Under the direction of the Attorney General and Consumer Advocate,
the Bureau of Consumer Protection (BCP) enforces various consumer
protection statutes, in particular deceptive trade and antitrust laws,
through the filing of lawsuits on behalf of the State of Nevada and the
public good. BCP cannot represent individual consumers in these
lawsuits, nor can BCP assist individual consumers with their own private
legal disputes. BCP also advocates the consumer's voice in cases
involving the rates and service of privately-owned utility (telephone,
electric, and natural gas) companies before the Public Utilities
Commission of Nevada and similar government agencies.
For further information on consumer issues, call the Bureau of Consumer Protection Hotline: 702.486.3132.
What is deceptive trade?
When a consumer is buying a good or service, the seller cannot deceive
the consumer about the good or service, as defined under the Nevada
Deceptive Trade Practices Act (NRS 598)
and its related laws. A deceptive trade practice includes a seller
making a false statement or misrepresentation about its goods or
services, or failing to disclose material facts about its goods or
services. Not all fraudulent activity is illegal under the Nevada
Deceptive Trade Practices Act, such as when another law applies that
regulates a particular industry or is more specific. Examples of what is
not deceptive trade include timeshares, landlord/tenant issues, debt
collection, and bank or credit card problems. Other government agencies,
not BCP, may handle these types of matters.
How can I learn more about fraud? What government agencies can assist me?
Visit the Nevada Fight Fraud website to learn more about fraud and the government agencies that may be able to handle your concerns.
You can also visit this link to the Nevada Department of Business and Industry's Consumer Affairs Unit.
What laws govern the sales of goods or services by Telephone?
There have been Legislative changes to NRS 599B that concern such matters.
How does BCP decide what deceptive trade lawsuits to bring?
By performing investigations, BCP learns of cases that indicate a
pattern of deceptive activity that substantially affect the public
interest in Nevada. BCP brings these lawsuits on behalf of the State of
Nevada and the public good (but not individual consumers). The lawsuits
can be civil.
What are the antitrust laws? Why is antitrust important?
The antitrust laws protect free and open competition in the
marketplace, by prohibiting certain anti-competitive acts by companies.
Although ultimately the courts decide what specific acts are illegal
based on the facts of each case, the antitrust laws generally identify
the following as illegal behavior, among others:
- Restraining trade, such as when competitors agree to fix prices, rig
bids, allocate (divide up) customers, restrict output, or engage in
- Monopolizing a product through exclusionary conduct that suppresses competition
- Companies merging when the effect may substantially lessen competition
BCP is responsible for civil and criminal enforcement of Nevada's antitrust law, NRS 598A, and has authority to file civil actions under federal antitrust statutes.
To learn more about the antitrust laws, please review more detailed information authored by the Federal Trade Commission on the topic.
offenses almost always raise the prices paid by consumers and
discourage the introduction of new and better products. Being forced to
pay illegally high prices is the equivalent of having money stolen from
you. When companies pay too much for a product, they tend to pass on the
illegal extra costs through price increases to their own customers.
When state or local governments pay too much for products because of
antitrust violations, either taxes must be raised or services must be
What utilities work does BCP do?
BCP represents the public interest before the Public Utilities
Commission of Nevada, federal utility regulatory agencies, courts and
all other forums with jurisdiction over Nevada public utilities. The
role before these bodies is to advocate for reliable utility service at
the lowest reasonable cost-particularly for residential and small
business customers of public utilities. BCP is actively involved in
federal and state regulatory and legislative proceedings related to the
restructuring of the telecommunications, electric, natural gas, and
alternative energy industries.