Coloradans do a great job of looking out for one another within our individual towns and communities. Part of that means being aware and alert, and also warning others about dangerous scams that circulate around the Centennial State.

Douglas County Sheriff’s investigators are warning Coloradans of a concerning fraud trend the department has responded to several times recently. Although this scam is currently taking place in Douglas County, it's possible that others elsewhere in the state could also become victims of something similar.

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According to the sheriff's office, the scam starts with a computer “error message” popping up on an iPad, or computer. The victim then calls the number on the error message and connects with a person who provides the scam in question via phone. At this point, the criminal is granted remote access to the victim's computer.

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Unsplash/Canva
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In all of the documented incidents, the victim was told to keep their conversations a secret and was instructed to either purchase gold or go withdraw large amounts of cash. A suspect then arrives and meets with the victim, who receives the cash/gold. In the scenarios that have taken place in Douglas County, the suspect picking up the receivables was wearing a medical face mask and sunglasses and reportedly had minimal contact with the victim.

According to law enforcement, it appears the criminals are targeting the elderly. The first Douglas County incident occurred on July 12, 2023, and involved an older woman who lost $125,000 in gold. The second case, also involving an elderly woman, happened on July 22, 2023. This woman and her family had $23,000 in cash taken from them. The third incident was carried out on July 31. In this situation, an elderly woman lost $36,000 to scammers.

In one of the cases, the 83-year-old female received an alert on her iPad advising her to contact support after her iPad locked up. She called the provided number and began communicating with several male subjects. The males claimed to be with a bank and started contacting the victim daily. The suspects also told the woman not to contact anyone, including law enforcement or family members. They proceeded by telling the woman that her bank account had been comprised and that she needed to go to Walmart and purchase a cell phone.

Once the victim purchased the Walmart cell phone, the suspects began communicating with her on it. The males instructed her to go to the bank and withdraw as much cash as possible because the bank couldn't be trusted and was going to be closing. The victim reportedly withdrew $22,000 from two different banks.

A male suspect arrived at the victim's residence to pick up the cash. He gave her a code word they had agreed on, and she gave him the cash, as well as the recently purchased cell phone.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, the suspect involved in the case above is an Indian male in his 30s or 40s. He's described as having an average to heavy build with short black hair. He may be driving a silver minivan with no rims on the passenger side.

Douglas County Sheriff's Office/NextDoor
Douglas County Sheriff's Office/NextDoor
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Anyone with information regarding this scam should contact Detective Herring at mherring@dcsheriff.net.

Scammers often use elaborate schemes to gain the trust of their victims, taking advantage of their emotions and vulnerabilities. It's important to remain vigilant for yourself and your loved ones to avoid falling victim to this sort of situation. Always take a moment to verify the identity and credentials of anyone seeking financial transactions or sensitive information.

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