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Events Help Veterans Protect Themselves Against Fraud

There are more than 60,000 military veterans in South Dakota. (Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller/U.S. Air Force)
There are more than 60,000 military veterans in South Dakota. (Staff Sgt. Michael B. Keller/U.S. Air Force)
November 6, 2017

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. – AARP and South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley are teaming up to help military veterans protect themselves against fraud.

AARP South Dakota's Fraud Watch Network is holding an event for veterans Monday in Sioux Falls and Thursday in Rapid City.

AARP State Director Erik Gaikowski says the purpose of the events is to let veterans know what kind of scams are out there and how to avoid them.

He describes one popular scam going on right now.

"Something that's called, like, Veterans Choice Program – what we call a VCP scam – and really, scammers are setting up phone numbers that are identical to numbers that veterans would use to contact, like, the VA system, health care providers, such as that,” Gaikowski explains. “And really it's just a scam to get them to give them sensitive data."

The Sioux Falls event starts at noon at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 628. There are more than 60,000 veterans in South Dakota.

Gaikowski encourages veterans to head to to learn more about scams.

He says scammers see Veterans Day as an opportunity to target vets.

"It's unfortunate, but the more that we can do to get the word out and the more that we can get other veterans to really talk about what they're seeing, the more we can make sure that people are aware of it," he states.

AARP South Dakota is holding more events this week in the lead-up to Veterans Day, including free screenings of the new film "Hacksaw Ridge" for registered attendees in Aberdeen and Rapid City on Thursday, and in Sioux Falls on Friday.

Gaikowski also encourages veterans and families to share their stories at through Nov. 25. Folks whose stories are selected will win a cash prize.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - SD