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Preventing Financial Scams

The Community Foundation's Preventing Financial Scams Initiative offers a number of free resources to help you avoid becoming victimized by scammers. Explore this page for the other videos and resources, information on reporting scams, and sign up for free twice-monthly Scam Alerts and Tips via email.

This Month's Featured Video

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Help stay scam-free this year. This month's video features prevention tips for common scams.

With the new year, it is important to go back to the basics on how you can protect yourself from scams. Remember, every day, scammers are coming up with new ways to scam unsuspecting people in sophisticated ways. Start the new year right by protecting yourself and others from scams. 

View this video for general tips, featuring the Better Business Bureau's Tim Johnston, on how you can protect yourself and others from scams.

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This Month's Tips to Avoid Scams:

  • If you feel rushed or suspicious, pause. Ask someone you trust for their opinion before doing anything else. 
  • Be mindful of messages that have a sense of urgency or emotional pressure.
  • You do not have to send money to receive a prize.
  • The Social Security Administration and IRS will not call you to confirm your Social Security Number.
  • Do not send money or gift cards to someone you have never met.
  • If someone asks you to lie about what you are doing, it is probably a scam.
  • Never send money or gifts to someone you have not met in person.
  • If someone you do not know asks you to buy gift cards or wire money, it is probably a scam. 
  • People who confess love quickly are normally scammers.
  • If you suspect fraud, file a complaint with the Nevada Attorney General at https://ag.nv.gov/Complaints/File_Complaint or by calling 888-434-9989.

See More Tips to Prevent Various Types of Scams

The Community Foundation of Northern Nevada, a 501 (c) 3 organization, is established to strengthen communities in our region through leadership and philanthropy. The information provided on this page does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this page are for general informational purposes only.

Rev. November 2021


 

Nick Tscheekar, Community Engagement Officer

Contact Nick Tscheekar, Community Engagement Officer

Email NickCall 775-333-5499 Ext. 14

December 2021 Featured Video

 Avoid becoming a victim of a puppy scam

    A resident from Reno recently reported to the BBB Scam Tracker their experience with puppy scams. The individual shared that he and his wife purchased a dog from a website. They were then told they needed to make additional payments in order for the dog to get shipped to the couple. With various additional fees begin added along the way, the individual said he and his wife invested a total of $3,205, did not receive the dog, and never heard from the scammer once they made the payment. 

    Watch this brief video
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    Tips to Avoid Puppy Scams

    1. Ask to see the pet in person before making any payments.
    2. Research prices for the pet you are thinking of getting. If the website list prices at a bigger or smaller price, think twice on getting the pet from that site. 
    3. Avoid wiring money, a cash app, or gift card as methods of payment. There is no way of getting your money back if the person you paid turns out to be a scammer. 
    4. Check out local animal shelters for pets you can meet before adopting. 
    5. If you or someone you know has been scammed, file a report with local enforcement (Reno Police) by clicking here.

    December Tips to Protect Yourself

    1. Be mindful of messages that have a sense of urgency or emotional pressure.
    2. You do not have to send money to receive a prize
    3. The Social Security Administration and IRS will not call you to confirm your Social Security Number
    4. Do not send money or gift cards to someone you have never met
    5. If you suspect fraud, file a complaint with the Nevada Attorney General online or by calling 888-434-9989. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online or by calling their Consumer Response Center at 877-382-4357.
    6. If you suspect someone elderly or vulnerable is being abused, exploited, neglected, or abandoned, contact Nevada Adult Protective Services online or by calling 888-729- 0571

    There are many types of financial scams, every day, year-round

    Beware of situations such as ...

    • A strange caller asking you for your Social Security number.
    • A romantic partner controlling your finances.
    • Caregivers exploiting vulnerable seniors.
    • A family member making suspicious cash withdrawals.
    • Predatory loans, such as those charging high fees and creating a cycle of debt.

    The Community Foundation launched the Preventing Financial Scams Initiative by hosting two community conversations in 2019. We convened funders, professional advisors, nonprofits, and government agencies to learn more about the most pressing issues. Most importantly, the Community Foundation listened to people who had been directly impacted by scams or financial abuse. Residents shared their stories, discussed many forms of financial scams, and identified solutions. Participants envisioned the Community Foundation as an educator on scams. Two years later, the Community Foundation's Preventing Financial Scams initiative is distributing twice-monthly scam tips via email, has a task force that meets regularly, and has recently produced a PSA video series with the Better Business Bureau. 

