Las Vegas, NV
77°
Clear
5:25 am7:50 pm PDT
May 29, 2024 4:23 am

Local News

FTC warns scams lead to highest per-capita losses in NV

Scam alert with business woman using a tablet computer

Alex Gonzalez, Public News Service

Financial Literacy Month might be coming to an end soon, but the Federal Trade Commission wants to help Nevadans year-around spot, avoid and report scams to keep their money safe. The state’s residents lost almost $80 million to financial scams in 2023, according to LendingTree, a loan-finding marketplace. The Silver State also saw the highest per-capita losses due to scams at just above $25.

Reid Tepfer, attorney for the FTC’s southwest region office, said they received fraud reports from 2.6 million people last year. The most commonly reported was the “imposter” scam.

“When I say imposter scams, I mean people who are pretending to be your bank’s fraud department, the government, maybe a relative in distress or a well-known business, even a IT support expert,” he explained.

Tepfer added investment-related scams were the fourth most-reported fraud category, with people losing more than $4.6 billion nationwide last year, the most of any category. Tepfer said if something sounds too good to be true, it likely is, and added a scammer will often demand payment by a money transfer or gift card, and will pressure you to act now. A list of warning signs is online at ‘consumer.ftc.gov.’

As technology becomes more advanced, so do the scams. Tepfer said it is a scam when someone tries to get you to move your money to protect it – such as asking you to transfer or withdraw funds from a bank or investment account, and added you should always take the time to do your research before making any financial decision – which is exactly what scammers try to discourage.

“The reason they want to create this false sense of urgency is, they don’t want you to be able to take a step back and ,ook at the situation with a clear head and realize that something isn’t right.” he continued.

Tepfer said if you’re concerned or want to inquire about a financial account, make sure to contact the responsible financial institution using the phone number on your financial statement. He says if you are scammed, it is also important to file a report with the FTC. You can do this online at ‘ReportFraud.ftc.gov’ – or by calling 877-382-4357.

This article originally appeared on Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.