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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Grand Junction residents targeted in surge of financial scams

The Grand Junction Police Department (GJPD) continues to receive reports of local residents becoming targets of financial scams. These scams take various forms, such as phishing emails, fraudulent software updates and identity theft. 

Annually, millions of Americans fall victim to some type of financial fraud, resulting in substantial financial losses. Scammers continuously enhance their tactics, working in teams and creating a sense of urgency. It’s imperative for individuals to remain vigilant and informed.

GJPD presents the following tips on recognizing and safeguarding oneself against financial scams.

Common types of financial scams:

1. Tech support scams: Scammers pose as technical support representatives from legitimate companies, tricking victims into believing they have a computer issues. These scammers gain remote access to victims’ devices and sensitive information, extorting thousands of dollars.

2. Phishing scams: Scammers often use deceptive emails, messages or phone calls to trick victims into disclosing personal and financial information.

3. Warrant scams: Scammers claim to be a member of law enforcement or a government agency, threatening to arrest or prosecute victims unless they provide money.

4. Grandparent scams: Scammers pose as a relative or someone helping the relative, claiming to be in immediate financial need.

To protect yourself from financial scams, consider the following precautions:

1. Educate yourself about common scams and end all communication with the perpetrators. 

2. Talk to your friends and family and warn them about the various scams.

3. Resist the pressure to act quickly.

4. Verify the identity of the person or organization contacting you. If it seems fishy, it probably is.

5. Be cautious with personal and financial information. Use strong and unique passwords.

6. NEVER give or send personally identifiable information, money, gift cards, checks or wire money to unverified people or businesses, even in person. Gift cards should only be purchased as gifts or utilized for their intended purpose when shopping.

7. Be careful what you download or open. Never open an email attachment from someone you don’t know and be wary of email attachments or computer pop-ups.

8. Be cautious of people at your door claiming to technical support. It’s okay to send them away and verify the person is who they say they are. Call or visit the company yourself before taking a phone number from a person you haven’t verified.

If you believe you’ve fallen victim to a financial scam, report it immediately to your banking institution and call GJPD at 970-549-5000. Citizens who fall victim to any financial scams may also report them to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Center or the Federal Trade Commission