Attorney General Warns Of Telephone Scams
(Pierre) – Phone scams are again making their way through South Dakota warns Attorney General Mark Barnett. The most recent attempt to swindle South Dakotans is coming in the disguise of a prize. South Dakotans are being contacted by phone and told they have won a cash prize ranging from $25,000 to $350,000. They are then being told that they must pay “taxes” on their prize to collect their winnings. The caller often asks that the money be wired immediately and in some cases will claim that the contact person is a U.S. Customs Agent.
Remember, it is illegal to charge a person for something they’ve already won, whether it is from the US or Canada. Taxes are always withheld from your earnings or paid to the IRS after you receive your earnings.
Unfortunately some people have already fallen prey to this scam, and sent money to the callers. “This is just another attempt to steal money from South Dakotans. Before wiring money anywhere please contact my office. The Consumer Protection Staff can help decipher if the call you received was legitimate, or if some con artist is trying to steal your hard earned money” Barnett said.
The Consumer Protection Office has received over twenty calls in the past three weeks from people being targeted by this scam. The Attorney General Consumer Protection Office can be reached at 1-800-300-1986.
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