It’s high season in the world of scammers looking for the next victim in the Roaring Fork Valley. Whether it’s via email, text or phone, a rash of scams demanding personal information or money has prompted authorities and elected officials to warn people not to fall for the threats. Carolyn Sackariason has more.
Pitkin County Commissioner Patti Clapper is just one of hundreds of people who has received a text from a bank in Colorado informing her that there’s been suspicious activity on her account. The fake email then prompts her to go to an unusual website. That’s where scammers hope to capture personal information and then hack real accounts.
Clapper said these scammers prey on those who are made to feel naive or scared.
“Some people get nervous and they pay in, or open up their personal information thinking that’s what they need to do, especially if they hit the older population who isn’t as savvy about stuff like this and people get ripped off continuously,” she said.
Other valley residents in recent days have gotten threatening messages from scammers pretending to be the IRS or law enforcement — or companies claiming they owe them money for various reasons.
Officials say legitimate organizations, financial institutions or agencies will not ask for personal information on the phone or email. They also recommend to avoid responding to unusual messages and regularly check credit cards or bank accounts.