Pennington County Sheriff’s Office warns of telephone scams

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 12:21 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - On Tuesday, the Pennington County Sheriff‘s Office put out a tweet reminding the public to be mindful of phone calls from scammers who pretend to be law officers in order to steal money from unsuspecting individuals. “Any time you get a call from law enforcement demanding or soliciting money over the phone, you should be skeptical. Hang up and call the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office directly at (605) 394-6117. Do not fall for these scams!”

According to the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer information page, “You get a phone call. Someone you care about is in jail and, they say, you need to pay up to bail him out...” The FTC offers an example of this type of telephone fraud: “The caller tells you to put money on a prepaid card and give him the card number. Now your scam-detecting radar is going off the charts. You know that police departments — and the federal government, for that matter — don’t tell people to pay with prepaid cards. You also know using a prepaid card is like paying cash — once the money is gone, you can’t get it back.” They go on to say that, “Scammers can rig caller ID to look like they’re calling from the police department...”

It’s important to be wary of anyone who ever calls demanding money. Telephone scams come in multiple forms. Previously, we reported on a batch of phone scam attempts involving Black Hills Energy in Rapid City. In that instance, scammers pretending to be from the utility company were calling individuals and claiming that they were delinquent in their bill payments. These scammers demanded immediate payment over the phone in order to prevent their target’s electricity from being turned off.

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