Quad City area police say they've been receiving many calls and reports of scams targeting the elderly and college-aged kids in and around the Quad Cities.

Tipton, Iowa police remind you to remember the following:

If someone calls, says they are with the IRS, and you owe thousands in back taxes, but they are willing to take less than you owe if you go RIGHT now and purchase gift cards to cover your debt…it’s too good to be true.

If you receive a call saying you just WON THE PUBLISHER’S CLEARING HOUSE SWEEPSTAKES (yeah, I was surprised this is still a thing), and to receive your prize, you need to go purchase gift cards to cover the taxes before they can release the funds…you didn’t win.

If someone claiming that a long lost relative has passed away and you are the sole heir to his or her fortune, but you must send your bank account number and routing numbers to them…there is no long lost relative.

If someone calls you and says that your grandson/son/daughter/granddaughter has been arrested and you must send bail money by going to Walmart to purchase a gift card; please don’t. Lawyers, bail bondsman, etc…will not request gift cards in lieu of bail money. (This one makes me sad because it targets the elderly).

Bottom line is if someone asks you to purchase gift cards to cover a “debt”, it’s a scam. Do not provide bank account numbers, social security numbers, or credit/debit card numbers to anyone. I guarantee if you take just a minute to Google what they’re saying, it’s been documented as a scam. Yes, I know that it sounds so real because they know so much about you. Take a few minutes to Google your name on the internet. You’ll find out so much about yourself…you might be surprised.

Then finally, tell them you know this is a SCAM and you’ve contacted Officer Helpful at your local police department. You will more than likely hear a few choice words, maybe not even in English, and then hang up. You will thank me later.

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