— Scammers have gotten good at convincing unsuspecting victims that they have a computer virus. Their end game is to take your money or gain access to your personal financial information. How it Works:   You get a call or see a pop-up message on your computer warning that you have a virus (the caller will claim to be from Microsoft or Apple or another well-known tech company). They convince you to give them remote access to your computer so they …

— The federal government grant scam has been around for years but now, scammers are finding new targets through social media. How it Works:   You see posts from people on Facebook claiming they have been awarded tens of thousands of dollars in a grant from the federal government. They suggest that you could be eligible, too. You call the listed phone number, give some personal information, and are told you qualify — all you have to do is send a …

— IRS imposters are back at their old game – but this time, with a new twist. The IRS has reported that this current scam is being seen all across the country. How it Works:   Scammers call taxpayers to claim the IRS has already mailed them two certified letters about an outstanding tax bill, but the letters were returned as undeliverable. The scammer threatens immediate arrest unless the tax bill is paid using a prepaid debit card. The scammer falsely …

— As severe weather begins to pop up across the northern plains, so do crafty con artists! The stormy summer months are prime time for home repair scams. The general ruse involves someone coming to your door and offering to do work on your home, typically at a steep discount, but never really delivering on the promise of ‘improvement’. How it Works:   A con artist representing themselves as a contractor comes to your door and claims to have just finished …

— Con artists don’t care how hard you’ve worked.  They steal billions from Americans like you every year!  But you can learn how to fight back with the AARP Fraud Watch Network. AARP South Dakota is again teaming up with the South Dakota Attorney General’s office and the South Dakota Better Business Bureau to host free fraud fighting seminars across our state this summer.  These presentations contain valuable information about the way scammers think and how they target their victims.  We’ll  also …

— There are plenty of reputable contests and sweepstakes out there (including some from AARP). But there are also a lot of bad players looking to bilk you out of your money. Just today South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley released a statement warning consumers that winners of the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes do not receive phone calls about their prizes. How it Works:   You’re told you’ve won a prize but: You have to pay a fee to collect your …

— AARP South Dakota is excited to congratulate our 2017 South Dakota Grandparent Essay Award Winner, Emma Vandenbark, a 5th grader from the Colome Consolidated School District. Emma was recognized at the South Dakota Retired School Personnel (SDRSP) Convention in Deadwood, SD on Wednesday, May 3. Emma’s winning essay was written about her grandmother, Trena Vandenbark, and the way she inspires those around her to be the best versions of themselves.  “[Grandma Trena] teaches me that being unique is wonderful and …

— The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has reported that scammers are creating fake websites that look like known and trusted news sites to sell “brain booster” pills. How it Works:   Scammers use the fake sites to post bogus articles about the pills with endorsements from people like Stephen Hawking and Anderson Cooper (neither has endorsed any such product). The site then links you to the sales page for the “brain booster” pills where you can place an order with a …

— The 2017 legislative session has officially come to a close! AARP South Dakota advocates made your voice heard in Pierre, helping to pass legislation that will improve access to care in rural and underserved communities and supporting legislation that make the tough job of managing a loved ones’ estate a little bit easier.   They also protected the will of the people by keeping payday lenders out of our state and improving financial security for low income South Dakotans. This year …

— It’s March which means we are nearing the end of the 2017 South Dakota legislative session! This week the South Dakota Retirement System (SDRS) bills, House Bill (HB) 1016, 1017 and 1018 were signed into law by Governor Daugaard. To recap of these bills, revisit our week two blog. Over the last week of session, the bills AARP South Dakota amended to preserve Initiate Measure 21, which capped pay day lending rates at 36%, will be resolved.  On Monday, HB 1090 will …