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Eldridge police warn residents about nationally recognized text message scam

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 8:23 AM CDT
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ELDRIDGE, Iowa (KWQC) - The Eldridge Police Department is warning residents about a text message scam going around.

Eldridge police say citizens have reported receiving unsolicited text messages from unfamiliar phone numbers. The texts contain disturbing images depicting mutilated bodies and decapitated heads.

Police say the unknown sender will claim they are members of a drug cartel when or if the message is replied to. According to police, their purpose is to scare the recipients into paying money out of fear of being targeted for acts of violence. These messages may even include pictures of the recipient’s home, or information about the recipient (name, address, family members) from sources such as Google and social media.

Police say this scam is nationally recognized and the perpetrators have utilized a vast array of phone numbers that appear to be local, but are in fact owned by Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VOIP) companies.

Police advise people to never reply to a text message from someone you don’t know. Also, police ask you not to click links in text messages unless they were solicited by you while conducting business on the internet.

If you receive a text message like police described, they ask you to notify law enforcement and do not engage in conversation with the sender.

Citizens have reported receiving unsolicited text messages from unfamiliar phone numbers that contain disturbing images...

Posted by Eldridge Police Department on Tuesday, October 27, 2020

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