North American Numbering Plan (NANP)’s introduction led to the emergence of area codes, a three-digit block of numbers placed at the beginning of American phone numbers. Area codes represent different clusters of close towns and cities, known as Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs). Each area code is distinct from the other, making it possible to foretell most phone calls’ origins and destinations. In Colorado, area codes are under the administration of the Colorado Public Utility Commission (PUC).
Currently, the only area code serving Larimer County is 970.
Area Code 970
Area code 970 was created from a split of the 303 NPA in 1995. It covers some areas in the northern and western parts of Colorado. Larimer County neighborhoods served by the 970 NPA include Fort Collins, Loveland, Glen Haven, Bellvue, Berthoud, Wellington, Drake, Laporte, Livermore, and Timnath.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Larimer County?
Coloradans continue to show a preference for wireless telephony services while gradually discontinuing their use of traditional landlines. A 2018 CDC survey suggests this. Data from the survey showed that about 61.4% of Colorado adults lived in wireless-only homes. In contrast, 3.0% of them used landlines exclusively in their households. The report obtained from the children population in the state revealed a more significant decline in landline use. While about 67.9% of Colorado children resided in wireless-only homes, only about 0.6% lived in households that used landlines exclusively. At this rate of wireless telephony services adoption, landline phones may be faced out in Colorado in the near future.
The four major telephone carriers serve Larimer County residents and provide excellent network services. Among the four, T-Mobile’s coverage is the widest with a presence in 98% of the county. Sprint and AT&T both cover 88% and 82%, respectively, while Verizon’s coverage extends to 74% of the county.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) also contributes to the continued decline in landlines’ patronage in Larimer County. It transmits voice and multimedia messages over broadband internet. VoIP’s advantage lies in its diversity. It offers much more than telephony services. Usually, VoIP service providers offer cable, satellite, and internet as bundles alongside telephony services. This allows for the possibility of just a single subscription covering every household and business need.
What are Larimer County Phone Scams?
Larimer County phone scams are perpetrated when scammers use telephony services to extort county residents. Scammers usually falsify their identities while placing calls or sending text messages to their targets. They impersonate familiar people, persons in authority, or government agents to gain direct access to their marks. Performing reverse phone lookups on unknown numbers helps prevent most phone scams as it reveals the callers’ true identities. Some government agencies provide Larimer County residents with guides and resources on identifying common phone scams. By identifying potential scams, residents can easily avoid them. Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, the Colorado Office of the Attorney General (COAG), and some other agencies provide county residents with these guides. These agencies also take complaints of phone scam incidents from victims and witnesses. Through its Consumer Protection Division, the COAG runs a Stop Fraud Colorado campaign to educate and enlighten Coloradans about prevalent cons. Some of the identified phone scams in Larimer County include:
What are Business Opportunity Scams?
Scammers commit these scams by introducing Larimer County residents to bogus business investments that promise huge returns on investment. These opportunities are said to be risk-free but require urgent funding to beat the limited time window. Such time limits deny targeted residents the chance for due diligence on the investment opportunities. To prevent this scam, conduct free reverse phone lookups on unknown phone numbers to obtain identifying information on such callers. Authorities also enforce the Franchise and Business Opportunity Rule to curtail the spread of this scam. This law mandates promoters of business opportunities to provide potential investors with certain information at least ten days before receiving payments or entering into any legally binding contracts. Some of the information that promoters of business opportunities must provide to prospective investors include:
- Fully audited financial statement of the business
- Names, addresses, and phone numbers of at least ten previous buyers who reside close to the potential investor
- Cost of starting and maintaining the business
- Identities and experience levels of the business’ key executives
Promoters of potential business opportunities that do not adhere to this rule but demand urgent funding are most likely scammers.
What are Charity Scams?
Charity scammers falsely obtain money from Larimer County residents by requesting donations while pretending to be with legitimate charity organizations. They often divert proceeds from these schemes for personal gains. Fraudsters also create fake charities and give them names similar to reputable charitable organizations to pass off as affiliates. They then seek contributions on behalf of these simulated organizations. A 2016 survey reported that of about 80% of Colorado adults who made donations in the previous year, almost 46% did not verify the organization’s authenticity. Residents can prevent this scam by performing reverse phone number lookups on unknown phone numbers. Authorities also mandate county residents to verify the authenticity of charity organizations or their solicitors before making donations. The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office (SOS) provides an online search portal to confirm charity organizations and solicitors’ registration status.
What are Family Emergency Scams?
Family emergency scams are imposter scams where fraudsters place calls to potential victims and pose as relatives needing money urgently to resolve emergencies. Often, these scammers target elderly Larimer County residents, and for this reason, they are sometimes called grandparent scams. The scammers may claim to be under arrest, involved in car accidents, or other emergencies. Typically, the imposters crave secrecy and tell their victims not to inform other family members. The COAG reports a recently devised scheme by perpetrators of this scam. They now claim to have their targets’ relatives kidnapped and demand ransom to free kidnap victims. Larimer County residents can conduct reverse phone lookups on unknown numbers to determine the identity of suspicious callers and avoid this scam. Authorities also encourage residents to always confirm the whereabouts of such relatives from other family members and not jump at making payments. If a kidnapping narrative turns out to be genuine, families must immediately contact local law enforcement.
