What are Thurston County Area Codes?
Area codes were created as part of the North American Numbering Plan which the Bell System put into place in the 1940s. The NANP was designed to replace the complicated system that relied heavily on human operators to manually move calls through the system. Area codes were established to make calls possible for anyone to anyone anywhere in an automated way. An area code is a three-digit number that identifies one of the telephone areas into which the United States is divided and that precedes the local telephone number when dialing a call between areas. You can find the area code of any geographical area in the United States by using an area code lookup tool online.
There are currently two area codes serving Thurston County – Area codes 360 and 564.
Area Code 564
Area code 564 serves the whole of western Washington except Seattle and Tacoma. This region includes the cities of Vancouver, Bellingham, and Olympia. Area code 564 is an overlay for area code 360 and serves the same area. It was first used on August 28, 2017. Other cities using area code 564 include King, Snohomish, Pierce, Clark, Kitsap, and Whatcom.
Area Code 360
Area code 360 serves the same areas as served by area code 564. It was created from area code 206 and was first put in service on January 15, 1995. It covers approximately 7,629,999 unique phone numbers and 1,676,614 individuals near the cities of Vancouver, and Bellingham.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Thurston County?
The market is replete with cell phone plans in Thurston County with multiple options available to residents to choose which best suits them. However, despite the variety of options, you need to consider how well you are covered by the carrier you intend to subscribe to. You need to have good reception wherever you are in Thurston County, therefore, you need to choose a plan that offers very good coverage. Although you may find cheap cell phone plans, they will not do you any good if you cannot get proper service in your area. Luckily, all four major wireless carriers in the United States offer good coverage in Thurston County. So, chances are, you will be covered wherever you are in the county.
In the county seat of Olympia, AT&T has the best overall coverage of 90%. Sprint's coverage is just rated below AT&T's at 88%. Verizon and T-Mobile coverages are rated 84% and 82% respectively. Other than the four major carriers, there are also smaller companies, known as MVNOs, which offer wireless services and cell phone plans. Mobile Virtual Network Operators usually operate over the larger carrier networks, so purchasing cell phone plans from any of these companies is also a good option in Thurston County.
Voice Over Internet Protocol, also referred to as VoIP, converts voice signals into a digital format to make telephony communications possible. After digitization takes place, the signal moves over high-speed networks to make calls possible. VoIP customers in Thurston County find many advantages to using the service. One advantage is that VoIP works wherever the user has a broadband connection. Users are also not limited to one location for using VoIP.
Many phone users have turned to wireless telephony service in Thurston County and Washington at large. This is evidenced in the 2018 survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. The survey estimated that among individuals above the age of 18 in Washington, 58.2% used wireless-only telephony service, while 5.0% used landline telephony service exclusively. The report also estimated that among persons under the age of 18 in the state, 66.6% used wireless-only telephony service, while 2.3% used landline telephony service exclusively.
What are Thurston County Phone Scams?
Thurston County phone scams are illicit activities of criminals perpetrated using phone calls to extort Thurston County residents of money or personal information. Note that phone scams are not only perpetrated using live calls. Many are carried out or initiated through robocalls and text messages. Phone scammers use intimidation, pressure, stealth, and clever tactics to force or lure targets to release money or private information. Popular phone scams in Thurston County include charity scams, Medicare scams, grandparent scams, and medical license scams. Phone lookup applications can help uncover the true identities of scam callers.
What are Thurston County Charity Scams?
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Thurston County communities, charitable giving opportunities arise. So, too, do charity scams. Criminals are using the opportunity to prey on the generosity of county residents during this period. Many scammers have contacted county residents asking for donations to their “charities”. Often, the name of the charity organization sounds like one you are familiar with. Pressure tactics are quite common with charity scammers who try to get you to donate right away. Some of them may ask for donations via wire transfers, or cash, and may even offer to send couriers. These scammers sometimes start out by thanking their targets for pledges they do not remember making. The aim is to lure you to make donations quickly. Any funds donated to such causes end up in scammers' pockets. Reverse phone number lookup applications can prevent residents from falling victim to phone scams.
What are Thurston County Medicare Scams?
Many Thurston residents have reported having received phone calls from people claiming to be from the health office or Medicare. The caller asks for the resident's name and claims to offer some sort of supplemental health insurance or prescription coverage. In return, the caller asks for the target's Social Security Number, Medicare number, banking information, or money.
Impersonators in Medicare scams may also claim that new Medicare or supplemental insurance benefits cards are being issued or that healthcare files need to be updated. The scammer asks you to verify or provide your banking information to help fix the issue. Once you provide it, the scammer proceeds to use the details to commit identity theft. To help verify that callers are who they say they are, you can use good reverse phone lookup tools online to quickly do a number lookup or reverse number lookup.
What are Thurston County Grandparent Scams?
Thurston County grandparent scams are largely targeted at older residents. Callers who perpetrate grandparent scams are generally good at pretending to be persons they are not. A perpetrator of this scam will claim to be a grandchild of the target and try to be convincing using information gathered about the target from social networking sites.
A grandparent scammer pretends to be in a distressful situation, such as trying to get out of jail, leaving a foreign country, fixing a faulty car on a dangerous road, and paying a hospital bill. The scammer pleads with the target not to inform any family member of the situation for fear of embarrassment. Sometimes, the scam is played by two persons, with the second party playing the role of a bondsman or an attorney who is trying to get the "grandchild" released from jail.
