What are Ascension Parish Area Codes?
Created in 1807 and located within the Baton Rouge metropolitan area, Ascension Parish occupies an area measuring 303 square miles in the lower part of Louisiana. A 2019 census estimate puts its population at 126,604. The seat of Ascension Parish is the City of Donaldsonville.
The single area code serving Ascension Parish is area code 225. An area code is a three-digit designation for a numbering plan area (NPA). Area codes and NPAs were introduced in the US in 1947 when AT&T implemented the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). The NANP streamlined call routing and switching in the country and made long-distance calls easier to connect. An area code corresponds to a geographic area. This can be a city, a county, multiple counties, or an entire state. While 86 area codes, and corresponding NPA, were created in 1947, hundreds of them have been introduced since then to accommodate the rising number of phone users in the country.
Area Code 225
Introduced as a split code, area code 225 was created from area code 504 in 1998. It covers the southern part of the State of Louisiana and encompasses all of the Baton Rouge metropolitan area and its nine parishes. Communities in Ascension Parish served by area code 225 include Darrow, Gonzales, Prairieville, Donaldsonville, Saint Amant, and Geismar.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Ascension Parish?
Most of the residents of Louisiana have replaced their landline phone services with wireless phone services. This is one of the conclusions of a 2018 wireless substitution survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics. The results of that survey showed that 57.6% of the adult residents of the state are wireless-only phone users. In contrast, 4.2% of this demographic still used landline phones exclusively. Among minors in the state, 67.8% of the population indicated they only used wireless phone services for telecommunication. Only about 2.7% of Louisiana residents under the age of 18 still relied solely on landline phone services.
Residents of Ascension Parish can sign up for phone services from national carriers as well as regional operators. National carriers providing phone services in Louisiana include Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. AT&T has the most extensive network in the state with 98.9% coverage while Verizon and T-Mobile cover 96.3% and 92.9% of Louisiana respectively. Regional carriers usually rely on the network infrastructure of big national carriers and are usually mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs). Cell phone plans offered by regional carriers are usually cheaper because they pass down some savings from the discounted bulk orders placed with bigger carriers to their subscribers.
Some VoIP providers also offer phone services in Louisiana. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a technology that enables voice and video communication over the internet. VoIP phone service providers transmit voice and video signals over the internet as data packets. Residents with pre-existing broadband internet access can enjoy huge savings on their phone bills by switching to VoIP phone services. Compared to landline and cell phone plans, VoIP phone plans have the lowest rates for long-distance calls and teleconferencing.
What are Ascension Parish Phone Scams?
These are telephone frauds targeting residents of Ascension Parish. Phone scammers aim to defraud their targets and/or steal confidential information. They contact their victims via phone calls and text messages and may employ sophisticated tools such as caller ID spoofing and voice phishing to trick unsuspecting phone users into trusting them.
Residents hoping to avoid phone scams should consider using anti-scam phone tools such as call blocking and reverse phone number lookup. They also need to learn all about telephone frauds commonly reported in their communities. Some of the prevalent phone scams in Ascension Parish are jury duty scams, charity scams, lottery scams, and tech support scams.
What are Ascension Parish Jury Duty Scams?
These are scams involving fraudsters pretending to be court officials or law enforcement officers when they call to accuse Ascension Parish residents of missing jury duty and demanding immediate payment of fines. These scammers threaten their victims with immediate arrest and ask them to send money directly to them. Ascension Parish residents should know that legitimate court officials and law enforcement officers do not call to threaten those missing jury duty. If you receive a call from a stranger making these claims, do not hurry to send them money or release confidential information. Rather, take steps to verify their identities and claims.
Use reverse phone number lookup to verify who called. Even when your phone’s caller ID shows the caller as a local court or law enforcement, do not be scared into paying off the stranger. Call your local court or law enforcement directly to verify the details of the call.
What are Ascension Parish Charity Scams?
Fraudsters running charity scams take advantage of times of natural disasters to take advantage of well-meaning residents trying to help others. When they call, they either impersonate legitimate charities or claim to represent fake charities that sound like legitimate ones. Before donating to a charity, make sure to verify that it is real and legitimate. Use online resources like Charity Navigator and GuideStar to quickly determine whether the charity the caller claims to represent is legitimate or not.
Even when the named charity turns out to be legitimate and approved to seek donation in Louisiana, make sure the caller truly represents them. You can identify the unknown caller with a phone lookup search or call the charity directly to ask if the caller represents them.
What are Ascension Parish Lottery Scams?
Another type of impostor scam, a lottery scam begins with a call from a stranger claiming their victim just won a lottery or sweepstakes. This is usually a lottery the victim never entered in. The scammer gets their victim excited before asking that they send money to cover taxes and other processing/administration fees. Ascension Parish residents can identify lottery scammers by this demand. Legitimate sweepstakes and lottery organizers do not ask winners to pay money before claiming their prizes.
Another form of lottery scam involves the fraudster selling their victims on the idea of entering them in foreign lotteries and helping to increase their chances of winning for a small recurrent fee. Do not believe unknown callers claiming you won a lottery or promising to help you win one. Identify such callers by submitting their phone numbers for reverse phone lookup to determine whether they really represent the lottery organizers they mention.
What are Ascension Parish Tech Support Scams?
