Police reiterate scam warning
Routt County law enforcement reports fraud remains prevalent
August 6, 2010
Steamboat Springs — Despite persistent warnings to the public, Steamboat Springs and Routt County law enforcement officers continue to hear from local victims of scams.
Steamboat Springs Police Department Detective Nick Bosick said one recent trend is people getting e-mails supposedly from friends stranded overseas who need help — in the form of money wired to them.
"A couple days ago, a lady received a phone call from somebody," he said. "She ended up sending them like $1,700."
Bosick said the woman sent the money by wire transfer to an address in Los Angeles, but the phone call was traced to Jamaica. Bosick said he's working with police in Los Angeles and Western Union, but it's also likely that the person picked up the wire transfer in Jamaica. He said that as soon as a person has the control number for a wire transfer, they can pick it up at any wire transfer office.
"If it's in Jamaica, there's nothing we can do about it unless they're somehow associated to a ring that's doing this," Bosick said.
Detectives in May traced a middleman in a Jamaican scam to Florida. The 62-year-old was brought to Steamboat and pleaded guilty to a count of felony theft and received a deferred sentence of 30 months of probation. He also spent 65 days in jail awaiting trial.
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Routt County Sheriff's Office investigator Ken Klinger said residents bring suspected scams to his attention almost every day. Even he was almost fooled by a recent e-mail claiming to be from a financial institution.
"I got a thing that came from Bank of America, looked exactly like it came from Bank of America, and it said you've used the login unsuccessfully too many times," he said.
The e-mail asked him to enter his name and password to the system.
Although he uses Bank of America, he did not use their online system. When he checked with the bank, they confirmed it was an attempted fraud.
Klinger said many scams are coming out of places such as Nigeria. He said most local callers have not lost money, but that's not always the case. A couple in Oak Creek recently lost about $4,000 to a scam.
Updates on other cases
■ The Loggers Lane investigation has not been handed over to the Routt County District Attorney's Office, but Sheriff's Office investigator Mike Curzon said he expects things to start moving in the case shortly.
Loggers Lane Owners Association then-treasurer Kati More reportedly took, then returned, about $60,000. Prosecutors have a finished report from the Steamboat Springs Police Department but are awaiting the Sheriff's Office report before making a decision about charges. Curzon is waiting for a state forensic analysis of More's computer.
■ Bosick said a suspect in a case involving a stolen and subsequently crashed Jeep has confessed to the crime. A warrant has been issued for the man's arrest. Bosick said the man has been traveling across the county and talked to Bosick via phone and e-mail. He last reported that he voluntarily checked into a rehab center in Chicago.
■ Klinger said more arrests are expected in a series of three county burglaries that began in April and netted more than $100,000 each. He said more information should be available next week.