What are Ouachita Parish Area Codes?
Ouachita Parish or Paroisse d'Ouachita is located in the northern region of the State of Louisiana. As of 2019, it had a population estimate of 153,279. The Parish was founded in 1807 and was named after the Ouachita Native American people. The parish seat is the City of Monroe. Ouachita Parish makes up part of the Monroe, LA Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Area codes are the set of three-digit numbers that begin every telephone number in the United States. They were introduced as part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). An area code helps to identify the numbering plan area (NPA) that a call originates from. The Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC) is charged with the responsibility of administering and implementing area codes in Ouachita Parish.
Currently, one area code serves Ouachita Parish:
Area Code 318
Area Code 318 is the NANP code that covers the entire northern and central parts of the State of Louisiana. It was introduced in 1957 as a split-off from Louisiana's original area code 504. Some of the cities it serves are Monroe, West Monroe, Claiborne, Richwood, Sterlington, etc.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Ouachita Parish?
A 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey estimated that 57.6% of adults in Louisiana rely solely on wireless telephone services. On the contrary, adults who relied on landlines alone amounted to 4.2% of the adults in the state. The same applied to minors (under 18); 67.8% relied solely on wireless-only services, while landline-only users totaled 2.7% of the population. These figures prove that cell phones have dominated landlines in the telecommunications industry.
Together with several other Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), the primary phone networks provide excellent coverage for residents in Ouachita Parish. Verizon leads the way in the Parish with about 90% service coverage. AT&T follows behind with 70% service coverage. However, residents may experience service availability drop in certain areas, such as densely populated spaces, rural areas, and spaces between really tall buildings.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), also known as IP telephony, is a technology that allows calls to be made using the internet instead of the regular traditional telephone services. VoIP services have become popular in Ouachita Parish, with several companies offering a range of products at highly competitive rates to residents. Compared to traditional telephone services, VoIP services top the rank by providing highly flexible yet low-cost means of making calls.
What are Ouachita Parish Phone Scams?
Ouachita Parish Scams are phone calls that target unsuspecting Ouachita Parish residents in an attempt to steal their money or personal information. Scammers employ various means, including regular calls with spoofed Caller IDs, robocalls, and text messages. Victims of phone scams may employ reverse phone number lookup services to identify phone scams. Common scams committed in Ouachita Parish include:
What Are Social Security Number Scams?
The Sheriff’s Office has warned Ouachita Parish residents of scams involving their Social Security Number. In this scam, scammers contact residents while impersonating officials from the Social Security Administration. The scammers tell the recipients that their Social Security Numbers (SSN) have been suspended due to suspicious activity or because it was involved in a crime. They tell their targets that they have to confirm their SSNs to have them reactivated. The person contacting the victim may also request payment or some other personal information to have the said SSN reactivated. Some scammers go as far as spoofing their Caller IDs.
The SSA warns residents to exercise caution when answering such calls. The SSA will never request your Social Security number or credit card number. If you receive such a call, notify the Office of the Inspector General to report and file complaints. A free reverse phone lookup service can help to answer the question of“who is this number registered?”
What Are Impersonation Scams?
In this scam, the scammer poses as a deputy from the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO). Scammers here tell their targets that they owe fines and request that their targets purchase Green Dots or other types of cash cards to pay the fines. Often, the callers determine where the cards will be bought. After the targets have purchased the cards, they ask them to make available the transaction numbers on the cards. Usually, they threaten to arrest the targets if they hesitate to follow through with any of the requirements mentioned earlier. In some other cases, scammers may request the credit card details of their targets instead.
The Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office does not request fine payments in this manner, neither do they solicit any type of fine money over the phone. Residents who receive such calls are warned never to give out their card information nor make the requested payments. A free reverse phone lookup service can help answer the question “who is this number registered?” and identify if it is truly from the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office. Sometimes, scammers spoof their Caller IDs to appear like that of the Sheriff’s Office. In such cases, residents are advised to place calls to the OPSO or their local law enforcement agency to verify such requests.
What Are Utility Company Scams?
Ouachita Parish residents are warned to be wary of unknown callers who contact them, claiming to be representatives of Entergy Corporation or some other utility company. The scammers tell their targets that they have unpaid electricity bills, and if the bills are not paid immediately, their services will be discontinued. They request that payments be made through Green Dots or other similar cash cards. Their targets are then told to contact them back with information on their cash cards to follow up the process of canceling their debts. In some instances, they request payments through other forms such as wire transfers, cryptocurrency, gift cards, or prepaid cards. Reverse cell phone lookup services can help verify if the persons who called are actually from the utility companies they claim to represent.
