Online scams are constantly evolving and now have started to use Covid-19 as a method to fool consumers.   These scams vary in nature but there are a few things you can recognize in all of them. 

1. Method of payment, if they ask for bitcoin, gift cards, money orders or any other non-traditional method of payment they are likely a scam.

2.  Wording of the email or dialect in the conversation on the phone.   The majority of these scams are initiated outside the United States.  Because of that you can see misspelled or misused words in the email.   Examples are when they use there and mean their.   On the phone the pace, or not understanding standard slang can be identifying.

3.  They become threatening.   This includes threatening to infect you with Covid-19.  If you follow the preventative steps that have been widely distributed this would be nearly impossible.

4.  Never trust a phone number, email or website link in an email.  Scammers manipulate this information.   Always look up the company information or phone number separate from the email. 

5.  Don’t answer phone calls you don’t recognize let them leave a message.   If they don’t leave a message don’t automatically call back missed calls.  

If you have an email or phone call that concerns you call your local law enforcement agency.

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Press Release Contacts

Public Information Officer 
Major Joe Leibold
Investigations Division
leiboldj@waterloopolice.com
319-291-4383

Waterloo Police Department
715 Mulberry Street
Waterloo, Iowa 50703

After 4 p.m. and on Weekends,
Please contact the On-Duty
Watch Commander at 319-291-4340 option 2