Only one area code serves the communities of Maui County. This is area code 808. An area code is a three-digit designation for a numbering plan area (NPA). NPAs and area codes were created alongside the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) in 1947. AT&T introduced the NANP to help make call routing across North American telephone exchanges more efficient. This cost-saving system created 86 original area codes covering the entire United States. In a typical 10-digit American telephone number, the area code is easily recognized as the first three digits.
Area Code 808
This is the area code covering all the islands of Hawaii. Created on August 5, 1957, two years after Hawaii became a state in the US, this area code is projected to serve the entire state until 2040. Census-designated places and unincorporated communities in Maui County served by area code 808 include Wailuku, Haiku, Paia, and Lanai City.
What are the Best Cell Phone Plans in Maui County?
Just a little above half the population of Hawaii have made the switch from landline to wireless phones. The 2018 wireless substitution survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics provides evidence of this shift. The results of the survey showed that 51.6% of adults in the state solely used wireless phones for telecommunication. This is in contrast with the 3.2% of the demographic that still relied on landline phones exclusively. Minors in Hawaii are more likely to be exclusive wireless phone users. The survey indicates that 62.2% of Hawaiians under the age of 18 only used wireless phone services while a tiny 0.3% of this demographic still used landline phones exclusively.
Residents of Maui County can sign up for cell phone plans from major carriers as well as smaller MVNOs. Among these phone service providers, AT&T has the most extensive coverage of the state with its network available in 93.5% of Hawaii. Verizon boasts an 87.3% coverage of the state while T-Mobile and Sprint have network coverage of 72% and 60% respectively.
MVNOs, or Mobile Virtual Network Operators, are regional carriers that provide phone services to their subscribers through the network infrastructure of bigger carriers. They buy network services in bulk from the major operators and resell these to local residents. MVNO cell phone plans are usually more affordable because they pass on savings from their bulk purchase of network services. While their plans include benefits that are appealing to residents of the areas they serve, their network performance degrades when subscribers travel out of the areas served by their MVNOs.
Hawaiians living in Maui County can also sign up for phone services offered by VoIP operators. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a communication technology used for transmitting voice and video signals over the internet as data packets. VoIP phone services require broadband internet access. For residents and businesses with fast internet connections, VoIP phone services are cost-effective alternatives to landline and wireless phone services. VoIP costs significantly less for long-distance calls as well as teleconferencing sessions.
What are Maui County Phone Scams?
These are telephone frauds committed in Maui County or targeting those living in the county. Phone scammers target unsuspecting residents by calling or sending them unsolicited text messages. They may also use phone tools and services like caller ID spoofing, robocalls, spam calls, and voice phishing to trick and defraud their victims. Phone scammers use deception to obtain money and confidential personal information from their targets.
Residents of Maui County can protect themselves from scams and scammers with tools and services like call blocking and phone number lookup. In addition to using these tools, they should also learn about common phone scams in their communities and how scammers operate. The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs publishes a handy resource on scams in the state. The agency identifies the following as the most common scams in the state: advance fee frauds, consumer frauds, healthcare and medicare frauds, and kupuna frauds.
What are Maui County Advance Fee Frauds?
Advance fee frauds are scams in which fraudsters make their victims believe that sending small amounts of money will lead to big windfalls. When scammers call their targets, they claim the small fees demanded are to pay for taxes or processing for the inheritance, lottery winning, or free gift they promise them. These scams prey on the greed of their targets when they are promised windfalls they are never qualified to receive. A free reverse phone number lookup can help foil an advance fee scam. Targets investigating unknown callers by their phone numbers can learn that these numbers have been flagged for previous scam attempts or that the numbers are not registered to individuals and organizations they callers claim to represent.
What are Maui County Consumer Frauds?
Consumer frauds include scams that involve trade transactions in which the victims expect to get certain products and services for their money. Examples include fake check/refund scams, rental scams, home repair scams, utility scams, and charity scams. Fake check/refund scams involve fraudsters overpaying their victims for services rendered with fake checks and then asking them to refund the differences. Victims send the overpayment before learning that the checks issued to them were fake. Utility scammers impersonate debt collectors for local utility companies and then call residents of Maui County asking that they pay outstanding bills while threatening to disconnect their homes and businesses. In charity scams, fraudsters impersonate fundraisers for legitimate charities or make up bogus charities to solicit donations.
Avoiding consumer fraud requires confirming the identity of the strange caller as well as their claims. Residents can identify such callers by submitting their numbers for suspicious phone number lookup searches. Hawaii’s Attorney General also recommends that residents call organizations demanding payment for services rendered by using the phone numbers listed on their last bills, invoices, or orders to enquire about the claims of strangers calling to collect payments.
What are Maui County Healthcare and Medicare Frauds?
Doctors, dentists, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals need licenses to practice in Hawaii. While seeking to obtain these, they may be contacted by fraudsters claiming to be able to help them expedite the process. Such professionals should know that there are no shortcuts to obtaining such licenses. Medicare scams are more prevalent and involve scammers tricking unsuspecting residents to reveal their identity and Medicare information. These frauds are identity thefts and scammers running them aim to steal their victims’ names, social security numbers, and Medicare numbers in order to enjoy their healthcare benefits.
