“Scambuster Corner” Alert #1

By Barbara Bennett | Larimer County Sheriff’s Office

For details on these and other scams – go to larimer.org.

Be alert to scammer’s tricks!  The following scams are happening today in our area.

  1. Medicare scam – via phone – sending you a new card but need information from your old card. Just hang up.
  2. Rental scam – scammer takes internet photos and places “for rent” on Zillow, Marketplace, Craig’s List, etc. Asks for deposit and rent without showing you the property. Collects the money and leaves the interested renter with lost money and no rental.
  3. Law enforcement impersonation – “You missed jury duty”, warrant for your arrest. Pay by money or gift cards.  Law enforcement never asks for money cards.
  4. Excel energy calling – we are shutting your power off in 30 minutes unless you buy gift or money cards and give the code over the phone.
  5. Paying strangers with Venmo, Cash App, Zelle, etc. Only use these apps to pay close friends, family, and trusted businesses.  There is no buyer protection.
  6. Paying with money cards, cryptocurrency – don’t do it! Always a scam.
  7. Boulder fires – scammers can set up fraudulent sites to donate. Check before donating.
  8. Selling or buying on Facebook, marketplace, etc. Do not pay upfront.  Do not pay/receive money by Venmo, Zelle, cash apps.  Meet in public and in a safe location to make the exchange.  Do not accept offers higher than your asking price.  Cash only.
  9. Online romance scams – builds rapport over period of time – then asks for money or loan. If you have shared intimate photos, may try to blackmail if you don’t send money cards.
  10. Email solicitation to open Chime or bank account or deposit into an account they have opened for you. Do NOT respond, click on links, or confirm any information.

These are actual scams where our citizens have lost thousands of dollars.  


  • Call the number in the email or text (probably the scammer)
  • Never – click on a link from an unknown source
  • Never – give any personal information over the phone, email, text
  • Never – pay for anything via money, gift cards, or wire transfers. Use cash apps (Venmo, Zelle, etc.) only with close friends and family.
  • Never – pay for something prior to seeing it (rentals through Craig’s List)
  • Never accept a buyer that offers more than you asked.

Barbara EJ Bennett, Chief Scambuster, with the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, can be reached at 970-682-0597.

Support Northern Colorado Journalism

Show your support for North Forty News by helping us produce more content. It's a kind and simple gesture that will help us continue to bring more content to you.

BONUS - Donors get a link in their receipt to sign up for our once-per-week instant text messaging alert. Get your e-copy of North Forty News the moment it is released!

Click to Donate