Suspect arrested in mobile payment app scam, CSPD seeks additional victims

COLORADO SPRINGS — The Colorado Springs Police Department’s (CSPD) Financial Crimes Unit is looking for more victims of a scam targeting mobile payment apps.

In February 2022, CSPD first became aware of a mobile payment scam in Colorado Springs. In each case, the suspect asked to borrow the victim’s phone to make a call, stating that his own phone was dead and he was trying to contact a friend in the area. While pretending to remember the number, and with the screen held out of the victim’s line of sight, the suspect then opened the victim’s Venmo app and made several transfers.

The money transfers were made without the victim’s knowledge or permission. As detectives worked on this investigation, more than a dozen additional victims came forward.

As the investigation continued, detectives were able to identify and obtain an arrest warrant for the suspect. The suspect is currently being held at a criminal justice center in another city for committing similar crimes. The CSPD will not release the suspect’s name until other potential victims have had an opportunity to come forward and provide positive identification of the suspect.

CSPD asks additional victims who may have fallen victim to this type of scam to contact CSPD at (719) 444-7000 and reference case #22-05946.

“Our goal is to care for and serve our community,” said CSPD Financial Crimes Unit Detective Ray Wetzel. “No one should have to experience this type of crime, and we want to do everything we can to hold the suspect accountable and bring support and justice to our victims.”

Safety tips

The CSPD Financial Crimes Unit has provided these safety tips to the community if you encounter a similar situation:

  • Do not lend your personal property to those you do not know
  • Password protect as many mobile apps as possible/set up multi-factor authentication
  • If you think someone is making a legitimate request to contact someone, protect yourself by putting your phone on speakerphone and offering to dial the number. Keep the phone in your possession at all times and do not allow anyone to hold or handle your phone at any time.

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