ATTORNEY GENERAL LARRY LONG WARNS CONSUMERS OF PHONE SCAM
(Pierre)- Attorney General Larry Long cautioned today against a new phone scam targeting South Dakota consumers. This scam involves telemarketers falsely identifying themselves as affiliates of the federal government and offering grant or loan money in amounts up to $25,000. The consumer is told they have two options. The first is to prepare the paperwork themselves and receive the money in a year or two. The second option is allow the telemarketer to complete the paperwork and the consumer is told that they will then receive the money within 30-60 days. The catch is the consumer must pay a $200 fee with a credit card or bank account number.
“Dishonest telemarketers constantly come up with new ways to persuade consumers into giving them their personal information and money. This scam is a perfect example. There are no such federal loans or grant programs available,” said Long. “This is a complete fraud.”
Long advises consumers to watch for these red flags when dealing with telemarketing scams:
• They ask for your credit card or checking account numbers or other personal financial information. Never give this information over the phone unless you initiate the call.
• They pressure you into acting immediately on any offer. If the telemarketer insists that you act quickly, be suspicious.
• If you ask the caller to send you information in the mail and he or she will not, be suspicious.
• Ask for their name, business identity, telephone number, physical address and mailing address before you transact business, if they refuse- hang up.
Consumers with questions or complaints about this telemarketing scam or any other scam are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or firstname.lastname@example.org.