Scam Alerts

January 2013: Counterfeit Ticket Scams

Can anything be more disheartening than to show up to a concert or sporting event with what you believe to be valid tickets, only to be told they are counterfeit and you’re denied entrance into the event? That special discounted price that you were able to negotiate may not seem so special anymore.

When tickets are in high demand, ticket sales escalate, but so do ticket scams.

November 2012: Charity Alerts

Although I put out an alert last month on charitable donations, I am once again writing this month on the same topic since Hurricane Sandy has left a trail of devastation.

Although charity scams have been around for a long time, they take center stage right after a disaster has struck, such as fires, tornados, tsunamis and most recently a hurricane. These are the times that thieves like to play upon people's emotions.

Charity Donations

So you want to make a charitable donation. How do you tell the difference between a legitimate charitable organization and that everyday thief? How do you know how much of your donated money goes towards the cause?

Current Scams Running Amuck

The District Attorney’s Office has been receiving numerous phone calls on an array of different scams. This month I thought I would highlight some of them to let you know what is potentially threatening our community, putting you at risk.

Mystery Shopping Scams:

Identity Theft

For 13 years, identity theft has been the #1 complaint made to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In 2011, Colorado residents made approximately 28,854 consumer complaints to the FTC. Of that number, 4,156 were regarding identity theft in the state of Colorado.

How is identity theft committed?

Charity Donation Scams

So you want to make a charitable donation. How do you tell the difference between a legitimate charitable organization and that everyday thief? How do you know how much of your donated money goes towards the cause?

Computer Recycling Safety

You have finally decided to upgrade to a new computer. After you have transferred all of your items to the new computer, how do you safely dispose of the old one. You can either recycle, donate or resell the old computer. Before taking any of these steps those, you must first clean it. This does not mean dusting it off. You have to actually “clean” the hard drive so that none of your personal information can be retrieved.

12 Steps to Safely Hiring a Contractor

  1. Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to check out any contractors that submit bids. DO NOT trust that the BBB symbol on the contract, advertisement in the phone book or on the side of the business truck is proof that they are BBB recognized. Always check the company out with the BBB first by calling (866)206-1800 or visiting their website at www.bbbsc.org.

Springtime Home Repairs/Scams

Once again, that time of year has come where the warm weather beckons us to start yard work and home repairs. With the high winds wrecking havoc on our roof, fences, etc., repairs are becoming necessary.

Tax Season and Identity Theft

Tax season is upon us and this is a time to be especially cautious with your personal identifying information. Tax season is a prime time to give an identity thief an opportunity. Your tax documents contain every bit of information that they want, name and address, date of birth, social security number, and now with the benefit of direct deposits for your refund, they can also include your bank account and routing number. This is enough information for the thief to drain your bank account and to set up credit to ruin your good name.

Avoiding the Latest Holiday Scams

  1. Seasonal Jobs – There are many out there that are preying on those who need work. The most common type of this particular scam are the work-at-home type jobs. If you are asked to pay a fee up front and provide your social security number, this should be a red flag as a potential identity theft scheme.
     
  2. Charities - Verify that a charity is legitimate by contacting:

Safe Holiday Shopping

While scams are committed year round, they seem to increase during the holidays when shoppers are distracted with the hustle and bustle of everything going on around them, whether it be from the shopping itself to holiday chitter chatter when you’ve run into an old friend, or a too good to be true deal found online. There are scammers everywhere looking to accomplish one thing in their daily routine, separate you from your money. To keep you safe and more alert, here are some Tips to Safe Holiday Shopping:

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