What are Government Imposter Scams?
To commit these scams, fraudsters impersonate government officials and place phone calls to targeted Larimer County residents to request their personal information or money. These imposters threaten arrests and other punitive measures if targets do not disclose the required information or make desired payments. Sometimes, the scammers can claim to be Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials who need marks’ confidential information for supposed records update. They may also request payments through unconventional means from their targets to cover back taxes. In other instances, scammers impersonate law enforcement agents and demand payments to clear warrants allegedly issued in their targets’ names. Residents who perform reverse phone lookups on unknown phone numbers can prevent this scam. Authorities caution residents from disclosing their personal information to unknown persons in unsolicited calls. They are to immediately disconnect when they receive such phone calls and initiate contact directly with the agency in question to confirm the authenticity of the phone calls.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls usually deployed by telemarketers to deliver pre-recorded messages to a large number of people. They serve telemarketers well by helping to minimize the cost of information dissemination. It is more affordable than engaging hundreds of humans to deliver the same message via live calls. Phone scammers have co-opted robocalls in their deceptive schemes to steal money or obtain personal information. The rise in robocall scams and the proliferation of these widespread but unwanted telemarketing calls also called spam calls, led to the authorities’ numerous actions to curb this menace. While their efforts are yielding some positive results, Larimer County can take the following steps to reduce the frequency of robocalls received:
- Reject phone calls from unknown phone numbers.
- End phone calls that turn out to be robocalls. Do not act on prompts as may be advised by a robocall because doing that will lead to more robocalls.
- Perform phone number searches on unknown phone numbers to identify possible robocalls.
- Use your smartphone’s call-blocking feature or network provider’s call-blocking service to block numbers used to deliver robocalls. You can also download free third-party call-blocking apps and use them.
- Register on the National Do Not Call Registry. This is a list containing phone numbers of residents who do want telemarketers to place robocalls to them. Call 1 (888) 382-1222 from your phone number to get it registered. You can equally enroll on Colorado No-Call List.
- Lodge complaints on continued robocall abuse with the FTC or the PUC.
How to Spot and Report Larimer County Phone Scams?
While scammers continuously adapt schemes to steal money and personal information from Larimer County residents, the tactics used generally remain the same. Fraudsters hide behind unknown phone numbers and disguised personalities to fool their targets. Larimer County residents can conduct free reverse phone lookups on unknown numbers to reveal the real identities of callers. Larimer County residents should end phone calls once they observe the following signs to avoid falling victim to phone scams:
- Aggressive phone calls from presumably legitimate organizations threatening extreme actions if residents do not make certain payments or divulge personal information are mostly scams. Reputable organizations have legally prescribed ways of recovering fees or taxes owed. Legitimate agencies do not request personal information in unsolicited phone calls.
- Pressure to immediately invest in purported high interest-yielding business opportunities to beat closing windows are highly suspicious. Denying targets enough time for due diligence is one of scammers’ tactics. Make your findings before investing in any business opportunity.
- Preference for unconventional payment methods by unknown persons is suspicious. Typically, scammers prefer receiving funds via cryptocurrencies, preloaded debit cards, or wire transfers because payments on such channels are hard to trace. Confirm the legitimacy of any request that demands payment through these means.
As much as free phone number lookups by names or addresses help prevent phone scams, keeping abreast of phone scams tactics also helps residents avoid scams. Larimer County residents get regular scam updates from several agencies that also provide phone scam reporting platforms. These agencies include:
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) maintains law and order in the county. The LCSO has a dedicated team that resolves cases involving scams and frauds. Victims of phone scams can call (970) 682-0597 to lodge complaints with the coordinator of the Crime Prevention Unit of the LCSO.
The Colorado Office of the Attorney General (COAG), through its Consumer Protection Division, educates county residents by running a sensitization campaign called Stop Fraud Colorado. The campaign aims to provide county residents with enough resources on different phone scams. Victims of phone scams can file reports with the COAG online or call (720) 508-6000.
Colorado Secretary of State Office (SOS) protects county residents from falling victims to charity scams. The SOS provides an online service for residents to check the registration of charities and solicitors of donations.
The Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC) manages the Colorado No-Call List, a register that legitimate telemarketers must check to know those that do not want to receive telemarketing calls. Larimer County residents are to report persistent robocall abuse and erring telemarketers to the PUC online.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is a federal agency tasked with protecting consumers’ interests and ensuring fair competition. The agency protects Larimer Counter residents by educating them on managing robocalls, identifying phone scams, and blocking unwanted phone calls. To curtail the frequency of robocalls received by residents, the FTC developed the National Do Not Call Registry. Legitimate telemarketers will not contact residents whose numbers are on the list without their prior consent. Residents can report phone scam incidents to the FTC online.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the telecommunications industry. They provide Larimer County residents with guides on managing phone spoofing. The body exercised its regulatory powers by mandating network operators to upgrade their Caller ID authentication systems to prevent spoofing and reduce phone scams. Victims of phone scams can use the FCC’s online consumer complaints assistant to lodge complaints.