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Fraudsters impersonate Colorado Springs law firm in estate scam

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- A scam impersonating a reputable Colorado Springs law firm has left one man out of $8,000.

The Colorado Springs Police Department is actively investigating the identity theft of Hammond Law Group after scammers used their name to steal money from at least one person.

Catherine Hammond, the founder of Hammond Law Group, was horrified when she learned people were using her firm's name to target individuals.

"He was told that there's an attorney who has lost his license and the only way that he can get it back is if he delivers this package related to a deceased person with a lot of money to the victim," Hammond explained.

The imposters not only used Hammond Law Group's name, but they also included a fake Colorado Supreme Court seal on the paperwork they sent to the victim.

They convinced the man to pay $8,000 in gift cards but he never received the package. Hammond says the man communicated with the scammers over Google Hangouts. She says her firm would never use this as a way to communicate with someone.


"Anybody who asks you for money before you get something .. that is one of the key red flags," Hammond said.

The Colorado Springs Police Department says the fraudsters preyed on an Arizona man who was previously a victim of another scam.

Derek Wilson, the Chief Strategy Officer Silver Key Senior services said scams targeting the elderly have been on the rise during the pandemic.

"Seniors are at most-risk," Wilson explained.

Statistics show the elderly lose up to $1,500 to scams on average, according to Wilson.

"They try and invoke fear. So we tell them to be suspicious of anyone pressuring them that way. Refrain from clicking on suspicious links," Wilson explained. "And make sure if it's for a charity or alleged charity. make sure they verify it."

Experts say it's critical to not give out personal information over the phone or online.

Silver Key encourages seniors who are wary of an offer they receive to contact their organization before moving forward.

CSPD also warns that any organization asking to be paid in gift cards is unlikely to be reputable.

Crime / El Paso County Crime / Investigations / Local News / News

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

Comments

8 Comments

  1. Why worry that a few seniors may be scammed when the governor ignores his own promises and CDC guidelines to provide vaccine to the most vulnerable 65-year-old residents and up. Nope, gotta take care of the teachers, who have worked with kids this year almost long enough to recognize them in person. And, if you haven’t taken note, the vaccine requires 2 shots several weeks apart, so by the time our educators and staff get vaccinated, school will be out for the summer.

      1. Nope, strong as a yak. As an essential worker, I haven’t had much time lately. But I did pass over my vaccine to someone more needy. Good for me.

  2. In GIFT CARDS……..AGAIN…..what company or whatever in reality asks someone to pay using GIFT CARDS!!!! what is wrong with these people ? Is the altitude getting to them?

    1. I don’t think it’s the altitude. Some people are just born that way, and as the saying goes, “you can’t cure stupid.”

  3. “They convinced the man to pay $8,000 in gift cards”
    -That should be your first clue gift cards.
    -Saying they will give you 10K (or whatever) if you give them 8K in gift cards……
    There is no such thing as free money.

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