What are Tuscaloosa County Area Codes?
Tuscaloosa County is situated in the northwest-central of the State of Alabama. The latest census conducted in 2019 shows that the county has a population of 209,355. The total area of the county is 3,499km². The City of Tuscaloosa is the county seat, and it doubles as the largest city in the county.
Area codes are the three-digit numbers that appear before telephone numbers in North America. According to the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), area codes, also known as Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs), identify the geographical locations where calls originate from. Every geographical area in the North American region has at least one area code serving it. Hence, individuals that receive calls from unfamiliar phone numbers can conduct area code lookups using free reverse phone lookup services to ascertain the originating locations of the calls.
Two area codes serve Tuscaloosa County; they include:
Area Code 205
Area code 205 was created as one of the original 86 area codes that the AT&T and the Bell System created in 1947. Some of the cities it serves include Tuscaloosa, Alabaster, Birmingham, Fairfield, Pleasant Grove, Fultondale, Gardendale, Hoover, Leeds, Pelham, Pell City, and Trussville.
Area Code 659
Area code 659 became active on November 12, 2019. It serves the same geographic area that area code 205 covers.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Tuscaloosa County?
T-Mobile ranks as the best coverage in Tuscaloosa County with 98% coverage compared to other phone network providers in Tuscaloosa. In contrast, AT&T has 74% coverage. Phone network service is relatively good, although harsh weather conditions may adversely affect the network quality.
Based on the National Center of Health Statistics survey released in 2018, adults and minors in Alabama generally prefer using wireless telephones over landlines. Consequent to this, the use of landlines has significantly diminished. The telephone status survey shows that 57.6% of the Alabama adult population only used wireless telephones, while 5.8% of Alabama adults solely used landlines as their preferred telephony service. On the other hand, 71.6% of minors in Alabama used only wireless telephone services, while only 2% of minors used landlines as their sole telephony service option.
Since the advent of VoIP, several residents and businesses have begun to use it for telephony services. VoIP means Voice over Internet Protocol, and it utilizes high-speed internet connections to enable voice and multimedia communications between one or multiple senders and recipients. Considering that VoIP uses internet connections for calls, it is more cost-effective when compared to other telephony services. It even supports long-distance calls at no extra charges to the subscribers, provided that both parties have active subscription plans. In addition, VoIP is flexible, affordable, and has some very innovative features. Some of these features are name dialing, anonymous calling, call routing, conference calling, automated line attendants, advanced call management, call analytics, and call rejection.
What are Tuscaloosa County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are deceptive schemes and tricks that fraudsters perpetrate over the phone to defraud residents of their hard-earned money. Also, phone scammers try to deceitfully obtain the recipients’ personal information for identity theft. For cases like these, identity theft fraudsters demand residents’ personal and financial information like social security numbers, mothers' maiden names, credit card numbers, passwords, etc. Fraudsters are evolving in their schemes and are constantly coming up with innovative ways to scam residents. These fraudsters exploit advanced technological development in telecommunications, such as robocalls and Caller ID spoofing. It is important that residents do not completely trust every Caller ID, even if it appears familiar. Instead, they should always use good reverse phone lookup services to conduct phone number searches and spot spoofed Caller IDs. Note that scammers mostly follow trends in the county to develop fraudulent schemes targeted at scamming residents at all levels.
Residents should be cautious when receiving calls from supposed legitimate sources because fraudsters usually impersonate these agencies. Some of the entities that fraudsters typically impersonate include the IRS, Social Security Administration, law enforcement agencies, health departments, and financial institutions, and even the residents’ relatives. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) help residents by enlightening them on what illegal Caller ID spoofing is and how to block unwanted calls. Residents of Tuscaloosa County can use phone number lookup tools to answer the question “who called me?” if they receive suspicious phone calls.”
Prevalent Tuscaloosa County phone scams include:
What are Tuscaloosa County IRS Office Scams?
Particularly during tax seasons, scammers pretending to be the IRS target taxpayers with multiple scams. These scammers impersonating the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) personnel, call individuals and tell them that they owe taxes. They also threaten them with arrest, revocation of licenses, deportation, or other legal actions if they do not make payments. Generally, these scammers insist on payment via prepaid cards, PayPal, gift cards, bitcoins, or wire transfers. Be informed that the IRS will never call you out of the blue to demand such payment or ask for debit card information. The IRS always first prompts with multiple mails before finally calling. If you receive such a call, directly contact the IRS to confirm these claims. Some scammers also try to get their targets to share their bank accounts, Social Security numbers, or government benefits debit card account numbers. Do not share such information, and if you must, make your submission to only the verified IRS official website. You can also use a phone number lookup service that allows reverse phone lookup free to identify the caller.
In addition, the IRS educates residents on indicators of IRS scams and how to know when it is the IRS calling. With useful information on how the scam occurred, report IRS scams to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) online or over the phone at 1-800-366-4484.
Persons that receive such calls should not respond to the scammer’s demands by making any payments or giving their financial information to them. Note that law enforcement agencies in the county do not contact residents to threaten them with arrests and also do not request any form of payment.
What are Tuscaloosa County Alabama Power Scams?
Alabama Power scams are becoming common in Tuscaloosa County. These scams involve scammers calling customers claiming to be representatives from Alabama Power. The scammers then demand immediate payment on the customers' accounts and request their bank or credit card information. They threaten that if payments are not received within 30 minutes, the service will be disconnected. In other cases of these scams, the scammers directly call customers who recently made payments on their Alabama Power accounts and falsely allege that the payment did not go through. They then insist that the customers should make immediate repayments.
