These Five Scams are Currently Plaguing Iowa Residents
On Wednesday, September 7th, Tom Stovall hosted a presentation in Dubuque, alongside his wife, Linda. The presentation — part of a series of free "Fraud Watch Tour" events helping people learn and avoid scams — are being held across 12 Iowa communities throughout the month.
40 people came out to the Keystone Area Education Agency on Wednesday. Biz Times was kind enough to illustrate the five types of scams that are currently plaguing Iowans, as discussed in the Stovalls' presentation.
Here are the top five most persistent scams in Iowa.
We ain't talking about the old, hilarious prank calls Mancow Muller used to do on his Chicago radio show. We're talking about those ceaseless, annoying robocalls that all of know too well. During the presentation, Linda Stovall stressed to never give your personal nor financial information over the phone, as these scammers request money for a variety of things.
Legislation has been being passed in effort to combat insufferable robocalls and other scammers. The good thing is a lot of smartphones now warn you of "potential spam" when a nefarious phone number rings.
These scams happen via someone pretending to be someone else, usually a person of authority (IE: a sheriff, an IRS agent, etc). Some of these slimy crooks even pretend to be a distant relative of yours.
Linda Stovall stressed one critical reminder regarding imposter scams:
The IRS will never call you. If they say they're IRS, just hang up the phone.
Media scams revolve around unsolicited offers for some kind of subscription, generally magazines or something of that nature. Moral of the story here is if it sounds too good to be truth, it almost certainly is.
Home Improvement Scams:
Home improvement scams are common in the wake of a disaster. As if having your home destroyed by tornadic activity wasn't calamitous enough, some rat has to try and capitalize on your misery by scamming you into believing help and repair is on the way.
Stovall noted that scammers often go around offering to fix people's roofs. A red flag is if the company claims not to be from the area, or the company/LLC is not easily noted nor disclosed. As always, in the wake of a natural disaster, it's paramount to contact your insurance company.
Home Goods and Services Scams:
The final scam currently gaining ground in Iowa slithers its way into the realm of online shopping. It includes instances in which people receive an item that is not the one they thought they were purchasing, leading them to spend additional money in bogus fees and handling charges in order to return it.
If you're anything like me, you research the hell out of any website from which you're considering buying something.
Additional information on these scams, and the Stovalls' event itself, can be found on Biz Times.