The duties of the division include the investigation and prosecution
of complex so-called "white-collar" crime, supervision over the Check Fraud Diversion program,
and the investigation and prosecution of businesses engaged in deceptive trade practices. The bulk of the
cases which fall under the "white-collar" crime label include a wide variety of economic, business
and consumer crime. Examples of these crimes are Computer Crimes, Contractor Fraud, Employee Embezzlement,
Financial Exploitation of the Elderly, Theft due to Identity Fraud, Investment/Securities Fraud, Money Laundering,
Check Fraud, Welfare Fraud, and most other schemes that have an economic impact on our citizens of El Paso and
One of the goals of the Economic Crime Division is to increase public awareness within the community,
with emphasis on the senior community, about how to be safe from financial exploitation, common scams,
Identity Theft, and other financial crimes. One of the ways the division meets this goal is to provide
“no cost” presentations, upon request, to organizations and groups within our community. The presentations,
called CASE (Communities Against Senior Exploitation) briefings are beneficial to everyone, from young
adults to seniors. To schedule a briefing call our Fraud Hotline at (719) 520-6002.
Communities Against Senior Exploitation
CASE was developed to provide fraud prevention, intervention, investigation/prosecution and victim support.
We would like to provide to the community insightful information on crime trends and patterns. Educating the
public helps as a deterrent to ID Theft and other financial crimes and should reduce the incidence of crime
through public awareness.
When you have a consumer problem
First contact the company management. Clearly explain your problem to them. Keep notes of the names of
persons you talk to and what they tell you. Keep copies of all relevant letters, receipts, contracts, etc.
If after a reasonable amount of time you do not receive satisfaction, and if there has been no satisfactory
explanation for not making an adjustment, then gather your facts together and seek help from the appropriate
agency. The Better Business Bureau is able to negotiate
and adjust many consumer problems. The Better Business Bureau telephone number is (719) 636-1155.
Should you seek assistance from the District Attorney's office?
No, there is no criminal violation
Yes, there may be a criminal violation
- If the transaction does not fall under any of the outlined categories of Consumer Fraud
- If there was no misrepresentation
- If you simply changed your mind about a transaction deciding you didn't get as good a deal as you thought you were getting
- If the transaction was misrepresented to you
- If it falls under any of the specific categories outlined as Consumer Fraud
Proving your complaint
If you have a justifiable complaint, your chance of getting a satisfactory result depends partly
upon your ability to help prove your case. You must be prepared to relate all the important facts concerning
the transaction. Our office will ask you for copies of all contracts, advertisements, and all other written
data, to prove who, when, what, where and how. You will need to provide that information as clearly as possible.
What the District Attorney's Economic Crime Division can do
- Refer you to an appropriate law enforcement agency
- Develop the facts of your case by investigation
- File a civil injunctive action to force discontinuance of deceptive trade practices when appropriate.
Your actual damages, occasioned by the deceptive trade practice, are added to the injunctive relief
in the legal action we take. The District Attorney's Office attempts to recover restitution for
victims of consumer fraud
- Prosecute consumer fraud cases that constitute violations of the criminal law when appropriate.
Bad Check Restitution Program
Individuals and businesses bringing complaints about check fraud should call (866) 398-0759 or visit the website
at www.checkprogram.com/4thjudicialco. The Bad Check
Restitution Program works closely with the business community to stop violators and prevent check violations by
educating retailers and service businesses with tips on how to monitor identification of check writers, as well
as educating the check writer. First time offenders are given an opportunity to avoid criminal prosecution by
attending a mandatory intervention class, in addition to paying restitution. When appropriate, and when the
actions of certain offenders warrant more severe punishment, complaints will be pursued for prosecution.
Before turning a complaint over to the Bad Check Restitution Program, the victim should take some steps
on his/her own:
- Present the check to the named bank for payment, even in those instances when it is known that the
check will not be honored;
- Make an attempt to collect from the check writer;
- And include the following information as part of any complaint:
- Proper identification of the check writer: a Colorado driver's license or Colorado I.D. card.
A military ID card or a Social Security number is not sufficient.
- The name and address of the person who accepted the check (this person is a required witness)
After the check complaint has been accepted by the Bad Check Restitution Program the following may occur:
- An attempt will be made to contact the check writer and provide him/her an opportunity to make restitution.
- If the check writer fails to make restitution, criminal charges may be filed.
The following list details situations and circumstances under which, ordinarily, the Bad Check Restitution cannot
accept the case:
- Fraud - lost/stolen/forged and identity theft (report to law enforcement)
- Checks not passed in the El Paso/Teller County jurisdiction
- Checks without proper identification
- Checks written on out-of-state banks or with out-of-state identification
- Checks where partial payment has already been accepted
- Checks written for charge account payments
- Checks written with an agreement that they will be held for a period of time
- Post-dated checks
- Two party checks
- Pre-signed checks
- Credit card checks
- Stop payment checks where the issuer acted in good faith and with reasonable cause in stopping payment
- Checks issued to pay an obligation arising from illegal transaction
Forgeries, counterfeit checks, and identity theft should be reported directly to the law enforcement agency in
- Colorado Springs Police Department 444-7000
- El Paso County Sheriff's Office 520-7111
- Fountain Police Department 382-8555
- Woodland Park Police Department 687-9262
- Teller County Sheriff's Office 687-9652
- Cripple Creek Police Department 689-9480
- Manitou Springs Police Department 685-5407.
Medicare Phone Scam
Read the following regarding a medicare related phone scam going on. Though this report only references a
couple other states, these scams can spread to other states.
Fraudsters are targeting seniors in Burlington, NC, Kalamazoo, MI, and possibly elsewhere through phone calls
in an attempt to obtain their Medicare ID numbers. In Michigan, the callers, who identify themselves as
being from E-Medicare, are offering new diabetes monitoring equipment. Several seniors in North Carolina
contacted the sheriff's department to report that they received phone calls with the caller offering free
medication in exchange for their Medicare ID number.