PIERRE, S.D. (Legal Newsline) – South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley has warned South Dakotans of scams exploiting blizzard victims from South Dakota.
Jackley said scam artists posing as charitable organizations are attempting to take funds intended for the state’s hard hit agriculture industry. An unexpected blizzard occurred in western South Dakota between Oct. 4 and Oct. 7.
“Several weeks have passed since the devastating blizzard hit western South Dakota, however the Consumer Protection Division continues to receive complaints on fraudulent charitable organizations targeting our citizens,” Jackley said. “It is disheartening, but scam artists often use these types of disasters to take advantage of those who simply want to help.”
According to the National Weather Service, a strong low pressure system brought the intense winter storm to northeast Wyoming and western South Dakota. The result was very heavy snowfall and strong wind gusts. The blizzard set a record in Rapid City for the highest snowfall total in a single day in October with 19 inches.
South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, who requested a Presidential Disaster Declaration on Oct. 31 in connection with the blizzard, said the storm caused close to $38 million in damages. Thousands of heads of cattle and other livestock were lost during the blizzard.
Jackley encouraged those who want to help to visit the website for the Rancher’s Relief Fund. The fund was specifically set up to help individuals impacted by the October storm.