Area codes are the strings of three-digit numeric codes that identify the different numbering plan areas (NPAs) in the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). The NANP divided regional service territories into NPAs to streamline the long-distance calling process. Area codes are the first three digits dialed when making long-distance phone calls in North America. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission implements and manages area codes for Arapahoe County.
Two area codes cover Arapahoe County. These area codes also cover neighboring counties in the state.
Area Code 303
Area code 303 is the telephone area code for the north-central part of Colorado. This NPA includes Arapahoe County and the surrounding counties in the Denver-Boulder area. The 303 NPA was one of the original NPAs introduced in 1947 and initially encompassed the entire state. It was shrunken to its current size in 1995. Communities in Arapahoe County under this area code include Aurora, Bennett, Centennial, Cherry Hill Village, Columbine Valley, Englewood, Glendale, Greenwood Village, Littleton, and Sheridan.
Area Code 720
Area code 720 is the NPA telephone overlay code in Colorado for the 303 NPA. It entered service in 1998.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Arapahoe County?
A 2018 National Health Interview Survey report concluded that cell phones had become the preferred choice of telephony service among Colorado residents. The report estimated that 61.4% of adults and 67.9% of children in the state had chosen cell phones as their preferred telecommunication means. Comparatively, only about 3% of adults and less than 1% of children in the state were landline-only users. Based on these figures, it can be concluded that cell phones have become the dominant telecommunication service in Arapahoe County.
All four major phone carriers (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint) claim 100% coverage in the Denver metropolitan area, which includes Arapahoe County. Many Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) use the major carriers’ network infrastructure to provide telephony services at cheaper rates to Arapahoe County residents.
VoIP over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a group of technologies that delivers telephony services using IP networks, typically the internet. Using these networks as the medium of transmission allows VoIP to provide cheaper, more flexible, and more efficient telephony services. In Arapahoe County, VoIP services are available for business and personal use from numerous providers.
What are Arapahoe County Phone Scams?
Arapahoe County phone scams are fraudulent schemes devised to steal money or confidential information from county residents using telephone services. Phone number searches can retrieve information on the phone numbers used for scams.
The Colorado State Attorney General provides an education and outreach initiative to protect consumers and businesses from becoming fraud victims. County residents can file complaints with the A.G’s office if they are victims of phone scams or suspect scammers contacted them. Victims within the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s jurisdiction can also file reports online or call (303) 795-4711. Residents outside the jurisdiction of the Sheriff should contact their local police departments. The FTC also receives complaints from residents about phone scams. Some common scams in Arapahoe County include:
What are the Affordable Care Act Scams?
Scammers have taken advantage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to defraud residents and steal confidential information. There are many variations of these scams, including:
Medicare Cards - Scammers contact their targets and inform them that they need to obtain new medicare cards because of the ACA (Obamacare). They deceive victims into believing they will lose their coverage if they do not pay for new cards or provide bank account details and credit card numbers. They also ask for personal information, such as social security numbers, that they use to commit identity thefts.
Medical Discount Plans - Scammers contact their targets and offer them discounts on health services and products, misrepresenting them as Health Insurance plans. They convince the victims that signing up meets the minimum requirements for Obamacare coverage.
Fraudulent Government Officials - Scammers impersonate government officials and contact their targets claiming to have information about their health insurance. However, they need to conduct identity verifications and ask for personal information, such as social security numbers and banking information.
Residents should be wary of callers making these claims. The ACA does not require residents to obtain new medicare cards, and the law does not say they will lose medicare if they do not get one. Call 1 (800) MEDICARE (633-4227) to make inquiries if you have any doubts or questions regarding the ACA.
Medical discount plans do not constitute health insurance, irrespective of what the callers tell you. These plans are usually club memberships claiming to offer reduced medical costs with specific doctors and hospitals but are not always what they seem. In many instances, they are just scams, out to steal your personal information and money. Also, government officials do not call about health insurance and never ask to verify social security or banking information. While some government agencies may reach out by mail, they will never ask for payments or credit card numbers. Residents who have been victims of these scams or suspect suspicious activities can file reports with the Colorado A.G’s Office. Phone number lookups can retrieve information to ascertain the authenticity of such calls.
What are Asset Recovery Scams?
These scams target residents who were victims of scams. Scam victims are often included in “sucker lists” that fraudsters sell among themselves. These fraudsters contact persons on these lists claiming to be asset recovery companies that can help recoup the money lost for upfront fees. Once they pay the fees, they discover they could have completed the tasks themselves at no cost.
Residents should beware of unsolicited callers, who claim they can get back the money they lost in scams. Victims are rarely able to recover their funds. Persons or companies giving the impression that they can do so are most likely scammers themselves. If you are a victim of this type of fraud, you can file a report with the A.G’s Office. The Better Business Bureau provides information and details on reputable asset recovery companies. Reverse phone number searches can also retrieve information on the authenticity of such callers.
What are IRS Tax Scams?
