Dubuque Police Deparment warns of "assassination" phone scam

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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Law enforcement in Dubuque are warning people of a new phone scam- one that threatens to assassinate you. The Dubuque Police Department says there is no credibility to these threats, encouraging those who receive it or messages like it to stay vigilant.

Earlier this week, the Dubuque Police Department received a complaint from a concerned citizen about a text message demanding money. However, this message threatened the safety of the person reading it.

At first glance, the message can seem concerning- saying things like: "MY TEAM HAS BEEN PAID TO ASSASINATE YOU," spelling "assassinate" incorrectly.

The message demands $2,000, or they will carry out the contract, saying "my boys' eyes are on you." The message goes on to say upon receiving the money, the payer can either "get him arrested" or "you have him killed to save yourself."

TV9 spoke with Dubuque Police Department Chief Mark Dalsing, who said if you see the message, simply do not respond.

"The big thing we want to push is: be skeptical," Chief Dalsing said. "It's still amazing after all of these years and some of these scams happening that people are still getting caught up in them on a regular basis."

Chief Dalsing said he understands how this scam could cause alarms, and says if people are concerned, they can always contact the police.

"For some of it, it comes down to: am I that important of a person that somebody's going to be paying to assassinate me?" Chief Dalsing said. "But we understand where it's shocking to somebody to see a potential threat to their life."

Chief Dalsing also added it is the job of law enforcement to make people feel safe, saying an explanation from an officer can often provide peace of mind for citizens.