Finance

Finance Help
Artificial Intelligence Scams

Artificial Intelligence Scams

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used by scammers to create "deepfakes" of people using images, video, and/or audio of their target. They can create a pretty authentic looking image or audio of you saying something you didn't say, or doing something you didn't do. One tip to ensure you don't fall for this scam is to have a secret word only you and your family/friends know and to ask for that word in the event you're suspicious of contact that seems off, especially if they're asking you for money.

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BankOn

BankOn

Statewide

BankOn provides a list of 11 banks and credit unions where you can open an account online without going into a branch. Almost all cost $5 or less per month. Not all of the banks on the list are in Colorado, but several are: Wells Fargo, US Bank, Key Bank, and Bank of America. Click on a bank's website to get started.

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Best Mortgage: Shop, Compare, Negotiate

Best Mortgage: Shop, Compare, Negotiate

The HUD has developed this in depth step-by-step guide on how to properly shop around for different mortgage loans.

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Canvas Credit Union

Canvas Credit Union

Denver Metro

Denver

Create your checking account and savings account at Canvas Credit Union, a Colorado based financial institution. They offer low barrier entry into banking and assist you every step of the way towards financial empowerment. Find your local branch by visiting their website.

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CHFA

CHFA

CHFA aka Colorado Housing and Finance Authority is Colorado’s trusted partner for affordable and responsible homeownership. Through their statewide networ​k of approved lenders, they offer ​home purchase loans and grants; and second mortgage loans for down payment and/or closing cost assistance. They also sponsor free homebuyer education across the state in English and Spanish to help prepare you for homeownership.​ They have an easy step-by-step process in navigating your first home purchase. Colorado Housing and Finance Authority!

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Colorado VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)

Colorado VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance)

Free tax preparation help

Statewide

VITA volunteers provide free, confidential tax preparation and e-filing of Colorado and Federal taxes. You can earn up to $57,000 to qualify. Click on the website link for more information. Scroll down to the bottom for the green button that says VITA/TCE Locations. Click on that, then you can enter your zip code to find a nearby location with information about whether places take walk-ins or require appointments. It's that easy!

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Consumer Financial Protection Hotline

Consumer Financial Protection Hotline

Denver Metro

Denver's Office of Financial Empowerment & Protection provides a Consumer Financial Protection Hotline at 720-913-1900. You can also email CFPD@denvergov.org. This office will help you if you've been the victim of wage theft, fraud, scam, or financial crime and need help.

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Consumer Reports – Prepaid Debit Cards

Consumer Reports – Prepaid Debit Cards

Statewide

Not all prepaid debit cards are alike. This Consumer Reports video just takes a few minutes to learn about fees that can end up costing you a lot. Learn which questions to ask before choosing a prepaid debit card.

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Credit Repair 101

Credit Repair 101

Denver Metro

Denver

The Empowerment Program provides a course that teaches clients how to navigate the Credit Repair process. Other topics include steps towards obtaining credit reports, getting an up to date credit score, how to open up bank account, and learning to identify the connection between debt-to-income ratio and credit scores. Reach out to Ashley Green to participate in the next available class.

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Credit Union of Colorado

Credit Union of Colorado

Statewide

Credit Union of Colorado offers a standard checking account that has no monthly service fee. It also doesn't require a minimum balance. You can use their mobile banking and a fee-free debit card with your account. For more information and to apply, click on the website link.

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Denver Asset Building Coalition

Denver Asset Building Coalition

Free tax preparation help

Denver Metro

Denver

Denver Asset Building Coalition provides free help with tax preparation services for families making less than $57,000 and single filers making less than $35,000. Click on the website link to learn what to bring with you and more. Click on the blue button that says Get Site Schedule Information for location information for three sites in Denver, and one in Aurora, Arvada, and Edgewater.

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Denver Sheriff Department Scam

Denver Sheriff Department Scam

Denver Metro

The Denver District Attorney posted the following about this scam: "This scam has been active for at least the past year and does not seem to be going away. Here’s the scam: The department’s name and number appear on a victim’s caller ID. When the victim answers, the “Sheriff” tells them they have been served a subpoena for failing to appear in court and must pay a fine. In order to pay the fine, the victim must bring cash or bitcoin to the Lindsey Flannigan Courthouse, in person. Not only is this a scam, but it is very unsafe to meet someone who initiates a call to you, no matter what the circumstances. Keep in mind, that if you ever get an unexpected call from anyone, from the Denver Sheriff Department or anyone else, and they ask for any personal information or say you owe money, hang up. The caller is most likely a thief. We encourage the community to be aware of these recent scams and alert family members and friends. Call our Denver DA Fraud Line at 720-913-9179 if you think someone has tried to scam you, and, please, pass this information along to your friends and family."

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Denver’s Office of Financial Empowerment & Protection

Denver’s Office of Financial Empowerment & Protection

Denver Metro

Denver

This office can help you with free financial coaching, such as budgeting, strategies to reduce debt, improving your credit score, and creating savings. They can help if you think you've been the victim of wage theft, fraud, or scams. They'll get you started with a bank so you don't have to use paycheck cashing services. They can also help you find other financial resources. All you have to do is call and tell the person who answers about your needs. You'll be set up with a virtual appointment right away. It's free, fast, and easy.

