Don’t Just Lock It – Empty It

With the concerning rise in motor vehicle thefts throughout the Denver-metro area, I am pleased to announce that in May we charged 11 people with operating an organized crime ring and stealing at least 130 motor vehicles as well as firearms. In total, the ring allegedly stole more than $3 million in vehicles and other property to support their methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl habits.

A Denver grand jury indicted the individuals on 74 counts for their alleged crimes occurring from February through May of 2022. Special thanks go to the Colorado Metropolitan Auto Theft Task Force (CMATT) which provided the oversight and leadership to make this indictment possible.

Learn more about the indictment here.

Please Do Your Part to Stop Auto Theft

Denver Police Department Community Resource Officers are asking residents to do their part to help curb this crime:

First, lock it. Lock your car even if you park in a secured parking garage,

Second, remove all items from your vehicle. Thieves walk around until they find a car that is unlocked or has something interesting inside.  Police say that anything from loose change to sunglasses looks worthwhile to steal. A bag, no matter what’s inside it, looks interesting enough to smash and grab. Sure, the thief may get away with your dirty gym clothes, but they won’t know that until after your vehicle windows are shattered.

Read on for more safety tips and as always, be safe.

Beth McCann

Sending Money Via an App? 

Make Sure Your Money Goes to the Right Person

With the advance in wire transfer technology like cryptocurrency, Zelle, Venmo, or other third-party payment apps, sending money is quick and easy. But just because it is easy, don’t let your guard down. Here’s how to use these services safely and what to do if things do go awry.

What to Watch for:

1. Bank employee impersonators – A scammer may call, email, or text pretending to be from your bank. They may say there is fraud on your account or try to trick you into providing personal information like your date of birth or account information to gain access to your account.

2. Receiving unusual requests to send or transfer money – Fraudsters may try to trick you into thinking the bank has found 'suspicious activity' on your bank account. Then, they will help you fix this issue by having you transfer money to yourself. But in reality, the account belongs to the scammer.

3. Fake phone numbers – Your Caller ID may indicate that the call is coming from your bank, even though it is not. That’s called a ‘spoofed’ phone number.

Safe Sending Tips:

1.     Verify - Before you send money, let the recipient know to expect the transfer and verify that you have their correct account address. If you send money to the wrong person, you may never see your money again.

2. Know with whom you are speaking - Confirm and confirm again. If you receive an email from your grandson needing money, call him directly and make sure he has requested the money. Never offer personal information to someone who calls you, even if they say they are from your bank or another company.

3. Stop and think. Scammers make the issue sound urgent so you don’t have time to think. If you are told to take action ‘right now, it may very well be a scam. 

Scammers Targeting the LGBTQ+ Community

In support of Pride Month, the Federal Trade Commission recently posted this warning to the LGBTQ+ Community.  Scammers are asking people to pay in cryptocurrency. That is important to know since recent reporting suggests that cryptocurrency scams have an outsized impact on the LGBTQ+ community. Watch for these top cryptocurrency-related scams: investment scams and impersonators.

Ask The Scam Spotter

Question from Carolyn: “I receive so many spam texts, most of which I’m sure are malicious clickbait. What can I do to block or reduce these annoying messages?”


Answer from Scam Spotter: The FTC says that people are losing a lot of money, $131 million in 2021 alone, to clickbait scams, clicking on random links, visiting malicious websites and inadvertently providing personal and financial data to the bad guys.

Here are a few tips:

  • Never respond. Currently, scammers are texting links that appear to be coming from recognizable brands such as Costco, Apple, Netflix, and PayPal to spoof unsuspecting consumers. In fact, the texts are linked to malware. Assume the text is fake. Go to the company’s website or call them to confirm an offer.
  • Block the spammers' phone numbers. Learn how here.

Report spam text messages:

On an iPhone:   

· Open the text message, tap and hold the message bubble, then select More.

· Select Forward.

· Forward the message to 7726.

On an Android:   

· Open the text message and tap and hold the message bubble.

· From the menu that appears, select Forward.

· Forward the message to 7726.

Have a question for the Scam Spotter? Send it to and look for the answer in an upcoming edition of Scam Spotter. 


Do you suspect you've been scammed or exploited? Report it to us by calling our Fraud Hotline.


The Denver DA's



We offer FREE presentations on how to protect yourself from fraud and scams. Call to schedule "Stand Up Against Fraud" to learn about scams happening in our area.


Maro Casparian|


Denver District Attorney's Office | 303-913-9000 | 201 W. Colfax Ave. |

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