The 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office in conjunction with

Community Partners

to provide fraud prevention, intervention, and victim support.

1st Judicial District - District Attorney Fraud Line

"This project was supported by Grant No. 2011-DJ-BX-0316 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The
Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau
of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention,
and the Office for Victims of Crime. Points of view or opinions in the document are those of the author and do
not represent the official position or policies of the United States Department of Justice.”




The top ways identity thieves get your info is through purse
snatching, mail theft, dumpster diving and e-mail “phishing.”

It’s a good idea to carry your Social Security card with you.

3. Once you have subscribed to the Colorado “No Call” list, you do not

have to worry about telemarketers.

There is a law that requires charities to spend a certain percentage
of their income on programs and services.

Foreign lotteries are illegal in the U.S.

As long as you don’t buy any magazines or send any money, playing
sweepstakes is harmless entertainment.

Colorado has a state contractor’s licensing board that licenses and
approves contractors.

If a uniformed utility employee appears at your door to conduct an
inspection, shows a badge and ID, it’s safe to invite him in.

Most investment fraud is perpetrated by long term, trusted advisors.

10. If you have a trusted family member, a financial advisor, or someone
with your Power of Attorney who is paying your bills and managing
your money, it is critical that you review your account statements.



True, thieves are everywhere – even churches – looking to
steal purses and the checkbooks, credit cards and other info they find
inside. They are also looking for checks, pre-approved credit card
applications, and account statements in your mail box. They rummage
through trash looking for unshredded info containing account numbers.
And they send “phishy” e-mail asking you to verify account numbers by
impersonating your bank, credit card company, government agency, etc.

It’s a good idea to have nothing in your purse or wallet
that contains your Social Security number. An identity thief can apply for
and receive credit in your name: credit cards, loans, gambling credit, cars,

Although consumers who have subscribed to the
Colorado No Call List have reported a strong decrease in calls, there are
exemptions, including non-profit and charitable organizations, politicians,
and those with whom you have an established business relationship, such
as phone companies. The No Call List will not stop criminal telemarketers
– to protect yourself, simply do not talk to strangers!

It is the donor’s responsibility to determine how his or her
donations are used. Ask charities for a copy of their annual report and
contact the BBB’s Wise Giving Alliance at or 303-222-4444.

Federal law prohibits mailing payments to purchase any
ticket, share or chance in any foreign lottery. Telemarketing con artists
from Canada have conned hundreds of Coloradans into sending millions
in payments for “taxes” before collecting on their bogus Canadian lottery

When you play sweepstakes, your name is frequently put
on marketing lists bought and sold by other direct marketers. Eventually,
your name can end up on criminal telemarketing lists.


Colorado is one of a few states that does not require
statewide regulation of all contractors. Consumers have a greater
responsibility to protect themselves from contractor fraud.

City and utility workers do not go door-to-door; but con
artists do! Once in your home, he will distract you while an accomplice
sneaks in to steal purses, jewelry, safes, and other valuables. Never let a
stranger in your home – no matter who they claim to be!

The vast majority of investment fraud cases prosecuted
by the District Attorney’s Office involve financial advisors who have had
long-term, trusting relationships with their victims. The perpetrators use
trust – and sometimes faith – as their weapons. No matter how long
you’ve known or trusted someone, never make an investment decision
without seeking advice from a lawyer, accountant, and/or the Colorado
Division of Securities.

10. TRUE
In all cases of theft by family members, trusted advisors,
and Powers of Attorney, victims have given up total control to others and
did not review financial statements. Perpetrators took advantage of the
victims’ trust. In addition to your own review of accounts, surround
yourself with several advisors and caregivers who can provide a system
of checks and balances so that no one person has total control over your

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980





Warning Signs:

Your purse or wallet is stolen
Your bank account is overdrawn or there is unusual activity on
your credit card
Mail you are expecting doesn’t arrive, especially related to
financial matters; bills you paid are still showing due
You apply for a credit card or loan and are denied

Preventative Steps:

ٱ Carry a close-fitting pouch instead of a purse or carry a wallet in your
front pocket.
ٱ Reduce the items you carry in public such as extra credit cards, Social
Security card, and checkbooks; remove your Social Security number
from your Driver’s License.
ٱ Shred, tear into small pieces, or cut up all mail and documents that
contain Social Security, bank and credit card numbers.
ٱ Place mail with bills to be paid at the Post Office. Ask that new boxes
of checks be held at your bank or credit union rather than mailed to

To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980

You will reach a live person!



