What are Jefferson Parish Area Codes?
Jefferson Parish is in southeast Louisiana. An estimated population of over 432,000 ranks it as the second-most populated parish in the state. Gretna is the parish seat while Metairie has the largest community in the parish.
With the adoption of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), telephone service areas were mapped out as Numbering Plan Areas (NPAs). Unique numbering plan area codes, represented by three digits, were allocated to these NPAs for identification. As the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated, Louisiana’s area codes are under the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC)’s supervision.
The two area codes currently covering Jefferson Parish are:
Area Code 504
Area code 504, introduced in 1947 as part of the initial 86 area codes, formerly served the entire Louisiana territory. Presently, the 504 NPA now covers Jefferson Parish and some surrounding counties in southeast Louisiana. Jefferson Parish communities served by the 504 area code include Gretna, Metairie, Kenner, Marrero, Estelle, River Ridge, and Woodmere.
Area Code 985
Introduced in 2001 as a split from the 504 NPA, area code 985 covers some of the areas in southeast Louisiana that are not under the 504 NPA jurisdiction. The City of Grand Isle is one of Jefferson Parish communities under the 985 NPA.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Jefferson Parish?
The four major network operators are available in Louisiana and provide excellent services to residents. AT&T leads the telephone carriers in Louisiana with 99% coverage of the state. Verizon and T-Mobile extend to 96% and 93% of Louisiana respectively while Sprint’s 58% coverage is relatively low.
Louisiana residents are changing their telephony preferences and making the switch away from landlines.A CDC survey on telephony preferences among state residents indicated that wireless subscriptions were on the rise and landlines suffering a continuous decline. Data showed that 57.6% of Louisiana adults and about 67.8% of Louisiana children resided in households with exclusive wireless phone subscriptions. In contrast, 4.2% of Louisiana adults used landlines exclusively in their homes, as did about 2.7% of the child population.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) relies on the internet to deliver phone services. This ensures subscribers get more affordable value-added services than traditional phone services. A number of VoIP providers offer phone services to the residents of Jefferson Parish.
What are Jefferson Parish Phone Scams?
Jefferson Parish residents get phone calls and text messages from unscrupulous individuals trying to steal money and sensitive information from them. The devious schemes used by scammers to defraud residents using telephony services are called phone scams. The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office tries to prevent more Jefferson Parish residents from being victims by publishing materials to educate them on the various forms of these cons. In a consumer notebook series, prevalent scams in the state were identified and broken down for residents. Some of these scams include:
What are Credit Repair Scams?
Credit repair scams prey on the inability of residents with poor credit histories to access loans. Fraudsters promise to help clear previous bad credit scores and build entirely new ones to allow residents access loans. To qualify for the credit repair services, residents are asked to make some payments upfront. However, targets discover they have been scammed after they make the payments and their credit scores show no improvement.
Authorities warn residents that no individual or firm has the power to erase the information used for calculating credit scores. If you have cause to believe there is an error in your records, approach your local credit bureau and ask for a review. On discovering the error, every financial institution that has previously received your credit report will be issued the accurate one. Run a phone number search on unknown numbers that call to offer credit repair services to you. Identifying the individuals registered to such numbers can help prevent scams. Report credit repair scams to the Attorney General’s Office by dialing (800) 351-4889 or completing an online complaint form.
What are Charity Scams?
Fraudsters solicit funds on behalf of fake charities and keep the donations made to these phony organizations. Charity scams exploit the giving nature of Jefferson Parish residents and mislead them into thinking they are making donations to legitimate charity organizations. Residents should make the necessary inquiries about the registration status of charities before making donations. Be wary of callers that pressure you to make donations immediately. Also, avoid making donations by cash. Instead, write checks in the names of the charity organizations and not to the persons soliciting funds. Use reverse phone lookup to find more information on the owner of the unknown number used to make the charity solicitation call. Send an email to the Attorney General’s Office to get more information on the organization seeking funds, if unsure about their authenticity. To report charity scams, complete the online complaint form or reach the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 351-4889.
What are Sweepstakes Scams?
