What are Peoria County Area Codes?
An area code is a part of the telephone number that routes 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 formed that routes call through the telephone network. You can find the area code of any geographical area in the United States by using an area code lookup tool online.
Currently, only one area code serves Peoria County - Area Code 309
Area Code 309
Area code 309 was first used on January 1, 1957, and is the only code serving Peoria, Bloomington, and Normal. Other locations served by this area code include Moline, Rock Island, Pekin, Galesburg, Macomb, and Morton.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Peoria County?
Wireless telephony service is the primary telephony choice for many Peoria residents and the only choice for several others. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, 59.8% of Illinois residents aged 18 and above used wireless-only telephony service, while 3.0% used landline-only telephony service. Among residents below the age of 18, 68.9% exclusively used wireless telephony service, while 0.5% used landline-only service.
All four major carriers cover Peoria County. Therefore, the odds are good that your local area is covered by all of Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Should you opt for any of the smaller carriers, coverage is just as good. The smaller carriers are known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). They are typically attached to one of the four larger Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and share the same coverage area.
In the county seat of Peoria, Verizon has the best overall coverage of 96 compared to other providers. T-Mobile's coverage is rated 86%, Sprint's coverage is rated 86%, while AT&T has a coverage score of 86%.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service providers in Peoria County also offer wireless telephony service through their different VoIP plans. VoIP involves sending voice information in digital form in discrete packets rather than through traditional circuit-committed protocols of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). One major advantage of VoIP is that it avoids the costs incurred by cellular and landline telephony service providers in that no base stations and cable lines need to be installed or maintained.
What are Peoria County Phone Scams?
Peoria County phone scams are phone calls, robocalls, or text messages placed by crooked individuals to Peoria County residents to steal money, financial information, or other sensitive personal information from them. The Peoria County Sheriff's Office and local police departments in the county provide information and alerts about prevalent scams in Peoria County. Reverse phone number lookup services are also useful in blocking scam calls. Common phone scams in Peoria County include law enforcement impersonation scams, IRS scams, COVID-19 scams, and government grant scams.
What are Peoria County Law Enforcement Scams?
There are two common forms of the law enforcement impersonation scam. In the first form, targets receive phone calls from persons claiming to work with law enforcement agencies in Peoria County or within the State of Illinois such as the Peoria County Sheriff's County and local police departments. These persons ask for money to support the law enforcement agencies they purportedly represent. Some of them leave phone numbers for targets to call back. If you call the number back, a prerecorded message or a real person may ask you for your full name, phone number, and mailing address, so you can be put on the Do Not Call list. Note that these calls are spam calls are only intended to defraud targets.
In the other variation of the scam, Peoria County residents receive calls from persons claiming to work in the Sheriff's Office who state that they have missed jury duties and need to pay bonds with prepaid cards over the phone to waive arrests. These persons may even use the names of actual officers of the Sheriff's Office to appear legitimate to residents. The Peoria County Sheriff's Office does not accept bond money over the phone. You can use phone lookup applications to help uncover the true identities of scam callers.
What are Peoria County IRS Scams?
IRS scams are perpetrated by persons pretending as representatives of the Internal Revenue Service or the Department of Treasury. These unknown callers claim that targets owe money to the IRS and need to pay immediately or face arrest. They use fake names and IRS badge numbers and generally use common names and surnames to identify themselves. Some of the con artists can recite the last four digits of their targets' Social Security numbers. To appear legitimate to a target, an IRS scammer may spoof or imitate the IRS toll-free number on caller ID to make it appear like the real IRS is calling.
IRS scammers usually demand payments for owed taxes through gift cards, prepaid debit cards, or wire transfers. If you owe federal taxes or you think you owe, hang up on such calls and call the IRS at (800) 829-1040 to verify your status. You can use a reverse cell phone lookup tool to verify if a caller’s identity matches the name given,
What are Peoria County Government Grant Scams?
In this scam, a caller informs you that you have been selected or are eligible for a grant to cover certain bills such as home business expenses, education costs, home repairs, and other forms of unpaid bills. The caller poses as an official of a government agency or a trusted business and plays on your emotions by informing you that you never have to pay back the grant. The con artist also assures you that your application cannot be denied and will be granted within a short period of time.
To complete your application, the caller asks you to deposit a “small amount” of money in a particular account by wire transfers, prepaid debit cards, or cryptocurrencies. You may also be asked for your bank account information for a direct deposit of the grant. Once you make the payment the scammer will disappear with your money. If you release your banking details, your savings will be stolen. Reverse phone number lookup applications can prevent residents from falling victim to phone scams.
What are Peoria County COVID-19 Scams?
Many Peoria County residents have reported receiving calls from persons claiming to work with their health insurance companies. The callers say that they need certain information and that they can get targeted residents to the top of the list for getting vaccine shots. These crooked persons ask for sensitive personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank account information, and credit card numbers. Some may ask for payment for their services through gift cards, prepaid debit cards, or other forms of payments that are difficult to trace or refund.
Peoria County residents are advised to desist from posting their vaccination cards on social media. Scammers can access personally identifiable information from those posts.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated calls placed to telephone users using predictive dialers or automated dialing announcing devices (ADADs) to deliver prerecorded messages. Consumers frequently associate robocalls with annoying calls. However, robocalls cover a wide array of calls, many of which are legal, such as school closing announcements and prescriptions of medical appointment reminders.
Many crooked individuals use robocalls with caller ID spoofing to make spam calls intended to trick residents into giving away sensitive information or money. Spoofing occurs when the caller alters or manipulates the caller ID information so that the name or number displayed to the called party does not match that of the actual originating number. In response, the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission implemented and enforced federal rules related to caller ID spoofing, telemarketing practices, and calls made with auto-dialers, artificial, or prerecorded voices. A reverse phone number lookup free service can identify an incoming robocall.
The under-listed guidelines may be followed to curb the spate of the rising number of robocall scams:
- Do not answer calls with an unfamiliar caller ID. Let the call go to voicemail. Only return the call after determining that the caller is legitimate
- If you answer any call and you hear a pre-recorded message, do not press any button. Hang up immediately.
- Contact your telephone service provider to inquire about any available tools to block robocalls. Such call-blocking options may already exist in your current service plan. If they exist, ensure the functions are activated on your device. Additional robocall blocking protection may also be on offer from your service provider for a fee.
- Install third-party call-blocking applications on your phone, such as Truecaller, YouMail, Hiya, and Nomorobo. These are available on mobile phone online application stores.
- Register your telephone number with the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Do not Call List.
- Be on alert for caller ID spoofing. Scammers now have access to technology to make their caller IDs look familiar. If a caller pressures you into divulging sensitive information, hang up immediately and report such.
- Get regular updates on current phone scam trends via the FTC website or sign up for free email alerts from the FTC.
How to Spot and Report Peoria County Phone Scams?
Scammers use the telephone to trick hundreds of Peoria County residents into sending money or giving out personal information. They can be polite and charming. They may pretend to work for a company that you know. Scammers may know your name or certain things about you and make you feel special. They promise things like prizes, friendships, lottery winnings, or unique investment opportunities. However, they do not keep these promises. Reverse phone number lookup services help combat phone scams. While organizations like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are working to alleviate the impact of fraudulent phone calls, you can also educate yourself about common tricks used by scammers.
Here are common signs that you are talking to a scammer:
- The caller cannot communicate: Many scam calls originate from outside the United States. These callers are often not able to speak the English language fluently. While businesses operating in the United States sometimes employ non-citizens to work in the customer service sections, these persons can typically communicate with customers. Therefore, if you are struggling to understand the words of an unsolicited caller, you may be on to a scammer.
- The caller says there is a problem with your account: If a caller claims to represent a reputable business or government agency and asks you to provide sensitive information to verify your account or fix a problem with your account, hang up immediately. Even though the caller can provide some of your personal information, it does not automatically mean that the caller is legitimate.
- The caller suddenly becomes aggressive: A caller claiming to represent a trustworthy organization may sound normal at first so that you do not suspect anything. However, if the caller becomes irritable and aggressive when you ask certain questions to verify the authenticity of the call or information provided, the caller is likely to be a scammer
- The caller asks you to make a small payment so that you can access a huge winning: This is a common trick used by con artists to get you to transfer funds into their accounts. If you really won a prize, you should not have to pay anything to access it.
- The caller demands sensitive information: Never give out sensitive personal information such as bank account information, credit card number, Social Security number, and birth date. Any caller asking for such information is likely to be a scammer.
- The caller pressures you into making an immediate decision: If a caller will not allow you time to consider your options or verify the information provided from other sources, hang up immediately. Such callers may also threaten you with service disconnection, arrest, deportation, or license revocation. Do not give in.
Although being aware of the tricks used by scammers will not stop you from being targeted by phone scammers, using tools that perform reverse phone number lookups will further reduce the chances of being scammed. You can file complaints in Peoria County with any of the following public bodies if you have been contacted by a scammer:
- Peoria County Sheriff's Office: Contact the Sheriff's Office at (309) 697-8515 if you have been targeted in a phone scam.
- Peoria County local police departments: If you believe you have been contacted by a scammer, you can file a report at the local police department nearest to you. In the county seat of Peoria, you can contact the Peoria Police Department at (309) 673-4521.
- The Illinois Attorney General’s Office: To report a scam, you can file a complaint online or submit a consumer complaint form to the Attorney General’s Office by mail or in person. You can also call the office at (800) 386-5438 (Chicago), (800) 243-0618 (Springfield), or (800) 243-0607 (Carbondale).
- 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.
- The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA): Report IRS imposters to the TIGTA. To report by phone, call TIGTA at (800) 366-4484.