Residents of Maui County should refrain from providing such details to anyone over the phone especially during unsolicited calls. They can easily verify the identities of strangers claiming to represent their medical insurance companies or Medicare by submitting their numbers for reverse phone number searches.
What are Maui County Kupuna Frauds?
These scams target kupuna (the Hawaiian word for seniors) as fraudsters believe they are easy targets. Victims of such scams may lose their life savings, medical insurance benefits, and pensions. The most common of the kupuna frauds is grandparent or emergency scam. In this scam, a stranger calls an elderly resident and claims to be their grandkid in urgent need of financial help to meet an emergency. They may claim to require the money to get out of jail, pay legal fees, pay hospital bills, or buy flight tickets to come home from a foreign country where they are stranded. The caller asks their victim to keep the matter secret by claiming they find the situation embarrassing.
The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs asks residents to inform their elderly relatives about such scams and inform them to call their loved ones if contacted in this way. A quick call to the grandkid supposedly in need may reveal the caller’s lies. Using phone number lookup, the target of this scam can identify the caller and confirm the scam attempt.
What are Robocalls and Spam Calls?
Robocalls are automated phone calls placed by auto-dialers sending out pre-recorded messages to a lot of phone users. Political campaigns and telemarketers use robocalls legitimately to contact large groups of phone users. Organizations such as airports and weather services also use robocalls to deliver public service announcements. Robocalls are low-cost mass communication tools that require little effort to set up and deploy. These attributes also make them appealing to scammers and dishonest telemarketers looking for easy ways to find more victims for their fraudulent schemes.
Spam calls are also unsolicited bulk calls sent to large numbers of people. However, they are more likely to be placed by actual human agents delivering messages from prepared scripts. The sharp rise in the number of robocalls and spam calls received by residents of Maui County is attracting public attention to the problems posed by these unwanted and unsolicited calls. While governments and phone companies work out ways to block such calls, Hawaiians should consider the following steps to block or limit the robocalls and spam calls they receive:
- Do not pick calls from unknown numbers. Let them go to voicemail and review the messages left from there to see which ones to return
- Hang up on a robocall or spam call as soon as you confirm you picked one
- Do not follow instructions left during spam calls and robocalls on how to take your number off their lists. These prompts are for confirming active numbers that are sold to scammers and spammers online
- Block calls from unknown numbers or select numbers using the call filtering function of your smartphone. Carriers and third-party apps also offer call blocking functions relying on regularly updated blacklists of suspected and flagged phone numbers to screen
- Identify unknown repeat callers by submitting their numbers for reverse phone lookup services. Identifying unknown callers in this way can help you determine whether they are scammers, stalkers, and spammers and make your reports to law enforcement actionable
- Add your phone numbers to the National Do Not Call Registry. Legitimate telemarketers are bound to stop calling numbers adding to this registry after 31 days of joining it. Any robocall or spam call received thereafter is illegal and can be reported
How to Report and Spot Maui County Phone Scams
Fraudsters keep evolving their cons by retooling old scams with new tricks. While they may look different, all phone scams have the same aim: to defraud their targets and steal confidential information. Similarly, all telephone frauds share certain features. Maui County residents can easily spot phone scams by looking for these signs:
- Scammers pressure their targets into making immediate commitments by using persuasion tactics. They may claim their business or investment offers are only available for a limited time, offer steep discounts for those ordering immediately, or provide bogus stories of those who got rich investing in the same offers
- Scammers impersonating authority figures are quick to resort to threats. They threaten their victims with arrests, jail, deportation, or revocation of their drivers’, business, or professional licenses
- Scammers ask for payment in cash or by prepaid debit cards, gift cards, wire transfers, and cryptocurrencies. Payments sent by these channels are usually irreversible and hard to trace
- Scammers cannot provide written documentation proving their identities and claims. They try very hard to avoid paper trail leading to them
- Scammers posing as government officials call to confirm confidential information those government agencies already have about residents. The Social Security Administration and the IRS will not call to confirm your social security number neither will your bank call to confirm your checking account details or password to your online banking account
After spotting phone scams, residents of Maui County should report them to law enforcement and other relevant authorities. Victims of telephone frauds should also file reports. Such reports are useful for apprehending and prosecuting fraudsters and also for educating the public about how scammers operate. Maui County residents can report phone scams to the following agencies:
- The Office of Consumer Protection of the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs - the state’s consumer protection agency safeguards Hawaiians against unfair and deceptive business practices. Report a consumer fraud to this Office by calling (808) 586-2630 or (808) 587-4272
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) - this is the federal consumer protection agency. It protects American against consumer frauds and investigates all scams involving transactions. Report a phone scam to the FTC by calling (877) 382-4357 or submitting a fraud complaint online
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) - this federal agency regulates all communication in the country including phone services. Residents can report illegal robocalls to the FCC. They can also file complaints of scams perpetrated using spam calls and caller ID spoofing to the FCC’s Consumer Complaint Center