Grandparent scammers try to pressure you into sending money as quickly as possible and through money transfer services like Western Union or MoneyGram or prepaid cards, and gift cards. You can use free reverse phone lookup tools to verify the identity of the person behind a call.
What are Thurston County Medical License Scams?
In this scam, callers claim to represent the Washington Medical Commission (WMC) informing targets that their WMC licenses have been suspended. The targets in the scam are medical providers. WMC scammers use spoofing technology to pose as the Commission by replicating the Commission's phone number. The caller then falsely claims the commission has suspended the medical provider's license and provides the practitioner's actual medical license number. The scammer proceeds to direct the provider to a nearby business with a fax machine to receive paperwork that notifies the practitioner of a "suspension." To rescind the decision on "suspension", a practitioner is required to make urgent payment through specific payment methods such as prepaid debit card and wire transfer. A phone lookup service can help determine if an incoming call is associated with a scam or scammer.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
A robocall is an auto-dialed call that delivers a pre-recorded message. Although robocalls are largely referred to as unsolicited and illegal calls, some use cases of robocalls are legal. Some of these instances include robocalls from schools to students, parents, or employees, and robocalls used to disseminate public service announcements by government or public bodies. When you answer a call and hear a pre-recorded message instead of a live operator, you have been contacted by a robocall.
The majority of the robocalls received by Thurston County residents are unsolicited and unwanted. These are spam calls designed to fleece unsuspecting county residents. Spam robocalls are not only annoying, but they are also costly leading to financial losses among Thurston County residents. The increase in fraudulent spam robocalls has also been linked to caller ID spoofing technology, which makes it more likely that phone users will answer their calls. Spoofing allows users of the technology to mimic any phone number. Hence, scammers now make calls appear like they are coming from trusted government sources and business operators.
A reverse phone number lookup application can identify if an incoming call is a robocall and help you avoid scams. Other steps you can take to avoid robocall scams and limit robocall intrusions include:
- Be cautious when providing your number on websites. Offers for prizes or gift cards are often used to harvest telephone numbers for robocall solicitations.
- Register your telephone number on all available and official Do Not Call lists. You can register on the national Do Not Call Registry by visiting the Registry’s website or calling (888) 382-1222. You can register up to three phone numbers on the list.
- Explore call-blocking options from your phone service provider. You can contact your service provider to verify if call-blocking features are included in your plan or are available as add-on services.
- Download a third-party call blocking application. Most major mobile application stores provide call-blocking apps for free download on their marketplaces. Examples include Hiya, RoboKiller, Truecaller, and Nomorobo.
- Hang up on robocalls. If you hear a recorded message when you answer any call, hang up immediately.
- Ignore repeated calls from unknown callers. If an unknown caller keeps calling you. Do not hesitate to keep ignoring the calls. Such calls may originate from scammers. If the message to be delivered is so important, the caller will leave a message in the voicemail.
How to Spot and Report Thurston County Phone Scams?
Phone users need to be vigilant in the current high-tech landscape, where personal information is available on social media sites and can be purchased from criminals online. It is essential that all phone users stay informed about the schemes and tricks used by scammers. Also, reverse number lookup tools can help you spot phone scams.
Below are some other telltale signs of phone scams:
- You are contacted. When you contact a business or an agency, you know who is on the other end of the call. However, when someone contacts you first, you cannot be certain they are telling the truth. You do not know if they are who they say they are.
- The caller dangles a bait, typically money. Businesses or agencies do not simply give away large sums of money easily. So, if someone tries to bait you with offers such as big prizes, shopping sprees, and easy loans without asking, they are probably lying.
- The caller wants your personal information. Anytime a caller asks for your personal information such as bank account details, Social Security number, and PINs, you should be wary. Do not give it away quickly or easily, especially to someone you do not know. You may become a victim of identity theft.
- You are required to pay the caller first. If a caller offers you a prize, employment, or debt relief but requires you to pay an upfront fee to get it, you are probably on to a scammer.
- You are required to wire money or send gift cards. If a caller insists that you have to use specific payment methods, you may have been contacted by a scammer. Reputable agencies will not demand payment by gift cards or prepaid debit cards.
- The caller pressures you into making an immediate decision. No one should take away the chance to consider your options regardless of the offer in front of you or the reputation of the caller. If a caller insists you have to decide now, you may be on the call to a scammer.
- The caller intimidates or threatens you. No trusted organization will harass you or threaten you with arrest, imprisonment, or deportation for failing to meet a deadline. If a caller does that, hang up immediately.
You can file complaints with any of the following public bodies if you have been contacted by a scammer:
- The Thurston County Sheriff’s Office and local police departments: If you have received a call from a scammer, you can contact your local police department or the Thurston County Sheriff's Office at (360) 704-2740. You can also file a complaint to the Sheriff’s Office online. In the county seat of Olympia, you can contact the Olympia Police Department at (360) 704-2740.
- The Washington Attorney General’s Office: To report a scam, you can file a complaint online to the Attorney General’s Office or call the Office’s toll-free line at (800) 551-4636.
- Federal Communications Commission: If you receive unwanted robocalls and text messages, you can file a report online with the FCC.
- Federal Trade Commission - The FTC protects consumers from deceptive and fraudulent practices. You can file a phone scam report with the FTC by completing the online complaint form.