— 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 …

protect yourself from fraud!

— South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has released multiple warnings in the last few weeks alerting South Dakotans to new or renewed scams targeting our state. As you work, travel and give back, keep these scams in mind: Work at Home Scams – Targeted ads offer to help consumers start their own home-based businesses. After a payment for a start-up packet, the consumer receives a cashier’s check and is told to deposit it and wire some funds back to the scammer. …

— Just in time for the holidays, crooks have come up with a credible-looking way to scam online shoppers. How it works:   You get an e-mail that appears to be from Amazon.com stating your recent order cannot be shipped. Claiming a problem with processing, the e-mail informs you that you won’t be able to access your account or place orders with Amazon until you confirm your information. A “click here” link leads to an authentic-looking Amazon web page to confirm …

— Phony calls, pop-up messages, the “blue screen of death.” Americans have lost over $1.5 billion to tech support scams. How It Works:   Tech support scams can take various forms: A scammer posing as an employee of a well-known tech company calls to say the victim’s computer is sending messages that it has a virus. A victim sees a pop-up message on his screen claiming viruses are attacking the device. The message includes a phone number to call for assistance. …

— Coin Seller Calling?  Hang Up! As the value of gold rises, gold coin scams are on the rise as well. A tried and true way gold coin con artists find their victims is through cold calling. How it works:    A caller may try to convince you that buying gold coins is a hot investment and that you can double or triple your money practically overnight. The caller may send coins, but they will be nowhere near the value you …

— Debt collection scams can bilk unsuspecting victims out of money, and even their identity. How It Works:  A debt collector is someone who regularly collects debts owed to others. It could be a collection agency, a lawyer, or a company that buys delinquent debts and then tries to collect them. On the other hand, it could be a fake debt collector! Armed with sensitive information he coaxes from you, the criminal could charge your credit cards or open new accounts, …

— Inside cyber scams: Cyber scams are big business, but how are con artists using our need to stay connected against us? According to NCC Group technology expert Andrew Becherer, “Hacking Wi-Fi these days is not the work of the master criminals seen in the movies. Tools to break Wi-Fi security are available for free or at very low cost and using them can be as easy as navigating a website.” We talked to NCC Group experts about these scams and …