What are Kitsap County Area Codes?
Area codes, also known as Numbering Plan Areas (NPA) are three-digit codes that represent the geographical areas (state, county, or city) that calls originate from. Each North American telephone number under the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) has area codes that help subscribers determine the locations of the callers. Generally, some area codes may appear unfamiliar to residents. To avoid picking unfamiliar phone numbers, it is recommended that they perform area code lookups using reverse phone number lookup services. This helps identify the geographical areas these calls originated.
Four area codes cover Kitsap County. These include:
Area Code 206
Area code 206 was one of the initial codes that covered the entire State of Washington when it was assigned in 1947. However, it currently covers the City of Seattle majorly and most of its interior suburbs. Area code 206 serves suburbs in the state such as Shoreline, Bainbridge, the islands of Mercer, Lake Forest Park, and Vashon, and some parts of metropolitan Seattle from Des Moines to Woodway.
Area Code 360
Area code 360 became active on January 15, 1995. Area code 360 is the telephone area code for Western Washington state outside metropolitan Seattle. Some cities and towns in Kitsap County covered by area code 360 include the Cities of Bremerton, Port Orchard, and Poulsbo.
Area Code 253
Area Code 253 started service on April 27, 1997, as part of a three-way split of area code 206. It serves the Southern Seattle City area and of the southern Puget Sound area. Area code 253 centers at Tacoma and stretches to include some areas around Auburn, Gig Harbor, and Roy.
Area Code 564
Area Code 564 is an overlay plan for area codes 206, 253, 360, and 425. It serves the whole of Western Washington, including the Seattle/Tacoma metropolitan area. Area code 564 was first initiated and approved in 2000. However, it was not implemented until July 29, 2017, when it became a concentrated overlay for area code 360. With its implementation, ten-digit dialing has become compulsory in all of Western Washington.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Kitsap County?
The four best network service providers in Kitsap County include Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint. Verizon has the widest coverage with 90% compared to the other network service providers active in Kitsap County. AT&T follows after as the second-best with 74% coverage and T-Mobile as the third-best with 72% coverage. Lastly, Sprint has the least coverage among the top four phone carriers with 70% coverage. Note that in some cases, the network quality of these phone carriers may be negatively affected by harsh weather conditions.
Based on the 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey, 58.2% of the Washington adult population used solely wireless telephones, while 5% of Washington adults used only landlines for telephony communications. Among the minors under age 18 in Washington, the telephone status survey shows that 66.6% used only wireless telephone services, while just 2.3% of the minors used only landlines. Judging from the survey, it can be concluded that wireless telephony services are the most preferred services for telecommunications between cell phones and landlines. Most Washington residents, including both adults and minors, are more inclined to using cell phones than landlines.
VoIP refers to Voice over Internet Protocol. It is also called digital calls or calls over the Internet or broadband cable phone service. In Kitsap County, VoIP is steadily growing in popularity due to its innovative features that can be accessed at very affordable prices compared to the limited services traditional phone services offer. For instance, multimedia communications and long-distance calls are pretty expensive using traditional phone services. However, these services are relatively cheap with VoIP, provided both users have active broadband connections. Other VoIP features include call routing, advanced call management, call analytics, anonymous calling, and call rejection.
What Are Kitsap County Phone Scams?
Phone scams are criminal acts perpetrated over the phone to deceive county residents and steal their identities and their money. Generally, fraudsters target residents at all levels, including children and adults. Depending on the specific situations, these targets fraudulently obtain unsuspecting residents’ personal and financial information. They often impersonate legitimate organizations such as the IRS, police departments, and financial institutions. The advancement of telecommunications technology has made this easy, providing tools for robocalls and Caller ID spoofing. These tools are readily available to phone scammers and they use them to perpetrate their scams. Due to the misuse of these tools, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has initiated measures to educate residents on how to avoid falling victim to illegal Caller ID spoofing. The FTC also educates residents on how to enable call blocking on their phones to avoid unsolicited calls that may be from scammers.
In addition, Kitsap County residents can combat phone scams on their own by searching unfamiliar phone numbers on the reverse phone look up mobile applications or websites. These reverse phone lookup tools also help flag suspicious calls and block them.
Common phone scams in Kitsap County:
What are Jury Duty Scams?
In Jury duty scams, county residents receive calls from phone scammers posing as majors or officers of the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. They claim that the recipients failed to appear for jury duty and that they have warrants issued for their arrest. Recipients are made to believe that despite not receiving any notice for the supposed jury duty that was missed, they will need to pay a sum of money. The scammers claim that the money that is requested is to have the warrant lifted.
Note that the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office does not have a role in jury administration; instead, court services and jury administration are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the County Clerk. Also, citizens are not contacted over the phone for missed jury duty, such messages are usually delivered to county residents in writing. The Sheriff’s Office and the County Clerk’s office never threaten anyone to pay for arrest warrants. Arrest warrants are not issued for failure to appear for jury duty. More inquires about jury service should be directed to the Office of the Kitsap County Clerk, jury administration, call 360-337-7166, #6.
Free reverse phone lookup services can be used to identify duplicated phone numbers. If you conduct a phone number search and you receive no results in the search results field, it is an indication of a spoofed Caller ID.
What are COVID-19 Scams?
