What are Will County Area Codes?
The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) assigns area codes to telephone services areas known as Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs). These area codes are the strings of three numbers that begin 10-digit telephone numbers in America. In Illinois, the Public Utilities Department of the Illinois Commerce Commission administers the state’s area codes. There are currently five numbering plan area codes serving Will County, and these are 815, 630, 779, 331, and 708.
Area code 815
Area code 815 was one of Illinois's original four area codes introduced in 1947. Presently, it covers most of northern Illinois outside the Chicago and Quad Cities areas and some of Chicago’s western suburbs. Locations covered by this area code include Crest Hill, Braidwood, Joliet, Wilmington, Manhattan, Romeoville, Plainfield, and Lockport.
Area code 708
Area code 708 was created in November 1989 and then shrunk in 1996 to its current size covering most of western and southern Cook County and eastern and southern Will County. Locations in Will County covered by this area code include Becher, Crete, Mokena, Peotone, and Monee.
Area code 630
Area code 630 was split off from area code 708 in August 1996. It covers parts of Cook County and Kane County, most of Dupage County, and the northern part of Will County. Cities served by this area code include Bolingbrook, Lockport, Aurora, Homer Glen, and Naperville.
Area code 779
Area code 779 is the overlay area code for Area code 815. It was introduced in March 2007. Overlay area codes are introduced to accommodate new phone users when parent area codes are nearly exhausted.
Area code 331
Area code 331 is the NPA overlay code for area code 630. It was put into service in October 2007.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Will County?
Over the years, wireless telephone technology has become the dominant form of communication in Illinois. A 2018 CDC survey confirms the shift away from landline phones to wireless phone services in this state. According to the report. 59.8% of adults in the state used wireless-only telephony while 3% used landlines only. Among children minors, wireless-only users accounted for 68.9% of the demographic while landline-only users made up less than 1%.
All the major US carriers provide phone service in Illinois. AT&T has the most robust coverage at 99.7% followed by Verizon with 94.8% and T-Mobile at 86.1%. Sprint brings up the rear with 79.4% and has roaming agreements with the other networks that allow its users to connect through them. Smaller Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO) also operate in the state. These smaller networks rely on the larger networks’ infrastructure.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) allows telephone services over broadband internet connection. This makes VoIP a cost-efficient alternative to wireless networks. Multiple companies in Illinois provide both home and business VoIP packages.
What are Will County Phone Scams?
A phone scam is a deceptive act employed by a fraudster using telephone services to steal money and sensitive information from unsuspecting phone users. The Will County Sheriff’s Office and the Consumer Protection Division of the Illinois Attorney General's Office are the principal law enforcement protecting residents from phone scams in Will County. Those targeted by scammers can file reports with either organization. They may also report scams to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communication Commission. Residents can also take precautions by installing phone number lookup applications to help identify suspicious phone callers by name and address.
What are Past Offender Scams?
In these scams, past offenders such as registered sex offenders and parolees are contacted by scammers. The caller claims that the target failed to keep up with new registration regulations, and they will be immediately re-arrested if they do not pay a fine. They give legitimacy to their claims by impersonating law enforcement officers and rely on the target's fear of arrest. The scammer will ask the target to bring cash to a secluded area or try to make them pay by wire transfer and other untraceable methods. Residents who receive this form of call should hang up immediately and call their parole officers or the Sheriff’s Office. Law enforcement officers do not call past offenders to ask for money to avoid arrests.
What are Investment Scams?
These are the common get-rich-quick scams. In these scams, the target is called by a scammer and offered an investment opportunity that promises large returns with no risk. Such investment opportunities eventually turn out to be worthless and the scammers disappear with their victims’ seed money. Research any investment proposal thoroughly before parting with your money. Do not let a caller rush you into making a decision no matter how urgent or persuasive they sound. Residents can also use reverse phone lookup applications to identify the callers and answer the question “who called me?”
What are Law Enforcement Impersonation Scams?
The Will County Police Sheriff’s Office has alerted residents to ongoing scams wherein callers impersonate local law enforcement. A caller running this scam will claim that the target missed jury duty or other court appearances or has unpaid tickets. They then say an arrest warrant will be issued for the target if they do not immediately pay a fine. They usually ask for payment in pre-paid credit or debit cards, gift cards, and gift vouchers.
