What are Chittenden County Area Codes?
Only one area code serves Chittenden County. This is area code 802. An area code is a three-digit designation for a numbering plan area (NPA). Area codes and NPAs were introduced in the US with the creation of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947. The NANP made routing phone calls more efficient across North American phone networks. An area code signifies the area where a telephone number was registered and can tell the origin of calls placed with that number. In a typical 10-digit North American phone number, the area code is the first three digits.
Area Code 802
Area code 802 is one of the original 86 area codes introduced in the country in 1947 with the implementation of the NANP. It remains the only area code covering the entire state of Vermont. Communities in Chittenden County served by area code 802 include the cities of Burlington, South Burlington, and Winooski.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Chittenden County?
The 2018 wireless substitution survey conducted by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics showed that Vermont was the only state where the percentage of the adult population that still relied solely on landline phones for telecommunication was in double digits. While 12.1% of adult Vermontians still used landline phones exclusively, 48% of them have made the switch to wireless phones and use them solely for their telecommunication needs. Among minors in the state, 59.4% of the demographic reported using wireless phones exclusively while 6.1% of them confirmed that they still used landline phones only.
Like the rest of Vermont, residents of Chittenden County can sign up for cell phone plans from major carriers as well as MVNOs. AT&T offers the widest coverage among the major carriers operating in the state. Its network covers 99.1% of Vermont. Verizon is a close second with 93.3% coverage while T-Mobile and Sprint cover 61.1% and 33.2% of the state respectively.
MVNOs, or Mobile Virtual Network Operators, are small regional carriers that offer cheaper cell phone plans even though they rely on the network infrastructure of major carriers. They can offer cheaper plans because they buy network services in bulk from the big players and pass on some of the savings to their subscribers. MVNOs cell phone plans offer great value for Chittenden County residents that rarely travel out of the state.
VoIP service providers also offer phone services in Vermont. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a communication technology that enables voice transmission over the internet. VoIP phone services transmit voice and video signals over computer networks as data packets. Subscribers of VoIP phone plans can make calls from their phones, computers, and tablets. VoIP plans are also cheaper for long-distance calls and teleconferencing calls.
What are Chittenden County Phone Scams?
These are telephone frauds committed in Chittenden County or targeting residents and businesses in the county. Fraudsters targeting unsuspecting phone users in the county contact their targets by calling or texting them. They may also use certain sophisticated phone tools and services to trick their targets. Such tools include caller ID spoofing, spam calls, robocalls, and phishing. To counter scammers and avoid phone scams, residents should consider anti-scam and anti-spam tools such as call blocking and reverse phone number lookup.
In addition to actively safeguarding themselves against telephone frauds, Chittenden County residents should also stay informed about common phone scams in their communities. The Office of the Vermont Attorney General identified these as the most common phone scams in the state: Social Security scams, free prize scams, Amazon and package delivery scams, and computer tech support scams.
What are Chittenden County Social Security Scams?
These scams usually begin with robocalls telling their targets that their Social Security numbers have been reportedly used for criminal activities. Those who take the bait are transferred to scammers pretending to be law enforcement agents or employees of the Social Security Administration (SSA) or other government agencies. These impostors threaten their victims with immediate arrest if they do not help with their investigations. They may ask for victims to send certain amounts to avoid getting arrested or provide certain confidential information to confirm their identities. Scammers then use the personal and financial information provided in identity thefts.
One way to avoid a Social Security scam is to verify the identity of the caller with a free reverse phone number lookup. Residents can also foil such scams by understanding how the SSA works. This agency will never initiate contact by phone. They do so by mail. They also will not call to threaten residents, ask for payment, or demand information they already have on file.
What are Chittenden County Free Prize Scams?
Fraudsters claiming to represent organizations offering free gifts or lottery and sweepstakes organizers call to congratulate their targets on winning large amounts of money. They ask their victims to send money covering taxes and processing fees before they can claim their prizes. In variations of these scams, the fraudsters may send fake checks to their targets in amounts over their bogus winnings. They then ask them to wire back the difference while waiting for those checks to clear. Victims only learn that they have been duped when those checks bounce.
If contacted by a stranger claiming you won a lottery or sweepstakes you did not enter in, make sure to investigate their claims and identities. A suspicious phone number lookup can help determine whether such callers are affiliated with Publishers Clearing House or other lottery/sweepstake organizers. Residents of Chittenden County should also know that it is illegal for anyone to ask lottery/sweepstakes/free gift winners to pay any amount before claiming their prizes.
What are Chittenden County Amazon and Package Delivery Scams?
In these scams, fraudsters use robocalls to fish for victims. Unsuspecting residents receive automated phone calls informing them of charges on their credit cards for Amazon purchases they do not remember making. These scammers can also name other online retailers. The robocalls end with instructions to call back to resolve the charges and get refunds for unauthorized purchases. Residents that take the bait are then asked to provide their credit card numbers and PINs or their passwords to their Amazon accounts. Fraudsters impersonating customer support agents may also request remote access to their victims’ computers claiming to need this to verify their online orders.
