What are Florence County Area Codes?
Area code represents a Numbering Plan Area in North America and is identified by a three-digit code that precedes every phone number. The North American Numbering Plan (NANP) introduced area codes in 1947 to simplify long-distance phone calls. The Public Service Commission of South Carolina is in charge of area code implementation and management. The North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) facilitates area code lookup online.
Two area codes currently operate in Florence County. These are:
Area Code 843
Area code 843 was launched into service in March 1998. It was created from a split of the 803 NPA. The major cities and communities served by area code 843 in Florence County include Florence, Charleston, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston, Summerville, Myrtle Beach, and Hilton Head Island.
Area code 854
Area code 854 is an overlay code to the 843 NPA and was officially put into service in October 2015. It covers the communities served by area code 843.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Johnson County?
The National Center for Health Statistics revealed in a survey carried out in 2018 that about 55.7% of adults living in South Carolina used wireless-only telephones. In contrast, only an estimated 4.9% used landlines only. Similarly, the data obtained among children who are under 18 years showed that about 67.2% used wireless-only telephony services. Only 1.9% were exclusive landline users.
The best cell phone plans in Florence County are provided by the four major phone carriers. AT&T has the largest 4G coverage in South Carolina, and easily ranks as the best network in the state. Verizon follows closely as the network with the second-best 4G coverage in the city. T-mobile, takes the third place, but Sprint's 3G and 4G coverage are relatively low in South Carolina.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a communication technology that allows Florence County residents to make phone calls over broadband internet connections. To use VoIP telephony service, a user needs either a specialized VoIP phone, a computer, or a landline phone with an adapter. VoIP enables users to reach phone numbers outside the caller's area code at relatively low rates.
What are Florence County Phone Scams?
Phone scams in Florence County involve using telephony services such as phone calls and text messages to defraud county residents. Scammers often employ different deceptive strategies such as phone spoofing to conceal their identities and extort money and personal information from their targets. They use the information obtained from scam calls to perpetrate financial or identity theft or both.
Anyone who falls prey to or suspects phone scams can file reports with law enforcement or other relevant consumer protection agencies. Reverse phone lookup services can help residents targeted for scams uncover the identities of the real persons behind phone scams. Common phone scams in Florence County include:
What are Debt Collection Scams?
Scammers call Florence County residents who owe money to creditors to defraud them. The fraudsters pose as representatives of legitimate debt collection companies and demand that targets pay up their debts immediately. They may request that they pay a certain fraction of their debt as a yardstick to writing off the rest. Such offers come with a high sense of urgency and a claim that failure to pay immediately may have them lose the rare opportunity and may have to pay their debt in full.
As advised by the SCDCA, residents may request written documents from such callers to verify their claims. Residents who receive such calls are advised to hang up and contact their creditors directly to authenticate them. If the call recipients suspect that the debts in question do not exist, they can confirm their debt status by getting a free copy of their credit report online or by calling (877) 322-8228. Phone number search services can help residents find out the actual persons behind these fraudulent calls and prevent them from falling victim.
What are Lottery Scams?
Lottery scams rank among the top three scams in South Carolina, contributing to up to about 11% of the commonly reported scams according to the SCDCA. Scammers call unsuspecting Florence County residents to inform them that they won lotteries from foreign countries. These scammers may spoof their targets’ caller IDs to reflect the location from which they claim to be calling. They often pose as employees of reputable stores that the targets patronize and claim that the targets entered lottery draws each time they made a purchase. The scammers request that the targets pay some fees to cover shipping and insurance charges to enable them to claim their prizes. They usually insist on wire transfers and cryptocurrency as payment options. It is advisable to decline such calls and contact the organization awarding the prize to verify its authenticity. Reverse phone lookup services may help lottery scam targets uncover their callers’ identities and avoid such scams.
What are Debit/Credit Card Scams?
