What are Lee County Area Codes?
Lee County was established by an act of the Alabama legislature on December 5, 1866. It was created from lands carved out of Tallapoosa, Russell, Chambers, and Macon Counties. Lee County was named for Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Comprising over 600 square miles, Lee County is located in east-central Alabama along the Alabama-Georgia border. It is governed by a six-member commission and includes eight incorporated communities, although only four of these communities lie completely within the borders of the County. The largest city in Lee County is Auburn, while the county seat is Opelika. As of July 1, 2019, the county had an estimated population of 164,542.
An area code is a three-digit code that identifies one of the telephone areas into which the United States is divided and that precedes the local telephone number when dialing a call between areas. An area code is useful in identifying the origin and destination of a phone call. You can find the area code of an area in the United States by using area code lookup tools online.
There are currently two area codes serving Lee County – Area codes 256 and 334.
Area Code 256
Area code 256 covers north-eastern Alabama and serves Decatur, Huntsville, and Madison. It has a single overlay (area code 938) that serves the same area. Area code 256 was first put in service on March 23, 1998, and was created from area code 205. Other cities served by area code 256 include Florence, Gadsden, Anniston, Athens, Albertville, Oxford, and Talladega.
Area Code 334
Area code 334 is located in south-eastern Alabama and is the only area code serving Auburn, Dothan, and Montgomery. It was formed from area code 205 and was first used on January 15, 1995. In 2001, area code 334 was split creating the need to update some phone numbers to area code 251. Area code 334 also serves locations such as Prattville, Phenix City, Enterprise, Opelika, Selma, Troy, and Ozark.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Lee County?
It is very important that you find a dependable wireless service, especially if you depend on your cell phone for the bulk of your communications. With cell phone users increasing daily across the United States, it is no surprise that there are also many more wireless telephony users in Lee County than wired telephony users. As evidenced in a survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2018, 57.6% of persons over the age of 18 in Alabama used wireless-only telephony service compared to only 5.8% who used landline telephony service exclusively. Among persons under the age of 18, wireless-only telephony service was put at 71.6%, while only 2.0% used landline service exclusively.
The wide range of cell phone plans on the market in Lee County can be overwhelming when you are searching for one to use. Hence, you must go into the search with a clear idea of what you are looking for in a phone plan. You may find one that provides all the data, text, and minutes you need, but places a huge strain on your budget. Meanwhile, there could be a plan from another provider offering the same features at a fraction of the price. Regardless of price, restrictions, and features, you should first inquire about the coverage of wireless providers in your local area. If coverage is poor, features and pricing become irrelevant.
In the county seat of Opelika, T-Mobile has the best overall coverage with a score of 96%. Verizon's coverage is rated 86%, AT&T's is rated 72%, while Sprint's network has a coverage score of 46%.
While these are coverage scores from America's four major Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), cell phone users are not restricted to these providers. You can purchase plans from smaller carriers in the county. These are often referred to as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). MVNOs do not have government licenses to use their own radio frequency. They purchase spectrum from MNOs and enter into commercial deals with one or more licensed MNOs to provide communication services to their customers.
Cell phone users in Lee County can also use mobile VoIP service on their phones through the installation of mobile VoIP software. VoIP refers to Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), a technology that lets people place phone calls over internet connections or IP networks. With VoIP, users can cut down on the number of minutes required on their cell phone plans and thus reduce phone bills. It is also possible to use VoIP to call regular landlines by subscribing to VoIP phone plans.
What Are Lee County Phone Scams?
Lee County phone scams are illegitimate activities of con artists carried out through live calls, text messages, and robocalls. Typically, these activities involve tricks used to deceptively obtain sensitive information such as bank account information, Social Security number, and credit card numbers, or extort money from Lee County residents. Phone scammers use different tactics to get targets to fall victim to their schemes. They can be friendly, sympathetic, and willing to help in some cases or use fear tactics in others.
Phone scammers can also use spoofing, a technology that allows users to make their numbers appear local, making it more likely that recipients will answer. Common phone scams in Lee County include lottery and sweepstakes scams, jury duty scams, grandparent scams, and utility scams. Lee County residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers.
What are Lee County Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams?
Scammers pretending to be with popular lottery organizations or less-known ones are the perpetrators of the lottery or sweepstake scam. These crooked persons hope to take advantage of vulnerable persons by convincing them they have won large jackpots or big prizes. Lottery scammers are typically smooth talkers who promise "supposed winners" huge winnings and new cars after they pay the taxes and shipping fees through wire transfers. Once the funds have been transferred, it is impossible to recover. The lottery scam not only takes its toll on people financially but emotionally and physically as well as brazen fraudsters cart away thousands of dollars in extorted money. Lee County residents can use reverse cell phone lookup tools to verify if a caller’s identity matches the name given.
What are Lee County Jury Duty Scams?
In the jury duty scam, callers purport themselves to be employees of the Lee County Sheriff's Office (LCSO), typically deputies or lieutenants. They say targets failed to appear for jury duty hearings and are due to be arrested following the issuance of arrest warrants. The callers may even use names of current employees of the LCSO and reel off badge numbers to appear legitimate. It is not uncommon for targets to even see the caller ID information of the LCSO on their phone displays when these scammers call.
