Protecting yourself against fraud and coronavirus scams

Published: Mar. 3, 2020 at 3:44 PM PST
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It's National Consumer Protection Week and thousands of Nevadans each year fall victim to scams resulting in financial loss.

Imposter scams and identity theft were the two biggest scams to hit in 2019.

Tim Johnston with Better Business Bureau said, "When we think of imposter scams, we think of government scams like social security saying your card has been compromised. Or the IRS with tax season here."

With more than $600 million dollars lost by consumers in 2019, Nevada took a big hit.

"As we look at the states, Nevada didn't rank too well," explained Johnston. "We were first in fraud reports per capita and fifth when it comes to reports of identity theft."

Scammers relying on fear and intimidation to get your money and as the coronavirus scare spreads, so do new scams like phony cures.

Scam emails are targeting you to pay for fake vaccines to treat or prevent coronavirus.

"What's in short supply right now is the face masks," added Johnston. "You can't really find them anywhere else. We're hearing from medical facilities who are having a difficult time finding a supply for them as well. You might find a supplier online and maybe it's an exaggerated cost, but chances are it may never arrive or it may not be the quality of protection you're hoping for."

Johnston offers this piece of advice when it comes to any scam in question: to stop, breathe and reach out if anyone is threatening you with jail time or asking for payment online.

"Scammers are successful when we socially isolate ourselves not to talk to anybody," explained Johnston. "When we follow their directions to not talk to anybody or maybe we don't have anybody to talk to. So we entourage people to stop, breathe, reach out family member or reach out to BBB. We have individuals that will talk to you during business hours, happy to help and walk you through it."

For more information on how to protect yourself from scams, click

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