Colorado Springs Police warn about “Card Cracking” scam

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FILE- This Aug. 9, 2017, file photo shows the Snapchat app on a mobile device in New York. Snapchat is joining the online-games bandwagon with a new service that lets people play together on its mobile platform. The company says it wants to make it easier for friends to play together. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Police Department’s (CSPD) Financial Crimes Unit would like the community to be aware of a criminal pattern known as “Card Cracking” occurring in the Colorado Springs and Peyton area. This is a type of identity theft and check fraud that involves the recruitment of people using social media sites, particularly Snapchat.

Police say they’ve been made aware of several occurrences where victims interact with a Snapchat post that offers quick cash. Victims are assured the process is legal and that there is no potential for consequences.

The victims are recruited to meet with a suspect in a hotel parking lot. The suspect then either takes the victim to an ATM and has the victim deposit a forged check into their bank account; or in some instances, the suspect has the victim open their mobile banking app to make a mobile deposit of the forged check. Once the check is deposited, the victim then withdrawals half of the check’s value to keep for themselves, giving the other half to the suspect. The suspect then drops the victim back off at their vehicle. Soon after, the victim is notified by their bank that the check was forged, and that the victim owes the money back to the bank.

CSPD said a suspect in most of these cases is described as a black male, 20 to 30-years-old, 6 foot tall, and approximately 150 pounds.

If you are an unreported victim of this crime, or have any information on this suspect, please call the CSPD at (719) 444-7000; or if you wish to remain anonymous, you may call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (719) 634-STOP (7867) or 1-800-222-8477.

CSPD is very concerned that the victims – who are mostly underage teenagers – are meeting strangers alone. More than 17 community members have been a victim of this fraud. Below are some simple crime prevention tips to help keep community members safe:

  • Never meet an unknown person alone.
  • Always know the source of checks you are depositing into your accounts.
  • Ask to see an ID if making any kind of transactions.
  • Be wary of advertisements or posts that offer quick cash (most of the times they are scams).
  • Parents, talk to your children about online safety and be informed of how they are interacting online. Here are some safety guides provided by the Colorado Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force:

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