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The original item was published from 3/4/2010 2:54:17 PM to 3/26/2010 12:00:08 AM.

News Flash


Posted on: March 4, 2010

[ARCHIVED] Recent Scams in Dubuque

Citizens should be aware of a couple recent scams to hit the Dubuque area.

The Dubuque Police Department recently learned of new scam attempts happening locally. The first involved a fraudulent e-mail message appearing to be from the FBI. If you receive or have received an e-mail from Robert Mueller, the FBI Director or any another FBI official, it is a scam and you should report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center ( This scam is similar to those that tell you that you’ve won the lottery or an inheritance. The scammer hopes the recipient will think it is legitimate, and subsequently provide personal information or money for “fees” necessary to process the non-existent lottery prize or inheritance. Be advised that the FBI does not send e-mails to people; they always talk to people on the phone or in-person. They will not ask personal information type questions (if they are the FBI, they will already know the information). These scam e-mails have an official looking appearance due to scammers utilizing pictures of the FBI Director, seal, letterhead and banners. These e-mails also appear to come from domestic and overseas FBI offices. To get more information on this or future cyber scams go to the official FBI website ( and visit the page “New E-scams & Warnings”.

The other scam involves a phone call claiming the recipient is the winner of a shopping spree at a major retailer. The amount is usually around the $200-$500 range, but the recipient has to pay a “handling fee” or similar fee – usually a very small amount (often less than $5). The “catch” is that the recipient must provide a credit card number or account number so the fee can be withdrawn. The scammer gets the card or account number and then withdrawals much more than the $5 fee.

Scams like these have been around for years and citizens are reminded to thoroughly research and verify the validity of any such activity and never provide information and/or money unless they are 100% sure it’s safe and legitimate. A little research can save you a lot of money and almost always prevent you from being scammed.

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