Fighting the Scams: Fraud Protection Agencies Meet in Reno
More Nevadans are falling victim to fraud, and agencies are working to stop the perpetrators in their tracks. On Wednesday they joined together in Reno for a consumer fraud prevention fair.
More Nevadans are falling victim to fraud, and agencies are working to stop the perpetrators in their tracks. On Wednesday, they joined together in Reno for a consumer fraud prevention fair.
The schemes going around are so prevalent and sneaky, even the Nevada Senior Deputy Attorney General was victimized. As John McGlamery told me, "I got a call from Citibank. I haven't had a Citibank card for 20 years! They asked me, 'Did you sign up for this card?' I said no! It turned out, somebody had stolen my identity."
Nearby, Deputy Attorney General Laura Tucker said she wasn’t surprised, telling us "I get the scam phone calls all the time." She told us her own mom almost lost thousands of dollars: "They had her on the phone. She was on her way to the bank to get a money order to send to them."
Protection agencies got together Wednesday at Reno Town Mall to provide education about fraud scams, before others learn it the hard way. Nevada Consumer Affairs knows how common the scams are now. Investigator Cris Carmona told us, "We get calls every day. Every day from 8 to 5." There are calls about phony debt collections and travel schemes. Identity theft and impostor scams…all of them harder to track now and harder to recover lost money. Carmona says “People are dealing more with the internet and using PayPal, or just wiring the money. And once they wire money, we don't know where it goes."
And scams are so sophisticated these days, victims often say they never thought they'd fall victim to one. Tucker says, "A lot of very intelligent smart people for these scams, because the scammers are also intelligent and smart."
Cris, Laura and John are on the front lines fighting fraud and warning about it. They know they're in it for the long haul, because there will always be victims and always be scammers. And did you know there is a 'scam season'? They say it's going on now. There's an increase in complaints starting in March until the end of April because con artists target folks during tax season. Tucker told us, "Everyone's getting their tax refunds and they've got a bit of extra money."
They say you should assume you're a target already, and keep a frequent eye on your bank statements and credit reports. As McGlamery advises, "Go get your credit report, your free credit report. Check it. Check your bank. Be really aware of what's going on. It helps."
Nevada Consumer Affairs keeps you up to date on the latest scams by publishing fraud alerts. There's also a link to report a scam on their website. Just click below: