In the North American Numbering Plan established by Bell Systems in the 1940s, area codes were created as routing tools to help automate telephony communications. The existing system at the time leaned heavily on using human operators to switch and route calls. Area codes were created as three-digit codes put in front of telephone numbers which indicated the geographical area associated with telephone numbers. An area code is useful in identifying the origin and destination of a phone call. For quick information about a specific area code, use area code lookup tools online.
Only one area code currently serves Yakima County – Area code 509.
Area Code 509
Area code 509 serves eastern Washington and is the only area code serving the cities of Yakima, Kennewick, Spokane Valley, and Pasco. It was first used on January 1, 1957. Area code 509 is also in use in Grant, Benton, Franklin, Chelan, Walla Walla, Whitman, and Stevens Cities.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Yakima County?
There is a multitude of cell phone plans available to Yakima County residents as well as the different wireless carriers that provide them. However, you need to know exactly what you need in a cell phone plan before you sign up. Despite the varying features distinguishing cellular phone plans, finding a wireless provider that offers good coverage should be top of your considerations. Renewed competition in the American wireless industry means citizens can expect good network coverages from the major wireless carriers in most places. Yakima County is no exception to this with Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint all offering good coverages in the county.
T-Mobile has the best coverage in Yakima County with a relative score of 98 compared to other providers. Sprint has 82% coverage, Verizon has 80%, while AT&T has 70%. In addition to purchasing cell phone plans directly from major carriers, there are smaller carriers to choose from. These providers are referred to as Mobile Virtual Network Operators or MVNOs. While they are independent, they generally operate on the carrier networks of the Major Network Operators (MNOs). This means that MVNOs also offer varying cell phone plans across Yakima County.
Yakima County residents also use Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for telephony communications. VoIP transmits phone calls over high-speed Internet connections and enables subscribers to use the same phone number and account at any location with Internet access. Most VoIP providers include a wide range of valuable features such as caller identification, blocking, three-way communication, forwarding, and unlimited domestic calls. Yakima County residents can pay surprisingly low fees for VoIP if they look for inexpensive providers.
Compared to landline telephony service, Yakima County residents have embraced wireless telephony service in large numbers. A survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics in 2018 revealed that among residents of Washington over the age of 18, 58.2% used wireless-only telephony service, while 5.0% used landline-only telephony service. According to the survey, among persons below the age of 18 in the state, 66.6% used wireless telephony service exclusively, while only 2.3% used landline-only telephony service.
What are Yakima County Phone Scams?
Yakima County phone scams are deceptive practices and activities of scammers perpetrated using phone calls with the intention of fleecing Yakima County residents. A big problem with phone scams is that they are often the first steps in a larger attack. Scammers are looking for more than quick money from residents. They are also phishing for personal information that can then later be used to steal identities and enable account takeover attacks at financial institutions, retailers, insurance providers, or other organizations. Phone lookup applications can help unmask the real identities of phone scammers.
What are Yakima County Jury Duty Scams?
Sheriff impostor scams are very common in Yakima County. Here, a caller claims to be an officer of local law enforcement such as your local police department or the sheriff's office. The impostor claims that there is a warrant out for your arrest for missing a court date, for failing to appear as a character witness in a trial. The impostor will instruct you to wire money or purchase prepaid debit cards, such as a Green Dot card or gift card, and read the card numbers over the phone to pay your fines in order to avoid arrest.
These con artists use a variety of tricks to sound credible. They may instruct their targets to mail prepaid debit cards to specific judges or to report to their local courthouses with the prepaid debit cards. The scammers may provide information like badge numbers, case numbers, names of actual law enforcement officials to appear real. Phone lookup applications can help uncover the true identities of scam callers.
What are Yakima County IRS Scams?
IRS scams are common in Yakima County during tax season. However, variants of the scam are still perpetrated by fraudsters at other times. In an IRS scam, the scammer calls a taxpayer and claims to be an employee of the Internal Revenue Service. The fraudster threatens the taxpayer with arrest, imprisonment, license revocation, or deportation if the supposed back tax owed to the IRS is not paid immediately. Payment is typically requested by prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or wire transfers. Many IRS scammers use caller ID spoofing to make their calls appear like it is truly coming from the IRS.
What are Yakima County Grandparent Scams?
