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PNS Daily Newscast - April 19, 2019 


A look at some of the big takeaways from the release of the redacted Mueller report. Also, on our Friday rundown: Iowa recovers from devastating floods and prepares for more. And, scallopers urged to minimize the threat to seagrass.

Daily Newscasts

Tax Season Ends, 'Operation Stop Scams' Begins

Scammers often use floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters to target seniors with unsolicited calls for donations that never find their way to intended victims. (AARP)
Scammers often use floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters to target seniors with unsolicited calls for donations that never find their way to intended victims. (AARP)
April 15, 2019

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — Scammers change their tactics from year to year, and it's worth being especially vigilant this month. Fraudsters know it's the end of tax season and some people may have received extra cash from a tax refund.

AARP said it's also a good time to think about shredding old documents - whether they belong to you or an older parent who could become a scam victim. Leah Ganschow, associate state director of communications and outreach at AARP South Dakota, said annual shredding services are offered in five cities, to safely dispose of bank statements, medical data, personal information or anything you don't want others to get their hands on.

"We just want to help people take this opportunity to protect themselves, and to take that next step to make sure that their identity is safe, and their personal and financial information is safe,” Ganschow said, “because we know that every two seconds, someone's identity is stolen."

The free shredding events are part of AARP's "Operation Stop Scams" campaign. The first is coming up in Sioux Falls on Monday, April 22 - with additional events across the state through April 29.

If you suspect fraud, it can be reported through the AARP Fraud Watch Network Helpline, at 877-908-3360.

One scam being seemingly on the rise this year involves a phone call from an impersonator representing the Social Security Administration, often threatening people with arrest or other legal action. Ganshow said seniors who might be home a good portion of the day are often singled out for phone scams.

"It's not necessarily that older people are targeted more frequently,” she said. “It's just that as the world continues to evolve, and as we move into a more digital age, we see that scammers are getting more and more sophisticated and more difficult to spot."

She said Social Security rarely contacts anyone by phone and will never make threats about arrest or legal action. Consumers should also beware of scammers impersonating charities to get money or private information. Charities can be checked out online at Guidestar and Charity Navigator.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - SD