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Denver police warn about ‘phone a friend’ scam

DENVER -- The Denver Police Department is warning about a new scam that starts out as a simple favor and could cost you money if you're not careful.

It's called the "phone a friend" scam and it starts off with someone asking you to borrow your phone - but it's actually a ploy to rip you off.

“I would probably allow them to make a phone call,” Kristi LaBarge said.

“This is the first time I’ve heard about that,” Josh Bergren said.

In a recent theft report, Denver police said a victim was at a shopping center when he was approached by a couple.

The woman told the victim she lost her phone and asked to borrow his. He agreed. Then seconds later the victim noticed the man she was with had a phone and questioned why she wasn’t using his?

The victim got suspicious and grabbed his phone back. But it was too late, the damage was done.

Police said the next day the victim noticed an unauthorized transaction of nearly $200 dollars was sent to a woman from one of his financial apps, similar to Venmo.

“It’s criminal,” LaBarge said.

DPD said phone scams are spiking in Denver. Within the city, the number of scams has grown nine percent just so far this year.

Officers said with the massive amount of personal information we have on our phones, if you’re in this situation be cautious and offer to call the number for them.

“You want to help people out and it’s a shame sometimes people can take advantage,” LaBarge said.

Another idea is to enable “touch ID” or "Face ID" on your iPhone. That requires your fingerprint to open apps with sensitive financial information.

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