What are Black Hawk County Area Codes?
Black Hawk County is home to an estimated 131,228 residents and is located in the northeast central part of Iowa. It is the fourth-most populous county in the state. The county seat is the City of Waterloo.
Area codes identify the Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs) in a state, as established by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). They are represented by the set of the three-digit code at the beginning of North American phone numbers. Area codes identify the originating geographic regions of phone calls. Black Hawk County currently has only one active area code (319).
Area Code 319
In 1947, Iowa was assigned area code 319 as one of the original 86 NPAs. It covers various Iowa counties, including Black Hawk County. The major cities in Black Hawk County under area code 319 include Waterloo, Evansdale, Hudson, Cedar Falls, La Porte City, and Dunkerton.
The Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) regulates the telecommunications industry in Iowa and administers the state's area codes.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Black Hawk County?
Although Black Hawk County residents enjoy network services by some Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, Boost, and T-Mobile are the phone carriers with the best cell phone plans in the county. Their network coverage varies depending on location. In the City of Hudson, i-wireless, a prepaid carrier plan that runs on Sprint's network, offers the highest coverage of 94%. It is closely followed by Verizon at 92%, while Sprint has a 46% spread over the city.
Many households in Iowa have adopted cell phones as their sole means for telephony services. A 2018 survey conducted by the CDC reported that an estimated 61.3% of the state's adult population had adopted wireless-only telephony services. The ones that still used landline phones exclusively for telecommunications made up only 3.8% of that demographic. The data also indicated that 73.1% of the children population were sole cell phone users, while 1.6% still had landline phones as their only telephony devices.
Black Hawk County residents are increasingly adopting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for telephony services as several companies offer attractive rates. VoIP uses IP networks to convey video and voice signals and offers numerous benefits over traditional telephone services. Residents can make long-distance phone calls at local rates using VoIP services. VoIP requires internet-enabled devices to run, but it uses the data networks of the world wide web for service delivery, eliminating most infrastructural issues with regular phone services.
What are Black Hawk County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are fraudulent practices conducted over the phone to dupe unsuspecting individuals. In Black Hawk County, scammers use telephony services such as robocalls, text messages, and live calls to steal money and information from targeted residents. They often commit identity and financial theft with any information they obtain deceptively from their victims. Typically, no resident will fall for a scam scheme by a fraudster using their real identity. Hence, scammers often manipulate targets' Caller IDs to display phone numbers of veritable entities, claiming to be with them, to fool residents into answering their calls. If you suspect a phone call to be a fraudulent call, do a reverse phone lookup to figure out who called and avoid scams.
Fraudsters approach targets with various tactics. They may appear calm and willing to walk their marks through a process in a bid to extort them. In other instances, scammers may be aggressive and threaten targets with all manner of punitive actions to get them to accede to their demands. The Iowa Office of the Attorney General educates residents with consumer alerts and tips to protect themselves from phone scam schemes. In Black Hawk County, the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office (BHCSO) periodically publishes news on reported phone scam incidents on popular new sites. They encourage residents to familiarize themselves with scam trends and understand how phone scammers operate. Common phone scams in Black Hawk County include:
What are Black Hawk Lottery Scams?
In this scam, Black Hawk County residents receive calls from unknown persons who pretend to be with familiar lottery companies. However, to redeem their winnings, the fraudsters will inform their targets to provide some information and pay for taxes and processing fees. These scammers characteristically request payment by wire transfers, bitcoins, and gift cards. They are clever in fooling marks into sharing confidential information for supposed identity and bank account information verification. If you are contacted with these claims, hang up immediately to avoid falling prey to the callers' deceptive schemes. Residents who disclose such information usually become vulnerable to identity and financial theft.
Beware of unknown persons who call out of the blue claiming you won prizes in a national lottery you did not enter. Search the callers' phone numbers on applications that offer free reverse phone lookup services to uncover their identities and avoid scams. Legitimate lottery companies do not demand upfront payments as criteria to redeem winnings. Black Hawk County residents who fall victim to lottery scams can report such incidents to local law enforcement. Although a scammer may tell you that you were automatically enrolled in a lottery, know that you cannot win in a lottery if you did not buy a ticket.
What are Black Hawk Social Security Scams?
Social security scams come in many variations, but all aim to steal unsuspecting persons' money or personal information. In a prevalent version in Black Hawk County, scammers will inform targeted residents that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has suspended their Social Security Numbers (SSNs) because they were used for fraudulent purposes. The fraudsters will claim to be investigating cases of identity theft involving their social security numbers. In most cases, they leave phone numbers purportedly owned by employees of the SSA and ask the targets to call and sort out their issues. Residents who call these numbers will again be informed that the SSA suspended their SSNs because they were compromised and used for frauds. Sometimes, the accomplices will ask the targets to provide full SSNs for supposed verifications and reactivations. Free reverse phone lookup services can return identifying information on the owners of the phone numbers provided and help you ascertain if they are actually with the SSA.
The SSA warns residents that its employees will never call to inform them of suspended SSN and advises against sharing it with anyone over the phone. Victims of social security scams can contact the Office of the Inspector General, SSA, at 1 (800) 269-0271 to file their complaints. SSA employees will never request that you confirm SSN to them over the phone as they have such information on file. End such calls immediately if you get them. You can uncover these scammers' identities using applications that offer suspicious phone number lookup services.