Residents of Chittenden County should be on the lookout for strangers calling with these claims. It is important that they never give strangers their confidential information over the phone or give remote access to their computers. Checking callers’ phone numbers to know who called can help them discover that such calls are not from Amazon or other retailers.
What are Chittenden County Computer Tech Support Scams?
Another impostor scam, tech support frauds involve fraudsters calling and claiming to be customer support representatives of reputable tech companies. They scare their victims with lies that their computers have been overtaken with viruses or need immediate tune-up to avoid system crashes. These scammers may charge unsuspecting residents for bogus repairs and unneeded computer security software. They may also install malware on their victims’ machines to steal confidential records, secretly mine cryptocurrencies, or lock owners out of their computers until they pay a ransom.
It is important that residents of Chittenden County not give strangers remote access to their computers. They should also know that tech companies do not provide unsolicited support and do not scan their customers’ computers for viruses. Those targeted by scammers in this way can discover such scams by submitting the numbers used to call them for reverse phone lookup searches. These searches may reveal that the numbers are not associated with the tech companies the callers claim to represent. They may also reveal that the numbers were previously used for similar scams.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls delivering pre-recorded messages to phone users. These calls are placed by auto-dialers set up to call long lists of phone numbers. When they were first introduced, robocalls were used by political campaigns and telemarketers to quickly and easily reach their target audiences. Public organizations also use them to deliver public service announcements to large groups of people. Robocalls are effective and efficient low-cost mass communication tools. These attributes make them appealing to scammers looking for ways to find new targets for their fraudulent schemes.
Spam calls are also bulk unsolicited calls. However, these are usually placed by human agents hired to contact large groups of people with scripted messages. Most phone users in Chittenden County receive more robocalls and spam calls than calls from their contacts. To stop or limit the number of such unwanted calls received, residents should consider the following actions:
- Do not trust your phone’s caller ID to correctly identify callers. Scammers and spammers use caller ID spoofing to change their phone numbers and IDs
- Let calls from unknown contacts go to voicemail where you can review the messages left to determine whether to call them back or not
- Hang up a call as soon as you find out it is a robocall or spam call
- Do not follow instructions given during robocalls and spam calls on how to remove your number from their call lists. Following such prompts only leads to more unwanted calls
- Use the call filtering option on your phone to block calls from unknown numbers or blacklisted numbers. Carriers and some third-party apps also offer call blocking functions that rely on regularly updated blacklists to block numbers used by scammers and spammers
- Identify a repeat unknown caller with reverse phone number lookup. This can help determine whether they are a scammer or not
- Add your phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry to stop receiving robocalls from telemarketers. It takes 31 days for this to take effect. Any robocall or spam call received after then is likely from a scammer or spammer and can be safely disregarded
How to Spot and Report Chittenden County Phone Scams
Residents of Chittenden County can learn how to spot phone scams by learning about the various tricks used by scammers. They can also sign up for scam alerts from the Vermont’s Office of the Attorney General to quickly hear the latest news on telephone frauds and tactics used by scammers targeting residents of the state. Furthermore, residents should look out for the following signs of scams when talking to strangers on the phone:
- Threats - anyone claiming to be a law enforcement agent or a government official and threatening arrests, deportation, or prosecution is most likely an impostor and a scammer
- High-pressure sales tactics - scammers push their victims to make immediate commitments before they have the time to think their offers through. A stranger offering a business or investment opportunity aggressively by claiming their no-risk, high-yield offer is only available for a limited time is most likely a scammer
- Request for payments by cash, prepaid debit card, gift card, wire transfer, mobile app transfer, or cryptocurrency - government officials, law enforcement agents, debt collectors, and private organizations do not ask for fines, taxes, bills, or payment for goods and services by such unofficial channels
- Refusal to provide written documentation backing their claims and establishing their identities - scammers do not want paper trails leading back to them. Their scams are also rarely elaborate enough to present documents that look genuine to their victims
Any of these signs should make you suspicious of a strange caller. You can then investigate them further by submitting their number for a phone number lookup search. Residents of Chittenden County are encouraged to report telephone frauds whether these are successful or not. Consumer protection agencies and law enforcement use such reports to find patterns in scam reports and determine which fraudsters to pursue. Such reports also increase public awareness of scammers’ tricks. Residents of Chittenden County can report phone scams to the following agencies:
- The Office of the Attorney General of the State of Vermont - the chief law officer of the state protects residents from consumer scams and telephone frauds. Report a phone scam to the Consumer Assistance Program of the Attorney General’s Office via its Scam Reporting Form
- The Treasury Inspector General Administration (TIGTA) - this agency solely prosecutes IRS scams. If you receive a call from a stranger claiming to represent the IRS, report the IRS impersonation scam online
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - this is the federal agency that protects consumer rights and defends Americans against consumer scams as well as unfair and deceptive business practices. Residents of Chittenden County can report phone scams involving consumer transactions to the FTC by calling (877) 382-4357 or submitting fraud complaints online
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - this federal agency regulates all communications in the country and prosecutes those knowingly using telecommunication tools and services to defraud American phone users. Residents of Chittenden County should report illegal robocalls, spam calls, caller ID spoofing, and phishing to the FCC. They can also report scammers using these tools to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center