Area codes are the string of unique three-digit numeric codes that identify numbering plan areas (NPAs) in North American service areas. They were instituted by the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) and included at the beginning of subscribers’ telephone numbers. Snohomish County area codes are administered by the Washington State Utilities and Transport Commission (UTC). Three area codes currently cover Snohomish County and the neighboring counties in Washington State.
Area Code 425
Area code 425 is the telephone area code for western Washington State, including Snohomish County and neighboring Kings County. It became active in 1997 as part of a three-way split of the 206 NPA. Cities in Snohomish County under this area code include Bothell, Brier, Edmonds, Everett, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Mill Creek, Mountlake Terrace, and Mukilteo.
Area Code 360
Area code 360 is the NANP telephone area code for western Washington State locations outside metropolitan Seattle, including parts of Snohomish County. It was activated in 1995. Cities in Snohomish County covered by this area codes include Arlington, Granite Falls, Marysville, Monroe, Snohomish, Stanwood, and Sultan.
Area Code 564
Area code 564 is the telephone area code in the NANP that overlays the 206, 253, 360, and 425 NPAs. It was implemented in 2017.
What the Best Cell Phone Plans in Snohomish County?
A 2018 National Health Interview Survey report confirmed that wireless telephony services had become the preferred choice for Snohomish County residents. The survey carried out in Washington State reported that an estimated 58.2% of the adult population (over 18) exclusively used wireless telephony services. Only about 5% of the adults in the state used landlines exclusively for their telecommunication needs. Among the child population (under 18), the disparity is more pronounced, as 66.6% exclusively used cell phones while just about 2.3% solely used landlines.
The four major phone carriers provide services in Snohomish County but offer varying coverages. There are also multiple Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) that operate in Snohomish County. Among the major operators, AT&T offers the most comprehensive coverage followed by Verizon and T-Mobile while Sprint covers the least area. Overall phone service in the county is appreciably better in urban areas than in rural areas. MVNOs, leveraging the infrastructure of the major carriers, offer reliable services in Snohomish County at cheaper rates.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a communications technology that uses IP networks, such as the internet, to provide telephony services. In Snohomish County, there are many VoIP providers for both residential and commercial users. VoIP services offer more flexibility and mobility to users than traditional phone lines and at lower costs.
What are Snohomish County Phone Scams?
Snohomish County phone scams are scams committed against residents of Snohomish County using telephone services. These acts aim to obtain money and confidential information from their targets fraudulently and are committed by live calls, robocalls, and text messages. Suspicious phone number lookups performed with phone search services can retrieve information on the phone numbers used for these scams.
The Snohomish County Sheriff receives reports and investigates incidents of fraudulent practices against county residents. Residents can contact the Sheriff’s Office to file reports on scams or report them at their local police departments. County residents can also file scam reports with the Washington State Attorney General’s Office and the FTC. Some common scams in Snohomish County include:
What are Jury Duty Scams?
County residents are warned about scammers calling them up and pretending to be Snohomish County Sheriff deputies or court officers. The callers inform their targets that they have missed jury duties and warrants are out for their arrest. They then tell the targets that they must have the warrants lifted or deputies will come to their locations and arrest them. To have the warrants lifted, the callers ask for immediate payments over the phone. Payments are requested by prepaid cards that must be purchased immediately and the card numbers provided over the phone. In some cases, scammers spoof Caller IDs to display the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office’s official phone numbers to convince residents.
The Snohomish County Sheriff Office warns residents that its deputies will never call to inform residents that they are on their way to arrest them. Sheriff’s deputies will also never call and request payments for any reason and especially not by prepaid cards. These are scams. If you receive such calls, hang up immediately and report it to the Sheriff’s Office or your local police department. Residents can check if they have outstanding warrants by contacting the County Clerk’s Office on (485) 388-3466. A phone number lookup application can identify if phone calls are from legitimate sources.
What are Computer Virus Scams?
In these scams, targets receive calls from scammers claiming to be customer service representatives of tech firms such as Microsoft, HP, and Apple. The representatives claim routine checks identified infected files or viruses on the targets’ systems and request remote access to run comprehensive checks on the computers. Providing remote access to these callers grants them access to steal sensitive information from the computers. In some instances, the scammers upload malicious software (malware) onto their victims’ machines which causes real problems and then charge exorbitant fees to resolve the issues. In a variation of these scams, the callers aggressively attempt to sell technical support plans after identifying the supposed problems.
Authorities warn residents never to grant access to their computers to unknown persons. Tech firms such as Microsoft, HP, and Apple never call customers to request access to their devices. Residents are also dissuaded from paying for services offered by unsolicited callers. If you suspect you have viruses on your system or have questions, contact local computer repair businesses or call tech support numbers listed on official websites. Reverse phone searches can retrieve information on unknown callers who contact you.
What are PUD Scams?
The Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) warns residents of scammers calling and impersonating their employees. In these scams, the callers inform their victims that they were overcharged on previous bills and are eligible for refunds. They request bank account information or credit card details under the guise of placing the refunds in the accounts or on the cards. Persons who provide these details grant scammers access to their financial accounts.
