What are Sangamon County Area Codes?
Sangamon County is located in the central regions of the State of Illinois. It was formed in 1821 out of Bond and Madison Counties. It covers an area of 877 square miles and was named after Sangamon River which runs through the county. According to the United States Census Bureau, the County had a population of 194,672 as of July 1, 2019. The county seat is Springfield, the state capital.
The United States is divided into regions, known as area codes that correspond with telephone dialing areas. Put simply, an area code denotes the regional location of a phone number within the United States. Depending on the population, some states have only one area code, whereas others may have multiple area codes. As the need for more telephone numbers increased, additional area codes were created. By adding new area codes, millions of new numbers become available which provides usage for wired, wireless, and other technological advanced services.
You can find the area code of any geographical area in the United States by using an area code lookup tool online.
Only one area code currently serves Sangamon County - Area code 217.
Area Code 217
Area code 217 was one of the original North American area codes created in 1947 by AT&T and the Bell System. It serves the central part of Illinois which includes the cities of Springfield, Champaign, Urbana, Decatur, Taylorville, Danville, Effingham, Quincy, Rantoul, and Jacksonville. Area code 447 was also put into use on March 27, 2021, as an all-services overlay for area code 217.
Ten-digit dialing became necessary in the 217/447 overlay effective February 27, 2021; while different homes in the same geographic area may have the same seven-digit phone number, each must have a different area code.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Sangamon County?
Wired telephony usage in Springfield is dwindling with more and more residents jumping on the wireless telephony train. According to a 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, 59.8% of Illinois residents aged 18 and over, used wireless-only telephony service, while only 3.0% used landline telephony service exclusively. Among persons below the age of 18, 68.9% used wireless telephony service exclusively, while 0.5% used landline-only telephony service.
Sangamon County residents can purchase cell phone plans from all four major wireless carriers in the United States. In recent years, the wireless industry has become more competitive with the end result in favor of cell phone users. Due to the price wars between carriers, there has never been a better time to shop for a new cell phone plan or an entirely new carrier.
However, one key component in selecting a suitable cell phone plan is to consider the coverage quality of your potential phone service provider in your area. After all, no one wants to be on a call that drops at a moment's notice. The number of text and call minutes in a cheap plan does not matter if messages and phone calls never complete.
Fortunately, most Major Network Operators (MNOs) have decent coverage in every city in Sangamon County. Hence, choosing a decent plan should not be a difficult task. In the county seat of Springfield, Verizon has the best coverage with a score of 96%. AT&T's score is rated at 72%, T-Mobile's at 70%, while Sprint's coverage is rated 68%.
In addition to purchasing cell phone plans directly from MNOs, there are smaller carriers from which Sangamon County residents can choose. These providers are referred to as Mobile Virtual Network Operators or MVNOs. While they are independent, they generally operate on MNOs' networks. This means that many of these plans are available in most major cities in Sangamon County. MVNOs may be cheaper than MNOs as they do not have to bear the costs of maintaining their own infrastructure.
VoIP phone plans are another common option used by Sangamon County residents. Many residents even prefer this option to cell phone plans from the MNOs and MVNOs because Voice over Internet Protocol can help reduce phone bills dramatically. VoIP service providers only leverage existing infrastructure - the internet, to make calls possible. Hence, there are no financial commitments towards building and maintaining cables or base stations.
What are Sangamon County Phone Scams?
Sangamon County phone scams are illegal activities and fraudulent acts of crooked individuals perpetrated through phone calls to obtain personal and financial information or defraud Sangamon County residents.
Scammers use the information obtained from victims to steal the victims' identities or money. They may also sell their information to criminals on the dark web. A scammer may offer you a "time-sensitive" opportunity, or tell you that you must take immediate action. To respond to the warning or opportunity, you will be asked to purchase a product or service or to provide personal identification information.
Very often, a scammer’s request or notice will appear to come from a government agency, a reputable charity, or even an established business. These are all tricks sometimes combined with modern technologies to fleece unsuspecting Sangamon County residents.
Sangamon County residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers.
What are Sangamon County Jury Duty Scams?
In a jury duty scam, the caller claims that there is a warrant out for the target's arrest for missing jury duty. The caller then leaves the target with a number to call back. When the target calls the number back, the scammer asks for personal information like a Social Security number, bank account information, or money in order to waive the arrest. In another variation of the scam, the con artists may also use the names of Sangamon County Sheriff's Office employees and demand money for sex offender registration or a warrant.
To make the scam more believable, the caller may spoof the sheriff's office or the local police department's phone number to make the office's phone number appear on the target's caller ID display. The targets may also be asked to purchase prepaid debit cards or gift cards and read off the numbers before turning themselves in to the law enforcement officials. Phone lookup applications can help unmask the real identities of phone scammers.
What are Sangamon County Delivery Scams?
In this scam, the victim receives a call or a text message from a fraudster notifying the receiver of delivery from companies such as FedEx and Amazon. The text message requires the receiver to set a preference for the delivery by clicking a link on the message. The link takes the victim to a fraudulent Amazon page which asks for a survey to be completed with an offer to choose a free gift upon completion.
The link requests personal information to be entered including name, phone number, address, and credit card information, which then automatically signs the account up to receive a product each month at a certain cost. The information obtained will later be used to steal the victim's money or commit other fraudulent activities. You can use free reverse phone number lookup tools online to help uncover who called and find who a number is registered to.
What are Sangamon County Ransom Scams?
Bad actors often call Sangamon County residents purporting to hold their family members hostage and demanding ransoms. The scam usually begins with a phone call saying your family member is being held captive. Sometimes, the target may hear a male or female screaming in the background. Another variant of the scam has a family member held because of an auto accident caused by the relative, or a relative who is injured and will not be allowed to go to the hospital until full damages are paid.