Warning Signs:

You live alone and enjoy talking to anyone calling
You believe it’s rude to interrupt a caller or to hang up
You must pay money up front for taxes or fees to participate
You must make an immediate decision, before the call ends, or
the offer will be rescinded
You are called more and more frequently by a multiplying
variety of telephone solicitors

Preventative Steps:

ٱ Never talk to strangers on the telephone – they are not calling to wish
you a good day. They are invading your privacy – as though they have
walked into your home.
ٱ Use an answering machine, voice mail or Caller ID to screen calls.
ٱ Never, under any circumstances, give any portion of your credit card,
bank account, or Social Security numbers to a caller.

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980



Warning Signs:

You play sweepstakes daily because you think you need extra
money, holding out hope you will win a big prize some day
You believe because your mail is delivered by the U.S. Postal
Service, it must be legitimate
You open and read all of your mail because many pieces look
like official government documents or heart-felt solicitations for
charity – and you don’t have anything better to do
You’re getting the same offers through e-mail that you used to
receive through the mail

Preventative Steps:

ٱ Even though it may be fun or give you something to do, stop
participating in sweepstakes, lottery, and contest offers.
ٱ If you were to truly win something, you NEVER have to pay any fees,
taxes, or costs of ANY kind before receiving your winnings – that’s the
ٱ Don’t even give temptation a chance. If you receive a mailing or e-mail
that promotes sweepstakes, lotteries, charities, credit repair, work-at-
home offers, or a Nigerian letter, throw the envelope away or delete the
e-mail without opening it.

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980
You will reach a live person!



Warning Signs:

A home repair contractor solicits you at your door, insisting
you have a problem which must be repaired right away
A contractor offers a bargain price or claims to have materials
left over from another job
A contractor requires a substantial payment in advance or
charges significantly more after the work is completed
An inspector appears at your door, claiming to work for the city
or a utility company and must come into your home to inspect
your water heater, furnace, or back yard

Preventative Steps:

ٱ BEWARE door-to-door contractors who use high-pressure or scare
tactics to get an immediate decision.
ٱ DON’T do business with someone who comes to your door offering a
bargain or claims to have materials left over.
ٱ Get at least 3 written bids. DON’T always choose the lowest bidder–
almost all complaints to the District Attorney’s Office are contractors
with very low bids. You get what you pay for!
ٱ Require the contractor to use a written contract that lists materials,
costs, and the completion date.
ٱ Don’t allow any stranger into your home, no matter who they claim to
be. City inspectors do not go door to door!

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980



Warning Signs:

You’ve fallen behind in your mortgage payments or you are
already in foreclosure
You’re getting phone calls and visits from companies offering
to help you pay off your debts
You’re receiving numerous fliers in the mail or on your door
offering low interest cash loans
A friend, advisor or relative asks you to sign some forms – you
do, without reading them

Preventative Steps:

ٱ Beware of companies who contact you in person or by fliers offering a
foreclosure relief service.
ٱ Don’t sign any forms or papers without reading and understanding
what you’re signing. If you’re uneasy or feeling pressured, get advice
from a lawyer or other advisor.
ٱ Don’t deed your property to anyone. First consult an attorney, a
knowledgeable family member, or someone else you trust completely.
Once you sign legal papers, it can be difficult, or even impossible, to
reverse the action.

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980
You will reach a live person!



Warning Signs:
High pressure sales tactics with an insistence on an immediate
Unwillingness to let you discuss the deal with another advisor
or to get a second opinion;
A guaranteed investment or one with ‘no risk’;
Unwillingness to provide written information, including state
securities registrations and verifiable references;
A suggestion that you invest on the basis of trust or faith.

