Las Vegas, Nev. – In a Medium post published today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) urged Nevadans to be extra vigilant about scammers who may seek to defraud them of their federal stimulus checks, exploit personal information or charge outrageous prices for vital medical, cleaning and household supplies. The Senator’s Disaster Resource Guide has extensive information to help Nevadans identify and avoid scams and protect their families.
Full text of the post can be found here and below:
Protecting Nevadans From Coronavirus Scams
By U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto
Many Nevadans dealing with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will start receiving federal stimulus checks, enhanced unemployment benefits and business loan support in the coming weeks. While this welcome relief will help Nevada’s workers, families and businesses, Nevadans should be extra vigilant about scammers who may seek to take advantage of vulnerable populations. My office’s Disaster Resource Guide has extensive information to help Nevadans identify and avoid scams and protect their families.
My office is working hard to ensure that Nevadans have the information they need to protect themselves from bad actors who may try to defraud them of their federal stimulus checks, exploit personal information or charge outrageous prices for vital medical, cleaning and household supplies. I’ve cosponsored the Disaster and Emergency Pricing Abuse Prevention Act to prohibit selling or offering for sale essential goods and services at excessive prices during or in anticipation of a natural disaster, pandemic, or state of emergency. I’ve also urged the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to protect seniors and other vulnerable populations from scams during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, I’m working closely with Governor Sisolak and Attorney General Ford to support the state’s efforts to combat fraud and price gouging.
All Nevadans can protect themselves from fraud by paying extra attention to how they share and view information online. Nevadans eligible to receive a check from the federal government should avoid responding to any texts or emails about the federal stimulus money. The IRS will distribute checks through either the direct deposit or by mailing a check to the home address information they have on file from your last tax return. Anyone else asking for a bank account number, PIN number, social security number or mailing address, or suggesting that you will be required to pay any money to receive a stimulus check is a scammer. Nevadans should also try to avoid answering, or hang up, on any robocalls, verify online sellers before purchasing in-demand products, and avoid online ads for coronavirus preventatives, vaccines or treatments. There are currently no vaccines, pills, potions, lotions, lozenges, or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to prevent, treat, or cure COVID-19.
If you suspect you’ve been scammed or have provided information to an illegitimate source, contact your banking institution immediately to report the fraud, cancel your credit cards and change your passwords on sensitive apps. Nevadans are encouraged to file a complaint with the Nevada Attorney General at www.ag.nv.gov or by calling (888) 434-9989. Complaints can also be filed with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov. If you would like to report a complaint against a financial institution, you can do so by contacting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau here: www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint.
I encourage all Nevadans to continue to stay updated and seek out information from reliable sources like the Centers for Disease Control for updates on the pandemic response and how Nevadans can best protect themselves and their finances. Nevadans can also always reach out to my office for assistance or visit my website at www.cortezmasto.senate.gov/coronavirus for additional information.
Nevada Attorney General’s Office: (888) 434-9989 or www.ag.nv.gov
Federal Trade Commission: www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: www.consumerfinance.gov