Will County residents should know that officers of the Sheriff’s Office will never call and ask them to pay up to avoid arrests. Hang up if contacted by an unknown caller making such claims, and call the Sheriff Office directly on (815)727-8575 to make enquiries. Residents can check for active warrants online on the Sheriff’s Office’s website to see if they have outstanding warrants. Victims of these scams can also file reports online.
What are Free Prize Scams?
In this scam, the target is contacted by the scammer and informed that they won a prize. This could be either a gift item or a large sum of money. To collect the prize, however, the scammer asks for personal information to process the gift. The scammer may also claim that there are taxes or a processing fee to pay to collect the prize. This is a scam as you do not have to pay for a prize you won. An easy way to deal with this is to ask them to collect all taxes and fees from the prize money and send the balance to you. Investigate all gifts and prizes by inquiring about the organization running the competitions unknown callers claimed you won. Residents can also put the caller’s number through a reverse phone lookup application to identify the scammer.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls that deliver pre-recorded messages to large groups of phone users. Once predominantly used by political organizations and marketers to quickly reach wide audiences, robocalls are now favored by scammers because they make it possible to contact a lot of targets anonymously. Scammers use robocalls to trick targets into revealing sensitive information needed to steal their identities or money. Residents who receive such calls can put the numbers used through phone number lookup free services to identify the individuals deploying scam robocalls.
Steps to take when dealing with spam calls and illegal robocalls include:
- Cut off the call as soon as you confirm it to be a robocall. Do not follow instructions given during the call as these will mark your number for more spam calls.
- Register your phone number with the National Do Not Call Registry. Legitimate businesses and organizations are mandated by law not to call the numbers added to the registry. Spam calls received after 31 days on this list can be regarded as scam calls.
- Report any illegal robocalls to the Federal Trade Commission online or by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Ask your service provider for tools for blocking robocalls and spam calls. Most networks provide tools that can identify and block robocall numbers for free.
- Use a phone number lookup application to identify robocallers.
How Can You Spot and Report Will County Phone Scams?
Many of the common phone scams are updated versions of old scams. Therefore, it is important to be familiar with how these scams work to avoid them. Learning to use phone number lookup applications to identify phone scammers by name or address is also useful. Signs that a call is a phone scam can include any of the following:
- Calls from law enforcement agencies asking for payment to overlook crimes are always from scammers.
- Calls from lotteries and prize competitions you do not remember entering informing you about winnings. These scams rely on the excitement of the targets.
- Unknown callers pitching investment opportunities that promise little to no risk for quick returns. Investigate all investment opportunities thoroughly before committing money to them. Investigate the firm asking for these investments thoroughly and ask the callers to provide the details in writing. Never provide financial information to a stranger over the phone.
- Calls from government agencies trying to collect payments outside official channels. Scammers ask for payment by wire transfers, prepaid debit cards, and retail gift cards. They prefer these forms of payments because funds sent with them are easy to receive and hard to trace.
Government agencies, including law enforcement, assist residents in the fight against scammers and fraudsters. They provide alerts about phone scams and ask targets and victims to submit complaints and reports. Some of these agencies include:
Local Law Enforcement
The Will County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments put out regular alerts about prevalent phone scams within the county. They use local news media and their social media accounts to do so. Residents targeted by phone scammers can call the Sheriff Office on (815)727-8575 or report online. They can also reach out to their nearest Police Department.
State Division of Consumer Protection
The Illinois Attorney General office is the consumer advocate for the state through its Consumer Protection Division. It provides regular consumer alerts and information on scams within the state. Residents that have been targeted by scams can file complaints online with the Attorney General's Office.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC provides consumer information on how to avoid phone scams. It is responsible for the National Do Not Call Registry and provides tips on how to block unwanted robocalls. Victims of phone scammers can call the FTC to make complaints on 1-888-382-1222 or do so online via the FTC website.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The Federal Communications Commission is the federal authority in charge of the communications industry. It assists residents by providing regular information on phone scams and instructions to avoid phone spoofing and stop unwanted robocalls. Anyone that has been a victim of a scam can file a complaint online on the FCC website.