(KWWL) – With the holidays around the corner, Cedar Falls Public Safety  is warning folks about phone and online shopping scams.

According to the department, they usually see an increase in scam cases during this time of year, and want to warn folks of red flags before it’s too late.


  1. Don’t pay by gift card

  2. IRS or any government agencies contact people by mail, NOT phone calls

  3. Government agencies won’t request personal information by email, text, or social media

  4. Social Security Numbers are never suspended

  5. Caller ID cannot be trusted

  6. The government agencies will never threaten to arrest you over the phone


  1. Look closely at website domain name, if spelled slightly off it’s fake.

  2. Don’t click on random links if emailed to you. Look up the links in a separate window before clicking on it.

  3. Odd layouts , poor web design, low quality visuals are signs of a fake website.

  4. Research the website through the BBB by CLICKING HERE.

Having dealt with a variety of scam cases, Lieutenant Kari Rae lists out the common ones to look out for.

“They need money for family members, their calling on their behalf, if they ask for you to go buy gift cards and send them the information, there’s no way to recoup that money when you go buy gift cards,” Rae said, “if they say a law enforcement agency has a warrant for your arrest and you…

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