What are Colorado Phone Scams?
Colorado phone scams are frauds committed against Coloradans using telephony services such as text messages, live phone calls, and robocalls. Phone scams are illegal means of making money off unsuspecting individuals and sometimes entail unlawfully obtaining sensitive information for identity and financial thefts. Phone scammers employ different tricks when preying on their targets. They often use threats to coerce targeted residents or offer to help them out of unpleasant situations. Either way, phone scams in Colorado aim to extort residents.
To report phone scams in Colorado, complete the online complaint form managed by the Office of the Colorado Attorney General (COAG). The COAG is the primary consumer protection agency in the state. It provides a lot of phone scams awareness to intimate residents with the latest phone scams and recommends ways to avoid them. Coloradans can sign up for fraud alerts and tips to receive consumer bulletin, an excellent way of keeping abreast of the Colorado current scams. Colorado law enforcement agencies investigate phone scams incidents and prosecute culprits where possible. The COAG lists the following as the prevalent phone scams in Colorado:
- Charity scams involve fraudsters who pose as representatives of legitimate charities and cheat residents out of their money.
- Investment scams are frauds where the con artists solicit investors' funds for fake investment schemes.
- Debt collection scams happen when persons who pretend to be with legitimate debt collection agencies call residents and extort them.
- Jury duty scams entail fraudsters who claim to be employees of local police departments or courts. They inform marks that they missed court appearances in a bid to rip them off.
- In grant scams, con artists claim to be with the government grant department and request targets' personal information.
- Utility scams are deceptive practices used by scammers who impersonate familiar local utility companies and solicit money from residents.
- IRS scams involve fake IRS agents using caller ID spoofing and demanding the payment of delinquent taxes over the phone.
- In lottery scams, targeted individuals are informed they won bogus prizes and must pay to claim such winning.
Phone scammers generally like to disguise their identities when committing thefts. Websites that offer reverse phone lookup services can help Coloradans retrieve their identities and prevent scams.
What are Colorado Grant Scams?
If you receive a call from an unknown person out of the blue claiming that you were selected for a free government grant, hang up. It is a scam. A phone lookup application can help you fetch such a scammer's identity. The callers usually claim to be with the Federal Bureau of Grand Awards, Federal Grants Administration, or US Government Grant Department. There are no such government organizations as these. They fool their targets by telling them their regular tax payments earn them such opportunities and will never have to pay back. To access these offers, the scammers request personal and bank account information from their targets. Never give out such information to avoid being ripped off. Government agencies will never call residents about grant awards or solicit sensitive information over the phone. If such callers demand payment, do not send any money. Coloradans who believe they have been victims of grant scams can file reports of their ordeal online with the Office of the Colorado Attorney General (COAG). They can also contact the FTC at 1 (888) 382-1222 to report their encounters.
What are Colorado Investment Scams?
The Fraud Unit of the Office of the Colorado Attorney General (COAG) warns Coloradans against falling victims to investment scams. These scams take various forms. They include the popular Ponzi schemes, fix-and-flip housing schemes, and oil and gas investment schemes. The most targeted persons are the elderly who seek where to invest their retirement funds. Do not put money in an investment scheme that you have not verified its legitimacy. Government agencies do not regulate many of the investment schemes that are contacting residents and soliciting investor money to avoid losing your hard-earned money. Never share sensitive personal or financial information with them too. If you receive such a call, glean as much information as you can, hang up, and report to your local law enforcement agency. To report an investment scam, you can file your complaint online with the COAG. It is possible to uncover the identities of investment scammers by running their numbers through reverse phone number search applications.
What are Colorado Charity Scams?
In this scam, fraudsters pretend to be with reputable charities and request donations from targeted Coloradans. Stemming from the various disasters the state has encountered in the past, residents are generous in contributing to charity organizations and providing for the needy. Scammers are capitalizing on this to extort naive individuals. The callers will make strong emotional appeals to get you to donate. Do not be swayed by this or be in a hurry to contribute. They typically favor cash donations and wired contributions. Know that legitimate charities do not accept donations using these odd channels. Never give out money to a charity without first taking steps to research it thoroughly for genuineness. You can verify them on websites such as the IRS Select Check or Colorado Secretary of State's Office. Also, be cautious when considering donating to new charities as they may not have any records. If you believe you have fallen victim to a charity scam, report it online to the COAG or file a complaint with the FTC.
What are Colorado Debt Collection Scams?
Phone scammers contact targeted Coloradans with urgent phone calls and inform them they have outstanding loans that require immediate payment. The alleged loans may include auto loans, credit cards, payday loans, or mortgage loans. Be wary of such callers as they demand settling delinquent loans through wire transfer or prepaid credit cards. Legitimate debt collectors will not request loan repayment via these unusual methods. The fraudsters claim to be with debt collection agencies and attempt to collect paid loans or loans that do not exist at all. If you receive this type of call, verify who the caller is and what agency they represent by asking questions. If you have reasons to think the claim may be legitimate, hang up, and contact the agency using the contact information on your original contract papers. Do not be pressured into sending money to anyone over the phone to avoid scams. Coloradans who are victims of debt collection scams can file their complaints online with the COAG. Alternatively, they can report to the FTC by calling 1 (888) 382-1222 or online.
How Do I Avoid Becoming a Victim of a Phone Scam?
You can avoid becoming a victim of phone scams and spam calls in Colorado by doing the following:
- Never share your bank account details, personal information, or credit card number with unknown persons over the phone to avoid identity and financial theft.
- Be wary of persons calling you and promising bogus prizes and winnings. They are interested in getting your personal information and cheating you out of your money.
- Never give in to pressure by unknown callers who want you to send money to them immediately to avoid arrest. End such calls instead and report them to your local law enforcement or other relevant agencies.
- If an incoming call seems unfamiliar or unrecognizable, do not answer your phone. The caller will leave a message if it is an important phone call.
- Register your number on Colorado Do-Not-Call List and the FTC's DNC Registry to prevent scams by unsolicited calls.
- Sign up for phone scams regular updates using the fraud alerts and tips tool provided by the COAG to stay informed of current scams and how to avoid them.
- Use reverse phone lookup applications to see who is trying to call you.