March 20, 2020
Carson City, NV - Today, Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford cautions Nevadans to be aware of potential fake testing schemes, door-to-door scams, product claims and texting scams in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Law Enforcement in Nevada have reported individuals visiting residents at their homes offering at-home testing kits, home inspections, or selling air filters and other cleaning products advertised as helping rid homes of COVID-19.
"Scammers are finding new ways to take advantage of this pandemic," said AG Ford. "As my office continues to alert you about the latest scams in our community, I encourage every Nevadan to stay alert and report suspicious activity to my office."
As with all suspicious door-to-door solicitors, avoid letting someone you do not know into your home. Be wary of high-pressure sales tactics and do your research regarding any health-related claims. Up to date information is provided on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) websites.
Additionally, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning consumers about a text message scam in which the sender texts a link encouraging the receiver to claim emergency money for groceries to assist with the outbreak. The link sends the user to a malicious site where the scammer can steal information such as email addresses, passwords, credit card numbers, bank information and money.
Consumers should also take care when making online purchases for items such as face masks, gloves, hand sanitizers and other high-demand products. Certain illegitimate websites may trick you into paying a high price for products that never arrive, or may be fraudulent in nature.
If you have already provided information to a website you feel may not be legitimate, or have received a scam text, the Nevada Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection recommends the following:
- Contact your banking institutions immediately to report fraud and cancel credit cards if you have provided financial information. These include cards used for all transactions or connected to your mobile device;
- Report the fraudulent number to your cell phone carrier;
- Block the phone number from your phone;
- Change your passwords on sensitive apps such as online banking, social media, and any other space where personal information is stored. Always be sure to choose a strong password and enable multi-factor authentication;
- Analyze and research product claims. Be sure to evaluate claims of any medical product before buying. Especially watch out for products claiming to offer a "miracle cure" for a range of ailments; and
- Make purchases only from reputable stores and websites. Stick to websites you already know and trust.
If you believe you have been victimized by these or any other scams, you may file a complaint with the Office of the Nevada Attorney General here, or with the Federal Trade Commission on its website. Nevadans may also call our toll free hotline at (888) 434-9989 for assistance.