What are Morgan County Area Codes?
Morgan County is a county spanning 599 square miles in the northern part of Alabama, with an estimated population of 119,679, as of 2019. It was initially called Cotaco County but renamed Morgan County in 1821. The county is included in the Huntsville-Decatur-Albertville combined statistical area, and its seat of power is the City of Decatur.
Area codes are the strings of three numeric digits at the beginning of telephone numbers issued in America. They were instituted by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) to distinguish the different Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) in North American telephone service territories. Generally, area codes help call recipients identify the origins of phone calls by the mere sighting of the phone numbers in incoming calls. Two area codes currently serve Morgan County. These are:
Area Code 256
Area code 256 stemmed from a split of the 205 NPA and was put into active service in 1998. It serves northern Alabama, including Morgan County. Morgan County cities and communities within area code 256 include Decatur, Morgan City, Hartselle, and Falkville.
Area Code 938
Area code 938 is an Alabama telephone code and an overlay code to the 256 NPA. It came into service in 2010, serving similar Morgan County locations as area code 256.
The Alabama Public Service Commission (PUC) manages Morgan County area codes and the rest in the state.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Morgan County?
The four major network operators in the United States and some Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MNVOs) provide network services in Morgan County and offer residents decent cell phone plans. However, residents in the cities enjoy better service than the smaller communities in the county. For instance, in the City of Hartselle, the phone carrier with the best coverage is T-Mobile at 100%, while the rest have no significant penetration. Similarly, Verizon boasts the best service coverage at 100% in the City of Falkville. MNVOs provide satisfactory and affordable network services in communities not served by all four major network operators.
Wireless telephony services adoption has exceeded landlines as the dominant means of telecommunication in Alabama. According to a 2018 survey by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), an estimated 57.6% of the adults in Alabama used cell phones solely for telecommunications. About 5.8% of them still used landline phones only. The data obtained for the state's under-18 population showed that 71.6% of the demographic had adopted wireless-only services, while 2.0% relied exclusively on landline-only services.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offers Morgan County residents cheaper, flexible, efficient, and portable telephone services than traditional phone services. The technology routes communications over broadband internet connections instead of the enormous network infrastructures required for wireless telephony and landlines. This mode of delivering communication is why VoIP offers users more affordable telephony services. It supports text messaging, audio calls, and video calls. Several providers offer VoIP services for both personal and business use in Morgan County.
What are Morgan County Phone Scams?
These are cons perpetrated against the Morgan County residents over the phone. Phone scammers rely on telephone services such as live calls, text messages, and robocalls to rip unsuspecting residents off. The primary aim of phone scams is to steal money and targets' confidential information for eventual identity and financial theft. Phone scammers employ different tricks to fool targets depending on the schemes involved and the prevailing circumstances. They favor spoofing marks' Caller IDs to make them think they are being called by veritable businesses and familiar government agencies. Morgan County residents are encouraged to conduct reverse phone lookups on unknown phone numbers in incoming calls to avoid falling victim to scams. Reverse phone number lookup services can help retrieve identifying information on unknown callers.
The Alabama Office of the Attorney General (OAG), through its Consumer Interest Division, educates residents on phone scams. It partners federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in combating the phone scam scourge in Alabama. The widely reported phone scams in Morgan County include:
What are Morgan County COVID-19 Stimulus Payment Scams?
Scammers are taking advantage of the federal economic relief response to COVID-19 to extort Morgan County residents. COVID-19 stimulus. This scam scheme aims to obtain confidential information and steal money from uninformed residents. When they call, the scammers claim to be with the federal agency responsible for processing stimulus payments and offer to help targets get theirs quickly. However, such call recipients must pay some money to get stimulus payments ahead of others, and during their conversation, the callers ask them to provide certain information. Such information usually includes names, bank account details, and social security numbers. Most government agencies have this information on file and will not ask residents to provide them if they do contact them. Residents who disclose them are close to becoming identity and financial fraud victims. However, applications offering reverse phone lookup free services can uncover the identities of the callers and prevent residents from falling victim to these scams. These scammers often request payment via gift cards and wire transfers.
Note that you do not have to pay money to benefit from COVID-19 stimulus payments. Any unsolicited call in which the caller demands fees and asks you to share information for speedy processing of stimulus payment is a scam call. Stimulus payments are deposited into residents' bank accounts or sent to beneficiaries by mail as checks. Do not provide any confidential information in such phone calls to avoid falling victim to identity and financial fraud.
What are Morgan County Arrest Warrant Scams?
Scammers pretend to be employees of the Morgan County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) to extort county residents. Morgan County residents can avoid arrest warrant scams by searching the reverse phone lookups of unknown callers to ascertain whether they are with the MCSO or not. The scammers often use the names and badge numbers of genuine MCSO deputies to fool targets into believing their claims. In these scams, fraudsters will notify targets that there are warrants issued for their arrests but advise them to avert such arrests by paying some money. These scammers are known for insisting on receiving payments via odd channels such as wire transfers, bitcoins, and gift cards. Sometimes, they make up cases that led to the issuance of warrants, and at other times, they insist on making it confidential on inquiry by targets. These fraudsters sometimes spoof the official phone numbers of the MCSO to appear as legitimate deputies when contacting targets. However, targeted residents can use reverse phone lookup services to identify spoofed phone calls and avoid arrest warrant scams.
