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Attorney General Jackley Warns of Grandparent Scam

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Tuesday, June 05, 2018
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215   

PIERRE, S.D.  – Attorney General Marty Jackley’s Consumer Protection Division is seeing the grandparent scam recirculate.  

“As your Attorney General, I continue to make this plea to talk with friends, neighbors and coworkers to make sure they are checking on the seniors they know and care about to discuss this scam,” said Jackley. “This is a scam that continues to resurface about every six months so focusing on education and awareness is the key to making sure we do not continue to have victims.”
 
The scam begins with a telephone call from someone claiming to be a grandchild or other family member and requests money for a critical situation such as legal proceedings, theft of their personal belongings or medical conditions.  
 
Consumers need to be aware that the scammers are getting better at targeting their victims by the use of the internet and social media - they are doing their homework to make the call sound more legitimate.  Some calls have multiple scammers on the line impersonating the “grandchild’s” attorney.  The “attorney” indicates that they have already made an agreement with a judge and all they are waiting for are funds to be received in order for the grandchild to be released.  

Scammers monitor the weather, when its hot out they know people will be inside and more likely to find seniors at home. It is a scam of opportunity.

Tips to avoid becoming a victim:
 
• Ask several personal questions including something that only a grandchild would be able to answer like a nickname, name of a family pet or special family tradition.  This will help determine if this is a fraud or not.
 
• Independently contact the grandchild or parent of the grandchild the scam artist is claiming to be at a known phone number.
 
• Do not fill in the blanks for the caller. If the caller says, “This is your granddaughter,” ask “which one?” or “where are you calling from?” The caller is
looking for answers that will assist them in the scam.
 
• Be cautious if the caller asks you to not tell anyone else, like the parents, because he or she will get in trouble. It is all part of the scam.

If you’ve been victimized by this scam by sending money please contact the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or by email at consumerhelp@state.sd.us.

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