What are McHenry County Area Codes?
Area codes are 3-digit numbers that identify a specific telephone service area in a particular geographical region. Usually, the first three digits of a phone number are the area codes. Area codes 779, 815, 847, and 224 are Illinois telephone area codes in the North American Numbering Plan (NANPA) . The NANPA offers quick area code lookup using an area code search or area code maps online.
Area codes 815 and 779 are NANPA codes for the state of Illinois. Area code 779 serves as an overlay of the primary code, 815, serving the county. It covers most of northern Illinois and many western, northwestern, and southwestern suburbs of Chicago, United States. Cities covered by 815 and 779 area codes in McHenry County include Crystal Lake, Harvard, McHenry City, Hebron, Richmond, Ringwood, Spring Grove, Wonder Lake, Woodstock, Marengo, and Union.
Area codes 847 and 224 in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) for the U.S state of Illinois covers many northern suburbs of Chicago and the northeastern part of Illinois. Area code 224 serves as an overlay of the parent code, 847, serving the county. Cities covered by 847 and 224 in McHenry County include Cary, Fox River Grove, Algonquin, Huntley, and Lake In The Hills.
What are the best cell phone plans in McHenry County?
The best cell Phone plans in McHenry County are those offered by AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, all of which have very extensive reach, each with varying coverage ranges. AT&T has the widest network reach of up to 100% coverage, while Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have coverages of 99.1%, 96.4%, and 96.35% respectively.
In McHenry County, cell phone use has significantly substituted landline use. The number of landline users has dropped drastically (by over 40%) since the year 2005, while the number of cellphone users has grown by over 50% since then. According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the number of children using only wireless phone service exceeds that of the number of adults who use only wireless service by up to 10.2%. More than 50% of households do not have a landline, but have at least one cell phone. The NCHS data by states showed that in the state of Illinois, 48.8% of residents use only wireless phones, 4.4% use only landlines, 18.3% use both, while 16.7% and 9.1% use mostly wireless, and mostly landlines respectively.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology which changes a person’s voice into a digital signal and allows them to make calls directly from a VoIP phone, computer or other devices driven by data. With VoIP, one can make voice calls using a broadband internet connection anywhere, anytime, rather than a regular phone line. VoIP usage in McHenry County also offers an advantage over regular phone service because unlike traditional phone calls where a phone number is permanently attached to an area code, it allows customers to change their area codes at will without living in the location of that area code. It has many flexible features (such as call blocking, call forwarding, international calling, call waiting, caller Identification, and three-way calling) and is a more convenient choice for many McHenry County residents. VoIP usage in McHenry County has been on the rise and promises to soon be the future of voice communication in the county.
What are McHenry County phone scams?
McHenry County phone scams are the use of telecommunications services or products in order to illegally or fraudulently acquire money from unsuspecting phone users through phone-mediated tactics. Oftentimes, their victims do not know who called. In the state of Illinois, common phone scams include:
- Travel package scams
Phone users are offered free or low cost vacations that eventually costs similar to that offered by a reputable travel company. In some cases, fraudulent companies take money from unsuspecting customers without delivering the travel tickets or hotel vouchers they paid for.
- Prize offers
Fraudsters promise their victims free prizes for which they will have to buy a worthless or overpriced product or service in order to claim. The victim may even be asked to give out sensitive information such as their credit card numbers or social security numbers before they can claim their prize.
Scammers promise their victims investment opportunities with high returns on investment at little or no risk. Unsuspecting investors often fail to get the interests promised, or in many cases, lose their capital as well.
Fraudsters collect donations from people in the name of charities and in some cases, pose as representatives of well-known reputable charities so as to extort money from their victims.
- Vitamins and other health products
This involves the use of marketing tactics and promises of huge prizes. People are made to pay large sums of money for vitamins and health products that are of little value.
- Recovery scams
Con artists call previous victims of scam with promises to help them recover their money for an additional amount.
- Government imposter scams
A scammer poses as a government official and tries to get you to send them money or even threaten with a lawsuit or an arrest if a supposed tax or debt is not paid.
Robocalls are phone calls that use automatic dialers to deliver pre-recorded messages which are usually telemarketing phone campaigns and political campaigns. Robocalls are sometimes calls from healthcare professionals (such as prescription refill reminders), debt collection calls from credit companies, messages from charities to its members or previous donors, or informal messages such as a cancelled flight, or delayed school opening (provided the caller is not trying to sell a product). In many cases however, robocalls are scams. One can tell that they got a scam robocall if they get several calls from a phone number without knowing who called, or from a particular company to which they did not grant a written permission for such calls. Also, a robocall is a scam if it is trying to sell an illegal product, if the caller is a government imposter, or if it asks for money, personal information, or credit card details.
If you get an Illegal robocall, hang-up immediately and report the call online to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or call the FTC on (877) 382-4357. Reporting suspected scam calls helps the FTC identify illegal phone numbers based on calling patterns and track the callers.
You can do a free phone number lookup by name online by searching for websites that offer free reverse phone lookup USA or free reverse phone lookup international. With some of these sites,you can even carry out phone number lookup by address.
How Can You Spot and Report McHenry County Phone Scams?
You can spot phone scams in McHenry County by being alert and sensitive when you do not know who called or from unfamiliar phone numbers. If the caller tries to use intimidation to persuade you into making quick decisions over the phone, asks for credit card or personal information, or if a company or charity that a caller claims to represent cannot be verified, it is a sign of a phone scam. If you receive such calls, do not respond to their questions (such responses can be recorded as proof for a credit card charge), provide your credit card number or bank information, or send money to the caller. If you get a call from any suspicious phone number, you should:
- Hang-up immediately
- Register your line with the National Do Not Call Registry either online or over the phone by calling: (888) 382-1222.
- Report the phone scam by contacting the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office at:
McHenry County Sheriff’s Office
2200 North Seminary Avenue
Woodstock, IL 60098
- Block the call using a call blocking app: to block calls on a mobile phone, download a call-blocking app (which serves as a filter for unwanted calls).
In order to download a call blocking app, go to the online app store for your device’s operating system (such as iOS, or android), look online for call blocking app reviews, download the most suitable based on user reviews, and install on your device. Call blocking apps help to block specific phone numbers from calling, block calls based on their area code, and send pre-written texts to the caller.
- Carry out an independent research of the charity or investment opportunity the caller offered. You can also do a reverse phone lookup to help you reveal the identity of suspicious phone numbers. To do this, research online for different websites that offer good reverse phone lookup and type in the suspicious number to show the names and even addresses associated with that phone number. You can do a suspicious phone number lookup for international numbers. Some websites offer free reverse phone lookup while on some other sites, the user will have to pay for phone number lookup.
Phone scams have been on the rise in McHenry County, with sophisticated criminal organizations coming up with newer (and hardly traceable) means to defraud their victims like using real caller identification belonging to a government office. The McHenry sheriff’s Office warns residents to be weary of such calls and notify the police to report such incidents.