The Waterloo Police Department is seeing an increase in cases where citizens are being scammed out of pre-paid gift cards. Scammers are “spoofing” law enforcement telephone numbers, so it appears the phone call is actually from a legitimate law enforcement phone number. These scammers can be extremely convincing - by providing personal data about the victim - and then threatening to arrest you if you do not pay them immediately. Law Enforcement agencies across Iowa and the USA are seeing an increase in the number of calls from people who have fallen victim or gotten calls from phone scammers claiming to be law enforcement, IRS, FBI or some other government agency.
Never give personal information or agree to pay anything over the phone, especially when being threatened by a caller. Law Enforcement agencies do not accept or demand payment via any type of pre-paid gift card. When in doubt hang up and call back to an official number to verify.
Captain Jason Feaker