FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 21, 2019
CONTACT: Tim Bormann (605) 773-3215
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg today advises all South Dakota consumers to be on the lookout for online messages offering free grants. The Division of Consumer Protection has received several consumer calls relating to these scams and reports of contact from Facebook Messenger accounts not connected to Facebook pages.
Individuals should be cautious of messenger contacts that are identified as “Using Messenger without Facebook”. These individuals can appear to be a friend, family member or even an elected official or well-known person.
If an individual were to follow these links, they may be asked for identifying information including items like name, address, phone number, driver’s license information, bank account information, or social security number.
"No one is immune from online impersonators, so it’s imperative you exercise caution while engaging with new people on social media platforms,” said Ravnsborg. “Online scammers frequently impersonate loved ones or publicly elected officials in an attempt to obtain personal information or take money from accounts. Remember that sources of grant money do not award grants to individuals for personal need, they are geared towards social necessities like preserving historic sites or funding community projects. Be careful and use caution online.”
If you know someone is impersonating either you or another person on Facebook Messenger, you can report it to Facebook. Instructions can be found at
If you think you have been a victim of a grant scam or would like additional information contact the Division of Consumer Protection at 1-800-300-1986 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.