The Newton Police Department continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation around the nation and state and has become aware of coronavirus-related scams in other communities. It is terrible people prey on fear. Still, it is seen during and after every natural disaster and emergency crisis. Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time before someone reaches into the Newton community and attempts to take advantage of the uncertainty associated with this pandemic.
The Newton Police Department offers a few tips to help you protect yourself from these scams.
• At this time, there are NO vaccines, pills, tablets or potions, prescribed or over-the-counter, to prevent or cure COVID-19. NONE. Be suspicious of anyone who suggests that they have the “miracle cure.”
• Government agencies will not be calling you and asking for your personal information, including social security numbers, date of birth, and banking information.
• No Federal, State, or local agencies are offering “door-to-door” COVID-19 testing.
• With more people online, please DO NOT click on links to sources that are not familiar to you. It could download malware or a digital “virus” to your computer. For questions on reliable resources, visit the State of Iowa’s COVID-19 website, Iowa Department of Public Health or CDC.
• Many utility companies are relaxing payment due dates and delaying service disconnect orders as we work through this crisis. Consult your local provider before authorizing payment to anyone over the phone or via email.
• We all want to help our neighbors who may need assistance. Be aware of GoFundMe pages and newly established “charity” organizations. Your safest bet is to stay local.
If you believe you have are a victim of a scam, or that there was an attempt to scam you, please contact the Newton Police Department at 641-791-0850. We encourage you to check in on vulnerable friends and family.
Social distance — wash your hands — please do not panic — and don’t hoard supplies or groceries. We are here for you 24/7. Together we will get through this as a stronger community.