RENO, Nev. — Thousands of Nevadans each year fall prey to scams and fraudulent or deceptive business practices resulting in financial loss and time spent seeking to recover those losses.
In 2019, Nevada Consumer Affairs (NCA), a unit within the Department of Business and Industry's Directors Office, received 1,951 informational inquiries and complaints and recovered more than $1.3 million in refunds and restitution for these consumers.
“We know that only a small percentage of consumers that have been victimized by a scam or an unfair or fraudulent business contact our offices,” said Cris Williams, NCA Chief Investigator. “This problem is widespread and anyone could find themselves in this position. Our goal is to give consumers information and resources before they become a victim. And if it does happen, we are here to help.”
Education and awareness is the best line of defense against becoming a victim of fraud.
NCA, with the support of the newly created Consumer Awareness Coalition, is hosting a free Consumer Fraud Prevention Fair in Reno on Monday, March 2, at Tamarack Junction Casino, 13101 S. Virginia St., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The fair will provide information and resources in the areas of consumer rights, how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud and one-on-one assistance for consumers that need help resolving complaints involving fraud or a deceptive business practice.
Resource booths will be open throughout the day with exhibitors including AARP Nevada, Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, Nevada State Contractors Board, Office of the Nevada Attorney General, Senior Medicare Patrol and more. Admission is free and open to all members of the public.
"Nevada ranked first for per capita rates of reported fraud in 2019 and fifth for reported identity theft," said Timothy Johnston, Vice President of Outreach at the Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Nevada and Utah and Consumer Awareness Coalition member. "Don't get taken; but do take advantage of this free event that can help you remain scam free.”
The March 2 fair will also include a fraud prevention panel at 11:30 a.m., featuring the following:
- Cris Williams, Chief Investigator, Nevada Consumer Affairs
- Timothy Johnston, VP of Outreach, BBB Serving Northern Nevada and Utah
- Whitney Digesti, Deputy Attorney General, Office of Nevada Attorney General
- Michelle Newman, Deputy Attorney General, Office of Nevada Attorney General
- Nick Coates, Attorney, Federal Trade Commission
For more information, visit http://consumeraffairs.nv.gov or call 844-594-7275.
This article was provided by the Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Nevada and Utah.