South Dakotans targeted by scams

PIERRE, S.D. (KEVN) - South Dakotans are encouraged to remain vigilant when it comes to sweepstakes and wire transfer scams. Multiple people have reached out to file scam complaints.

According to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, one individual has wired around $400,000 over a four year time period to an unknown source. The scammer convinces victims to cash out their retirement or investment accounts and to send them anything of value.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley advises people to talk with friends, neighbors and coworkers about responding to sweepstakes offers and to understand the dangers associated.

“Keep in mind that the minute someone asks for an upfront fee to receive a sweepstakes winning, it is a scam,” said Jackley.

The Attorney General’s office recommends some tips to avoid becoming a victim.

-Don’t send money to claim a prize. Legitimate companies do not ask a winner to wire money before a prize can be awarded. They do not ask for money upfront to cover fees.

-Don’t send money, even if a check is sent to you. No legitimate contest can ask for money to be sent to them.

-Scammers sometimes use legitimate company names as an attempt to deceive people and build trust.

If you believe you are a victim of a scam, call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or email them at consumerhelp@state.sd.us.