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February 15, 2019

Police warn of mail scam targeting Rapid City residents

Documents found in one of these recovered envelopes Documents found in one of these recovered envelopes RCPD Photo

The Rapid City Police Department has received several reports of a scam targeting residents through the mail. In these reported instances, a person has received an envelope containing instructions and a check made out to their name.

The recipient is instructed to deposit the check for cash at their bank/credit union. They are then asked to use the case to purchase money orders or gift cards, which are then asked to be sent back to the sender. Is many cases, the scammer will entice the recipient by allowing them to retain a portion of the original deposited funds in their account.

The problem arises when the original check is deemed fraudulent. The person making the deposit is then often the person responsible for repaying the funds back to their bank/credit union.

Additionally, the RCPD has also recently taken reports of several other varieties of scams. These include:

  • Calls from a scammer claiming to be with the IRS. They claim that the targeted victim owes back taxes and must settle their debt by sending gift cards.
  • Calls from a person claiming to be a member of local law enforcement stating the targeted victim has warrants out for their arrest. They may also claim that a targeted victim’s family member has been arrested and is in jail. Money/gift cards are requested to be sent in order to rectify both these circumstances.
  • Calls where a person claims to be raising money for equipment for their local law enforcement agency. Local law enforcement in our area will never call you to solicit donations for equipment.

Being able to recognize a scam is the best way to prevent oneself from being a victim. Always be leery unsolicited offers, and offers that seem too good to be true. If you receive calls/mail displaying these characteristics, hang up/discard it.

If you feel you have been a victim of a scam, you can always contact the Rapid City Police Department at 394-4131.