The holiday season can bring out the best, and unfortunately, in some cases, the worst in people. Such was the case recently when two Sioux Falls residents were scammed out of sizeable amounts of money when they fell victim to a series of phone scams.

Dakota News Now is reporting that collectively the two individuals were swindled out of nearly $70,000 resulting from the fraudulent phone calls.

Officer Sam Clemens with the Sioux Falls Police Department told Dakota News Now, the first victim, a 94-year-old man, received a phone call from scammers claiming the victim had just won an 18 Million dollar lottery. In order to claim his jackpot, the victim was instructed to pay assorted taxes and fees. The victim ended up wiring a total of $66,000 to scammers that went to out-of-country accounts.

The second victim was a 71-year-old Sioux Falls man. Again, this time, scammers called, saying he had just won a lottery. The man didn't believe the caller and hung up the phone, according to Clemens. The scammer was persistent and called the victim yet again. During the second call, the person was successful in convincing the victim the prize was legitimate. Dakota News Now reports the victim ended up sending scammers a total of $1,500 in money orders and gift cards.

Both victims told police that neither of them had recently entered a lottery or purchased any sort of lottery ticket.

Be advised scammers operate throughout the year but do some of their best, most convincing work during the holiday season.

Should you ever receive a suspicious sounding phone call that is similar to the two listed in this story, police ask that you immediately hang up and notify authorities.

Source: Dakota News Now

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CDC Safe Holiday Recommendations