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Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation–banking info for consumers and IRS economic impact payments

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation–banking info for consumers and IRS economic impact payments

Statewide

You'll find info about how to receive an IRS Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) on this page. Click to learn more about choosing an account, finding a bank or credit union, and more.

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Get Ahead Colorado

Get Ahead Colorado

Learn about Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and CO Tax Rebate

Statewide

Get Ahead Colorado is a public information campaign from Colorado's Department of Public Health and Environment. Click on the website link to learn how you can file your taxes and claim tax rebates you may be eligible for.

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Government Imposter Scams

Government Imposter Scams

The Attorney General's office for Colorado recently issued a warning about scams from people saying they're from the government. We copy their advice below. Click on the link to learn more. "Know that the government will never call, text, email, or contact you on social media saying you owe money. If you get a link from someone claiming to be the IRS or another government agency, don't click on it. It's a scam. Government agencies do send out letters to make contact with individuals, so should you receive an official looking letter, look up the telephone number for that agency and contact them directly. Say no to anyone who contacts you claiming to be from a government agency and asking for personal information or payment. Know that government agencies and their employees don't ask people to send money for prizes, unpaid loans, or back taxes nor are they permitted to ask you to wire money, add money to a prepaid debit card, or send gift cards. If you're unsure whether the threat is legitimate, look up the official number for the government agency, office, or employee. Then, contact the organization or agency directly to inquire about the legitimacy of the call. Do not attempt to call any phone number back provided by a caller. Always look up any telephone number you wish to call as scammers will provide fake numbers in an attempt to steal money or personal information."

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Great Colorado Payback

Great Colorado Payback

Find Your Unclaimed Property

Statewide

Great Colorado Payback is managed by the Colorado State Treasurer. The program is responsible for keeping track of assets that may have been forgotten about over time, such as funds from the estate of a deceased relative. The office currently has a list of over 1.7 million individuals and businesses for whom funds are available! Justice advocate Mike Dell recommends that if you've been incarcerated for a while, you may want to check the database under your name just in case there are assets in safekeeping by the State Treasury that you don't know about. Click on the website link, then follow the directions to enter your name, city, and zip code. If you lived in several cities before you were incarcerated, be sure to check under that city's name and even the entire state, and to try both a formal and informal spelling of your name (Gregory and Greg, for example) when you search the database.

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How to Find Mistakes on Your Credit Report

How to Find Mistakes on Your Credit Report

Colorado Public Interest Research Foundation

Statewide

COPIRG recently published helpful advice on how to find mistakes on your credit record. Click on the website link.

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How to Use a Prepaid Debit Card

How to Use a Prepaid Debit Card

Statewide

Prepaid debit cards are useful for managing money if you don’t have a checking account. Your pay can be directly deposited to a card, and you can then use your card to pay bills, including C-WISE and restitution. Click on the wikiHow website page to learn more.

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Innocent Online Personality Quizzes

Innocent Online Personality Quizzes

Don't get scammed by a Facebook personality quiz!

You know those Facebook quizzes that ask what your first car was, where you went to sixth grade, your first pet's name? Well, they might not be so innocent. Notice how some of those questions are also security questions for your online accounts? Don't get scammed by a Facebook quiz. Click on the link to learn more.

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Internal Revenue Services – Find an Office

Internal Revenue Services – Find an Office

Statewide

Click on the website for a list of IRS offices in Colorado and phone numbers for Taxpayer Assistance Centers. All of these offices require you to make an appointment by phone first. Scroll through the list for these numbers and addresses. The website also provides links to information about paying taxes. If you make over a certain amount of money, you legally have to file your taxes.

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Internal Revenue Services – Get Right With Your Taxes

Internal Revenue Services – Get Right With Your Taxes

Statewide

Get Right with Your Taxes is a guide published by the Internal Revenue Service. It's designed for a prisoner re-entry program, but you can get a lot of good info here for yourself. Be sure to check out the Q&A section.

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Lost Pet Scam

Lost Pet Scam

Statewide

Many thanks to the Denver District Attorney for their advice on this scam: "Scammers are targeting owners of lost pets to extort cash or bitcoin. They get your phone number from lost dog posters or posts on Nextdoor. In one example the scammer called the owner claiming to be the animal shelter and said in order to retrieve the dog the owner would have to pay for a vaccine before the dog would be released. Animal shelters don’t operate that way. A caller to our fraud line said she asked the finder to show her a picture of her Fiddo. The scammer pulled a photo of the breed of dog from the internet and blurred out the dog’s face. As if the owner would fall for that. Obviously, some scammers aren’t that smart. Speaking of Nextdoor, the app can be very helpful for sharing neighborhood information, selling items, and looking for help, but it can also be an avenue for scammers. Use skepticism when reading these posts. Nextdoor recently posted a warning about scams surrounding bargain items."