If residents are due refunds, the PUD contacts them by mail and only calls residents who do not have valid mailing addresses on file. If an employee of the PUD reaches you, it will be to request a legitimate address where mail can be sent. The PUD will never request financial information over unsolicited phone calls. Residents who receive these phone calls should hang up and call the PUD customer service department on (425) 783-1000 for verification. Phone number lookups can verify if such phone calls are legitimately from the PUD. Victims of these scams should file reports with their local police departments or the Sheriff’s Office.
What are Bank Account Scams?
With these scams, targets receive phone calls or text messages, purportedly from their banks and financial institutions’ representatives. The targets are informed that during recent internal audits, financial discrepancies were found in their accounts. The scammers then request account details and other personal information from the targets claiming these are needed for verifying their identities and resolving the issues. These scammers are usually persuasive and may possess some information about their targets to gain credibility. In some instances, scammers spoof caller IDs to display the official phone numbers of their targets’ banks.
County residents are warned never to provide banking or any personal information to unknown callers on unsolicited phone calls. Reputable financial institutions will never randomly contact their customers and request their personal information as they already have these details. Providing any information to these callers grants them access to your accounts and puts your finances at risk. Residents who receive these calls should hang up immediately and contact their banks directly for inquiries. Victims of these scams should file reports with their local law enforcement agencies. Phone number lookup applications can obtain information on phone numbers used to run these types of scams.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are pre-recorded messages delivered by auto-dialed telephone calls. The purpose of robocalls is to deliver information to mass audiences more efficiently and with little to no human involvement. Initially designed for telemarketers’ purposes, robocalls are also used by political campaigns and public service announcements to reach large audiences efficiently. Scammers have co-opted robocalls for the same reasons. Furthermore, the phone numbers used for placing phone numbers are easily changed. This allows scammers to hide their real identities and impersonate legitimate entities. Residents might also be less cautious when answering robocalls because they are used to receiving them from legitimate organizations.
The following actions can be taken to deal with illegal robocalls:
- End phone calls once you identify them as robocalls. Refrain from following any prompts to connect to operators or remove yourself from callers’ lists. Doing this confirms your number is active and sets up more robocalls.
- Ask your phone carriers for tools that identify and block spam calls. Use these call-blocking tools if they are cost-effective.
- Use call-blocking features provided by phone manufacturers to identify spam call numbers and block calls from these numbers.
- Install and use third-party applications that identify and block spam callers. Also, reverse phone lookup free services can be used to identify and screen robocall and spam callers.
- Add your number to the National Do Not Call Registry. Federal law restricts numbers listed from receiving unwanted telephone solicitations unless exempted by law. Spam calls received after doing this can be treated as scam calls.
- Use the FTC online complaint assistant or call 1 (888) 382-1222 to report illegal robocalls.
The FTC issues consumer guidelines to block unwanted calls on any platform on its website.
How to Spot and Report Phone Scams in Snohomish County?
Scammers seek to defraud residents of money and steal confidential information and are most successful against unsuspecting and uninformed ones. None can consider themselves safe from their predatory tactics as scammers target everyone. The most proven means of spotting scammers is staying informed of the trends and remaining aware of the possibility. Using online services that run phone number searches can answer questions such as “who called me?” and “who is this number registered to?”
The following indicators suggest that an unknown caller is a potential scammer:
- The caller solicits your identity or financial information. Legitimate entities do not ask for this information on calls you did not initiate.
- The caller gets aggressive when you do not comply with their demands and use coercive tactics, such as threats, to get you to do so. Real authorities will never threaten you over a phone call.
- The caller informs you of debts you are unaware of and insists on irregular payment methods such as prepaid cards and wire transfers. Legitimate organizations will never insist on such methods. Fraudsters favor these methods for the difficulty in tracing and retrieving funds sent through them.
- The caller incessantly pushes you to make immediate decisions and dissuades you from conducting due diligence or contacting a third party.
- The caller informs you of a gift or winnings from a foreign lottery or sweepstakes. However, to receive them, you must make an upfront payment. If you win a supposed gift or prize that requires a fee to collect, it is a scam.
Applications that perform phone number lookups by name, number, and address can retrieve useful details when reporting phone scams. These applications are commonly available in both free and paid versions. Residents who have been victims of phone scams or received suspicious phone calls can contact any of the following agencies for assistance:
Local Law Enforcement - The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies in Snohomish County receive reports and investigate fraudulent practices against county residents. Contact the Sheriff’s Office to file reports on scams or report them at your local police departments.
Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney - The Prosecuting Attorney’s Office prosecutes felony and misdemeanor cases referred by county law enforcement agencies. Residents can contact the Attorney’s Office on (425) 388-3333 and by email. Alternatively, visit the Office at 3000 Rockefeller M/S 504, 1st floor, Mission building, Everett, WA 98201.
Washington State Attorney General - The Consumer Protection Division of the Washington AG’s Office provides information and protection to consumers. Snohomish County residents can contact the AG’s Office on 1 (800) 551-4636 or (206) 464-6684. Victims of phone scams can file consumer complaints online or by mail.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The FTC is the federal authority regulating interactions in the marketplace and protecting consumers from unfair practices. It initiated the National Do Not Call Registry to protect consumers from unwanted telephone solicitations. The FTC also issues instructions on blocking unwanted calls on user platforms. Residents should report cases of illegal calls and other scams to the FTC online or call 1 (888) 382-1222.