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.