'Tis the season for holiday scams, and the South Dakota Department of Human Services issued a reminder on Monday (November 23) to the elderly, individuals with disabilities, and their families, and all South Dakota residents to be mindful of the risk of falling victim to a scammer during the holiday season.

This new warning comes on the heels of a Sioux Falls man that was scammed out of over $550.000 dollars recently after he fell victim to a series of phone scams from people posing to be representatives of the IRS, DEA, and FBI.

Dakota News Now reports that scammers typically come out of the woodwork during the holiday season. The most wonderful time of the year provides scammers with an excellent opportunity to send phishing emails, texts, phone calls, and utilize social media to try to steal money and consumer’s personal information.

DHS Secretary Shawnie Rechtenbaugh told Dakota News Now this year's pandemic has only helped to further compound the scamming problem.

DHS provided a few tips on Monday to help South Dakota consumers avoid falling victim to a scam.

According to Dakota News Now, DHS recommends you:

  • Do not respond to calls or text from unknown numbers.
  • Never share your personal or financial information with solicitors via email, text, or by phone.
  • Use caution when being pressured to share information or making payments immediately.
  • If someone threatens your life for money, hang up and call the authorities.
  • Be suspicious of anyone asking for your password or account login information.
  • And do not click on links in text messages or emails.

There are a couple of numbers you can call if you ever feel you've encountered a potential scam. To report a scam or any fraudulent behavior, DHS recommends you reach out to Adult Protective Services at 605-773-5990 or the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office, Division of Consumer Protection at 1-800-300-1986.

Source: Dakota News Now

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