The MCSO reminds residents that its deputies do not call residents ahead to inform them of issued warrants before executing arrests. It warns residents to beware of unknown callers soliciting money to cancel arrests. Legitimate deputies of the MCSO will never do this or threaten arrest over the phone. If you receive this type of call and suspect that it might be a fraudulent phone call, hang up immediately and contact the MCSO on their official phone numbers to verify the caller's claims.
What are Morgan County Utility Scams?
In utility scams, fraudsters pretend to be employees of local utility providers and call Morgan County residents in attempts to defraud them. These scammers call at odd hours and are usually aggressive in a bid to coerce targets into complying with their demands. There are a few variations to this scam scheme. Sometimes, the scammers will claim that targets have past due bills and demand immediate payments of such service bills to avoid disconnection. Their preferred means of receiving payment include Green Dot debit cards and wire transfers. They sometimes offer targets the luxury of paying them using digital payment platforms, such as Zelle and Cash App. Unknown callers who request payment via these channels are usually scammers. Residents can uncover their identities using suspicious phone number lookup applications. These scammers mainly stay on the phone with their marks to ensure prompt payment and dissuade them from talking to other persons who may identify such calls as scam calls.
In another instance of utility scams, fraudsters will offer to enroll targeted residents for a federal government program that reduces energy bills. Targets must, however, provide some information, which often includes confidential data, to register them for such programs. Scammers use this ploy to obtain marks' information for identity and financial theft. A legitimate utility company will never request personal information or solicit money over the phone. Residents are advised to end these types of calls and contact their local utility providers on their official phone numbers for verification. If you receive this type of call, conduct a reverse phone lookup on the caller's phone number to figure out who called. Do not share your confidential information with or pay anyone who claims to be with your utility provider without proper confirmations.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is an automated telephone service that delivers pre-recorded information to selected phone numbers. Although initially designed for telemarketing and political campaigns, robocalls are increasingly being adopted by scammers in various scam schemes. Scammers favor robocalls because robocall numbers can be altered at will by users. This feature of phone number manipulation often makes tracking fraudsters challenging for law enforcement. Spam calls are usually unwanted, just like robocalls. They are calls placed to random phone numbers en masse for malicious intents. Reverse phone number lookup free services can identify robocall and spam numbers and help residents avoid robocall spams.
If you intend to steer clear of robocall scams, your best options are:
- Report illegal robocalls to the FTC by filing an online complaint or calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry to avoid calls from legitimate telemarketers and reduce robocall inundation. While this does not guarantee an end to robocalls, you can identify the illegal ones after the 31st day of enrolling your phone number in the list.
- End a robocall immediately you identify a phone call as such. Ignore any prompts as these lead to more automated messages and identify your number for more robocalls and future scams.
- Use phone number lookup services to identify robocall numbers and block them using call-blocking features for your smartphones.
How Can You Spot and Report Morgan County Phone Scams?
Phone scammers primarily aim to cheat residents out of their money and steal confidential information for eventual identity and financial fraud. In Morgan County, they mostly have their way with uninformed residents. Hence, the role of phone scam education in spotting and combating scams within the county cannot be over-emphasized. Online services offering free reverse phone lookups can identify phone numbers that are being used for scams and help residents avoid phone scams. With phone lookup services, residents can figure out who called, which helps in reporting suspected scam calls to the appropriate authorities.
The following are warning signs of phone scams in Morgan County:
- The caller informs you of a gift or winnings from a foreign lottery and asks that you make an upfront payment to redeem such winnings. If an unknown caller says you win a prize that requires a fee to claim, it is most definitely a scam.
- The caller solicits your identity or financial information. Legitimate entities do not ask for this information on calls you did not initiate.
- The caller insists on getting immediate repayments of debts you are unaware of and instructs you to make such payments via odd methods such as gift cards and wire transfers. Legitimate debt collectors will never insist on such payment methods as they are scammers' favorite channels.
- The unknown caller wants you to make immediate choices and tries to dissuade you from researching their offers.
- The caller becomes aggressive when you hesitate to comply with their demands and threatens you with arrest, jail, or deportation to gain compliance. Legitimate authorities will never threaten you over a phone call.
Morgan County residents who receive suspicious phone calls or have fallen victim to phone scams can report their plights to any of the following government agencies:
Morgan County Sheriff's Office - The MCSO receives complaints and investigates dishonest practices, including phone scams, against county residents. County residents can file reports of phone scam incidents with the MCSO by calling (256) 351-4800 or visiting the Sheriff's Office at 119 Lee St. Decatur, AL 35601.
Federal Communications Commission - Residents can file complaints on phone spoofing scams and other phone scams with the FCC online or call 1 (888) 225-5322. The FCC guides residents on barring unwanted calls and avoiding phone scams.
Federal Trade Commission - Victimized Morgan County residents can report cases of illegal calls and other scams to the FTC online or call 1 (888) 382-1222. The FTC established the National Do Not Call Registry to protect Americans from unwanted telephone solicitations. It also educates residents on blocking unwanted calls to avoid scams.