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What are Fayette County Area Codes?

Area code refers to the 3-digit numbers that start phone numbers in North America. It specifies the Numbering Plan Area (NPA) of a phone call, thereby helping to identify the origin and destination of the phone call. Area code was established as part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). It is the responsibility of the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) to manage area codes in Fayette County.

Only one area code currently covers Fayette County - area code 859.

Area Code 859

Area code 859 was derived from a split of area code 606. It was officially put into service in April 2000. Area code 859 covers the Lexington-Fayette area and other sub-urban areas in north-central Kentucky. Other cities covered by this area code include Danville, Florence, Covington Kentucky, Nicholasville, and Richmond Kentucky.

What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Fayette County?

The National Center of Health Statistics reported through a survey in 2018 that about 61.9% of adult phone users in the State of Kentucky used wireless-only telephones. On the contrary, only about 5.7% used landline telephones. For children under 18 years, about 70.6% used wireless-only, while only about 2.9% used only landlines. These figures imply that residents of Fayette County prefer wireless telephony services over landline telephones.

In the State of Kentucky, the four major phone carriers include AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint. T-Mobile is renowned as the best phone carrier in Lexington owing to the fact it has the widest network in the city. It covers an estimated 98%. The second-best phone carrier in terms of coverage width is Verizon. It covers an estimated 86%. AT&T also covers up to 86%. At 70%, Spring has the lowest coverage in the state. However, the strength and coverage of these major phone carriers depend on the area in consideration. For instance, network strength may be significantly lesser in rural areas than in urban areas.

Other smaller phone carriers also provide network services in Kentucky. These are known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO). MVNOs do not have network services of their own. Rather, they purchase from the major phone carriers at a wholesale price and then resell to the consumers. The goal of MVNO services is to provide network services to consumers at cheaper rates. For instance, customers of T-Mobile who cannot afford their direct services may turn to MVNOs under them such as Mint Mobile, Net10, etc.

Other kinds of telephony services such as the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are also gaining more grounds in the State of Kentucky. VoIP serves as an alternative to regular phone lines. It allows users to utilize broadband internet connections to make phone calls. Due to a steady increase in the number of companies offering VoIP services, there has been a consistent increase in price and product competition.

What Are Fayette County Phone Scams?

Fayette phone scams are fraudulent phone calls intended by scammers to illegally obtain money, identity details, or sensitive financial information. Scammers usually impersonate trusted agencies and governmental bodies to perpetrate their fraud on unsuspecting victims through phone calls. Interested persons may use reverse phone number lookup services to identify phone scammers and minimize phone scams in the County.

What are IRS Impersonation Scams?

Predominantly in the tax filing season when most residents are conscious of tax payments, phone scammers target county residents with tax phone scams. These fraudsters call their targets, impersonate Internal Revenue Service officials, and make attempts to obtain illegal payments. To deceive the targets into responding to the call, scammers may spoof their caller IDs to imitate the IRS’s Caller IDs. 

The scammers may also find ways to coerce unsuspecting residents into disclosing sensitive financial information which may be used for financially criminal activities. They threaten people who do not readily yield to their demands, with legal actions such as police arrest, revocation of license, deportation, etc. The IRS reports that about $14 million was lost to impersonation scam victims between 2013 and 2015.

To help residents identify possible IRS impersonation phone scams, the IRS has highlighted certain actions residents should never expect from the tax institution. The IRS does not demand immediate tax payments from residents via phone calls without prior bill notice by mail. The IRS does not require taxpayers to use specific payment methods such as debit or gift cards. The IRS does not also request credit or debit card details, or other sensitive information over the phone, nor threaten taxpayers with the police or legal actions. As such, residents may watch out and avoid responding to phone calls that engage these lines of action. It is recommended to make official contact with the IRS for appropriate inquiries.

What are Telemarketing Scams

These are scams by fraudulent telemarketers with the aim of extorting money from Fayette County residents or obtaining sensitive information from their targets. These scammers lure their targets with enticing investment offers, promising massive returns. Such fraudsters may offer fake promotional sales or bonuses to unsuspecting victims. These offers spike the targets' interests and they are then scammed to pay some amount of money to redeem non-existent prizes. To appear more authentic, telemarketing scammers may disguise themselves as genuine reputable investment organizations.

The Kentucky Attorney General warns residents to beware of such unreal investment offers. The Attorney General also pointed out the most common tactics employed by these fraudsters to enable people to easily identify and prevent fraudulent calls. Such common tactics include the high-pressure sales method, insistence on immediate action, compelling requests for confidential information, etc. Suspecting residents may contact the Office of the Attorney General to verify the authenticity of telemarketers or report fraudulent phone calls. Phone number search services help users identify possible phone scams by unveiling the true identities of scammers behind calls.