Callers usually provide the targets with specific instructions to ensure the safe return of family members. The target may also be ordered to stay on the line until any required payment is wired. In some instances, the callers claim not to have received the money and demand even more payment. Sangamon County residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers.
What are Sangamon County Recovery Scams?
Recovery scams are targeted at persons who have lost money to scams in the past. The perpetrators often claim to work with reputable organizations such as law firms, government agencies, and consumer advocates in order to gain the trust of the target. They promise specific actions such as recovering money and shutting down or catching the scammer. It is often an alluring offer to hear someone claim to be able to help you recover money lost from a previous scam. However, the catch in this scam is that the caller will ask you to pay upfront fees to recover lost funds. You can use a reverse cell phone lookup tool to verify if a caller’s identity matches the name given.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), claims to help recover lost funds are often false. While some federal and local government agencies and consumer organizations help people who have lost money, they do not charge a fee. These organizations do not also guarantee you will get your money back, or give special preference to anyone who files a formal complaint.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated calls placed to telephone subscribers using automated dialing announcing devices (ADADs) or predictive dialers. If you answer a phone call and you hear a robot talking on the other end instead of a live person, then you have been contacted by an automated call or robocall. Robocalls were designed to help reach a large number of persons with little to no human efforts required. However, these automated calls have become a major security concern for phone users in Sangamon County and the United States.
Considering that robocalls have become disruptive and annoying, the United States through the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, placed certain restrictions on the use of robocalls to limit its scourge. Telemarketers were required to obtain the express permissions of telephone subscribers before placing calls to them. Such calls were also permitted within certain periods of the day as set forth also in the Illinois robocall laws. Many types of robocalls are legal and permitted. These include using robocalls to disseminate public service announcements such as flight delays, and in political campaigns.
Although there are very many lawful companies and organizations that use phone calls as means of marketing their products and services, there are other companies and individuals that take advantage of the technology to con people. Some criminals combine robocalls, with spoofing in order to appear real to unsuspecting citizens. Spoofing allows users to falsify the caller ID information on the call recipients’ displays. They place thousands of calls in the hope that some of the recipients fall for their tricks. These calls are spam calls and are intrusive and annoying.
To limit the chances of being fleeced by robocalls placed by scammers, you may use reverse phone lookup tools to verify the identity of incoming calls.
Other steps to take to stop robocalls include:
- Hang up on robocalls. If you answer a call and hear a prerecorded message, hang up immediately. Do not press any button or number. That could lead to you receiving more calls from crooked individuals.
- Avoid answering calls from unknown numbers.
- Do not provide or confirm personal or financial information to anyone over the phone, as the request may be fraudulent.
- Contact your telephone provider. Some providers offer call-screening or call-blocking products, including services that can help conduct suspicious phone number lookups or reverse phone lookups.
- Download and install a third-party call-blocking application on your mobile phone, such as Nomorobo, Truecaller, Hiya, and YouMail.
- Report unwanted calls online to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or call (888) 382-1222.
- Install a good reverse phone lookup tool on your phone to find out who called and who the number is registered to.
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry maintained by the FTC. Registration is free and can be done by calling (888) 382-1222 from the number you intend to register.
How to Spot and Report Sangamon County Phone Scams?
Phone scams take many forms, and often follow a common pattern, such as using live calls, robocalls, and text messages to warn residents of impending risks to their health, safety, finances, insurance, or businesses. A phone call or text message may appear to come from a number you recognize. These deceptions are called, "spoofing," and are intended to cause you to lower your guard. One way to defeat scammers is to know how to identify scams and ignoring suspicious calls. Reverse phone lookup tools can also help limit the negative impacts of phone scams.
The following are red flags in identifying phone scams:
- The phone number does not display on your caller ID: It is hard to find a good reason to hide caller ID information. If a caller hides caller ID information, it is likely to be due to sinister intentions on the part of the caller. Ignore such calls. If the message is so important, the caller will leave a message in the voicemail.
- The caller has a difficult-to-understand accent: While organizations may employ foreign persons in their customer service offices, they are likely to have decent command of the English language and will be able to speak in a way you can understand. If you can barely understand what an unsolicited caller is saying, you may be on the call to a scammer.
- The caller uses high-pressure sales tactics and insists on an immediate decision: Many scams would have failed if the victims tried to verify the stories or information given them by calling other persons or verified numbers. However, scammers often use scare and pressure tactics to get their victims to act on the spot without confirming the information provided. If a caller insists you have to decide immediately, chances are that you are about to fall victim to a scam.
- The offer sounds too good to be true: Scammers often lure people with the promise of receiving a prize or getting huge returns on investment by asking for sensitive information or money in exchange. If a caller offers you an opportunity that looks too good, do not fall for the gimmick. Hang up and confirm from independent sources whether the offer is legitimate.
- The caller requests your personal information: Scammers are fond of requesting personal information such as Social Security numbers, bank account information, and credit card numbers. These are sensitive information that should be kept private. Do not give out such information to unknown callers.
- The caller requests payment through specific methods: Receiving payment through certain means will put scammers in the spotlight. Such payment methods are avoided by all means as scammers typically request funds through methods such as wire transfers, prepaid gift cards, and cryptocurrencies. If an unsolicited caller insists on collecting payment through these means, be wary.
You can file complaints with any of the following public bodies if you have been contacted by a scammer:
- The Sangamon County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments: If you have received a call from a scammer, you can contact your local police department or the Sangamon County Sheriff's Office at (217) 753-6666. In the county seat of Springfield, you can contact the Springfield Police Department at (217) 788-8325.
- 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.