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May 4, 2017

20th Judicial District
District Attorney Michael Dougherty

Community Protection Division: 303-441-3700

Wave of Scam Calls Hits Boulder County

(Boulder County, Colo.) --

District Attorney Stan Garnett is warning residents of Boulder County that recently there has been a huge surge in the number of complaints to his office reporting bogus law enforcement calls. Victims receive a call or message from a person claiming to be an official from "Boulder County Sheriff's Office". When they return that call, they are connected to an "officer" and told that they have failed to appear for either jury duty, or Grand Jury duty, and that they have received citations as a result.

The caller will tell them that they have failed to appear, and before they can take care of this by appearing in front of a judge to have the citation removed, they require to pre-pay a fee of hundreds, or sometimes thousands, of dollars. One of the main identifying features of this scam is that the caller will keep their target on the phone at all times, so that they cannot make a call themselves to check out the situation, or talk to a friend or relative.Victims are kept on the phone as they visit their bank to withdraw cash. They are then asked to purchase Green Dot Moneypak cards from King Soopers or RiteAid. Once the scammer is given the number on the back of the card by the victim, the money is gone in seconds.

From prior investigations, law enforcement knows that these cash funds are invariably loaded onto untrackable, reloadable cards.

A concerning feature of this scam is that seniors appear to be disproportionately targeted. A victim who reported to the Community Protection Division; "These scammers are very plausible - I felt panicked.Any time I started to question whether this was a scam, the caller roped me back in by talking about my civic duty."

For further information, or to report these or similar calls, please call the Community Protection Division of the District Attorney's Office, at 303 441 3700.