Fraudsters impersonate bank officials to deceive Florence County residents and obtain financial information. They call the targets to request their debit/credit card details or other confidential bank account information stating that they need to verify, reactivate, or upgrade their accounts. In some cases, the scammers claim that the users’ debit cards have become invalid, and they need the information to revalidate them. In other cases, scammers may claim they need the information to verify the users’ ownership of the cards to reverse supposed fraudulent transactions or charges.
The SCDCA urges residents to stay current with their bank account and credit card statements. That way, it will be easier to spot unauthorized transactions and take necessary actions. Residents are also advised to desist from disclosing their debit or credit card details over the phone. It is important to note that banks do not request such information over the phone. Residents who receive such requests in unsolicited phone calls may conduct free phone number searches to determine the real identities of the callers.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are phone calls from auto-dialers that are configured to convey recorded messages to the mass phone numbers at the same time. This feature makes it a valuable tool for public service announcements, political campaigns, and telemarketing sales calls. Robocalls that are purely informational and are from legitimate sources, such as flight information and reminders for debt repayment, do not require permission from the recipient. Some robocalls require the recipient to respond to instructions or choose from a list of available options via preset input codes. Scammers leverage such a feedback system to obtain confidential information from naive persons for fraudulent purposes.
Spam calls are unauthorized phone calls that are mostly irrelevant to the recipients. While some spam calls are for advertisement purposes, scammers also prey on residents using spam calls. Phone lookup services may help residents to identify spam and robocall numbers and avoid scams.
Taking specific steps can help prevent Florence County residents from being victimized by illegal robocalls. Such recommended actions include:
- End a call once you suspect it is a robocall. It is dangerous to continue with such calls as they may be manipulative, and you may not be able to figure out when confidential information is disclosed. Do not grant any robocall request to transfer a call to a live representative.
- Download and install apps with call blocking features. These apps can identify and block unwanted calls. For Android users, such apps are available at the Play Store, while iOS users may download them from the Apple Store.
- Report illegal robocalls to the FTC via their online report portal.
- Enlist your phone number in the FTC's National Do Not Call Registry. This will exempt your phone number from receiving incessant telemarketing calls, thereby minimizing the possibility of phone scams.
How Can You Spot and Report Florence County Phone Scams?
Florence County residents should keep tabs on the latest phone scams in the county to avoid falling victim. Several consumer protection agencies provide information on current scams to educate residents on scammers’ schemes and how to avoid them. Applications that offer reverse phone number lookup services can help Florence County residents retrieve information on suspicious callers. Common signs of phone scams in Florence County include:
- Requests for confidential information such as debit/credit card details over the phone. Legitimate organizations do not request such in unsolicited calls.
- Scammers usually request immediate payments over the phone and threaten the call recipients with legal actions to compel them to comply. Such legal actions may include fines, arrests, deportation, and license revocation.
- Insistence on specific hard-to-trace payment methods such as gift cards, cryptocurrencies, and wire transfer is a sign that the call may be fraudulent. It is recommended to verify the authenticity of any payment request made over the phone.
- Caller IDs altered from their original form may indicate that the caller is fraudulent. Phone number search free services can help you identify spoofed calls.
Some government institutions protect Florence County residents and help combat phone scams. They include:
South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs - The SCDCA provides residents with a guide known as Ditch the Pitch to help them identify phone scams. Victims of phone scams can report online to the Identity Theft Unit of the SCDCA.
Federal Trade Commission - The FTC manages the Do Not Call Registry, a database of phone numbers limiting the number of unwanted calls received by registered phone users. Victims may file reports of phone scams with the FTC online.
Better Business Bureau - The BBB provides a platform where residents may verify information about registered businesses in the county. As such, it is easier for residents to identify phone calls that are not from legitimate sources. Residents may also file their reports concerning phone scams via their online scam tracker.
Federal Communications Commission - This Commission allows phone scam victims to file complaints through the Consumer Complaint Center for proper investigation and necessary actions. The FCC also helps to keep residents updated with the latest information about phone scams in Florence County.