Pride in Service
We believe in the equitable, fair and impartial application of laws and ordinances without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, gender identification or station in life, and in treating all individuals with acceptance, compassion and the dignity we would expect if found in similar circumstances.
The Decorah Police Department is a talented and committed team who take pride in the service they provide to the community’s residents and visitors. We believe in a balance between service, enforcement, education and community involvement. We invite you to learn about us and to contact us.
Bill Nixon, Chief of Police
News & Reminders
Reminder: If you get a phone call, email, letter, or Internet pop-up that seems questionable, 'too good to be true' or worrisome, it is more than likely a SCAM. Do NOT give them ANY information. Click on the 'Fraud & Scam Alerts' link below for more information.
Caller ID Spoofing:
Caller identification, or caller ID, is a telephone feature that enables the recipient of a call to see the caller’s phone number and name displayed before answering the phone. While caller ID can help you screen unknown or unwanted calls, callers can easily manipulate your display to show incomplete or false information--even your own name and phone number. The technique is called spoofing.
Why They Do It:
Criminals who spoof caller ID hope the displayed information will help convince you of their false identity and story. Others may spoof your caller ID simply to increase the likelihood that you’ll answer the phone. The calls can come from individuals or robo-calling systems.
• IRS Scam: A criminal, from anywhere in the world, can spoof your caller ID display to show an actual or fake Internal Revenue Service (IRS) listing. The caller claims he or she is with the IRS and you must pay back taxes immediately to avoid arrest or some type of imminent legal trouble.
• Tech Support Scam: A scammer can manipulate your caller ID display to show an actual or fake computer support listing. The caller claims that an Internet trace has determined that your computer is infected with a virus. The caller urges you to allow remote access your computer to fix the supposed problem for a fee.
• Grandparent Scam: Your caller ID device may falsely display a law enforcement agency, attorney’s office, hospital, or a cell phone. The caller claims that he is your grandchild or is calling on behalf of your grandchild. The pretext of the call is that your grandchild is in trouble and needs immediate funds.
• Identification Theft Scams: These can take many forms. The caller may claim that he or she is with your financial institution or even law enforcement and is investigating a fraud case. The caller seeks personal financial information (such as account or credit card numbers), personally identifying information (such as your mother’s maiden name), or passwords.
• Sales and survey calls: The caller may spoof your caller ID device to display false or incomplete caller ID information, or even your own name and number, to increase the likelihood that you’ll answer the call. The call may be a sales or survey call.
How They Do It:
Spoofing services are readily available for robo-calls or individual calls. They allow the caller to enter in any information—including any name and any phone number—to appear on the recipient’s caller ID display. The calls, which can be placed from anywhere in the world, can be difficult, if not impossible, to trace.
Is Caller ID Spoofing Legal?
The federal Truth in Caller ID Act prohibits callers from deliberately spoofing caller ID to display inaccurate information with the intent to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully obtain anything of value. There are some exemptions, however, for law enforcement agencies and situations where courts have authorized caller ID manipulation. Telemarketers must display their own phone number or the phone number for the seller on whose behalf the telemarketer is calling.
How to Handle It:
Do not provide personal information to a stranger who calls, regardless of what appears on your caller ID display. To ensure you are not dealing with a criminal posing as someone else, hang up and place your own call. Look up the number of the entity that supposedly called you from a known source such as a phone book, invoice, or known website. If you are having trouble locating the information, ask someone you know and trust to help you.
How to Report It:
If you receive a call from a telemarketer without the required information or suspect that a person or entity has illegally spoofed your caller ID display, you can report it to the FTC at www.ftc.gov or call 1-888-382-1222.
Prevent Home Repair Scams and Disputes
Home repair scams by traveling con-artists work like this: Con-artists stop at your door, give you a hard sell, and offer sensational low prices. It might be for roofing or painting, tree-trimming, or asphalting your driveway. The con-artists insist that you pay in advance -- but they do little or no work and never return. Remember, legitimate contractors very rarely solicit door-to-door. Be skeptical. The main rules are to check out a contractor, and never pay large sums in advance to a contractor you don't know. Help older neighbors who might be pressured or intimidated into paying traveling con-artists.
A few 'bad-apple' local contractors also take large advance payments but fail to do the work, or do just part of a job or very shoddy work. This is hard to prove as fraud, but it's costly and frustrating. Follow these tips to protect yourself when you hire a contractor:
Beware of high-pressure sales tactics such as "today-only" discounts, offers to use your home as a "display home" for replacement siding or windows, and "lifetime warranty" offers that only last for the life of the company. Always get several written estimates -- shop around for the best deal before making such a large investment.
Check out a contractor before you sign a contract or pay any money. Request local references -- and check them out. Contact the Attorney General's Office to see if it has complaints (call 515-281-5926, or 888-777-4590.) Contact the Better Business Bureau (515-243-8137, or www.bbb.org .) Contact your county clerk of court and ask how to check if a contractor has been sued by unsatisfied customers.
Get it in writing. Before any work begins, agree on a written contract detailing work to be done, responsibility for permits, costs, and any other promises. Ask for a copy of the contractor's liability insurance certificate. Put start and completion dates in writing, and consequences if the contractor fails to meet them. (Example: the contract could be nullified if the contractor doesn't start on time.) If you sign a contract at your home, in most cases you have three business days to cancel.
Avoid paying large sums in advance if you don't know the contractor. If you have to make a partial advance payment for materials, make your check out to the supplier and the contractor. Insist on a "mechanic's lien waiver" in case the contractor fails to pay others for materials or labor.
For more information or to file a complaint, contact the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division, Des Moines, Iowa 50319. Call 515-281-5926, or toll-free at 888-777-4590. The web site is: www.IowaAttorneyGeneral.org