Preventative Steps:
ٱ Surround yourself with several advisors – don’t become solely
dependent on one financial advisor or consultant.
ٱ Thoroughly check out any offer – don’t be rushed into making a hasty
decision. Contact the Colorado Division of Securities at 303-894-2320
if you have questions.
ٱ Carefully review your financial statements and look for signs of
unauthorized or excessive trading. Periodically check your account
online or by phone with the fund managers.
ٱ If you have trouble retrieving your funds, don’t let a false sense of trust
keep you from demanding a return of your investment.

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980



Warning Signs:

Unusual activity in bank and credit card accounts
Caregiver tries to isolate the victim who comes to rely solely on
the caregiver
Caregiver has total control over finances and has all financial
statements mailed to him or her.
New acquaintances appear on the scene and the adult is either
completely charmed, or fearful of the caregiver

Preventative Steps:

ٱ If your Power of Attorney or anyone else suggests you make a change
in your assets, your investments, or insurance, always get two or three
other opinions from within your team of advisors. Only a potential
crook will not want you to discuss the change with others.
ٱ No matter how much you know, love or trust someone, never sign
papers you have not read or do not understand.
ٱ Even if you have a representative payee, Power of Attorney or other
advisor who manages your finances, insist on receiving and reviewing
copies of all bank and financial statements.

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980
You will reach a live person!





Use a ‘fanny pack’ or close-fitting pouch, instead of a purse or wallet
any time you are out in public.

Do not carry your Social Security card with you, and remove your
Social Security number from your Driver’s License and checks.

Deposit all outgoing mail at your Post Office rather than placing in your
mailbox for carrier pick-up.

Use a confetti/crosscut shredder on all financial mail and documents.

Establish a policy of not talking to strangers on the telephone, at your
door, or on the street.

Sign up for the Colorado “NO CALL” list.

Request those with whom you have established business relationships
(phone companies, banks, credit card issuers) to put you on their “Do
Not Call” and “Opt Out” lists.

Send a letter to the Mail Preference Service to remove your name from
marketing lists.

Make an annual charitable giving plan and do not give to charities
soliciting by telephone or door-to-door.

Get three written bids before contracting for any home improvement
and check out contractors with the Better Business Bureau and city
building department.

Contact an attorney to discuss a Living Will and Powers of Attorney,
and to set up a system of checks and balances so that no one person
has total control over your finances.

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980



Carry any document with sensitive information in a close fitting pouch
or in your front pocket, not in your purse or wallet. Sensitive
documents include driver’s license, credit & debit cards, checks, car
registration and anything with your Social Security Number.

Don’t carry your checkbook in public; carry only the checks you need.

If possible remove anything from your wallet containing your SSN,
including your Social Security card, Medicare card, military ID card. If
your SSN is on your Driver’s License – get a new license.

Don’t give any part of your Social Security number, credit card or bank
account numbers over the phone, e-mail or Internet, unless you have
initiated the contact to a verifiable company or financial institution.

Request a free copy of your credit report once a year.

Notify the credit reporting agencies of the death of a relative or friend
to block the misuse of the deceased person’s credit.

Call your bank and credit card customer service and ask to “opt out”
of ALL marketing programs, including ‘convenience’ checks mailings.

Call the Credit Card Offer Opt Out Line to reduce number of credit card
solicitations you receive.

Shred pre-approved credit card offers, convenience checks and any
document containing sensitive information – with a crosscut shredder.

Mail bills to be paid at the Post Office, not in your mailbox or in street
corner postal boxes. Consider using automated payment plans.


Ask your bank or credit union to receive your box of new checks,
rather than have them mailed to your home.

Do not keep your auto registration, insurance card, checkbook,
receipts, or other identifying information in your car. Carry them in a
secure manner on your person. Do not leave your car unlocked.

Check your earnings record at least annually and more often if you
suspect your SSN has been compromised (it’s free and there is no
limit to how often you may request it.) Contact the Social Security
Administration (see page 8, Item 4) and ask for Form SSA-7004,
Request for Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement.