In a lottery scam, the caller says that you have a big lottery prize but need to send money to pay tax before you can cash on the prize. You may be told to keep it a secret and to get in touch with one of the claim agents. If you do, you will be asked to send money through a service like PayPal, Western Union, or MoneyGram for a "processing fee." Many of these scammers who perpetrate this scam prefer to use the name of legitimate lottery organizations. Some may even spoof the caller IDs of reputable lottery organizations to appear credible. Any funds transferred or paid to through these payment methods are difficult to trace and refund. Yakima County residents may use free reverse phone lookup tools to ascertain the true origins of suspicious phone numbers.
What are Yakima County Tech Support Scams?
A tech support scam typically begins with an unsolicited pop-up that appears on a target's computer screen. The pop-up informs the target that the computer has malfunctioned and the data stored on the device has been compromised by a virus or malware. The information includes a phone number (possibly toll-free) that the target can call to resolve the problem.
Upon contacting the phone number, the scammer convinces the victim to grant remote access to the computer. If remote access is granted, the scammer runs some diagnostics while the target notices cursor movements and other activities on the computer. During that process, malicious applications may be installed to aid frequent remote access to the PC while sensitive information may be stolen altogether. In addition, the scammer asks the victim to install a tune-up software, anti-virus software, or any such application for a huge fee. You can use a reverse cell phone lookup tool to verify if a caller’s identity matches the name given.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls used to deliver prerecorded messages through auto-dialers or automated dialing announcing devices (ADADs). ADADs are designed to store thousands of telephone numbers and can dial them automatically with little human interaction. There are legal and illegal robocalls. According to the Federal Communications Commission, informational messages such as school closings, doctor appointment reminders, political campaign calls, or flight information are permitted to telephone users without prior consent. Although these kinds of robocalls are useful, many others are just spam calls. They are unsolicited and are designed to fleece unsuspecting Yakima County residents.
Reverse phone number lookup can help phone users identify robocalls and avoid falling victims to robocall scams. Yakima County residents can also take the following steps to limit the intrusion of robocalls:
- Do not answer calls with an unfamiliar caller ID. Let the call go to voicemail. Only return the call after determining that the caller is legitimate
- If you answer any call and you hear a pre-recorded message, do not press any button. Hang up immediately.
- Contact your telephone service provider to inquire about any available tools to block robocalls. Such call-blocking options may already exist in your current service plan. If they exist, ensure the functions are activated on your device. Additional robocall blocking protection may also be on offer from your service provider for a fee.
- Install third-party call-blocking applications on your phone, such as Truecaller, YouMail, Hiya, and Nomorobo. These applications are available on mobile phone online application stores.
- Register your telephone number with the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) Do not Call List.
- Be on alert for caller ID spoofing. Scammers now have access to technology to make their caller IDs look like familiar caller IDs. Therefore, if a caller pressures you into divulging sensitive information, hang up immediately and report the call.
How to Spot and Report Yakima County Phone Scams?
Although scammers periodically change schemes, many of the cons used to defraud citizens follow the same tricks and practices. For instance, some will try to convince targets that they have won prizes, others may want you to give to charities. Some may even want their targets to buy a wide range of products such as vitamins, magazine subscriptions, vacations, lottery tickets, office supplies, club memberships, and promotional items. Remember that phone scams can occur through email, text messages, and robocalls.
Yakima County residents can identify phone scams by performing free phone number lookups. Other signs to look out for during phone calls include:
- The caller refuses to give you time to make up your mind about an offer or information. This is a pressure tactic aimed at getting you to make up your mind on the spot. If the information or offer were to be true, the caller has nothing to lose by allowing you time to conduct your research and make up your mind.
- The caller asks for personal information such as credit card numbers, PINs, and bank account information. No reputable company will demand sensitive information from you over the phone. If an unsolicited caller demands private information, hang up immediately.
- The caller says you have to pay to win a "free prize" or enter a "contest". If a prize is free, you should not have to pay to win it. This is an obvious red flag.
- The caller makes an offer that too good to be true. This is common with scammers who try to lure you to invest in pyramid schemes or other "business opportunities" in the hope of quick and huge returns. If an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- The caller demands that you pay for something by prepaid debit cards or gift cards. You should not have to make payments through methods through which financial transactions are difficult to trace. If the caller insists that you have to, you are likely on to a scammer.
- The caller uses scare tactics. If a caller intimidates or threatens to arrest, imprison, deport, or revoke your license, chances are that such caller is a scammer. Legitimate organizations do not threaten to sue or revoke your license. Do not give in to threats.
If you are fallen victim or have been contacted by a scammer, you can file complaints with any of the following public bodies:
- The Yakima 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 Yakima County Sheriff's Office at (509) 574-2500.
- 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.
- The United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TITGA): If you have been contacted by an IRS scammer, contact TITGA by calling the office at (800) 366-4484.