Attorney General urges everyone to help stop sweepstake scams

PIERRE, SD – Attorney General Marty Jackley is asking consumers statewide to reach out to their elderly family, friends or neighbors, to warm them of the dangers of sweepstake scams. The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has had several victims come forward to file formal complaints against these types of telemarketers.

One senior wired $2,000 and attempted to wire an additional $1,800 before family members were able to stop the last transaction. In a separate case, an individual wired $1,000 and attempted to wire an additional $1,300, but a bank employee recognized the scam and was able to contact family. The Consumer Protection Division has also been working with an individual who has been harassed by a sweepstake telemarketer for 2 years with the promise of a $15 million dollar jackpot. The last attempt was an $11,000 transaction to cover additional taxes. The final transaction was stopped, but not before over $75,000 was already lost.

“Take the time to talk with elderly friends and neighbors to make sure they understand the danger in responding to sweepstake offers. Keep in mind that the minute the telemarketer asks for an upfront fee to receive a sweepstakes winning, it is a scam,” said Jackley.

If you have been a victim of this scam or would like additional information contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division as 1-800-300-1986 or consumerhelp@state.sd.us.

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