Never respond to e-mails requesting personal information such as bank
or charge account numbers; Social Security numbers; pin
numbers/passwords. This rule applies even if the sender appears to be
your bank or credit card company; a government agency such as the
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Social Security Administration,
or IRS; or companies such as AOL, Ebay, PayPal, etc. No legitimate
company/agency will send an e-mail asking you to verify information.
Delete unknown or questionable e-mails without opening.
Use a firewall program, especially if you use a high-speed connection
like cable, DSL or T-1, which connects your computer 24 hours a day.
The firewall program allows you to stop uninvited guests from
accessing your computer. Without it, hackers can take over your
computer, access personal information stored on it, or use your
computer to commit crimes.
Use a secure browser – software that encrypts or scrambles
information you send over the Internet – to guard the security of online
transactions. Be sure your browser has up-to-date encryption
capabilities by using the latest version available from the manufacturer.
When submitting information, look for the “lock” icon or “https” on the
browser’s status bar to ensure your information is secure during



1. Don’t play direct mail sweepstakes or talk to telemarketers.
2. Sign up for the Colorado “No Call” List for both your home and cell
phones at 1-800-309-7041 or 303-776-2678 or
3. Call phone companies, and others with whom you do business and
ask that they put you on their “DO NOT CALL LISTS.”
4. Call the credit reporting agencies’ “OPT OUT LINE” to get off mailing
lists for unsolicited credit card offers: 1-888-567-8688 or
5. Call the customer service numbers for your credit card (s) and ask to
“OPT OUT” of marketing programs, including “convenience checks.”
6. Opt out of e-mail and direct mail by contacting the Direct Marketing
Association. At: (Free) or by sending the letter
on the next page ($1 Fee).
7. Reduce mortgage and real estate solicitations by OPTING OUT of
lists collected and sold by Acxiom by calling 1-877-774-2094 or E-
mailing It is not necessary if you OPT OUT of
the Direct Marketing Association mailing lists (see above).

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980


Mail Preference Service
Direct Marketing Association
P.O. Box 643
Carmel, NY 10512

To Whom It Concerns:

Please remove my name from your marketing lists. Thank you for
your attention to this matter. My name and address are:

All versions of your name
used in mailings
Your Mailing Address
City, State, Zip Code

(INCLUDE $1.00)

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980



Keep this script near your telephone. If you are contacted by a
telemarketer or someone soliciting contributions, read from the
script and hang up when you have finished reading.

I do not do business over the telephone.
(I do not donate to charities over the telephone.)
Please put me on your “DO NOT CALL” list.
Thank you.

The District Attorney’s Suggestion

Do not allow the caller to interrupt you or try and get you to stay
on the line by trying to engage you in further talk. Read the
script and hang up. This is NOT BEING RUDE. It is protecting
you from unwanted, and perhaps criminal, offers and intrusions.

If telemarketers call you back or are rude, interrupt and say:
“We don’t have a good connection – call me back on my other
Give them the Jefferson/Gilpin DA’s Fraud Hot Line Number

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980



Name of Charity

Annual Gift

1. ______________________________

2. ______________________________

3. ______________________________

4. ______________________________

5. ______________________________

Total Annual Charitable Giving Budget

I have asked for, and received, written information, such as an
Annual Report, from each charity.

I have checked out these charities through the Better Business
Bureau Wise Giving Alliance: or 303-222-4444,
or through

If solicited by telephone or in person for a charitable donation, I
will respond “I already have a chosen list of charities I support! If
you would like me to consider you for next year, please send me
your annual report.”

I will not change my charitable giving list without checking out
any new charity to which I may consider giving.

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980



Coloradoans can put a security freeze on their credit reports. A freeze means your file cannot
be shared with potential creditors which can help prevent identity theft. If your files are
frozen, even someone who has your name and Social Security number will not be able to get
credit in your name.

