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Text scam scaring women in Colorado Springs

Local agency warns for signs of human trafficking traps
Suspicious text messages are circulating nationwide
Posted at 11:06 PM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-07 01:21:52-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — In the age of constant spam-calls, a seemingly innocent text message from a stranger can quickly become dangerous.

Jordin, a Colorado Springs native, says messages from unknown numbers are not uncommon.

"It just sounded like a wrong number situation," said Jordin, referring to a text message got (below).

Screenshot of the first suspicious text message a woman in Colorado Springs received

Despite the strange punctuation, which Jordin assumed might just be someone young typing in a trendy fashion, she responded by letting them know they had the wrong number.

"They went on to ask me what my favorite places were around town... That's when it kind of went from being this funny thing to like - OH, this is kind of scary."

Text messages like these have been reported in at least three other states - North Alabama, Florida, and Texas. All of the reports site language almost identical to the message Jordin received.

Another woman in Colorado Springs on Nextdoor also said she received a similar message.

"You sit there and think like, people are falling for this and this is terrifying."

Colorado Springs Police and the El Paso County Sheriff's Department both cannot confirm whether or not these text message are related to human trafficking.

CSPD says they do not know if this scam is related to human trafficking or finances, but say no one should give any sort of personal information out - Names, birthdays, or even your favorite restaurant.

Co-founder and CEO of The Exodus Road, an organization internationally fighting human trafficking and based out of Colorado Springs, Laura Parker says messages are just one of many ways people are lured into human trafficking.

"Human trafficking is not something that just happens overseas. It happens in Colorado Springs. It happens in Colorado. It happens in the United States."

Parker says the most at-risk population for human trafficking includes youth in/recently released from foster care and homeless youth.

Resources
The Exodus Road offers educational resources, including the "Traffickwatch Academy" and cyber-safety for parents.

CSPD has a Human Trafficking Task Force.

TESSA offers "intensive case management to individuals who have or are experiencing any form of human trafficking".

Reporting Suspicious Texts
If you receive one of these concerning messages, reach out to CSPD an EPSO.

Forward the text message to "7726", the designated number for reporting spam texts from the Global System for Mobile Communications.