Colorado attorney general cracking down on pandemic scams

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports Americans have lost $145 million to coronavirus fraud in Colorado.

Attorney General Phil Weiser tells the FOX31 Problem Solvers imposter scams are the most common among those reported in the state. Weiser says imposter scams will play on the hopes or fears of those who are targeted.

“When they hear IRS or the local sheriff, they get afraid and they think they have to let people know, ‘Here’s my Social Security number.’ And once they’ve done that they’ve compromised themselves, they’re now vulnerable to identify theft,” he said.

There have been several complaints about a jury duty scam in which callers demand a fine for a lack of attendance.

“If you get a call from a local juror association saying we need you to come serve, can you say, ‘Excuse me, I’d like to call back to make sure this is the real Denver court.’ If they say no, it’s a tell tale sign,” Weiser explains. 

Posts warning of imposters posing as law enforcement officers are appearing more often on Twitter.

Weiser warns against ever providing Social Security or bank account numbers to anyone over the phone. Let unfamiliar calls go to voicemail so they can be analyzed later without interacting with the caller.

Weiser says a good way to protect your identity and financial information is to ask to contact the business or agency yourself using a trusted phone number in order to verify the request.   

The attorney general tells the Problem Solvers the office is working with the FTC and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation to crack down on pandemic scams, but victims must report them.

Anyone with information can visit the attorney general’s website.

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