Colorado Springs

Hackers use renovation scam to steal $4K from Palmer Lake woman

PALMER LAKE, Colo. - If you're in the market to remodel your home, we have an important warning to share: Colorado consumers are losing thousands of dollars to fraudulent home improvement deals online.

"It looked totally legit," said Fran Gorman, who's referring to an email she received from a Colorado Springs flooring company. "When I got the quote, it had all my information on there, as well as the company's logo so it was believable."

But within 30 minutes of receiving the email, Gorman got another email that threw her off.

"It said the business owner was asking me for $2,000 to be sent to a supplier by wire transfer," Gorman said. "Since it was a smaller company, I thought it might have been legit."

Gorman tried wiring the $2,000, but the transfer was unsuccessful.

The catch? There were no obvious signs anything in the email thread was fraudulent. So we brought all the paperwork to Blake Schwank, the CEO of Colorado Computer Support, who said the business's email account was hacked.

"From the looks of this, the hacker was in the email, even had it open, and was watching the transaction go by," Schwank said.

Schwank said this scam specifically targets local businesses who do transactions via email.

KRDO reached out to the company involved, but the company refused to comment and asked us to leave the property. This is why it's so important for consumers to recognize the red flags that signal faulty deals, like wiring money to a third party.

For more of these tips, read from the Federal Trade Commission.

If you have a scam, email Stephanie.Sierra@KRDO.com.


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