COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) Financial Crimes Unit is looking for additional victims of a scam targeting mobile payment apps.

In February 2022, CSPD first became aware of a mobile payment scam taking place in Colorado Springs. In each instance, the suspect asked to borrow the victim’s phone to make a call, stating that their own phone had died and that they were trying to contact a friend in the area. While pretending to remember the number, and with the screen being held out of the victim’s line of sight, the suspect then opened the victim’s Venmo application and made several transfers.

The money transfers were done without the victim’s knowledge or permission. As detectives worked this investigation, more than a dozen additional victims came forward.

As the investigation continued, detectives were able to identify and obtain an arrest warrant for the suspect. The suspect is currently being held at a criminal justice center in another city for committing similar crimes. CSPD is not releasing the suspect’s name until additional potential victims are given the opportunity to come forward and provide a positive identification of the suspect.

CSPD is asking for additional victims who may have experienced this type of scam to contact CSPD at (719) 444-7000 and reference case #22-05946.

“Our goal is to care and serve our community,” said CSPD Financial Crimes Unit Detective Ray Wetzel. “Nobody should have to experience this type of crime, and we want to do everything we can to hold the suspect accountable and provide support and justice for our victims.”

Safety Tips

CSPD Financial Crimes Unit has provided these safety tips for the community should you encounter a similar situation:

  • Do not lend your personal property to those you don’t know
  • Password protect as many mobile apps as possible/set up multifactor authentication
  • If you feel that a person is making a legitimate request to contact someone, protect yourself by putting your phone on speaker-phone and offer to dial the number for them.  Keep the phone in your possession the entire time and do not allow the person to hold or manipulate your phone at any time.