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Avoiding Scams & Fraud in Reno

Don't Let Scammers & Fraudsters Rip You Off

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It's amazing how quickly scammers and fraudsters adapt to changing conditions and come up with new ways to part the unwary from their money. It's equally startling to see that, despite endless warnings, there is a never ending supply of people who get taken in. Resist the lure of being one of those folks P.T. Barnum famously described - There's a sucker born every minute. Learn how to avoid being a victim and know how to fight back if some slick scam artist manages to penetrate your defenses.

Scammers Know the Weak Points

Greed - Let's face it - all humans have a greedy, me first streak. Scammers play on this with offers of little work for big bucks, fantastic returns on investments, convincing victims they are the lucky ones, etc. These are all forms of the old something for nothing fraud. Don't be one of those mind boggling number of people that still falls for it.

Fear & Uncertainty - Both of these are unavoidable parts of life. Scammers try to convince people they have solutions, for a fee. The new health care legislation has spawned a number of insurance scams, as has the mortgage foreclosure crisis. Numerous frauds have surfaced that try to push great deals on health insurance. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud has more information about these scams. Others out there claim to help you with mortgage problems so you can keep your home. Learn more about mortgage fraud from the FBI website.

Sympathy - As soon as a disaster strikes, scammers go into high gear. The biggie is soliciting donations for victim relief. Hurricane Katrina, earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, and the BP oil spill disaster are all recent examples of disasters that the fraud artists pounced on. NEVER give money to anyone on the phone and be extremely careful if donating through a website. The safest way to contribute is in person at a local agency office or by mail to a verifiable agency address.

Verify, Verify, Verify

Don't trust anyone you don't know. The best scam artists are slick and friendly, trying to gain trust and get you off guard so you'll do what they want. Even if whatever they have looks attractive, verify the offer for yourself. If they can't or won't give you enough information to check them out before you agree to anything, assume the worst and walk away.

If you are asked for money up front, consider it a red flag warning that something is rotten. The same goes if you are asked for personal and financial information such as bank account numbers, credit card numbers, etc. Turn away and don't look back.

Scams and Frauds in the Reno Area

If you suspect a scam or fraud, or become a victim, report it immediately to one of our local law enforcement agencies. A timely report increases the chances of catching these criminals. Get information about scams and frauds working in the Reno / Tahoe area...
  • Reno Better Business Bureau - Check out a business or charity and get scam alerts.
  • Nevada Fight Fraud - Information from the State of Nevada Department of Business & Industry. Learn about currently active scams and frauds in Nevada.

More About Scams and Frauds

I could go on forever and not cover all the scams and frauds out there. Here are some sources of current information about what to avoid and what to do if you become a victim...

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