What are Charity Help Scams

Scammers extort money from unsuspecting victims by disguising themselves as reputable charity organizations and soliciting funds. These fraudsters may spoof their caller ID to imitate charitable organizations such that the call recipients are convinced to respond. Some of these charity scammers sometimes make multiple calls to follow up on their targets until they yield to their requests. It is common for scammers to request payment over the phone.

Fayette County residents are advised to desist from making payments over the phone under pressure. It is recommended to verify the identity of any caller claiming to be from a charity organization soliciting donations. Individuals may verify from the Office of the Attorney General to ensure that the charity organizations meet the registration and operational requirements specified by the Attorney General. Reverse phone lookup services help users to identify possible phone scams and avoid such calls.

What are Family Member Identity Theft Scams?

Scammers spoof their Caller IDs to pose as relatives of unsuspecting targets to request money for emergencies. Through supposed personal distress calls, scammers fake certain urgent financial needs to lure their targets’ family members or friends into sending money. Fraudsters may even claim to be victims of life-threatening situations, such as robbery to deceive their relatives.

Phone number search services help residents discover the true identities of callers. This may help reduce the rate of phone scams in the county. Also, individuals may report such calls to the appropriate quarters for security measures.

What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?

Robocalls are phone calls that are automated to deliver pre-recorded messages to call recipients. Robocalls are used mostly by telemarketers, political parties, and non-profit organizations. Part of the essence of robocalls aside from automation is to deliver the same message to different persons simultaneously. Robocalls enable the initiators to obtain user information by prompting the recipients to respond to certain instructions through preset response codes. Scammers tend to maximize this technology to obtain sensitive information from unsuspecting targets through robocall prompts. The fraudsters may then utilize the details to perpetrate scams at different levels. Users may be able to identify robocalls using reverse phone lookup services.

Certain measures may help residents of Fayette county to minimize the risk of robocall scams. Such measures include:

  • End a call as soon as you suspect that it is a fraudulent robocall.
  • Register your number with the National Do Not Call Registry. The registry may not be able to completely prevent a phone number from receiving robocalls, but it plays a great role in reducing the number of robocalls a phone number receives.
  • Use online phone number lookup services to identify robocalls and other spam calls. Block possible fraudulent calls as soon as you can identify them.

Residents may visit the FTC website to obtain information about blocking unwanted calls.

How to Spot and Report Fayette County Phone Scams?

The techniques and tools employed by phone scammers seem to be evolving with innovations in communication technology. As such, residents of Fayette County must stay abreast with current information about phone scams. Staying informed helps individuals to identify and prevent possible scams regardless of the technology used. Report such suspected calls to security agencies. Some indications of phone scams are:

  • The caller aggressively pressures and threatens their targets - Threats such as police arrests, license revocation, suspensions, and fines are common ways of compelling victims to respond.
  • The caller specifies and insists on certain payment options for collecting money - Fraudsters prefer payment options that make the transactions difficult to trace and retrieve. Crypto payments, wire transfers, and gift cards are some of the common payment options requested by scammers.
  • The caller, who claims to be a representative of a renowned private or government organization, requesting confidential information. Legitimate organizations understand the need for high data security. As such, pressurized requests for the disclosure of confidential information over the phone is most likely an indication that the phone call is a scam attempt.
  • The caller offers investment and marketing opportunities that look too good to be true. Such offers aim to manipulate people into rushing into deals without proper assessments. It is advised that you properly assess every opportunity before making business deals. It may also be necessary to make official contact with the supposed organization to verify the authenticity of the offers.

There are some governmental bodies and security agencies responsible for assisting residents of Fayette County in the prevention and control of phone scams. Fayette County residents who suspect any fraudulent phone calls or are victims or targets of such calls may contact these agencies for assistance. 

Financial Crimes Unit, Lexington Bureau of Investigation - This department traces and investigates certain crime-related activities such as theft by deception, identity theft, fraudulent use of payment cards, etc. Residents suspecting scam activities may contact the Financial Crimes Unit via:

Fayette County Lexington Police Department - The Police Department of Fayette County is responsible for security and law enforcement in the county. Residents who suspect or are victims of phone scans may report to the Police Department for appropriate actions.

Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) - Targets or victims may contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center to report suspected phone scam activities. The IC3 uses the report information to investigate the matter and provide information to law enforcement agencies and for public awareness.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau keeps residents informed on how to improve their financial security. Victims or targets of fraud may file their complaints about suspected phone scams to the Bureau.

Better Business Bureau - The Better Business Bureau provides Fayette County residents with information on businesses that are legitimately registered in the county. Interested persons may look up businesses on the BBB website to ascertain their authenticity before making any deal with them.

Office of the Fayette County Sheriff - The County Sheriff is committed to responding to the needs of the people, which includes security. The Office of the Sheriff has different divisions such as the Victim Services Division where residents may obtain information and assistance about scams and other crimes in the county.

Federal Trade Commission - The FTC protects citizens and residents against possible phone scams. To this effect, the Commission established the National Do Not Call Registry to exempt users from getting robocalls and other spam phone calls that may lead to scams.