— 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 …

— 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 …

— Did you know, if you buy something on Amazon.com,* you’re not necessarily buying directly from Amazon.com? Our Fraud Watch Network helpline recently worked with a buyer who was scammed by a third-party seller on Amazon.com. She ultimately got her money back, but she could have saved herself substantial time and efforts had she been armed with the following tips from AARP Fraud Watch Network! What You Should Know:   In addition to selling products from its store, the retail giant …

— Just last week, South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley urged caution to those trying to sell a timeshare property and today the AARP Fraud Watch Network has issued a similar warning. Buying timeshare vacation properties used to be fraught with fraud risks. Now, there are additional risks when it comes time to sell. How It Works:   You receive a phone call from a company that claims to have a buyer for your timeshare property. The caller even gives you the …

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. …

— How it works:  Scam artists send mass-produced form letters to thousands of recipients every month. The mailing might inform you that you have won a million dollar prize, but that you need to pay a fee or a tax in advance to receive the funds. You pay the fee, and then receive nothing. What you should know: The United States Postal Service and U.S. Department of Justice are warning consumers about this type of fraud.  They advise consumers never to …

— You get a frantic call from someone claiming to be your grandson or granddaughter.  The caller says there’s an emergency and asks you to send money right away. There’s a good chance this is an imposter trying to steal your money through the “grandparent scam.” How it works: Scammers usually claim to be in a “help me” situation, such as being stuck with a broken down car or needing money to get out of a foreign country. The caller may pose …