Police Warn Residents of Door-To-Door Scammer

By: Leslie Fichera Email
By: Leslie Fichera Email

The Colorado Springs Police Department is warning residents of a repeat-scammer. KKTV first told you about this scam on Saturday when a local woman was duped and shared her story with 11 News. Since that story aired, we've gotten more calls from viewers saying they were also scammed. Now police are saying, they're not the only ones.

Police say the man has now hit several local homes. The scammer knocks on people's door and usually tells a similar story; that his car has broken down and he needs cash for a tow truck. He tells the homeowners that he can write them a check in exchange because a tow truck will not accept checks.

11 News viewers tell us the scammed convinced them that they knew him from the neighborhood and that he often walks his dog by their house.

On Saturday, 11 News interviewed Juanita Canzoneri, who says she got scammed on Friday when the man came to her door asking for money.

Canzoneri said she thinks it was a well thought-out plan. She said the strange man even appeared to have taken off the license plates on his car to keep her from getting any of his information.

"He looked harmless," said Canzoneri. "He made it sound believable."

She said he told her a tall tale, an elaborate story Juanita says, she could tell he had probably told a time or two.

The scammed told Juanita his usual story: AAA was working on his wife's car and that he was $17 short and needed cash. "So, I gave it to him," said Canzoneri.

In exchange he gave her a check written out for $20, but there was something fishy. "The address on the check is not even in my zip code, let alone in my neighborhood," said Canzoneri.

The man said that it was his business address.

11 News went to the address written on the check and low and behold, it was an apartment complex. Whoever lived inside that apartment is now gone, according to neighbors.

"I called the police, sure enough, they've gotten three or four reports about somebody doing this in our neighborhood," said Canzoneri.

Police say don't be a victim. If someone approaches you with a similar story ask for I.D. and exact information. Police say that should scare them off.

Juanita also said that she called the bank and they told her the account is open, but empty.

Juanita believes the checks either belonged to the stranger or were stolen from someone who used to live at the address on the check.

Police took the actual check for evidence and are warning Colorado Springs residents not to fall for it.

Police say the scammer is a white male in his early 40s. He is about 6 feet tall and 190 lbs. The suspicious male has been seen driving a dark-colored pickup truck.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Paige Location: Colorado Springs on Jan 8, 2009 at 12:04 AM
    Ok, this would be my husband, Tony Cline. I am so hurt and angry I can't even stand it. The police and detectives have been to my current hotel room. December 14 we were evicted from our apartment and moved to a hotel, but no Tony. He had relapsed (crack cocaine). He showed up 2 days later, kicked in the door & got kicked out. We had no Christmas A week later, my kids (6 & 16) & I got kicked out because of it. We then moved into his motel because we had nowhere else to go & again he left us. No money, no vehicle, no care in the world except his drugs & a motel away from us. I had to have the hotel manager contact my mother, who has been on vacation in Florida, to save us. She has paid my daily rent, given me money & sent us bus tickets to get away from him. It's been hell for us, but thank God for mom! We're outta here tomorrow, which I'm sad about because I think CoSpgs is beautiful. We've been married for 10 years and he did this before in Tampa, FL. (continued)
  • by anon Location: CS on Jan 7, 2009 at 07:37 AM
    And to think they used to stand at walmart with their signs. Guess their working a little harder these days. When you give your money to people you don't know that approach you at home why would you think it's anything other than what it is? If someone comes to your door offer to make a call for them, no more, no less.
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