Area codes are the first set of three-digit numbers that begin every North American telephone number. Based on the North American Numbering Plan (NANP), specific area codes are assigned to identify each Numbering Plan Area (NPA). With the area code that accompanies a North American telephone number, it is possible to deduce where the call originated. A free reverse phone lookup service can be used to conduct an area code lookup to determine the source of a call. The Oregon Public Utility Commission regulates area codes in the state.
Area Code 458
Area code 458 was created as an overlay code from area code 541 and it became active on February 10, 2010. It covers some cities within its NPA, including the Cities of Eugene, Bend, Medford, Springfield, Albany, Redmond, etc.
Area Code 503
Area code 503 is among the original area codes AT&T and Bell Laboratories created in 1947 as part of the North American Numbering Plan. It used to serve the entire state of Oregon, before November 5, 1995, when area code 541 began service. Following this, the service area of area code 503 became limited. It now serves northwestern Oregon and covers the Cities of Beaverton, Gresham, Salem, Hillsboro, and Portland.
Area Code 541
Area code 541 was created as a split from area code 503. The split from area code 503 began on November 5, 1995, and was completed on June 30, 1996. It covers most parts of Oregon in terms of surface area, excluding the state’s northwest part. The service area of area code 541 includes the Cities of Eugene, Bend, Medford, Springfield, Albany, Redmond, Corvallis, Ashland, Klamath Falls, The Dalles, Burns, Pendleton, and Town of Lakeview. The coverage also extends to the coastal region between Lincoln County and the California border.
Area Code 971
Area code 971 became active on October 1, 2000. It is an overlay of area code 503. Area code 971 is based in Northwestern and serves the same area as area code 503.
What Are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Marion County?
All the four major phone carriers in the U.S. are active in Marion County. Sprint and AT&T have the widest network coverage in the county with 88% for both phone carrier networks. T-Mobile ranks after these two phone carriers with 82% coverage. Finally, of the four phone carriers, Verizon has the least coverage with 74%. In addition, the extent of network coverage may deplete in densely populated parts of the county. It may also become poor due to bad weather conditions.
The National Center of Health Statistics survey for 2018 reports that an estimate of 63.4% of the Oregon adult population used only wireless telephones, while just 5.6% of the adults used only landlines. There is a striking difference when compared to the telephony service preference of minors under the age of 18 in Oregon. 73.6% of the Oregon minors preferred wireless-only services, while only 2.1% preferred landline telephony services. Judging from the National Center of Health Statistics survey for 2018, it can be deduced that both the adults and minors in Oregon prefer to use cell phones rather than landlines.
Residents in Marion County are actively starting to adopt Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) for telephony services for their businesses and personal use. VoIP allows the users to transmit voice and multimedia data through active broadband internet connections. Considering VoIP’s service quality, it is less expensive than traditional telephony services. VoIP enables long-distance calls and video calls at very affordable rates It is also more versatile than traditional telephony services.
What Are Marion County Phone Scams?
Marion County phone scams are fraudulent schemes targeted at unsuspecting county residents to swindle them and steal their personal and financial information. Phone scammers use telephony services to carry out their ploys and prey on their targets. Marion County residents can use free reverse phone number lookup services to identify scammers and block them. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also provides ways to identify common phone scams.
Scams prevalently perpetrated in Marion County include:
What are Fake Deputy Scams?
Fake deputy scams involve scammers impersonating Marion County Deputies and calling residents to tell them that they owe money for certain legal issues. The scammers then demand that the victims put money on prepaid Visa cards to clear their debts.
The Marion County Sheriff’s Department warns that Sheriff's Deputies would never tell residents to put money on prepaid Visa cards. Immediately hang up if you get a call like this and contact the County Sheriff’s Department at 503-588-5032. Note that in some cases, these calls come from outside the U.S. Such scammers first spoof the Caller IDs of County Sheriff's Deputies before proceeding with the calls. However, if you receive such a call from an unfamiliar phone number, you can use a reverse phone lookup service to find out who called you.
What are COVID-19 Scams?
In COVID-19 scams, scammers contact residents for contact tracing, claiming the recipients have been exposed to the coronavirus. These scammers mostly claim to be representatives of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Oregon Public Health Division, or a local health department. They then request that the call recipients verify their identities and social security number. The aim is to steal unsuspecting residents' personal information. Note that legitimate health institutions in the state will never request your personal information during contact tracing. Immediately hang up and do not give out your personal information.
These scammers may also ask that call recipients make certain payments to receive test kits, treatment, vaccines, etc. On the other hand, they may inform their targets that one of their close contacts is sick with COVID-19 and they need to make payment for their treatment. Never give out your financial information or make payment, instead, immediately hang up. Conduct a suspicious phone number lookup to identify the caller.
What are Identity Theft Scams?
Identity theft scams are becoming rampant in the county. These scams involve scammers stealing residents’ personal information and using them for their personal gain. Residents are advised to keep documents that contain their personal information strictly confidential. On no account should your personal and financial information be disclosed to anyone over the phone. Note that scammers sometimes impersonate legitimate businesses and government agencies and request victims' personal information. They claim to need it for official updates or to administer certain social benefits. Never pick unsolicited calls until you have done a reverse phone look up to identify the caller. Marion County provides information on how to prevent identity theft and steps to take if you fall victim.
What are Charity Scams?
Charity scams involve scammers seeking donations from county residents for fake charitable organizations in a bid to extort money from them. These scammers sometimes claim to work with legitimate charitable organizations. Residents should beware of charity scams, especially after disasters that occur in the county. Persons that receive such calls can use phone number lookup services to answer the question “who is this number registered to.” It is always better to directly make donations to legitimate charitable organizations in order not to fall into the hands of scammers.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Automated calls sent en masse to a wide range of persons are referred to as robocalls. Robocalls usually deliver pre-recorded audio messages and may also give directives for recipients to speak with live-representatives or to permanently unsubscribe from receiving such calls. Legal robocalls include:
- Strictly informational robocalls
- Debt collection calls
- Robocalls from legitimate charities
- Political calls
- Calls from some health care providers.
Scammers also use robocalls to carry out their ploys aimed at defrauding residents and stealing their personal and financial information. Spam calls, on the other hand, are unsolicited calls sent for advertisement purposes and sometimes aim to defraud the recipients. Illegal robocalls can be classified as spam calls.
Some tips on how to avoid falling victim to illegal robocalls, provided by the Federal Trade Commission include:
- Hang up immediately you realize that you have picked a robocall. Ignore any directives given during calls even if you are told to press numbers to opt-out from such calls. These directives are sometimes put in place to identify active numbers and target them with more calls and possibly, scams.
- Use services that offer phone number lookup free of charge to spot these calls and block them.
- Add your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry to curtail robocalls and other unsolicited calls.
- Electronically file a complaint regarding an illegal robocall through the online complaint assistant or call 1-888-382-1222.
How to Spot and Report Marion County Phone Scams?
Phone scams evolve regularly, as scammers constantly come up with innovative methods of defrauding unsuspecting persons. They are also very skilled in the use of telephony services to execute their schemes. Marion County residents are encouraged to always be vigilant so as not to fall for these scams. Below are major ways how to identify scams and report them:
- An unknown phone number calls you incessantly - Conduct a suspicious phone number lookup to identify the caller. You can block the caller’s phone number with a reverse phone lookup service. Alternatively, contact your phone carrier for more call blocking options.
- The caller asks for your personal or financial information - Terminate the call immediately and do not give out any information. You may also perform a reverse phone look up to identify the caller.
- The caller demands payment via a gift card - Terminate the call immediately and report it to Marion County Sheriff Department or the law enforcement agency in your city. Genuine agencies will never demand payment over the phone. It is important to note that payments made via gift cards, wire transfers, and reloadable debit cards are hard to trace and a refund may be impossible.
- The caller tries to convince you to sign up for a supposedly highly profitable investment or business - Do not consider taking any offer that you have not researched on. Make sure to properly investigate the caller and the offer. You may also perform a free phone number lookup by name to get background information on the caller.
- The caller tells you to conceal the details of a call or a suspicious transaction - Terminate the call and inform trusted family members or friends.
- The caller tells you to pay before you can obtain a certain “reward” - Any form of reward that requires you to first make payment is a likely scam. Terminate the call immediately and do not make any payment or divulge your financial information
Here are some government agencies that provide measures to combat phone scams in Marion County:
Marion County Sheriff’s Department - Report scams to the department with the contact information below:
100 High St NE
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: (503) 588-5094
Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday
Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection Division - Alerts residents on prevalent scams through its social media platform. To report a scam to the department, File a Complaint. Residents can also sign up on the department's Scam Alert Network to receive scam updates.
Federal Trade Commission - Gives information on ways to spot common phone scams and avoid robocalls, phone scams, or unsolicited calls. Residents can report scams through the FTC’s online consumer complaint assistant. They can also register on the National Do Not Call Registry to reduce unsolicited calls.
Federal Communications Commission - Informs citizens about ways to identify Caller ID spoofing and enable call blocking on their cell phones. Residents can report illegal caller ID spoofing and other phone scams online by completing the complaint form.