User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


13° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

News

[0] My Saved Articles
Back to all news

Business

Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Consumer Protection Week

March 8, 2012, 9:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

Consumer Protection Week
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

In just the last few weeks here in KELOLAND, we've seen the grandparent scam and secret shopper scam.  But there is a group of people working to stop con artists in their tracks; the Consumer Protection Division of the South Dakota Attorney General's office has recovered millions of dollars for people in the state.
But it's getting harder all the time.

Consumer Protection Week has been around for 14 years, but in that time, thanks to technology, the world has changed drastically and more people are finding themselves targets of sophisticated scams. 

"A lot of times we're signing up for offers online or signing up to look at an opportunity online and they're harvesting that info from you and reselling it," Director of Consumer Protection Delane Smith said.

South Dakota's Consumer Protection Division took more than 17,000 calls and got some 5,000 emails from consumers last year on everything from fraud to theft to scams.  The department was able to get consumers back $3.3 million, but the head of the division says that's not nearly enough.

"The discouraging part of that is even as good as those stats are and you're glad you could do that much for consumers, less than 10 percent of fraud is reported and that's very alarming to us," Smith said.

Smith says these days consumers must be vigilant, not only to report any suspected fraud, but to watch all their statements for charges they didn't make.

"We just had a caller yesterday that said, 'My phone bill has gone up $8 a month for that last three months.'  When we checked into it, he had a ring tone on there he never authorized.  And so it's not just your bank statements you need to be cautious about; it's every kind of open line of credit from your cell phone to your utility bill, your mortgage payment and make sure there are not charges on there from other vendors, charges you didn't authorize," Smith said.

Technology also makes it easy for scammers from out of the country to hide and there's not much authorities can do.

"The way things work now is it's very rare that we will catch somebody after the fact," Smith said.

The biggest way to avoid being the victim of a scam is to never wire money.  Smith says if she could just get that message across, there would be fewer cases of fraud in the state.

Division of Consumer Protection

Previous Story

Next Story


Comments





RELATED STORIES


 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

View business

You may also like

Alco To Close Stores Across South Dakota

11/21/2014 2:03 PM

Several South Dakota cities will soon have one less store.

Full Story
South Dakota Malls Will Open On Thanksgiving

11/21/2014 11:41 AM

Shoppers no longer need to stay up all night to get Black Friday deals.  More stores are opening on Thanksgiving, closing overnight and then reop...

Full Story
Vern Eide Pays It Forward For Thanksgiving

11/22/2014 6:34 PM

Closer to home, families are out buying turkeys as we are less than a week away from Thanksgiving.

Full Story
New Convenience Store Opens on North Minnesota Avenue

11/21/2014 10:15 AM

The seventh Kum & Go convenience store in Sioux Falls is now open.  The new store at 1400 N. Minnesota Avenue is 5,000 square feet and will b...

Full Story
Chris Tomlin & Rend Collective Coming To PREMIER Center

11/25/2014 11:04 AM

Some of the biggest names in Contemporary Christian music are coming to the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center.

Full Story


Events