Woman loses over $35K in phone scam

Published: Sep. 30, 2019 at 12:08 PM CDT
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Sioux Falls police are investigating a telephone scam in which a resident purchased gift cards and sent cash to pay for an "outstanding debt" with Social Security Administration.

Sergeant Aaron Benson said last week a 46-year-old woman received a call from someone claiming to be from the Social Security Administration. During the call, the scammer told the victim that she owed a significant amount of debt and needed to pay by purchasing gift cards. The scammer also told her not to alert authorities.

Benson said the victim lost $9,500 in gift card purchases and roughly $25,000 in cash in the scam. Benson said the victim was told to send cash through FedEx.

Benson said in the past Sioux Falls police has informed the public that the Social Security Administration will not reach out over the phone asking residents to make payments to a debt, especially by using gift cards.

To verify if Social Security is really calling, police are encouraging residents to Social Security directly or call the police department.