Over the past several weeks, the Waterloo Police Department has been seeing a huge increase in victims being scammed by unknown individuals using fake phone numbers and or false advertisements on the internet (various webpages).

The common scheme is for people to answer these calls and or advertisements and begin a dialogue with these individuals. As this occurs, the individual convinces or persuades the victim to send gift cards of various amounts and brands (types of cards) to them.

The promise is that if the victim pays for the gift card and sends it to the unknown individual that they would receive a larger sum of money for doing this. Example- If you send us $500 in gift cards, we will get you $1000.00 for your trouble. The promise is always to send the victim more money than what they ask the victim to actually send. This is completely false and deceptive.

The Waterloo Police Department is asking the public to be very suspicious of these types of interactions and simply to avoid these types of interactions if at all possible. Our advice to the public is this, "if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn't true."

Another tip, if you don’t recognize the number, simply don’t answer it. If it was a legitimate person, they will leave a message and number for you to call back. It’s also important to actually listen to the call taker if a message is left or you chose to answer the phone.If there is a delay or computer-like sounds in the message prior to a person talking, it’s probably an automated voice message and or someone from a different Country being transferred to your number when your phone indicates you are on the line.

Last reminder, Government Agencies do NOT demand or request money over the phone.

Lt Richter

Waterloo Police Department

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Press Release Contacts

Public Information Officer 
Major Joe Leibold
Investigations Division

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