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Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division Sees Uptick in Extortion Attempts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:   Tuesday, September 25, 2018
CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215

PIERRE, S.D.  – Attorney General Marty Jackley confirms his Consumer Protection Division has received a number of complaints regarding extortion attempts targeting consumers and businesses via email.
“The Consumer Protection Division is not reporting any monetary losses with the complaints they have received thus far, but it likely those who have fallen victim have not reported. It is important to keep educated on the current scams and this is one could be costly if consumers engage in communications with the sender,” said Jackley.
The types of extortion attempts are not all the same, consumers have reported emails to include one or more of the following:
• email from unknown parties
• use of the recipient’s personal information to allow for a high degree of intimidation
• allegations of visiting adult websites or other compromising situations
• threats to send video or compromising information to family, friends, coworkers or social media contacts
• email allows for only a short window to pay or they will distribute the alleged activity

Like any scam via email, DO NOT open email or attachments from unknown senders and DO NOT communicate with unsolicited email senders.  Continue to use strong password and change often to ensure security on your devices.

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

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