BPD: Up to $20K lost in sweetheart scam


BROOKINGS – A victim lost as much as $20,000 in a sweetheart scam, according to Brookings Police.

The scam was reported at 11:42 a.m. Saturday, Lt. Marci Gebers said. 

“An officer was dispatched to the 700 block of Sun Valley Street for a report of a fraud. The officer spoke with the victim of the scam and found that the victim had provided quite a bit of money in different forms, including bitcoin, gift cards and then also some deposits into a bank account,” Gebers said.

“The total loss was estimated at approximately $15,000 to $20,000, and this was over a year-and-a-half timeframe,” Gebers said.

“This was a situation where this victim believed that they were in a relationship with this other person, with this scammer over the year-and-a-half timeframe. The victim had also purchased a couple of new iPhone 12 Pro Maxes and sent them to who they believed to be their significant other,” Gebers said.

The case is ongoing, she added.

She had some tips to help spot a scam.

“Just exercise caution when you meet someone new because you don’t know who they are and you don’t know what their intentions are,” Gebers said, especially if they’re asking for money.

“A lot of times these scammers will say that they’re gonna come and visit (but they don’t have the money) and then they end up bailing out last second and they have every excuse under the sun why it didn’t work for them to come and meet in person,” Gebers said.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]

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