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Police: Sioux Falls man scammed out of $550,000

Phone scam
Phone scam(AP images)
Published: Nov. 16, 2020 at 11:02 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Authorities say a Sioux Falls man was the victim in a series of phone scams in which he lost over half a million dollars.

The 82-year-old victim was scammed out a total of around $550,000, according to police spokesperson Sam Clemens.

Clemens said the man first received a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS. The caller said drugs had been found in a vehicle owned by the victim, and that the victim needed to send them money to “clean this up.”

The victim continued to receive additional phone calls from the scammers, who later posed as agents from the DEA and FBI. Clemens said the victim sent the scammers money through wire transfers and gift cards.

A family member became concerned about the situation and notified police. Clemens said the victim was initially hesitant to talk to officers about the calls.

“The scammers told him he was not to talk to this about this to anybody. Obviously the officers were able to convince him that this isn’t a legitimate type of tactic that is used," Clemens said. “The scammers in this case were very good convincing him that this is real.”

Clemens said investigators are following up on a few leads in the case, but at this point, it is still unclear where the calls came from. The scammers cloned phone numbers from different regions in their various calls to the victim.

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