What are Tangipahoa Parish Area Codes?
Area codes are the three-digit numbers that begin every telephone line used in the United States. They were introduced as part of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) to standardize number dialing and identify the numbering plan areas in the country. Area codes designate telephone numbers into different locations, thereby helping callers identify the origins of the calls they receive. The Louisiana Public Service Commission is charged with implementing and regulating area codes in Tangipahoa Parish.
Currently, one area code covers the entire region:
Area Code 985
Area code 985 is the NANP code that covers the entire southeastern Louisiana, except for the inner ring of the New Orleans area. It was introduced in February 2001 as a split-off code from NPA 504. When it was originally created, it included certain parts of the southeast of New Orleans. However, that changed in 2007 as those areas were switched back to NPA 504.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Tangipahoa Parish?
A 2018 National Center of Health Statistics survey estimated that about 57.6% of Louisiana adults depended solely on wireless-only telephone services. In contrast, only about 4.2% of Louisiana adults used just landlines. The case was not much different among the minors, as about 67.8% of the population depended solely on wireless telephones, with just 2.7% preferring to use only landlines. These figures tell on residents’ choice of preference for cell phones over landlines.
The four primary phone carriers operate in Tangipahoa Parish, with each providing different coverage ranges, nonetheless, decent coverage for parish residents. AT&T comes first place with 100% service coverage in the parish. T-mobile and Verizon follow closely as solid alternatives. The parish also operates several Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), giving residents excellent alternatives to choose from. Nonetheless, service availability is not as strong everywhere. Residents may experience spotty service in densely populated areas, rural settlements, and spaces between tall buildings.
Telephone services like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) have dominated the landscape in recent times. Using VoIP technology, parish residents can now make calls over the Internet instead of using just their regular phone lines. Its increased popularity in the parish has led to the establishment of several companies offering diverse VoIP products to businesses and residents alike. Beyond offering flexible plans to residents, VoIP services are also very affordable.
What are Tangipahoa Parish Phone Scams?
Tangipahoa Parish phone scams are scams that target residents of Tangipahoa Parish with the intent of extorting money or other personal and financial from them. Tools that carry out reverse phone number lookup can help in identifying such scammers. Common scams committed in Tangipahoa Parish include:
What are Tangipahoa Parish Impersonation Scams?
Parish residents should be cautious of scammers posing as deputies from the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO). The scammer here, impersonating a specific deputy from the Sheriff’s Office, tells the target that the call is concerning a legal breach. They say that the US Department of the Treasury has a material witness warrant of arrest for the target. They tell them that if they do not pay a specified, usually very large sum of money to clear the warrant, they will be arrested. Usually, they request that the target make the payment via a prepaid credit card.
There have been reported cases of such scammers going as far as using the names of real government officials and spoofing their Caller IDs to show up like known government agencies. Some scammers have been known to fake their accents to sound like locals with southern accents.
The Sheriff’s Office warns residents to be careful and on guard when dealing with anyone that calls them claiming to be from their office. Residents should never send their money or sensitive details over the phone as the TPSO will never request for such and in such a manner. A free reverse phone lookup service can identify spoofed Caller IDs and answer the question, “who is this number registered to?”
What Are Tangipahoa Parish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Cyber Crimes Center Scams?
The TPSO detectives have told parish residents to beware of scammers claiming to be employees of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in an attempt to extort money and other personal details for them. The scammers here send viruses to their targets’ computers through their mail. After the targets unknowingly open the mail, the viruses become installed. Once installed, their computers begin to malfunction. Usually, after this, messages are sent to the victims, telling them that their computers have been associated with child pornography or other illegal online sites. At this point, the scammers call their targets and offer to help them rectify the problem. They also tell the victims that they will have to pay fines using bank wire transfers or prepaid money cards.
The ICE has said that they will never contact residents to solicit funds over the phone for whatever reasons. Reverse cell phone lookup services can also help ascertain if the persons who called are actually from the ICE.
What are Tangipahoa Parish Lottery Scams?
Lottery scams are also known as sweepstakes, fake prizes, or contest scams. Here, the scammers contact parish residents telling them that they have won prizes. Sometimes, the prizes may be huge cash wins; other times, they may be tangible things such as cars, phones, or other gift items. They do not stop there, however. They request that their targets send their account information or pay money to facilitate the processing of the lottery funds.