COVID-19 scams involve scammers posing as representatives of legitimate health institutions. These scammers contact residents in the name of contact tracing, telling them that they have been exposed to the coronavirus and they need to confirm some of their personal details, such as their social security numbers. The scammers claim that these details are needed for contact tracing. Note that legitimate health officials never request sensitive personal or financial information.
In addition, COVID-19 scams involve scammers promising bogus relief packages, subsidized treatments, vaccines, or self-test kits. They deceive residents with these offers and make them pay. However, when payment is made, they cut off contact with the victims. Be wary of such calls and use phone number lookup tools to unveil the identities of scam callers.
What are IRS Scams?
IRS scams involve scammers impersonating IRS officials and contacting residents to demand payment for owed back taxes. IRS scams are common during tax seasons. The so-called “IRS officials” threaten their victims with revoked licenses, deportation, or arrest if they do not make payments. They mostly request that the payments be made via gift cards, green dot cards, PayPal, iTunes, bitcoins, or wire transfers. Due to the threats, most residents act in the spur of the moment and make the payments. However, be sure to ignore such calls and directly contact the IRS to verify the call, even if you owe back taxes.
Note that the IRS never calls resident out of the blue, neither do they request for payments over the phone or issue threats. Calls like these are clear indications of IRS scams. Never give out your personal and financial information. Instead, log a complaint by contacting the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 1-800-366-4484 or report online. Victims of such calls can perform phone number lookups with reverse phone lookup tools free of charge.
What are Charity Scams
In charity scams, scammers take advantage of benevolent residents by posing as legitimate charity organizations. These scammers solicit donations for seemingly good causes but in actual fact, they end up embezzling the funds generated. Charity scams are more prevalent during or after disastrous events such as earthquakes and pandemics. Residents must be aware of these ploys and double-check to verify the charity organizations they intend to make donations to. This is because scammers sometimes impersonate officials of legitimate charitable organizations by spoofing their Caller IDs. Reverse phone look up tools come in handy in such cases. If you suspect a scam, conduct a suspicious phone number lookup on a reverse phone lookup app or website. If the search does not yield any results in the search results field, it is an indication of a spoofed Caller ID.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are pre-recorded voice messages that are programmed to be disseminated to a large range of persons through autodialers. Typically, legitimate robocalls are meant to be strictly for informational purposes. Robocalls are also sent on behalf of political parties, legitimate charitable organizations, legitimate health institutions, and for debt collection purposes. The FTC requires that robocallers first seek the consent of residents before calling them. Unsolicited robocalls are illegal and can be reported. Such calls may also be classified as spam calls. Be wary of robocalls that contain prompts to transfer recipients to live agents because such moves may lead to the recipients being defrauded. Robocalls of this nature aim to steal residents’ personal and financial information or advertise nonexistent or fake products or services.
The prompts may also ask recipients to press numbers to unsubscribe from future calls. However, the real intention is to identify active phone numbers and target them with more robocalls. Spam calls are defined as unsolicited calls that aim to advertise, proselytize, or deliver other messages that are not directly relevant to the recipients.
Here are important steps to combat Illegal robocalls and spam calls:
- Hang up the call the minute you discover that you have answered a robocall and do not follow the prompts given during the calls.
- Log a complaint with the FTC’s online complaint assistant to report such calls or contact 1-888-382-1222 to report over the phone.
- Identify and block robocalls with reverse phone number lookup tools.
- Add all your phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry to restrict robocalls and other unsolicited calls.
How to Spot and Report Kitsap County Phone Scams?
The best way for Kitsap County residents to avoid scams come is to stay informed and conscious of the schemes of phone scammers. If residents are aware of the red flags of scams, it becomes easy to identify scams when they see them. Some of these include:
- Calls from an unknown phone number - Conduct a phone number lookup using a reverse phone lookup service to answer the question “who is this number registered to?” Do not pick up until you have verified the caller. If the call happens to be from a potential scammer, use the same reverse phone number lookup service to block the phone number from future calls. Another option is to contact your phone network service provider for call blocking options.
- Caller insisting on staying anonymous - Conduct a suspicious phone number lookup to find out who called.
- Payment is required before supposed “winnings or incentives” are awarded - Hang up and report to the law enforcement agency closest to you.
- Recipient’s confidential information is requested - Any form of confidential information such as social security number, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, or financial information requested for any reason is a potential scam.
- Payment via prepaid cards, gift cards, wire transfer, bitcoins, cash, and other untraceable means are requested - First, legitimate entities do not request payment over the phone. Be wary of such requests and if you must make payment, make the payment directly to the government agencies and not via the suggested means. Report such cases to the law enforcement agency nearest to you.
Kitsap County residents can report phone scams to these government agencies:
Kitsap County Sheriff’s Department - File an online report with the Sheriff’s Department or call 911 in emergency cases.
Washington Consumer Protection - File a complaint online by using the General Consumer Complaint Form or by mail by filling out the General Consumer Complaint form and sending it to 800 5th Ave. Suite 2000
Seattle, WA. 98104-3188
For more inquiries, call 1.800.551.4636 (in Washington only) or 206.464.6684. The Washington State Relay Service for the hearing impaired can also be reached at 1.800.833.6388. These phone numbers can be reached Monday to Friday, between 10 am and 3 pm.