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Phishing scam targets Denver metro area, caller poses as law enforcement

9:57 PM, Apr 1, 2013   |    comments
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JEFFERSON COUNTY - The First Judicial District Attorney's Office is getting reports of callers posing as law enforcement and trying to steal people's identities and money.

The man on the line is polite, soft-spoken, and sounds like he's genuinely concerned. Luciana, who asked 9NEWS to change her name, says the call was so believable, she almost fell for it.

The Arvada resident says the number didn't show up on her caller ID. The man on the phone had a friendly voice while delivering bad news to her.

"I believed what he was saying. I had been red flagged," Luciana said.

The caller told her she was under investigation for identity theft and accused her of using someone else's name to get a credit card.

"I was overwhelmed. Scared," Luciana said.

So scared, she didn't even think twice about giving personal information. Luciana says they called four times over the weekend.

"These are predators within our community," Luciana said.

District Attorney Peter Weir of the First Judicial District, which includes Jefferson and Gilpin counties, says the scammers are targeting the most vulnerable citizens, often seniors.

"Your Social Security number is like gold to them," Weir said.

He says they're "phishing" for anything that will help them steal your identity including your Social Security number, full name, and date of birth.

"You can buy a house; you can buy cars, open other credit cards. It destroys your credit," Weir said.

More concerning to the DA is the fact that the caller is posing as a member of law enforcement.

"That is not how law enforcement works. That is not how the district attorney's office works," Weir said.

"I was mad. I was mad at myself for letting them trick me," Luciana said.

Luciana gave her information, but thankfully didn't give them what else they wanted - thousands of dollars in credit card charges and legal fees for those supposedly fake accounts.

"If you get a call like this, don't give them any information. Don't say anything. Just hang up," Luciana said.

Luciana hopes coming forward will help others avoid being scammed.

When in doubt, call your local law enforcement agency or district attorney's office. You can also call the First Judicial District fraud hotline at 303-271-6980.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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