What are Black Hawk Government Grant Scams?
If you receive a call out of the blue from an unknown person claiming that you were selected for a free government grant, hang up immediately as they are mostly scams. A phone lookup application can help you uncover the caller's identity and location and prevent you from getting victimized. The callers usually identify themselves as top-rank employees of the U.S. Government Grant Department, Federal Bureau of Grant Awards, or Federal Grants Administration. These agencies do not exist in reality. Scammers only make up such names that sound official to appear credible when contacting targets.
These scammers con Black Hawk County residents by informing them that their regular tax payment got them eligible for such grants. They persuade them not to allow such opportunities to slip. They also tell their marks that the financial awards are free and not meant to be paid back. However, targets must provide personal and financial information as proof of readiness to obtain the supposedly free grants. Legitimate government bodies will never call residents regarding any grant or solicit confidential information from them. Black Hawk County residents are advised never to disclose personal and financial information to unknown persons in unsolicited calls to avoid this scam.
What are Black Hawk Debt Collection Scams?
Scammers are contacting Black Hawk County residents and accusing them of having unpaid loans. They usually request immediate payment of such loans and reference common loan products, including credit cards, mortgage loans, auto loans, and payday loans. The fraudsters, pretending to be employees of unnamed debt collection agencies, often threaten to bring in law enforcement and arrest targets. They may also threaten to disclose the details of such debts to their family members or employers unless they pay immediately. In some instances, these fraudsters will insist on collecting previously paid loans or those that never existed. If you receive this type of call, figure out who called using free reverse phone lookup services. The scammers generally favor payment by gift cards and wire transfers.
Be wary of unknown callers who pretend to be with debt collection agencies to demand that you pay fictional debts and threaten legal actions. To avoid debt collection scams, do not be pressured into sending money to anyone over the phone or into sharing confidential information with them. Legitimate debt collectors do not accept loan repayment via unofficial methods. If you have reasons to think the caller's claim may be legitimate, hang up, and contact your creditor on the phone numbers provided on your original contract papers. You can also retrieve the numbers on their official website if they have one.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are auto-dialed phone calls that deliver pre-recorded information to mass phone numbers in a short amount of time. Most Black Hawk County residents receive multiple robocalls daily from legitimate entities and fraudsters who specialize in duping unsuspecting persons with autodialers. Many robocalls are illegal and unwanted. However, the FTC educates residents on how to block unwanted calls. Spam calls are also usually unwanted. They are random irrelevant calls sent to mass phone users who do not want them. Applications that offer phone number lookup free services can help residents discern if incoming calls are robocalls. The following are your best options for avoiding robocall scams:
- Use an application that performs a free reverse phone search to identify robocall numbers and block such numbers using call-blocking applications offered by your phone carrier. Some high-end smartphone models have features that can identify and block incoming spam calls.
- Hang up the phone immediately you notice you have answered a robocall. Do not follow any of the prompts, even if it instructs you to press a particular button to stop getting such calls.
- Report any observed robocall abuse to the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222.
- Enroll your phone number on the Do Not Call Registry to reduce the number of robocalls you receive daily. Legitimate telemarketers will stop calling you once your phone number is listed in the registry, making it easier to identify illegal robocalls.
How Can You Spot and Report Black Hawk County Phone Scams?
Generally, scammers take advantage of Black Hawk County residents' ignorance to extort them in phone scam schemes. Keeping abreast of the prevailing scams in the county can prevent residents from falling prey to most scams. Phone number lookup services can help you retrieve unknown callers' names and addresses, and other information, which can help you recognize scammers.
You can identify Black Hawk County scams in many ways. These include:
- An unknown caller that asks you for an upfront fee to claim a prize or gift is likely a scammer.
- Scammers use pressure tactics to get what they want from their targets. Be cautious of an unknown caller who attempts to coerce you for money or information.
- Callers who claim to represent charity organizations and request donations in cash are potential scammers. Phone number search applications can help uncover their identities and help you determine if they are with charities referenced.
- Unknown persons who identify themselves as government employees and request money or personal information are potential scammers. They often resort to threats to obtain compliances. Never succumb to their threats or demands as no legitimate government agency threatens residents or solicits money over the phone.
Black Hawk County residents must always exercise caution when answering calls from unknown phone numbers to avoid scams. Residents who fall victim to phone scams in the county are encouraged to file reports with relevant agencies for investigations. Such agencies include:
Iowa Office of the Attorney General - The Attorney General's Office is Iowa's chief consumer protection agency. Residents who are phone scam victims can file complaints with the Attorney General's Office by calling (515) 281-5926 or online.
Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office - Residents who have encounters with phone scammers or are victims of phone scams can file reports with the BHCSO by calling (319) 291-2587. The BCHSO also educates residents on how to avoid phone scams.
Federal Trade Commission - Residents can file phone scam complaints with the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 or online. The FTC provides guides on how to block unsolicited calls, information that can prevent Black Hawk County residents from falling prey to scams. To avoid robocall scams, they can register their phone numbers on the DNC Registry maintained by the FTC.