Giving money to people who call you on the phone is a terrible idea, even if it sounds like something you are supposed to do. Three Sioux Falls residents learned this the hard way.

According to Dakota News Now, the Sioux Falls Police Department is warning people about scams that have taken large sums of money from unsuspecting victims. The first victim got an email from a title company that doesn't exist telling them that a $47,000 payment was due for closing fees on a new home they were in the process of buying. They didn't catch that it was a scam and sent the money. Police are in the process of trying to help that victim recoup the money they lost.

Two other people got scammed out of money after they were falsely told that they had failed to show up for jury duty. As a consequence, they could either go to jail or pay a fine. One person paid $2,000 and the other paid half that amount.

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Even when people know how to spot a scam, it can be easy to fall for one. Many years ago, when I was tired, crabby, and trying to get some work done, I clicked on a nefarious email that duped me with the promise of actual content. Instead, it gave me a virus so malicious that I had to blank my hard drive and reinstall windows.

Police are warning people that no government agency will call and demand money. They might tell you that you owe something, but they won't demand payment over the phone. If you get a call like that you should hang up, call the agency yourself and see if this is actually the case.

As for jury duty, I know they won't call you and tell you to pay money because I did that once. I completely forgot to register when I got the letter telling me to do so. I didn't hear a thing from them. When I realized the mistake it was in the middle of the month I was supposed to be on jury duty. I called and left a voice mail and sent an email admitting to my mistake and that I would gladly do what I needed to make it right.

I got a very nice reply to my email from a very nice woman who said "Thanks for your honesty, no one ever does that. I will just mark you excused."

That's not advice on how to get out of jury duty, just a true story to illustrate they won't demand money if you miss.

Tour of the 2022 Downtown Sioux Falls Burger Battle

The 9th Annual Downtown Burger Battle begins January 1, 2022 and runs through the entire month.

This year there are 27 participating restaurants. I hope you have some stretchy pants!

If you've never participated in the Downtown Burger Battle, this is how it works:

  1. Review the participating restaurants and their burgers
  2. Make sure you check their schedule and hours before you go
  3. Go to one of the restaurants
  4. Eat the burger
  5. Use the DTSF Digital Passport to vote and rate the burger
  6. Repeat 26 more times
  7. And you could win prizes
  8. And you help one downtown restaurant win the Burger Battle and reign supreme for one whole year!
Voting criteria consist of patty, creativity, toppings, bun, and customer service.

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