    Subscribe to Scam Alerts and Tips Email Updates


    Events

    Subscribe to our Scam Alerts newsletter to receive notifications about events and educational opportunities to prevent scams.

    Request an event

    Would you like to have an educational event with your organization, club, neighbors, or family? Call the Community Foundation at 775-333-5499 or email Nick Tscheekar: NTscheekar@nevadafund.org

    Share Your Story

    Do you have a story about scams you would like to share? Were you able to stop a scammer? Please email Nick Tscheekar: NTscheekar@nevadafund.org and include the following information:

    1. Your name
    2. Your email
    3. Briefly describe the scam. What happened?
    4. What do you want others to know?
    5. Was there anything or anyone that was helpful?

    Your story will not be shared without your permission.

    Please note this platform is instead only to share helpful information with the community and will not prompt a law enforcement response. Fraud reports or complaints should be submitted to the Nevada Attorney General at https://ag.nv.gov/Complaints/File_Complaint/ or by calling 888-434-9989. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) by calling their Consumer response Center at (1-877-382-4357 or visiting https://ftc.gov/complaint.


    View Past Issues of the Scam Alerts and Tips emails

    Past Issues in 2021 (Click on Dates to View)

    December Issues

    December 16, 2021

    Grandparent scams

    December 2, 2021

    Puppy scams

    November Issues

    November 18, 2021

    Charity scams

    November 4, 2021

    Shopping scams 

    October Issues

    October 21, 2021

    Cybersecurity scams

    October 7, 2021

    Phone scams

    September Issues

    September 16, 2021

    Employment scams 

    September 2, 2021 

    Travel scams 

    August Issues

    August 19, 2021

    Phishing scams 

    August 5, 2021

    COVID-19 scams 

    July Issues

    July 15, 2021

    Romance scams 

    July 1, 2021

    Shopping scams 

    June Issues

    June 17, 2021

    Property rental scams

    June 3, 2021

    Imposter scams

    May Issues

    May 20, 2021

    Imposter scams & student loan repayment scams 

    May 6, 2021

    COVID-19 scams

    April Issues

    April 15, 2021

    Online scams

    April 1, 2021

    COVID-19 scams 

    March Issues

    March 18, 2021

    COVID-19 scams & Stimulus check scams 

    March 4, 2021

     Home warranty scams & unemployment fraud and tax refund fraud 

    Reporting scams, fraud, or financial abuse

    Nevada Attorney General
    Online: https://ag.nv.gov/Complaints/File_Complaint/
    Phone: 888-434-9989

    Federal Trade Commission
    Online: https://ftc.gov/complaint
    Phone: 1-877-382-4357

    Nevada Consumer Affairs
    Online: https://consumeraffairs.nv.gov/About/File_a_complaint/

    Adult Protective Services
    Cases of abuse, exploitation, abandonment, and/or neglect of seniors or vulnerable populations
    Phone: 888-729-0571

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    Complaints about financial products and services https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/

    Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker
    https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/

    Other Government Agencies

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
    https://www.consumerfinance.gov/

    Federal Trade Commission – Identity Theft
    https://www.identitytheft.gov/

    FBI Scams and Safety
    https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety

    Scam Trackers and Fraud Alerts

    Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker
    https://www.bbb.org/scamtracker/

    AARP Scam Tracking Map
    https://www.aarp.org/money/scams-fraud/tracking-map/

    Robo Calls and Phone Scams

    Federal Trade Commission National Do Not Call Registry
    Online: https://www.donotcall.gov/
    Phone: 1-888-382-1222

    Phone Number – Lookup Unknown Caller Directory
    https://800notes.com/

    HIYA
    Call Blocker and Protection https://hiya.com/

    Checking Charities

    Community Foundation of Northern Nevada
    Phone: 775-333-5499

    Guidestar
    Nonprofit reports and information https://www.guidestar.org/

    Charity Navigator Evaluates charities
    https://www.charitynavigator.org/

    Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance
    http://www.give.org/

    IRS
    Tax Exempt Organization Search https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/

    “The Community Conversation is an excellent format to get large amounts of information

    - Fred Ranney, participant in Preventing Scams Dinner and Conversation