COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Police Department is warning residents in Colorado Springs and Peyton of an identity theft scam in the area.
The department said this "card cracking" scam is a type of identity theft and check fraud involving "the recruitment of people using social media sites, particularly Snapchat."
Police said they were notified of the scam after victims responded to a Snapchat post offering quick cash. The victims were then told it was a legal process and that they need to meet with a suspect in a hotel parking lot who will then take the victim to an ATM to deposit a forged check or have the victim open their banking app to make a mobile depost.
"Once the check is deposited, the victim then withdrawals half of the check’s value to keep for themselves, giving the other half to the suspect. The suspect then drops the victim back off at their vehicle. Soon after, the victim is notified by their bank that the check was forged, and that the victim owes the money back to the bank," the release stated.
The department said in most of these cases, the suspect is described as a black man who is between 20 and 30 years old and described as being 6 feet tall, weighing 150 pounds.
Officers are asking anyone who is a victim of this crime or has any information on the suspect to call the department at (719) 444-7000 or the Crime Stoppers Tip Line to remain anonymous at (719) 634-7867.
"We are very concerned that the victims – who are mostly underage teenagers – are meeting strangers alone. More than 17 community members have been a victim of this fraud," the department stated.
CSPD advises anyone to never meet an unknown person alone, to know the source of checks you are depositing and to ask for identification when making transactions to help protect yourself from scams.
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