Here are three signs that a lottery call is a scam call;
- The caller tells you to pay some money to claim your prize. If it is legitimate, then claiming your prize should be free;
- The caller tells you that paying increases your chances of winning the sweepstake. Legitimate sweepstakes are without a cost, and winning is usually dependent on chance;
- The caller tells you to give your account information. There is absolutely no reason to give out your credit card details to anyone. If anyone asks you to, it most likely is a scam.
Reverse phone number lookup services can be used to confirm who called.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
These are automated telephone calls oftentimes initiated by non-profit organizations, telemarketing organizations, and political parties. Robocalls typically rely on predictive dialers to send pre-recorded messages to the recipients. Robocalls have become popular amongst scammers in recent times, majorly due to its cost-saving benefit. More so, it offers users the option of anonymity. Usually, with robocalls, scammers can switch lines multiple times and spoof the Caller IDs of legitimate businesses without being discovered by their victims. All the same, reverse phone number lookup free services can easily pick up on incoming robocalls.
The best options if you receive a robocall are to:
- Hang up immediately. Avoid following any instruction or prompt given over the call. Doing so will only trigger a cycle of more robocalls and unwanted messages.
- Register your phone number on the “National Do Not Call” registry. Telemarketing organizations are prohibited from contacting numbers listed on the NDNC database. If you keep receiving robocalls even after registering, you are most likely being contacted by scammers.
- Inquire from your phone service providers about the procedures for blocking numbers and use the services.
- Use online services that offer free reverse phone lookups or phone number searches to ascertain who called.
- Report complaints of illegal robocall to the FTC online or call 1-888-382-1222.
The FTC, on its website, provides other handy consumer tips on blocking unwanted calls on any platform.
How Can You Spot and Report Tangipahoa Parish Phone Scams?
While many of their tricks have remained the same, scammers have adopted more sophisticated tactics to perpetrate their fraudulent activities over the years. This also holds true in Tangipahoa Parish. Services that carry out reverse phone lookups free of charge may be productive in identifying phone scammers in the parish. Arguably though, awareness remains the strongest tool in combating potential phone scams. Here is how to identify scam calls:
- The callers use threats and fear to try to get their targets to take spontaneous actions. This may include threats to arrest them, withdraw their licenses, impose huge fines on them, or disconnect their services.
- The caller requests funds for unspecified services. Usually, scammers instruct their targets to make payments through irregular payment routes. Popular amongst them include cryptocurrency, wire transfers, gift cards, and prepaid cards. Bear in mind that such payment channels do allow you to retrieve your money once sent.
- The caller demands that their target provides their sensitive details in order to enjoy certain benefits or privileges. Requests of such kinds are most times scams. Legitimate organizations never request residents' sensitive and confidential details.
- The caller offers deals and opportunities that promise huge returns dependent on your ability to first pay money to them. Residents should ignore the urge to fall for investment deals that promise huge returns without some measure of risk.
- The caller tries to get their target to make all possible moves without first verifying. Usually, they try to get them to make the required payments while still on call. If they do not insist on the target making the payments, they try to get their bank details so that they can do so themselves.
There have been, and always will be, scammers on the scene. However, tools that perform reverse phone number lookups by name, number, and address can reduce the possibility of residents falling prey to them.
Several public organizations have been instituted to assist Tangipahoa Parish residents in dealing with scammers. Parish residents who have been victims of phone scams may contact any of these agencies to report or file their complaints:
Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office (TPSO) - The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office provides residents with updates on prevalent scams in the parish. Parish residents who have been called or fallen victim to phone scammers may file their reports online or call the non-emergency number (985) 345-6150.
Office of the Attorney General of Louisiana, Consumer Protection Section - The Attorney General’s Office is dedicated to protecting residents from fraudulent and deceptive business practices. They ensure this by providing them with proper representation and ongoing consumer education. The Office also handles common consumer protection issues and economic crimes such as fraud and scams. Victims may file complaints online or through the Consumer Dispute Form. Parish residents may also contact them at 225-326-6465 or their toll-free line at 1-800-351-4889.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - The FCC protects parish residents from illegal robocalls and Caller ID cloning scams. Instructions on how residents may stop robocalls and avoid phone scams are present on their website. Residents may file unwanted call complaints online or call 1-888-225-5322.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - The FTC was instituted to protect consumers from unfair and deceptive business organizations. In keeping to this, they have provided the National Do Not Call Registry for residents to scale through the menace of unwanted robocalls. Telemarketers are restricted from contacting phone numbers signed up on the NDCN register. Legitimate calls may still come from other organizations such as political groups, charities, and debt collectors. However, calls that try to collect personal details from you are most likely scam calls. Victims of scams may file complaints with the FTC or call 1-888-382-1222.