Brookings business out $1200 after employee falls for fake police sting

A Brookings business loses some $1200 to a scam.

At about 11:00 o’clock Thursday night, Brookings Police responded to an emergency call from a business. A manager reported an employee had taken cash and left. A Brookings Police officer located the employee’s vehicle and conducted a traffic stop. A bank bag containing a large amount of money was found inside the vehicle.

The employee was on the phone with a person who claimed to be an officer with the South Dakota State Police. It was quickly determined the person was not associated with any law enforcement agency.

The caller had contacted the employee at the business and stated they were running a sting operation and needed help to retrieve money stolen from the business. The scammer told the employee not to disclose this to anyone else. The scammer provided instructions to take cash from the business, drive to Hy-Vee and load MoneyLink cards with varying amounts of money.

The employee did so and was on the way to another location to buy more cards when they were stopped by police.

The investigation into the caller and their location is ongoing.

Brookings police Detective Adam Smith says no law enforcement agency will ever contact anyone by telephone and ask for assistance with police activities.


September 19, 2023