Jury duty scammers promise to help "fix" the problems if targets purchase gift cards and relay these card numbers to the callers over the phone. Note that Lee County does not conduct jury duty notifications this way. All notifications are sent through the mail. Any notifications about missed jury duties are also sent through mails. There are free reverse phone number lookup tools online to help uncover who called and find who a number is registered to.
What are Lee County Grandparent Scams?
The grandparent scam is commonly targeted at older citizens, typically grandparents. The target is contacted by someone pretending to be a grandchild in distress, or a person of authority, such as a law enforcement officer, attorney, or medical professional. The fraudster describes an urgent situation or emergency such as needing money for bail, medical expenses, and emergency travel which must be sent immediately. In reality, no emergency occurred, and a victim who sent money to help the "grandchild" has lost the transferred funds. Reverse phone number lookup applications can prevent residents from falling victim to phone scams.
What are Lee County Utility Scams?
The utility bill scam is very rampant in Lee County. Here, scammers claim to represent utility companies such as electric, gas, and water service organizations and threaten to shut down utility services if "overdue bills" are not paid immediately.
In some of the common forms of the scam, callers contact Lee County customers purporting to be representatives of Alabama Power and claiming that their utility bills are overdue. The scammers request immediate payment and threaten to shut off the customers' power if they do not comply. These crooked individuals spoof the phone number of Alabama Power and demand payment be made using ash App and MoneyPak cards to avoid electricity being turned off.
Note that legitimate companies such as Alabama Power will not request payment through gift cards or cash transfer applications. If you are targeted in a utility scam, you may use a phone lookup service to determine if the call is associated with a scam or scammer.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated calls placed to telephone users through auto-dialers to deliver pre-recorded messages. Robocalls can be a real nuisance to many people but are also helpful and legal in several instances. For example, pharmacies can use robocalls to remind people to refill their prescriptions. Debt collection agencies can contact debtors with robocalls, while charitable organizations are also permitted to contact as many people as possible to make donations using robocalls. In these examples, your consent is not typically required before contact.
Contrary to the rules of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission, many illegal telemarketers and con artists contact people having not obtained their express permission. While some of these persons have legitimate products and services to sell, many such calls are spam calls that are used to defraud targets of money and wrongfully obtain sensitive information from them.
Spam calls are all kinds of unwanted incoming calls that sometimes market products or trick recipients into losing funds or sensitive data. In 2020, Alabama residents received more than 1.1 billion robocalls. Between January and April 2021, these residents received more than 460 million robocalls, an average of 105.6 robocalls per person. 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:
- Do not answer calls from unknown callers. Allow calls from unknown callers to go to your voicemail.
- Hang up on robocalls. If you answer a call and realize that it is a robocall, hang up immediately. Do not press any numbers as instructed by the recording. Doing so will only indicate to the scammer that the line is active, which will lead to more robocalls
- Register on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) free Do Not Call list. Illegal telemarketers are prohibited from calling numbers added to the list. If you get a robocall after 31 days of registration, it is likely to be a scam call.
- Block robocalls using your phone's built-in call blocking features. You can also download and install third-party apps from application stores, such as Truecaller, Hiya, YouMail, Nomorobo, and RoboKiller.
How to Spot and Report Lee County Phone Scams?
With pandemics, tragedies, or any crisis it is high tide for people committing fraud to come out and try to take advantage of the situation. Even without these motivational factors, crooked individuals are always on the prowl looking for people to defraud. Crooks prey on just about everyone. They have no empathy and will stop at nothing to steal other people's identities or money. To reduce the chances of falling victim to phone scams, you can use the services offered by reverse phone number lookup tools in identifying potential phone scams. You should also educate yourself on scam red flags.
Here are some tell-tale signs of phone scams:
- The caller wants you to pay an upfront fee: No matter how someone contacts you, it is never a good idea to pay upfront, especially when the call is unsolicited.
- The caller wants you to pay using gift cards, cryptocurrencies, or wire transfer through MoneyGram or Western Union: Any caller who insists on receiving payment only through these means is likely to be a scammer. Reputable companies will offer you multiple options and will not insist on a single method.
- The caller pressures you to act immediately: By coercing you into making immediate decisions, scammers increase the chances that you will do their bidding. They do not want targets to verify their elaborate stories from other sources, so they may entice people with "limited-time" offers or huge returns if funds are invested now.
- The caller uses scare tactics to get you to act: Common scare tactics include threats of arrest, suspension or revocation of driver's license, suspension of service, or deportation if you are an immigrant. Do not give in to intimidation. Hang up immediately. Reputable companies do not act this way.
- The caller demands your personal information: Do not reveal your Social Security number, birth date, bank account information, credit card details, and other sensitive information to unknown callers regardless of who they claim to represent or work for.
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 can further reduce the chances of being scammed.
You can file complaints in Lee County with any of the following public bodies if you have been contacted by a scammer:
- The Lee County Sheriff's Office: If you have fallen victim to a phone scam in Lee County, you may contact the county sheriff's office at (334) 749-5651.
- Local Police Departments: Scam complaints and reports can be filed at the various local police departments in Lee County. In the county seat of Opelika, contact the Opelika Police Department at (334) 705-5200.
- The Alabama State Attorney General's Office: The Alabama Attorney General's Office maintains a consumer protection line at (800) 392-5658 or victim assistance line at (800) 626-7676. The Office has the legal right to prosecute residents engaging in fraudulent practices. You can also file a complaint online.
- 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.