Tech support scammers claim to work for reputable tech companies such as Microsoft and Apple. When they call their potential victims, they scare them by telling them they found viruses on their computers. Tech support scammers may also offer to help upgrade their victims’ software or secure their online accounts. These fraudsters ask their victims for remote access to their machines. They claim to need this to troubleshoot and solve bogus problems.
Tech support scammers may simply make their victims pay for computer repairs and security software they do not need. However, most computer repair scams involve fraudsters installing malware on their victims’ computers. They may install viruses and adware to keep scamming their victims with expensive tech support bills. Alternatively, they may install spyware on their victims’ machines to steal important documents and information such as banking passwords. When fraudsters install ransomware on their victims’ computers, they lock these unsuspecting users out of their machines and demand ransoms before restoring their access.
Ascension Parish residents should be wary of unsolicited tech support. Tech companies do not call their customers out of the blue to offer support they do not request. They also do not routinely scan their customers’ computers for viruses. Do not give strangers access to your computer. If you have, take the machine to a trusted, local computer repair shop for a full scan. You can unmask scammers pretending to be tech support by running their phone numbers through reverse lookup searches.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls placed in bulk to deliver pre-recorded messages to lots of phone users. When they were first introduced, robocalls were mostly used by political campaigns, telemarketers, and organizations tasked with sending out public service announcements. Robocalls are cost-effective mass communication tools that are easy to set up and require little effort to keep running. These attributes also make them appealing to scammers looking for new and affordable ways to find more targets for their fraudulent schemes.
Spam calls are also bulk unsolicited calls placed to phone users. However, these are likely to come from persons working for telemarketers. The total number of spam calls and robocalls received by the average American phone user keeps growing annually. While there are multiple efforts from governments and carriers to curb these unwanted calls, residents of Ascension Parish can take these simple steps to cut down on the number of robocalls and spam calls ringing their phone:
- Do not trust your phone to correctly identify unknown callers. Scammers and dishonest telemarketers are known to employ caller ID spoofing to trick phone users to pick their calls
- Do not pick calls from unknown numbers. Let these go to voicemail where you can review the messages left to determine whether they are unwanted calls or not
- Hang up as soon as you realize you picked a robocall or spam call
- Do not follow instructions provided during a robocall or spam call on what to do to stop receiving more calls. Such prompts are used by scammers and spammers to find numbers to target with more unsolicited calls
- Set up the call filtering feature of your phone to block calls from unknown numbers or blacklisted numbers. Ask your carrier if they offer such call blocking service. You can also install a well-reviewed call blocking app from your phone’s official app store
- Use reverse phone number lookup to identify unknown callers that keep calling. This search can provide the names and locations of such callers and help determine whether they are scammers, spammers, or stalkers
- Register your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry and the Louisiana Do Not Call Program to stop receiving unsolicited calls from telemarketers. Scammers, spammers, and dishonest telemarketers do not obey the rules of these lists and will keep calling you. You can report such calls to the right authorities (the FCC and the Louisiana Public Service Commission) and block the numbers used
How to Spot and Report Ascension Parish Phone Scams?
In addition to learning about different types of scams, it is also important to know how scammers operate. As long as phone scammers aim to defraud their victims or steal confidential information, they will resort to certain tactics that give them away. When talking to strangers on the phone, look out for these signs of telephone fraud:
- Threats - While posing as authority figures, scammers will threaten to arrest, prosecute, audit, or deport their targets if they do not comply with their demands. They may also threaten to suspend their targets’ driver’s, professional, or business licenses. Legitimate government employees and officers of the law do not threaten resident to send them money
- Request for payment through unofficial channels - while impersonating authority figures, scammers will ask their victims to send official payments by cash, wire transfer, prepaid debit cards, gift cards, or cryptocurrencies
- Aggressive sales tactics - when pushing consumer and investment scams, fraudsters want to close the deal immediately and give their targets very little time to closely consider their overly attractive offers. So, they offer even steeper discounts for anyone signing up immediately or pressure their victims by claiming their once-in-a-lifetime offers are only available to the first few people to sign up
- Inability to provide supporting documents - when asked, fraudsters fail to provide written documentation establishing their identities and support their claims. Rather, they refer their targets to made-up testimonials from strangers
If any of these signs make you suspicious of an unknown caller, be wary and try to identify them with a phone number lookup search. Provide the details of such searches to law enforcement when reporting phone scams. Scam reports help authorities apprehend fraudsters and help keep the public informed of current phone scam trends. Residents of Ascension Parish can report phone scams to the following authorities:
- The Consumer Protection Section of the Louisiana Department of Justice - this is the state consumer protection agency. In addition to educating residents about consumer laws, it also accepts consumer fraud complaints and mediates disputes between consumers and businesses in the state. Report a consumer scam to this agency by submitting a consumer dispute
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - the FTC is the federal consumer protection. Part of its responsibility is protecting American consumers from unfair and deceitful business practices. Residents of Ascension Parish can report consumer scams to the FTC online or by calling (877) 382-4357
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - this agency regulates the entire communication sector including the telecommunication industry. The FCC maintains and enforces the National Do Not Call Registry. Therefore, residents can report illegal robocalls and spam calls to the FCC. It will also accept reports of caller ID spoofing and voice phishing as well as phone scams committed using phone tools and services. Residents of Ascension Parish can report phone scams to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center