What Are Free Money Scams?
In this scam, scammers contact parish residents, offering them huge cash wins in return for their card details, money, or some other sensitive information. They tell their targets that they have to redeem the cash prize by depositing a certain sum of money into an account. In some cases, they may request that targets provide their card details to facilitate the process of transferring the money. Reverse phone number lookup services can be used to ascertain who called. Legitimate businesses will never request that you send in money to redeem your cash prize. Ouachita Parish residents are advised to hang up such calls when they come in. They may also verify the claims by contacting the businesses the scammers claim to represent.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are most often associated with telemarketing and political campaigns. Robocalls are telephone calls that use computerized autodialers to deliver pre-recorded messages. In some cases, the robocalls may be personalized to make them seem like they are live calls. Usually, these calls are unsolicited and sometimes illegal.
In recent times, scammers have taken to robocalls to perpetrate their scams, with most of them posing as legitimate businesses to extort residents of their money. Robocalls give scammers the liberty of remaining anonymous while hiding under multiple Caller IDs. A reverse phone number lookup free service can easily help you identify an incoming robocall.
The best options if you receive a robocall are to:
- Hang up the call. Avoid obeying prompts given over the phone, as doing so will only trigger a cycle of more calls and texts.
- Register your number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Registering your number on the DNC database exempts you from receiving calls from telemarketing companies. Any robocall that comes in after 31 days of registering may most likely be a scam call.
- Use online services that offer phone number lookup free of charge to identify who called.
- Inquire about the procedures for blocking numbers from phone service providers and use them.
- File complaints of illegal robocalls to the Federal Trade Commission(FTC) online or call 1-888-382-1222.
The FTC provides other handy consumer tips on blocking unwanted calls on any platform.
How Can You Spot and Report Ouachita Parish Phone Scams?
Scammers are not new in Ouachita Parish. However, they have become more manipulative, making unsuspecting residents more vulnerable to their tactics. Good reverse phone lookup services may help identify potential phone scams. Here is how to determine if a suspicious call is a scam call:
- The caller is aggressive and tries to promote fear so that their target acts under duress. Some common tactics that may be used are threats to fine, suspend, arrest or charge their target to court. Legitimate organizations will never ask you for your sensitive details over the phone, let alone threaten you into sending it.
- The caller tries to get their target to take all required action with a sense of urgency. Most times, they insist that the payment be made while on the call.
- The caller requests that payments be made for services through channels that are not generally recognized. Popular amongst their preferred channels are bank wire transfers, cryptocurrency, prepaid debit cards, gift cards, and FedEx Cash.
- The scammer offers investment opportunities that promise huge returns with little or no risk. Usually, such offers and investment opportunities are scams. The principle of higher returns-higher risks holds true, and any offer that violates this should be well researched.
Eliminating the possibility of being contacted by phone scammers is slim. However, tools that perform reverse phone number lookups by name, number, and address can help identify and reduce the possibility of falling prey to scammers.
Several public organizations have been instituted to assist Ouachita Parish residents in dealing with phone scammers. Parish residents who have been victims of phone scams may contact any of these agencies to report or file their complaints:
Louisiana State Police, Public Affairs - The Louisiana State Police, Public Affairs Division protects the safety and interest of citizens by providing enforcement, education, and other essential public safety services needed to guarantee residents’ security. Victims of phone scams may report cases and file complaints of fraudulent activities to the State Police online or contact them on (225) 925-6536.
Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office (OPSO) - The Ouachita Parish Sheriff's Department provides information and updates on prevalent scams to residents in the parish. Parish residents who have been victims of phone scams may file their reports to the Sheriff’s Office or call the non-emergency number 318-329-1200.
Louisiana Department of Justice Consumer Protection Section - The Louisiana Department of Justice Consumer Protection Section protects residents from fraud and misleading business practices. They discharge this responsibility by mediating complaints and providing consumers with ongoing consumer education. Residents may report cases and file complaints of fraudulent activities using the Consumer Dispute Form.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The Federal Trade Commission protects consumers from deceptive trade and business practices carried out by businesses. Victims of scams may file complaints with the FTC.