Scam alert in Dubuque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Scam alert in Dubuque


Two recent reported instances of suspicious activity in Dubuque have police warning people to be alert.

Thursday, a couple of men - possibly in a gray GMC Acadia - stopped by at least two Dubuque homes, seeking entry into the houses. One of those houses is in the South Grandview area near Highway 151, and the other is on Kelly Lane.

Police say the best way to get rid of scammers like these men is to spread the word.

Dubuque police officers received calls about similar instances happening at two different houses. The two homeowners are older folks, so they and family members wished to not reveal their identities or locations.

This story, however, is more about being on the lookout for suspicious activity in local neighborhoods.

Lt. Scott Baxter with the Dubuque Police Department shared the details of the two calls.

"In one occasion, the males asked the elderly resident if they could check out the water heater in the basement," Baxter said. "They were allowed entry into the residence. One male accompanied that elderly female into the basement, while the other did unknown activities."

He said these scammers were creative in their scamming attempts and switched up their story.

"Obviously, our fear is that these individuals are going around, making up stories, either trying to get into peoples' houses or find residences that aren't occupied at the time," he said.

It's not the first time something like this has happened in Dubuque.

"A few years back, we saw a similar situation," Baxter said. "It was almost identical, in terms of the ploy that they were using to try to get into the residence."

Baxter said once word of the suspicious activity gets out, scammers tend to move on to the next town.

"If we're lucky enough, maybe we get some criminal charges and actually apprehend them, but unfortunately, all too often, they just move on to another community and victimize people in a different area," he said.

There are, of course, legitimate people who will approach homeowners, such as city employees or actual contractors. People like that, however, will have legitimate credentials. Homeowners can always call the group visitors claim to represent if there is any suspicion.

Dubuque police asks anybody with information regarding these two men to call police at 563.589.4415.

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