To place a security freeze:

Send a request in writing by Certified Mail to each of the three major consumer
credit reporting agencies:

Include the following in your request:

Full name, with middle initial and generation, such as Jr., Sr., II;

Social Security number;

Date of birth;

Current address and previous addresses for the past two years;

Copy of a government issued ID, such as a driver’s license or military ID;

Copy of a utility bill, bank or insurance statement that displays your name,
current mailing address, and date of issue (statement date must be

The initial freeze is free of charge; however, the temporary or permanent
removal of the freeze may cost up to $10 per agency. To allow a “Background
Check” by a potential employer or to apply for new credit, the freeze would need
to be lifted.

From the Office of the 1ST District Attorney
To Report Fraud: 303-271-6980
You will reach a live person!





District Attorneys’ Office
To report suspected fraud, or if you need assistance in reporting a crime
or think you or someone you know is being victimized, call:

Jefferson/Gilpin Economic Crime Specialists

Deb Ohno

Cary Johnson 303-271-6970

Colorado “No Call” List
Sign up for the Colorado telemarketing “NO CALL” list by making one
telephone call. Exceptions to the “No Call” law are charities, politicians,
and companies with whom you have an established business relationship.
The call is free and there is no charge.

1-800-309-7041 or 303-776-2678 or

Credit Card Offer “Opt Out” Line
To stop credit card offers or unwanted credit cards, call the “OPT OUT
LINE.” The call is free and there is no charge for this service. You will
need to give your Social Security Number.

1-888-567-8688 or

Business and Charity Reliability Reports
To receive a reliability report on a business or charity, contact the Better
Business Bureau:

303-222-4444 or and

You can also contact Charity Navigator:


Investment Offers
To inquire about the legitimacy of any investment offer that you don’t
understand or that seems unusual, call the Colorado Division of
Securities. Make this call before you invest any money.


Credit Reporting Agencies
To receive a FREE copy of your Credit Report, making sure there is no
inaccurate information or unusual activity, contact the following. You will
need to give your Social Security Number.

To order your report,
Call: 800-685-1111 or write: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
To report fraud, call: 800-525-6285 and write:
P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241

To order your report,
Call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) or write: P.O. Box 2002, Allen TX 75013
To report fraud, call: 888-EXPERIAN (397-3742) and write:
P.O. Box 9530, Allen TX 75013

Trans Union
To order your report,
call: 800-888-4213 or write: P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022:
To report fraud, call: 800-680-7289 and write:
Fraud Victim Assistance Division, P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92634


Five Red Flags of Fraudulent Scams

The scams and fraudulent schemes that come to consumers, via E-mail,
phone calls, and the U.S. Postal Service change all of the time.
It could be the ‘Grandparent’ scheme, an offer to reduce credit card
interest rates, the offer to sell a TimeShare, the opportunity to be a Trade
Representative for a foreign company wanting to do business in the
United States, or simply the announcement of winning a lottery or prize.
The wise approach is to look for commonalities that are included in these
schemes. Then, no matter what the approach or offer coming today, you
can identify the ‘Red Flags’ that mark it as fraudulent.

Red Flag #1: They contacted you; you did not contact them!

The E-mail, phone call, or mailed letter came out of

the clear blue. Always check out issues by obtaining

the phone number of the agency or business making

the offer and YOU CALL THEM! Do not call the number

they provide in an E-mail or letter.

Red Flag #2: They want the issue or offer to remain secret and


You are to tell no one about the offer, prize, or steps you
need to follow for the offer to come to fruition.

Red Flag #3: You must act with urgency and immediacy!

This is, quite frankly, an attempt to get you to act before

you think things through carefully. While the adrenaline
is flowing from your excitement over a windfall, one
which isn’t true, they want you to call or send money.

Red Flag #4: “If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to

be true.”

This was true 50 years ago. It still is true!

Red Flag #5: You will need to wire money or send money using

something like a ‘Green Dot’ money card.

Money that is wired or sent using a money card is, most

likely, heading to a crook overseas. Once sent, it is

probably gone forever.


To schedule a “Power Against Fraud” crime prevention
program for your group or agency, please contact:

Cary Johnson
Director: Power Against Fraud
Crime Prevention Programs
District Attorney’s Office

District Attorney’s Website:

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