The best defense against scams, particularly those that come over the phone, is to be informed and cautious. That’s the message the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission is sharing with consumers at the South Dakota State Fair in Huron this week.
PUC commissioners and staff will meet with fair goers at the PUC display booth in the Expo Building on the State Fairgrounds from Aug. 30 to Sept. 3. PUC representatives will offer tips about how to prevent falling victim to numerous telephone scams that are prevalent.
“Education, awareness and information — those three things are the best tools South Dakotans can use to fight off scams,” said PUC Chairperson Kristie Fiegen. “Telephone scammers are particularly nefarious and, unfortunately, very difficult to catch. The PUC wants to help South Dakotans protect themselves by learning how to identify and steer clear of scams.”
New content on the PUC’s website, www.puc.sd.gov, offers basic information about scams, tips and tools to avoid scams and what some common scams are.
“Staying connected with friends, family, community and business associates through telecommunications is a tremendous asset,” said Commissioner Gary Hanson, vice chairman of the PUC. “But, when scammers use telecommunications in an attempt to defraud, trick and otherwise make good folks’ lives miserable, it makes one wary about answering their phone.”
PUC Commissioner Chris Nelson suggests South Dakotans shrug off their niceness when dealing with telephone scammers. “If you answer the phone and the caller or offer sounds suspicious, hang up immediately. Don’t engage the caller in conversation. This defense method seems to go against our character as friendly South Dakotans, but it’s best to stop trouble before it starts,” Nelson said.
Find more information about avoiding telephone scams on the PUC’s website at www.puc.sd.gov/scamcalls.