South Dakota woman mails over $20,000 in phone scam

South Dakota News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Authorities are warning the public of potential phone scams happening in the area.

At the Sioux Falls police briefing on Thursday, Capt. Josh Phillips with the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office said a Sioux Falls area resident was the target of a recent phone scam.

Phillips said a woman received a call from a phone number that appeared to be the FBI on her caller ID. When she answered, the caller claimed to be a federal agent. They told her a car she sold recently was used in “a drug trafficking ring” in the Texas area. The caller told her to purchase gift cards and give them the information on the back. Phillips said the victim purchased around $7,000 worth of gift cards.

Phillips said the scammer kept the victim on the line and told her to withdraw over $20,000 to mail it overnight to a California address. He said they threatened the woman, saying if she didn’t send the money, she would be arrested in conspiracy with the drug trafficking.

Authorities were able to intercept the package before it arrived at its destination. Capt. Phillips said he was hopeful the money would be returned to the victim.

Phillips said this isn’t the first scam call law enforcement has heard of recently. He says authorities will never ask a citizen to buy gift cards or mail money.

Phillips said if you believe you have a warrant, go to or you can call the sheriff’s office. He said if you’re still unsure or if the caller is persistent, hang up and call the local police non-emergency number.

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