State officials warn of email scam targeting businesses

(KSFY) - The South Dakota Attorney General's office is warning about a familiar scam that is resurfacing, though using new technology.

The scam is based off an old method where scammers would call businesses asking for the billing department with hopes that the company would end up paying for a fictitious invoice.

Attorney General Marty Jackley said in the newer version, the scammers do research through the business website to identify names, emails, and other company information. In some cases, they may call in to find out who a bill should be invoiced to. The scammers then email the person in charge of business invoices with a fake bill. They often cite other individuals within the company to make it appear legitimate, and ask money to be wired for the bill.

Jackley said several South Dakota businesses have been targeted by this scam, with some hit with "substantial losses."

Here's some tips from the Attorney General's Office to avoid scams:

- Read everything before you sign or pay a balance due
- Ask questions when instructed to wire or to imitate an automatic transfers of funds
- Even if the email looks official or coming from a known contact, follow-up to verify via phone