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‘You’ve not won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes’: Consumer Protection Director on the ‘state of fraud’

New IdentityTheft Scam

When KX News last sat down with the Attorney General’s office about the state of fraud in North Dakota, the biggest headache was contractor fraud. Although that’s still a problem, with at least 60 victims in 2020, there are bigger issues now.

Director of Consumer Protection Parrell Grossman says the number of scams, in general, increases every year.

The number one source of fraud in 2020 was identity theft.

Imposter scams came in second, resulting in 172 victims and nearly $2 million lost, and that’s just the cases reported to the AG’s office. Grossman says these, where the scammer pretends to be someone else, are the most serious, taking tens- or even hundreds-of-thousands of dollars from a victim at once.

“You’ve not won the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes, your computer is not experiencing any difficulties, your Social Security Number has not been suspended, your child or grandchild is definitely not in trouble or in jail with any accident or drug charges,” Grossman emphasized.

“So when you hear anything related to those kinds of pitches, know that it’s just an absolute scam, no matter how they spin it.”

He says the payment method requested by scammers is the biggest tip-off. Never purchase any pre-paid gift cards, wire money, send money requested in a social media message, or send cash wrapped in tin foil or magazines. Grossman says that last one is actually a fairly common request.

If information is being requested from you by someone you don’t know, like your driver’s license or Social Security Number, call the North Dakota Consumer Protection and Antitrust Division toll-free at 1-800-472-2600.

Source: on 2021-03-26 18:18:45

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