SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO AM) – They can come in a phone call, an e-mail or a person comes right to your door. People who appear from no where with a too good to be true deal to separate good people from their hard earned money. State Attorney General Marty Jackley warns vulnerable South Dakotans to be aware.
“It happens around tax time, and last year the bad people were calling and telling people they had an error on their returns,” said Jackley. “This year it has to do with refunds where you get an e-mail that says the IRS needs additional information and to hit the link. Some individuals are also making payments on the Grandparents scams and the sweepstakes scams.”
Jackley said that these people are fishing for personal identification information. It can be your Social Security number, your bank account, passwords and even Medicare numbers. Any information that ties you and your money is what the scam artist is looking for to steal your identity.
“If you receive an e-mail or a phone call, don’t answer the questions, but forward the information to the State Attorney General’s Office, said Jackley. “We have a consumer division that helps South Dakota residents. Last year we received over 20,000 contacts and we are prepared to tell people whether an event is legitimate.”
Jackley pointed out that in Sioux Falls; we had the US Airways scam where people set up in a motel room in Sioux Falls scamming people on airplane vouchers. Also we get transient scammers who say they will clean up your storm damage, pave your driveway and fix your roof. These are individuals who come in from out of state who do a high pressure sale and most of the time picks on our seniors.
“It’s a good idea that consumers look around and get a couple of bids and check on people’s reputations,” said Jackley. “These people come in and do a high pressure bid to do poor quality of work, not provide the services at all or do the work at a high price and put on force to get the money.”
“It’s important that consumers know their rights,” said Jackley. “In most of these door-to-door scams, people have a three day window they can come back on, and I encourage people to call our office.”
Jackley said that his office spends a lot of time helping people who have already been scammed. Many of these scams don’t even happen in the United States, some come from overseas and many such as the Grandparent scams come from Canada. South Dakota Consumers have to understand that my office’s jurisdiction stops at the South Dakota border.
Jackley said that the IRS or your bank won’t contact you by e-mail wanting this information. If you receive an e-mail wanting your personal information, it’s probably a scam.
Jackley recommends that if consumers have any questions to call their Consumer Affairs Division at 1-800-300-1986