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Metro DEEP

Metro DEEP

Denver Metro

Denver

Metro DEEP is an Economic Development Organization focused on the African descended population. They have departments in Youth Development, Career and Workforce, and Entrepreneurial Development. They also have two wealth-building strategies in real estate development and home ownership; the second is in investments. Their long-term goal is "to make a wealth mentality the most popular among our people and our short term goal is to ensure that you get what you need, not to survive, but to thrive." Click on the website below for more information (look under the Events and Programs tabs), email admin@metrodeep.com, or call one of the numbers below for more information.

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metroDPA (down payment assistance)

metroDPA (down payment assistance)

Statewide

metroDPA is a down payment assistance program available in several cities in Colorado. Your income must be below $176,700 a year and credit score above 640 (620 in some cases). You can get help with up to a percentage of your mortgage loan amount with a 3-year forgivable second mortgage. You can also call Diana or DeDe at the number below or email minardid@stifel.com for further inquiries.

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metroDPA Social Equity Program

metroDPA Social Equity Program

Denver Metro

Are you a resident or direct descendant of someone who lived in a Denver neighborhood that was redlined between 1938 and 2000? If so, you may be eligible for $15,000 or $25,000 toward a down payment on a home! Click on the website link to learn more. There's a link to a map where you can search by address to see if you lived, or you are a direct descendant of someone who lived in a historic redlined area. The map has a number of different neighborhoods in Denver that were defined by banks as historically ineligible for loans, or "redlined." Borrower can purchase a home anywhere in the metroDPA footprint of eligible areas (this includes 46 cities and 9 counties along Denver’s Front Range).

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MyFriendBen

MyFriendBen

Statewide

MyFriendBen is a mobile-first assessment tool that helps families/individuals know what benefits they are entitled to, as well as the estimated cash value and time to receive those benefits. You can receive more information on public benefits, tax credits, financial assistance, and services. Navigate to their website to answer questions about household income, expenses, and demographics. MyFriendBen will then analyze responses and offers immediate, individualized results that suggest benefits the household may be eligible for. There are no questions about immigration status.

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NACA

NACA

NACA is the best purchase program in America. NACA provides both comprehensive housing counseling and access to an incredible mortgage. NACA has over $20 Billion committed from some the country's largest lenders with everyone receiving four extraordinary terms: no down payment, no closing costs, no fees & below market fixed rate

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National Consumer Law Center’s FAQs on Stimulus Payments

National Consumer Law Center’s FAQs on Stimulus Payments

The National Consumer Law Center issued a document with frequently asked questions about the stimulus payments on February 25th this year. Click on the PDF button below to see the document.

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NEWSED Community Development Corporation

NEWSED Community Development Corporation

Denver Metro

Denver

Newsed provides free money management classes about money myths, home ownership, financial products and services, creating good credit, banking, and a money makeover. They also offer free business development classes for entrepreneurs.

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Operation HOPE

Operation HOPE

located inside Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales Library

Statewide

Denver

Operation Hope is a national organization that provides free help with financial planning, credit repair, budgeting, and more. More description to come...

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Phone Scams

Phone Scams

Mark Rober used to work for NASA and Apple. Nowadays, he puts out videos on YouTube like this one titled Glitterbomb Trap Catches Phone Scammer. It's an educational look behind the scenes of those really annoying phone calls. Please share with the folks you know who are too trusting.

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Scam Related to Sex Offense Conviction

Scam Related to Sex Offense Conviction

Women Against Registry distributed a letter they received from a member who had been contacted by someone claiming to be a police officer. The letter reads: “On Sept. 30 I received a call from someone claiming to be a police officer saying that I was now non-compliant and would be arrested if I didn’t bring $3500 to the county courthouse to post bail. He went on to say I had been sent a registered letter and had signed for it and had missed a court appointed hearing date. This was all a scam, which I got sucked into because I knew people who have been arrested, without warning for similar circumstances. It was also made possible because the registry is ‘public.’ These scammers had access to that information. I nearly went through with the scam and spent over an hour on the phone with this guy because he said I had to stay on the phone with him until I reached the courthouse. I thought that was very odd, but I complied, not wanting to be arrested. I finally realized it was a scam when he told me I had to convert cash into electronic cards. When I finally realized that the cards, he was talking about were “GIFT” Cards, I hung up and called my registry office. I was glad that the officer picked up immediately and I told him what had just happened. He told me it was definitely a scam and that there were no warrants on me.”

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Stop Fraud Colorado

Stop Fraud Colorado

Don't get scammed!

We're hearing about people getting scammed right out of prison. You can learn more at StopFraudColorado.gov, a website provided by the Attorney General's office. Learn about mail fraud, telemarketing fraud, medicaid fraud, creditor fraud, and more! You can also learn how to report fraud.

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Tips & Tricks to Boost Your Credit Score

Tips & Tricks to Boost Your Credit Score

Experian provides a helpful page with tips and tricks to help with your credit score. Click on the pdf link below.

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United Way’s 211

United Way’s 211

Statewide

You can call 211 operators and ask for locations that offer free tax preparation near you. All you have to do is call 211 from anywhere in the state!

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Where’s My Refund?

Where’s My Refund?

IRS page with info about your refund. Apparently there's a problem with the tool and mail processing delays. Click on website link for more info.

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