January 30, 2015
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt urges consumers to be mindful of real estate rental scams asking for prepaid debit card payments.
“Consumers should be wary of services that require the use of prepaid debit cards,” said Laxalt. “Nevadans should be sure the vendor is authorized before proceeding with the transaction, as payment on prepaid debit cards cannot be reversed.”
What to look out for:
Consumers should be vigilant about real estate companies and advertisements posted on Craigslist which send fraudulent rental agreements to consumers asking them to pay for their rent or deposit using a prepaid debit card. The realtor will then make false arrangements to give the consumer keys to the rental property. Oftentimes, the letterheads of existing real estate management companies are used in all false documents in order to convince the consumer that the transaction is legitimate.
The Nevada Attorney General’s Office recommends that consumers follow these tips in order to avoid becoming a victim of prepaid debit card scams:
- Be wary of vendors or websites which prompt you to pay with a prepaid debit card. Once you pay with the card, the money is lost and not recoverable.
- Treat the prepaid debit card like a credit card by protecting your PIN and card number.
- Search the business name online or with the Better Business Bureau to check the legitimacy of a vendor or website before proceeding with any transactions.
- Keep your receipts.
For additional assistance, call the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP. If you believe you are a victim of a prepaid debit card scam, file a complaint with the Nevada Attorney General’s Office here.