The Greeley Police Department is hosting a free fraud awareness training class this month designed to help residents prevent, identify, and respond to financial abuse and exploitation.

Recently the Greeley PD has noticed an increase in frequency and complexity of financial crimes and exploitation against the elderly. In an effort to combat this unfortunate trend, the free Fraud Awareness Training event will take place at the police station on Tuesday, August 30, from 6 to 8 p.m. Detectives from the Property Crimes Unit will provide information on how to better protect your self and/or your loved ones and answer your questions.

For years, Greeley residents and people all over the country have lost thousands of dollars to scams. Not only do victims suffer financial loss, but also loss of independence, loss of trust in their own judgement and in others, along with feelings of guilt.

According to a news release, Greeley police say many financial fraud cases investigated by the police department follow a familiar pattern: Residents get phone calls from "representatives" or "agents" from a sweepstakes or lottery telling the victims they have won a prize of, for example, $1 million or a new car. The scammer will then instruct the resident to wire money to them via Western Union or MoneyGram to pay upfront taxes, customs fees, insurance, and/or other service charges to receive the prize. They might even ask victims to purchase iTunes cards, gift cards, GreenDot MoneyPak cards, or other prepaid cards to send to the scammer.

Greeley police have also seen an increase of aggressive tactics from these scammers, who go to great and scary lengths to get money from people. Recent examples include scammers calling the Greeley Police Department to check the well-being of the victim, taxi drivers instructed to drive the victim to a bank, locksmiths dispatched to the victim's home, and cell phones that are being purchased and delivered to the victims to maintain contact with the scammer.

If you're a senior citizen, caretaker, or friend of an elderly person, watch for the following signs and consider taking the Greeley Police Department's free Fraud Awareness Training class:

  • Unexplained or missing funds;
  • Suspicious purchases, withdrawals, or deposits;
  • Wire transfers to unfamiliar names or distant locations;
  • Purchases of iTunes or other gift cards and pre-paid debit cards;
  • Unusual or large cash withdrawals from bank accounts or ATMs;
  • Conversations referring to "winning a lottery" or coming into large amounts of money soon;
  • Unusual phone calls from unfamiliar persons.

The event takes place at the Greeley Police Department, which is located at 2875 West 10th Street, Greeley, CO 80634.

If you or someone you know are victims of a scam like what is described above, please contact the Greeley Police Department at 970-350-9600 or your city's law enforcement agency.