Some tricks the scammers use:

Spoofing phone numbers: Criminals make your caller ID show a number that is not their number. It could be a trusted number, your own number, even 911!

Fake Websites or Email Addresses: Scammers set up fake websites and email addresses that look very similar to the legitimate sites, or hack into an email to make it look like someone you trust is emailing you!

 

Urgency: Scammers will tell you that you must reply NOW and pay NOW!

 

Telling you not to hang up: A scammer will tell you that you cannot hang up. They are doing this so that you cannot check out their story or be discouraged to give them money by someone with whom you interact. They also want to increase your fear level!

 

Threats of arrest: The scammers will threaten to arrest you, or issue a warrant for your arrest if you do not do what they say (usually give them money and personal information)!

 

Purchase of Gift Cards: No government agency or business is going to instruct you to purchase gift cards or virtual currency (like BitCoin) to make a payment or handle a fine.

Use of Address: Scammers will use your address to create a fraudulent business and register with the Colorado Secretary of State.  For more information click here.    

Current Scams

Government Official Impostor (IRS, Law Enforcement, Social Security Officer): Scammers call pretending to be from a government agency and try to scare you into thinking you are in trouble. They say you have a warrant for your arrest, they then request payment or you will be arrested. Law Enforcement will never call you regarding a warrant.  IRS imposters like to say “You have unpaid taxes and now there is a lawsuit against you” then request money. False, the IRS will never call you; they will always send a letter. SSA will NEVER call you asking for your full SSN or request a payment.

 

Romance Scams: I LOVE YOU-Send me ALL your money! This is when a person you meet online grooms you and makes you feel like they are so in love with you, then request money and promise to stay with you forever. We all want to be loved, but when a person starts requesting money that is NOT love!

 

“Loved One” Scam: Scammers call posing as a grandchild or loved one in distress or has been kidnapped. They could also claim to be a lawyer, law enforcement, hospital calling on behalf of the loved one. They say your loved one is in trouble and needs money to be sent or wired to them immediately. Sometimes they ask for gift cards or virtual currency. We all love our family and want to help! Inform the caller you will call them back, then contact that relative to reassure you are sending your money to your loved one and not a scammer.    

 

Work-at-home Scams: If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Scammers are contacting individuals via email, phone or text messages advertising ways to make good money and doing it form the luxury of your own home. They might also post fake job announcements on sites like LinkedIn, Craigslist or job sites. The scammers then send you a check and request you deposit it in your personal account, keep a portion for your salary, then send them the remaining balance. Check bounces and YOU the victim owe your bank because the check was fraudulent! Now YOUR account is in the negative. Always verify with the company that the job is real. Use the company website to get contact info. Do not trust what is in the ad.     

 

Online Market Place Scams: Buying and selling items online can be tricky. So can renting an apartment or planning a vacation. Beware that criminals will often post fake ads on sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Zillow, AirBnb or similar sites. They might be selling tickets to an event, a household item or a vehicle, or renting an apartment or vacation home. The scammer will sell you something that doesn’t exist. You are out the money and never get your purchase. Or, they will pose as a buyer and send you money to pay. But they send you too much money and ask you to forward cash to shipper or other 3rd party. You will be out the money and owe your bank! Always confirm details of any ad. Try to buy and sell locally. Only deal with trusted businesses for tickets or home rentals.

Phishing and Spoofing Scams

Phishing scams are when a text or e-mail appears to be from a well-known source – an on-line vendor, internet service provider, a bank, or delivery service, for example. These scams include questions about a recent purchase, expired cards, suspicious account logins, and malware on your pc.  The message will ask the receiver to provide personal identifying information. Phishing now comes in other forms that use similar techniques such as:

  • Vishing scams happen over the phone, voice email, or VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol) calls.

  • Smishing scams happen through SMS (text) messages.

  • Pharming scams happen when malicious code is installed on your computer to redirect you to fake websites.

Spoofing scams are when someone uses an email address, sender name, phone number, or website URL—often just by changing one letter, symbol, or number—to convince you that you are interacting with a trusted source.

For example, you might receive an email that appears to be from your boss, your bank, a company you made purchases from, or even from someone in your family—but it actually isn’t.