COLORADO SPRINGS — Last week News5 showed you how the Colorado Department of Transportation revamped its website and launched a new smartphone app to help drivers. News5 has a follow-up story after learning about some potentially costly confusion for consumers looking to download the app.
CDOT officials tell News5 they've spent years working to develop an app to meet all of the travel needs of drivers in our state, but when state transportation leaders launched the app they noticed other apps were using their information to try to do the same and are even charging for the service.
"Unfortunately there was somebody else who felt like CoTrip needed to be an app so they went out there and took advantage of our name and our information," said Michelle Peulen of the Colorado Department of Transportation Southeast Region.
CDOT officials are concerned with the launch of their new app COtrip Planner, saying other apps have also launched appearing to have the same maps and features, but are charging people who download their app instead.
"We are trying to take action you know with cease and desist letters to track down those folks and make sure we put a stop to that. The last thing we want is people using our name to take advantage of people," said Peulen.
The travel tools, maps, and other CDOT resources available on the state's transportation app shouldn't cost consumers any money.
"Make sure you don't pay for it," said Peulen. "Our apps are always going to be free. We're never going to ask taxpayers to pay us for an app."
Back in 2019 News5 spotlighted impostor concerns centered on another state agency the Colorado DMV. Websites were popping up designed to get people to pay for what they thought were DMV services even though the companies and websites had zero affiliation with the state. As a result people were giving up both credit card and personal information in the process.
"You never know what someone does with your personal information so unfortunately there could be illegal activity happening, but definitely ethically, and definitely dishonest," said Adah Rodriguez of the Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.
Using the same process as reporting concerns on the roads, if you have questions about an app before you download it, or feel like an app is posing as being affiliated with CDOT, state officials are asking people to report it.