Sweepstakes scammers contact unsuspecting residents about prizes won in foreign lotteries or sweepstakes. The scammers attach the condition of upfront payments for these rewards before targets are eligible to claim them. Residents who fall for these cons and make the upfront payments never receive the promised rewards. Authorities ask residents to ignore callers that promise rewards only after they make initial payments.
If there is a request to place calls to a number beginning with the 900 code alongside the prize notification, do not call the number. Calls to these numbers are charged at premiums. A phone number lookup can reveal the identity of the person behind such a phone call. Victims of sweepstakes scams should place calls to (800) 351-4889 to report them to the Attorney General’s Office.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls used to relay recorded information to residents. With automatic dialing machines, solicitors can place lots of robocalls to random or selected numbers to deliver the same messages. When residents answer the phone calls, they listen to the robot-like voice reading out the pre-recorded messages. Robocalls are legitimately used by telemarketers and other legitimate entities to contact residents. However, fraudsters now deploy robocalls to send phony messages and steal from Jefferson Parish residents.
There is a collaborative effort by government and private institutions to curb illegal robocalls. Federal and state governments passed and signed strict anti-robocall regulations into law. These guidelines recommend harsh punishments for those violating robocall laws. Phone manufacturers and network operators deploy technologies to combat robocalls, such as call filtering and call blocking. These tools flag suspicious incoming phone calls and notify subscribers about potential spam calls. Network operators sometimes charge subscription fees for these services.
Follow these steps to reduce the number of robocalls received:
- Do not answer calls from unknown numbers. Divert such calls to your voicemail and screen them for suspicious numbers. Return the calls of those that left messages.
- Secure your voicemail from hackers by setting up a password.
- Drop calls that turn out to be robocalls. Do not push any button as demanded by their voice prompts as these actions attract more robocalls.
- Inquire about and subscribe to the most affordable and suitable call blocking tool from your service provider.
- If service is unavailable from the service provider, download third-party call blocking apps and use them to block robocalls and spam calls.
- Have your phone number on both the Louisiana Do Not Call and the National Do Not Call Registry. Legitimate telemarketers avoid placing robocalls to numbers on the lists.
- Report persistent robocall abuse to the LPSC or use the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s online complaint assistant.
How to Spot and Jefferson Parish Phone Scams?
Scammers succeed with their cons because many Jefferson Parish residents are oblivious to the fact that they are potential scam targets. Foreknowledge of common techniques used by con artists helps residents recognize potential scams and avoid falling victim. Residents should avoid transactions that involve any of these:
- Prizes that require upfront payment before redemption. Ignore such phone calls because genuine prizes are free.
- Unsolicited phone calls from individuals or alleged government agencies seeking personal information. Do not share confidential records over unsolicited phone calls.
- Phone calls from agencies like the IRS or utility companies threatening severe actions over unpaid fees. The institutions do not reach out to defaulters by phone.
- The pressure to make payments immediately. Scammers do not want targets to carry out proper research to avoid exposure.
- Insistence on hard to trace means of payments like gift cards and preloaded debit cards. Fraudsters prefer receiving funds through these means because they are hard to trace and funds sent via these channels are hard to recover.
- Robocalls received after placing numbers on Do Not Call lists are usually from fraudsters. Legitimate telemarketers avoid calling numbers on the lists.
Recognizing potential scams is a key step to avoiding them. These agencies educate Jefferson Parish residents and also provide them with platforms to report scam incidents:
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) protects consumers and ensures fair business practices. They provide guidelines that help residents identify common phone scams and avoid robocalls. To reduce the frequency of robocalls, the FTC manages the National Do Not Call Registry, which genuine telemarketers consult to know numbers to avoid. Victims of phone scams should complete and submit the online complaint form provided by the FTC.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the communications industry. The FCC offers resources to help identify spoofing and activate call blocking. To completely eradicate caller ID spoofing, the FCC has mandated the network operators to develop a more robust caller authentication system. The FCC provides an online form for victims to lodge complaints on scam incidents.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has a Crime Prevention Unit dedicated to fighting scams and other crimes. Dial (504) 366-3784 to report crimes to the Sheriff’s Office.The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office published the Consumer Notebook Series which explains prevalent scams in the state to help Louisianans avoid them. An online consumer dispute form is available for victims to lodge complaints on scams. Alternatively, victims can reach the Attorney General’s Office at (877) 297-0995.