PIERRE — The South Dakota Health Department (SD-DOH) and the South Dakota Board of Nursing (SD-BON) are warning nurses in the state of ongoing reports of scams targeting licensed nurses. The scam is being carried out via threatening phone calls/email.
The scammers tell potential victims that their license is or will be suspended/revoked pending an investigation into their activities, and that they must pay a set dollar amount, within a certain time frame, to have such action(s) against them reversed. The language includes:
“The Department of Health and Board of Nursing would like to remind all nurses in South Dakota that legitimate Department/Board business never asks for personal information nor requests payment in connection to any potential disciplinary action,” a joint SD-DOH/SD-BON press release issued Wednesday said. “No board of nursing operates this way, and all nurses have the right to due process. We will be forwarding all received complaints to the Attorney General’s office for review.”
In some cases, the scammer instructs victims to wire or e-transfer money to accounts or recipients that are located outside the country, another red-flag for all potential victims. The SD-BON asks that all nurses with questions regarding their license status call 605-362-2760. If you receive a call from this number that seems suspicious, as scammers can spoof caller ID, hang up and call the number back.
“It’s despicable that there are those out there targeting our frontline medical heroes in the midst of a pandemic,” added Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health.
It’s not clear how many of South Dakota’s roughly 25,000 licensed nurses may have been targeted or contacted by the scammers.
If you have been contacted or fallen victim to this scam, contact the Attorney General’s Division of Consumer Protection at 800-300-1986 or fill out a complaint form, found at https://consumer.sd.gov/complaintform.aspx.