El Paso County officials tackle financial-related crimes through “Financial Fridays”

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office began a new initiative to prevent financial crimes in Colorado Springs.

The goal is to raise awareness about different types of financial crime and to offer advice to victims.

Embezzlement, at-risk theft, fraud, public benefits fraud, money laundering. The list goes on. That’s where “Financial Fridays” come in.

“We want to provide warning signs, red flags, or trends or even common hooks that you can see in emails, text messages, phone calls, any type of communication you’re getting,” Senior Deputy District Attorney for the 4th Judicial District Rachael Powell.

Every Friday, officials will outline specific scams and cases they’ve seen right here at home.

“We want to focus on closed ones where we can talk about a specific scam that we see even specific language used in an email or text message or what have you, so that people are on the lookout for that,” Powell said.

Financial Fridays comes at a time where scams have gotten more elaborate which can make it harder to decipher whether someone is a criminal or is working for a legitimate organization or service.

“We’re not talking about how it used to be where you’re talking about a purse snatcher that lives in El Paso County, takes a purse from someone who lives in El Paso County and it’s easy to trace,” Powell explained. “We’re looking at international hackers and ransomware that is coming into El Paso County.”

Not only will Financial Fridays cover different crimes, they will also be used to give advice to financial crime victims and address concerns people are facing right now.

“We want to get that education out to that type of community and we’d like to kind of feet on the ground,” Powell said.

Although in-person meetings won’t start for a while, plans are in place for the future.

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