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Cops investigate computer scam

John Colson

Local police are hoping for a little help in figuring out how many area businesses were hit by an alleged computer repair scam during the past couple of months.

The Glenwood Springs police arrested Brian Allen, 28, on Wednesday on a warrant out of Jefferson County, according to Aspen police officer Brian Heeney.

In the meantime, Heeney said, a judge in Pitkin County issued a warrant for Allen’s arrest on local charges of criminal impersonation, a class six felony that could carry a sentence of up to 18 months in prison.

Allen was in the Pitkin County jail Thursday night, held on a total of $35,000 in bonds from both counties.

Police were alerted to Allen’s presence in the valley by employees of local graphics and printing companies, who reported that Allen had been making the rounds of such firms for weeks.

Heeney said Allen would call at a business, introduce himself as an employee of Apple Computers with a “Tier Two Field Engineer” certification, and caution them about a virus that had been detected and that must be purged using special software.

He would then perform some tasks at the computer, Heeney said, and submit an invoice for payment.

After he had visited several businesses, however, someone got suspicious and called Apple, according to Heeney. Officials at Apple said they had never heard of Allen, and that there is no such thing as a “Tier Two Field Engineer” working on virus eradication.

Heeney said authorities are continuing to investigate the case, and are hoping that anyone who was visited by Allen, whether they paid him any money or not, will call police.

Police believe Allen has been living in hotels for some time, and they’re not sure about his background. He said the case is being investigated by police agencies up and down the valley.


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