Alabama Power warns against these scams and informs customers to hang up immediately if they are contacted in such a manner. They may then contact the Alabama Power Customer Service agent at 1-800-245-2244 to verify the caller's claims. A customer service agent can be reached every weekday between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., but the automated voice system can be accessed at any time to check your account balance and status.
In addition, Alabama Power creates awareness of the scams and insists that they never call residents to demand money or their credit card information. Also, good reverse phone lookup tools are useful in identifying callers. Use these services to conduct phone number lookup free.
What are Tuscaloosa County Grandparent Scams?
Grandparent scams are targeted at playing on the emotions of grandparents. Here, a grandparent receives a phone call, claiming that their grandchild has been involved in some type of incident outside the state, possibly a car accident where they were at fault. The caller may claim to be the attorney of the grandchild and request huge amounts of money to post a bond to get the grandchild out of jail. In most cases, if the grandparent hangs up, they may receive another call from someone claiming to be from the jail where their grandchild is in custody. Scammers in this scam usually sound very urgent when requesting payment. This is to prevent the targets from verifying the story with the scammers' parents or other relatives. Typically, scammers say they are calling the grandparents because the grandchild does not want the parents to know about the situation.
In addition, the scammers usually specifically tell the victims to go to a store and purchase gift cards in the amount of money requested. They then request the PIN or serial number of the gift card, which the scammers will use to get the cash off the gift card. Residents are encouraged to confirm scammers' claims before taking any steps. They may also conduct suspicious phone number lookups to find out who called.
What are Tuscaloosa County Bail bonding Scams?
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office warns of bail bonding scams where scammers pose as bail bonding agents. In this scam, a scammer contacts a resident claiming to be working on a bond for a friend or loved one. If you receive such a call, hang up and immediately contact the person that was supposedly arrested or even the actual agency the caller is claiming to represent. Do not send Green Dot cards, iTunes cards, or money grams in response to such a call, neither give out your personal information. Residents may conduct reverse number lookups to find out the true identities of scam callers.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are pre-recorded calls designed to deliver messages to a large target audience within a specified time frame. Legal robocalls are mostly informational, delivering messages meant to make emergency announcements and create awareness for good causes. However, scammers also use robocalls because they can reach several persons with minimal human involvement, and it affords them anonymity. Illegal robocalls usually contain certain prompts to stop receiving such robocalls or to be transferred to live representatives. Residents are advised to avoid following such prompts and simply hang up.
To combat illegal robocalls, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. This Act regulated the use of robocalls, mandating that prior consent must be obtained before robocalls are sent to anyone. In addition, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) specifies robocalls that can be sent without the residents’ permission. They include:
- Robocalls for political campaigns
- Debt collection robocalls
- Robocalls by legitimate health institutions
- Robocalls by charitable organizations
- Solely informational robocalls
Spam calls are unsolicited calls, bearing irrelevant messages that are randomly sent to individuals without prior notice. Unsolicited robocalls fall in the category of spam calls, as they do not have any direct relevance to the recipients.
Take the following precautions to curtail unsolicited robocalls:
- Maximize the use of reverse phone look up services to identify robocalls and block them using call-blocking tools on your cell phone.
- If you answer a robocall mistakenly, end the call immediately and do not follow any prompts given during the call.
- Lodge a complaint to the FTC to report an unsolicited robocall via the online complaint assistant platform or call 1-888-382-1222 to report.
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce robocalls and other unsolicited calls. After 31 days of registration, you will be able to report any robocalls that you receive on your registered phone numbers.
How to Spot and Report Tuscaloosa County Phone Scams?
Phone scammers are everywhere, including Tuscaloosa County. Therefore, residents must be vigilant and take precautions like using reverse phone lookup tools to conduct phone number searches when receiving unsolicited calls. It is also important to look out for these red flags when they receive unsolicited calls bearing any phone number, including phone numbers that they are familiar with. Some red flags of scammers include:
- Demanding payment with cash, gift cards, prepaid cards, bitcoins, wire transfers, and other unconventional means.
- Calling with fear and pressure tactics to get the victim to act in the spur of the moment.
- Threatening call recipients with arrest, deportation, license revocation, and other severe consequences.
- Trying to discourage the recipient from authenticating information given during a call and telling them to keep the call a secret.
- Requesting payment before supposed winnings are awarded.
- Making highly emotional solicitations that are unverifiable.
- Persuading the recipient to invest in a business that appears too good to be true.
- Offers to retrieve money that was lost money to scams for a fee.
Tuscaloosa County residents can report phone scams to these government agencies:
Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Office - Residents can report fraudulent calls or file phone scam complaints to the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office at (205) 752-0616.
Federal Trade Commission - Residents can report identity theft, illegal Caller ID spoofing, illegal robocalls, unwanted telemarketing, texts, or spam calls, and other scams using the FTC’s online consumer complaint assistant. Residents can also reach the FTC by calling 877-FTC-HELP or 877-ID-THEFT.
Alabama Attorney General Consumer Protection - Residents can contact the AG to report consumer fraud and identity theft by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-5658 or the Office of Victim Assistance at 800-626-7676.
Federal Bureau of Investigation - Residents can report general fraud and criminal matters to (202) 324-3000.
Alabama Securities Commission - Residents can report investment fraud to 800-222-1253 or by email to [email protected]. Investment frauds can also be reported to the Securities and Exchange Commission via 800-SEC-0330.
Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General - Residents can report health, Medicare, and Medicaid fraud and related matters by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS.