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Phone LookUp: 10 Phone Number Area Codes to be Wary Of

By on 2022-08-08 11:58:03, 0 Comments


A reverse phone lookup is an easy and convenient way to identify phone scammers and spammers. You have probably heard of spam calls from telemarketers and robocalls or may have even been on the receiving end. The problem with such calls is not exactly new. In fact, a few years back, more than a million people with the 256 area code were slammed with such calls. 

Calls from scammers are far more dangerous. Scammers are also getting more creative and sophisticated in coming up with phone scams. In some cases, scammers do not even need you to give out your personal information; a call to numbers with specific area codes could be all it takes.


Understanding Area Codes 

When you check a US phone book, you’ll see that the phone numbers have these three-digit codes at the beginning that are similar for a lot of people. Those three-digit codes are the area codes.

Look at it this way, the United States is divided into different regions. Now, each region has its own area code. A state could either have one area code or multiple ones based on population. Hence, a glance at an area code could help you determine the state or region from which someone is calling.


Phone Number Scams Involving Area Codes 

There are several phone scams that you should watch out for. The nature of the scams as well as the targeted victims vary. However, the ultimate goals usually remain the same – get ahold of the victim’s personal and sensitive information and/or scam them out of their money.

Here are a couple of phone scams that are related to area codes.

  • Traffic Pumping 

In essence, traffic pumping is the routing of calls through rural phone companies in order to pump up traffic and increase revenue. Traffic pumping usually involves area codes in sparsely populated midwestern states.

Rural carriers usually partner up with chat lines, adult entertainment companies, and free conference call outfits. Once call volume is artificially inflated into the home area codes of the rural carriers, these carriers will bill the wireless and long-distance companies exorbitant amounts. So if you place a call and get a message that the call is outside your plan and might be charged some amount per minute, you just might be about to be traffic pumped.

  • One-Ring Scam

In this scam, the fraudsters use robocall technology to place internet calls on cell phones. Such calls will only ring once hence the name of the scam. Once you pick up, the robocaller will simply drop the line. In this case, you might still be inclined to call back to find out what the call is all about. So much more so if you actually missed the call.

The moment you call back, that’s when the scam actually kicks in. The area codes will usually turn out to be outside the United States, mostly in the Caribbean. In some instances, scammers would mask the call using a local area code. Let’s say you’re from the 941 area code, scammers could spoof a 941 number.


10 Area Codes to Watch Out For

Phone scammers continuously develop their tactics. Fortunately, there are certain signs you can look for to avoid falling victim to these fraudsters. In the case of area code scams, you can familiarize yourself with area codes that are often used for scams. While most of these area codes are located internationally, there are a couple from midwestern states that are commonly used for traffic pumping.

  • 712 – Western Iowa
  • 218 – Northern Minnesota
  • 268 – Antigua and Barbuda
  • 284 – British Virgin Islands
  • 473 – Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique
  • 664 – Montserrat
  • 649 – Turks and Caicos Islands
  • 767 – Commonwealth of Dominica
  • 809, 829, 849 – Dominican Republic
  • 876 – Jamaica


How To Detect Scammer Phone Numbers

Checking the area code could instantly reveal that a call could be a scam. However, some scammers spoof numbers which could appear harmless. So how do you check this phone number that’s been dropping calls on you? How to look up phone numbers to make sure they are not scammers? Here are some methods you can try:

  • Do a Google Search

You can also start with a Google search. This is especially helpful if the caller claims to be connected to a legitimate institution. Searching the number on Google could tell you some relevant information that can help you decide whether you are being scammed or not.

  • Look at Social Media Platforms

You can also search on various social media platforms. Again, legitimate institutions or businesses might have the phone numbers connected to their page if it’s not fraudulent. If it’s supposed to be connected to an individual though, privacy settings on social media platforms might make it harder for you to get information based on a phone number.

  • Use an App

Certain apps can be used to detect and block spam numbers. These apps supposedly cross-reference numbers to their database of scammer and/or spammer phone numbers and automatically block numbers that have a match.


  • Perform a Reverse Phone  Lookup

Another convenient way to get relevant information is to do a reverse phone lookup. Some white pages sites provide this service. There are also people search engines that provide reverse phone lookup services along with person search, background checks (criminal history reports, consumer reports-type of checks, etc.), reverse address lookup services, and more.



Be wary of calls from phone numbers and area codes that you don’t recognize. A quick search or reverse phone lookup can help you acquire relevant information that can keep scammers at bay.


Frequently Asked Questions 

  • What numbers should you not answer?

Some of the area codes to be wary of are 218, 268, 284, 473, 649, 664, 712, 767, 809, 829, 848, 878, and 888.

  • How can I check if a phone number is spam?

You can check out sites that list phone numbers that are suspected to be used for spam and/or scam calls. You can also do a reverse phone lookup.

  • How to look up a phone number for free?

You can use mainstream search engines like Google, social media platforms, white page sites, and similar sources to look for relevant information. Be wary of some sites that offer free services though; they might end up harvesting your personal data or providing you with limited or inaccurate information. 

  • What is the best phone lookup site?

The best site would have to be Kiwi Searches. It provides more accurate information, more streamlined reports, and more affordable services compared to other sites of its kind like Spokeo and TruthFinder.

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