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WATERLOO – Waterloo police are investigating a scam that cost a Waterloo man thousands of dollars.

Authorities said the 70-year-old resident received a phone call from a person claiming that the victim’s computer needed repairs.

The con men obtained access to the man’s bank account, and following a series of alleged repair bills, refunds and other transactions, the victim was out more than $10,000, said Capt. Joe Leibold with the Waterloo Police Department.

The crime was reported to police on Wednesday.

Police said residents should use caution when receiving unsolicited phone calls and emails, especially when there is money involved.

“The best advice is don’t give money to people you don’t know,” Leibold said.

He also said people shouldn’t talk with the scammers because, even if the scam doesn’t work, they can sell the phone numbers and email addresses to other scammers as verified numbers and addresses.

The computer repair scam is a common ploy, and countless other scams seeking money for bogus charities, fake medical needs and bail bonds for relatives are constantly in play, Leibold said. Often, the scammers will come up with additional excuses to receive extra funds, continuing to drain a victim’s money until they catch on.

He estimates that law enforcement only hear about a fraction of the scams taking place because victims are often too embarrassed to come forward.

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