Scams emerge as coronavirus threat intensifies

WATERLOO — Waterloo police are warning the public about online scams taking place since the coronavirus threat has emerged.

These scams vary in nature but there are a few things you can recognize in all of them, police said.

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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