Annual Fraud Fair keeps locals apprised of recent scams

RENO, Nev (KOLO) The bottom floor of Reno Town Mall was host to several agencies Monday, ready to help locals with the latest swindles circulating about town.

This is the second time the Consumer Fraud Fair has come to town, courtesy of Nevada Consumer Affairs.

“I am in sales and I get about 5 to 15 of these calls a day,” says Garrett Idle about the scam calls he gets. “I can't put a program to block them on my phone because I don't know where these clients are coming from.”

Idle says it's good to get out and find out what could happen to him, his friends or clients.

Like fake IRS agents calling homes and threatening those on the other end of the line with incarceration if they don’t pay up. It is just one scam that is all too familiar to many people. But according to the IRS, consumers this year need to worry about 'ghost" tax return preparers, fly-by-night individuals not affiliated with any tax preparer office or law firm who promise to get you a big return.

”They won't sign your declaration,” says Irene Jimenez-Muir with Nevada’s Secretary of States Office. “They will actually have you sign and you go and submit it. They won't submit it for you. And any preparer has to have a P10 number. And that is their identification with the IRS. And they have to sign the form if they are helping you fill out and complete the declaration and charging you for that,” she says.

Just some of the invaluable information you could get at the Fraud Fair.

Those who organized the event, Nevada's Consumer Affairs, say this is how the system should work.

All organizations under one roof working together to help Nevada residents with the pitfalls and landmines that are out there when it comes to insurance, computer repair, and charities to name just a few.

”At some point when my office is dealing with an issue we are going to look at it and say, does this need to go to the attorney general's office? Is this a broader problem or I think the term is a pattern of abuse. And then we are going to coordinate and respond accordingly,” says Michael Brown, Director of Business and Industry in Nevada.