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Helping South Dakotans Avoid Internet Scams

Consumer protection experts will be helping South Dakotans avoid internet scams through a series of free statewide educational meetings this summer. (iStockphoto)
Consumer protection experts will be helping South Dakotans avoid internet scams through a series of free statewide educational meetings this summer. (iStockphoto)
June 13, 2016

PIERRE, S.D. - School may be out for summer, but starting this week older South Dakotans are being encouraged to continue their education on frauds and scams.

The state's AARP is hosting nine Fraud Watch Network meetings across the state through August. The idea is to help South Dakotans better protect themselves from internet and phone scams.

Leni Healy, associate state director for AARP, says more than 12 million people fall victim to identity theft each year in the state. She's hoping the educational events can help curb that number.

"We'll talk about the psychological tactics scam artists use, the most recent and upcoming scams that are going on," she says. "And then what they should do if they do find they have fallen victim to a scam artist."

AARP is working with Attorney General Marty Jackley's office and the South Dakota Better Business Bureau on the Fraud Watch network events.

The first will take place in Rapid City on June 15.

The events are free and open to all ages, although registration is required.

Healy says while seniors have typically been the prime targets for con artists, there's been a new trend emerging.

"Children are now the latest victims, and the reason is that parents and kids aren't aware that they're a victim," she says. "A child isn't going to check his credit report, so they don't know that they're victims of fraud for years."

Healy says they'll be educating parents and other adults on how to spot the warning signs for these types of scams.

She's also asking anyone who thinks they've fallen victim to phony charity offers or other cons to call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection office.

You can find more information on the Fraud Watch events at AARP.org/SD.




Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - SD