IRS scams are most common during annual tax seasons when taxpayers are filing their returns, and communication with the IRS is expected. Scammers contact residents, claiming to be IRS agents, using fake names and ID badge numbers. They routinely spoof caller IDs to make it appear like the IRS is calling and know much of their targets from the information they garnered from social media and other sources. The scammers inform their targets that they have overdue taxes that they must pay immediately or face punitive measures. They insist on payment via prepaid debit cards and wire transfers. Hesitant victims are threatened with arrest, prosecution, audit, and license revocation to obtain their compliance. Alternatively, the fraudsters inform the victims that they are due tax refunds to deceive them into providing confidential information used to steal their identities.
The IRS advises residents that it does not contact tax defaulters about debts by phone call without sending several mail notices. The IRS will also not demand payments without allowing taxpayers to question or appeal the amounts owed. The IRS does not use payment methods such as wire transfers and prepaid cards, and they will never solicit taxpayers’ personal information on unsolicited phone calls. Reverse phone number lookups can retrieve information on the phone numbers associated with IRS tax scams. Victims can report these scams to the Treasury Inspector General on 1 (800) 366-4484 or their local police departments.
What are Government Grants Scams?
In these scams, callers impersonate representatives of government agencies to inform their targets that they have been selected to receive free government grants. However, they will need to pay upfront processing fees to obtain these grants or provide their personal information for verification purposes. Alternatively, the callers ask for the victims’ bank account information to directly deposit the funds into their accounts. Usually, victims never applied to receive government grants. The federal government does not randomly hand out grants to persons who did not apply for them. There are no processing fees associated with obtaining approved government grants, and the government will not ask for personal information from recipients. Residents who receive such calls should report them to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office or the FTC.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls preset to deliver recorded messages. Users of robocalls utilize auto-dialers to contact multiple numbers and send recorded messages. Robocalls were created to facilitate telemarketing campaigns and are routinely used by politicians and organizations to make public service announcements.
Scammers have taken to robocalls because of their ability to contact multiple recipients while maintaining a level of anonymity. Scammers can also switch the numbers they use easily and even spoof phone numbers of official organizations. Residents tend to be less suspicious when answering robocalls because they are used to receiving them from legitimate entities, making it easier to run scams. The following are actions to take if you are beset by robocall:
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry and Colorado No-Call List. Most legitimate businesses and telemarketers are restricted from contacting phone numbers included on these lists.
- Report illegal robocalls to the FTC online or call 1 (888) 382-1222. For numbers on the Colorado No-Call List, file complaints on illegal robocalls online or call (303) 776-2678.
- End a phone call once you identify it is a robocall. Disregard message prompts to press a number to connect to a live person or remove your number from a distribution list. Doing this will set you up to receive more spam calls.
- Use apps built by phone service providers to identify and block spam calls. Use these applications if they are cost-effective. Also, phone manufacturers have features in their devices that are used to screen calls from unknown numbers.
- Identify incoming robocalls with a reverse phone number lookup free service and then screen them.
Information is available on the FTC website that offers tips on how to block unwanted calls on multiple user platforms.
How to Spot and Report Phone Scams in Arapahoe County?
While several phone lookup services can answer questions like “who called me?” and “who is this number registered to?” scammers are continuously adapting their tactics. Unsuspecting residents are fair game, so the most effective tools for spotting scams are information and awareness. Reverse phone number search applications that perform suspicious phone number lookups by name, number, and address and are available in free and paid versions. Information returned by these tools can be useful when reporting phone scams.
The following are red flags that point to unsolicited phone calls being potential scams:
- The callers claim to be employees of reputable firms or government agencies but ask for payments via unusual payment platforms. These channels include wire transfers, gift cards, reloadable debit cards, and cryptocurrency. Legitimate organizations do not ask for payment via these means, but scammers do.
- The callers ask for payments and confidential information and use threats to coerce your compliance. Legitimate organizations will not ask for personal information or payment on unsolicited phone calls and will never threaten you to obtain them.
- The callers do not satisfactorily respond to inquiries and actively dissuade you from conducting any form of due diligence or seeking verifications from others.
- The callers require upfront payments for products, services, gifts, and winnings that are supposedly free. If you have to pay for something free, then it is not free.
Arapahoe County residents can contact any of the following agencies for assistance in dealing with phone scams:
Colorado State Attorney General (COAG) - The Consumer Protection Unit of the COAG’s Office receives consumer complaints, investigates, and prosecutes consumer law violations. It also handles consumer education and outreach efforts. Residents can contact the COAG’s Office online or call (720) 508-6000.
Local Law Enforcement- The Arapahoe County Sheriff and municipal police departments are the county’s primary law enforcement agencies. Residents can file reports on scams with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office online or call (303) 795-4711. Otherwise, residents should contact their local police departments to file complaints.
Arapahoe County District Attorney - The 18th Judicial District consists of four counties, including Arapahoe County. The District Attorney oversees a Consumer Fraud Protection program that educates consumers about scams operating in the Denver Metro area and assists those who have fallen victim. Residents can call the consumer hotline on (720) 874-8547 to make inquiries and file complaints.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The FTC is the federal regulator charged with protecting consumers from deceptive and unfair business practices. It initiated the National Do Not Call Registry to protect consumer phone privacy and also provides tips on blocking unwanted calls. Residents can report illegal robocalls and other scams to the FTC online or call 1 (888) 382-1222.