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Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg

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Consumer Alert- 'Free' Government Grant Telemarketers Target South Dakota Consumers

Consumer Alert- "Free" Government Grant Telemarketers Target South Dakota Consumers 

PIERRE, S.D. - Attorney General Larry Long said today that South Dakota consumers should be cautious of telemarketers calling with offers of free grants. The Consumer Protection Division has received several consumer calls relating to these scams, and here are a few examples:

One individual received a call claiming that she was eligible for a $35,000 grant, and all the telemarketer needed to process the grant was the consumer’s bank account information. Another South Dakota consumer received a phone call from an individual who claimed that she was tracking down people who had grants coming to them from the federal government. She then asked for verification by name, address and phone number and then verification with something that had a picture ID, i.e., a driver's license. Many individuals in the state still use the social security number on their driver’s license and these telemarketers are seeking this kind of information.

"Most sources of grant money do not give grants to individuals for personal need," said Long. "Grants usually are given to serve a social good, such as preservation of a historical building or funding for community projects. These telemarketing calls are just another attempt to obtain your personal information and take money from your accounts."

If you think you have been a victim of a grant scam or need additional information contact the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or email