents by calling (toll-free) 1 (800) 281-4418 or filing complaints online.
- Mississippi Better Business Bureau (BBB): The Mississippi BBB investigates reports filed by consumers about fraudulent and unfair business practices in the county. Rankin County residents can file scam complaints with the BBB by calling (601) 707-0960.
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC): County residents can enter their phone numbers in the National DNC Registry managed by the FTC to be exempted from unwanted telemarketing calls. They can also file reports of phone scams in the county with the FTC online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Federal Communications Commission (FCC): Rankin County residents can file online reports of phone scams with the FCC.
Mississippi Public Service Commission (PSC): The Mississippi Public Service Commission manages the state's No-Call List for businesses and homes. Rankin County residents can enter their phone numbers in the Mississippi No Call Program by registering online to minimize unsolicited robocalls and scam calls. Residents who continue to get unsolicited sales calls can file an online complaint with the PSC.