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Attorney General Larry Long Warns South Dakotans of Charitable Solicitation Scams

Consumer Alert- Attorney General Larry Long Warns South Dakotans of Charitable Solicitation Scams

PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Larry Long is warning South Dakotans to be cautious of fraudulent charitable solicitations. South Dakota citizens have received telephone solicitations this week from persons identifying themselves as representatives of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. The callers claim to be raising money for programs to help children involved in alcohol and drug abuse. The South Dakota Highway Patrol does not participate in charitable fundraising over the phone.

"This is the season of charitable giving and scam artists are taking full advantage of those who are generous this time of year," said Long. "Take the extra time to find out who is calling and make sure that your money is going to a legitimate cause."

Here are a few ways to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Don’t be fooled by "look-alike" charities. Some scammers use names that are designed to resemble well respected organizations.    
  • Ask phone solicitors to send written information. Be suspicious and do not contribute if they refuse to send the information.    
  • Ask if the caller is a paid solicitor and if they are find out the name, address and phone number of the telemarketing firm. Paid solicitors must register with the Consumer Protection Division.    
  • Do not give a credit card number or checking account number over the phone. A legitimate charity will send a return envelope to ensure that your money is collected.

If you have any additional questions regarding this scam please contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Office at 1-800-300-1986.