Archive for October, 2013

*Guest Blog* Denver Fraud Alert: Furnace Inspection Imposters Blow Hot Air

Posted on October 14, 2013 by josh in Safety




As the nights get cooler and thoughts turn to winterizing the home, con artists who pose as furnace inspectors start making an appearance. Dressed as utility company or city employees, they will often use scare tactics such as concerns about gas build-up, or fears about high carbon monoxide levels as a ploy to get inside your house. There are a variety of frauds and thefts associated with these scams. Thieves may be trying to get inside to steal valuables such as jewelry or cash. Others conduct bogus tests, and then charge a fee for their service. The most costly scam involves those who fabricate a furnace problem, and then offer to fix or replace it, leaving you out money and a damaged furnace that will require further repair.Sometimes energy companies must enter homes to read old meters and to inspect newly installed furnaces and water heaters. Legitimate companies or city employees will have well marked vehicles and clothing, as well as identification. Take the time to call the company they say they represent to verify before letting them in.
Having your furnace periodically inspected is a good idea, but should be an action that you initiate. Reputable energy companies will usually conduct these inspections for residents. In the City of Denver, furnace contractors must be licensed in order to get a permit.
To verify if a contractor is licensed, contact the Denver Building Department at 720-865-2770 or go online or call the Better Business Bureau at 303-758-2100.
 Before letting them in, always verify that inspectors are who they say they are.
 Always get a second opinion from a different licensed contractor. And, make sure to investigate that contractor with the Better Business Bureau as well.
 If you get a phone call from a heating contractor who claims you may have done business with them, remember their client list may have been sold to another owner or taken by an employee who no longer works there.
 Keep in mind, once the old furnace has been removed it is impossible to prove its’ prior condition. At that point, little can be done by any agency or in court to remedy your situation.
For more information on winter safety tips, click on:
Denver DA’s Fraud Line: 720-913-9179
Follow us on Twitter @DenverScamAlert


For information or to schedule a presentation about fraud related issues and prevention, contact:

Maro Casparian
Dir. Consumer Fraud

30 Years Later…Project Safeguard

Posted on October 7, 2013 by josh in About VSN

Project Safeguard:  Thirty Years Later We’re Still Safeguarding Victims’ Rights

Most people who read this blog will know that thirty years ago, domestic violence was generally viewed as a “family problem” and was considered to be nobody else’s business – certainly not something for law enforcement or the courts to get involved in.  What you may not know is the prominent role that Project Safeguard played in changing that attitude in Denver.

In the early 1980s, a group of Denver –based activists formed the Colorado Coalition for Justice for Abused Women.  This new organization (known as the JAWS Coalition) focused its work on:

  • The treatment of domestic violence as a crime;
  • Accountability for perpetrators; and
  • Providing victims with access to legal protection.

In 1984 the JAWS Coalition incorporated as Project Safeguard.  One of the organization’s founders told me recently that they had some reluctance about naming the organization after a brand of soap (I’m not sure if Safeguard soap is still around) but loved having those two strong words — SAFE and GUARD — front and center in the organization’s name.

Project Safeguard’s early days focused on policy work.  The organization played a significant role in instituting Denver’s mandatory arrest law (the first in Colorado) in 1984, the design and development of Denver’s Protective Order Court in 1992, and the passage of Colorado’s mandatory arrest law in 1994.  This was all new territory and it was hard work.  And that hard work received national attention in 1992 when Project Safeguard was recognized as one of five State of the Art Comprehensive Court Programs in the country by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

It  was a natural progression for Project Safeguard to begin direct service as a complement to its policy work.  Project Safeguard began providing specially-trained legal advocates to assist victims of domestic violence to increase their safety – particularly through civil protection orders.

Nearly thirty years later, Project Safeguard’s work has gone beyond the city limits of Denver.  We have legal advocates working in Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield and Denver county courthouses.  But the core of our work remains the same:  safeguarding the rights of victims of domestic violence.