FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 15, 2018
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley is asking consumers statewide to reach out to their friends or neighbors to warn them of the dangers of sweepstake scams. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has had multiple victims come forward to file formal complaints against these types of scam artists. One consumer has wired approximately $400,000.00 to an unknown source over a course of 4 years. Consumers who have fallen victim to this scam find themselves so consumed that the scammer convinces them to cash out investment accounts, retirement accounts, anything of value that will result in the scammer receiving legitimate funds.
“Take the time to talk with friends, neighbors and coworkers to make sure they understand the danger in responding to sweepstake offers. Keep in mind that the minute someone asks for an upfront fee to receive a sweepstakes winning, it is a scam,” said Jackley.
Here are tips to avoid getting caught in a sweepstakes scam:
• If someone sends you a check and asks you to send money back in return, DON’T. No legitimate contest can ask for money to be sent to be sent to them.
• If someone asks you to wire money to claim a sweepstakes prize, don’t. Legitimate companies do not ask for money upfront to covers fees and they do not ask for money to be wired before an award can be paid out.
• Be cautious of sound alike names. Scammers often use the names of legitimate companies in an attempt to deceive and gain consumers trust.
If you have been a victim of this scam please contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division as 1-800-300-1986 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may be helping someone else by reporting what you have encountered.