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Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Retrieves $20,000 for Elderly Scam Victim and Raises Awareness about Scams

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Retrieves $20,000 for Elderly Scam Victim and Raises Awareness about Scams

[Douglas County] A Douglas County Sheriff’s Office technician recently saved an older resident from a potentially devastating scam. Responding to a distress call from an elderly individual who sent $20,000 in cash to a suspicious person, the technician quickly made some calls and was able to secure the return of the funds. This act highlights the commitment of Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to protect vulnerable members of our community.

Upon receiving the report from the distressed resident, Technician Dea Aragon realized the need to act quickly. Understanding the gravity of the situation, Technician Aragon immediately reached out to security team contacts in the package shipping industry who could potentially intercept the funds before they were lost. Through their tireless efforts and collaboration, the technician successfully managed to recover the full amount, ensuring the victim did not suffer a financial loss.

The resident, who did not want to be identified, said, “The good Lord rides on my shoulder, and that’s why I got my money back. And I’m very lucky Dea was there to help me. She went above and beyond to help me. She made me feel comfortable, and she followed up with me. I want to warn others don’t answer your phone if you don’t know who it is. And if you do get into a situation like this, call law enforcement right away.”

“I am so proud of Dea’s compassion, attentiveness, and quick actions that helped one of our residents recover a substantial amount of cash,” said Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly. “We urge all community members to remain vigilant and proactive in safeguarding themselves and their loved ones against scams. We need to work together to put these scammers out of business.”

This incident serves as a reminder of the prevalence of scams targeting unsuspecting individuals, particularly the elderly. To raise awareness and help prevent such incidents, residents are urged to talk with older parents and watch their activity. Here are some essential scam awareness tips:

Be vigilant: Always exercise caution when communicating with unfamiliar individuals, especially those soliciting money or sensitive information. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

  • DO NOT allow strangers remote access to your computer or bank accounts.
  • DO NOT trust caller ID. Local phone numbers are easily spoofed.

Verify before sending money: Before sending any funds to someone you don’t know or trust, thoroughly research their identity and legitimacy. Utilize online resources, consult with friends or family, or contact local authorities for guidance. Never give money to get money, that is a huge sign of a scam.

  • The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office will NEVER ask you to pay bond/bail, a fine for missing jury service, a charge for an arrest warrant, or a fee for civil service, with gift cards, wire transfers, Bitcoin, Green Dot cards, MoneyPak cards, Zelle or Venmo transfers, or ATM deposits.
  • Government agencies and legitimate organizations such as the IRS, Social Security, Xcel Energy, Apple, Best Buy, and anti-virus companies will NEVER request those forms of payment either.

Guard your personal information: Never provide personal or financial information to unsolicited callers, emails, or text messages. Scammers often pose as legitimate organizations to deceive individuals into revealing sensitive details.

Trust your instincts: If something feels off or raises suspicion, trust your gut instincts. Seek advice from trusted family members, friends, or law enforcement before proceeding with any financial transactions.

Stay informed: Stay updated on the latest scams and fraud tactics circulating in your area. Local law enforcement agencies and consumer protection organizations often provide alerts and resources to help individuals stay ahead of scammers.

NEVER KEEP ANYTHING A SECRET: This is the biggest “red flag” that indicates it is a scam. Slow down, take a deep breath and talk to others.  Nothing is a rush!  YOU HAVE TIME.

Please call the DCSO immediately at (303) 660-7500 if anyone asks you to send money to someone you don’t know personally.

Douglas County Sheriff’s Office Senior Resource Deputy Ryan Falkner is available to offer suggestions and support to seniors and their family members. To read more about current scams or to submit your story:

20k cash

Actual cash recovered