Nevada Fight Fraud
Every Day, citizens of Nevada and others throughout the
country face the potential for various frauds and scams. Below are
some of the top scams facing the citizens of our State.
STAMP FRAUD ALERT
Small Business Owners
Beware! Food stamp benefit dollars are being stolen from
store accounts. Someone may call your store pretending
to be an EBT vendor or a Food Stamp official. He or she
will say s/he must test your EBT machine immediately or
it will stop working. The caller will instruct you to
enter a series of numbers followed by a dollar amount.
These are valid EBT card and PIN numbers. The
transactions you are completing are key-entered refunds.
Money is moved from your store’s account to the EBT
cardholder account. This is NOT a test. Money has been
and is being stolen from stores like yours. The refunded
food stamp benefits are then quickly spent or trafficked
in other locations.
For more information in English, click here.
For more information in Spanish, click here.
IRS REBATE CHECK SCAM ALERT
Consumer IRS Alert
-- The IRS warns taxpayers to be on the alert for
e-mails and phone calls they may receive which claim to
come from the IRS or other federal agency and which
mention their tax refund or economic stimulus payment.
These are almost certainly a scam whose purpose is to
obtain personal and financial information — such as
name, Social Security number, bank account and credit
card or even PIN numbers — from taxpayers which can be
used by the scammers to commit identity theft. The
e-mails and calls usually state that the IRS needs the
information to process a refund or stimulus payment or
deposit it into the taxpayer's bank account. The e-mails
often contain links or attachments to what appears to be
the IRS Web site or an IRS "refund application form."
However genuine in appearance, these phonies are
designed to elicit the information the scammers are
looking for. The IRS does not send taxpayers e-mails
about their tax accounts. Additionally, the way to get a
tax refund or stimulus payment, or to arrange for a
direct deposit, is to file a tax return.
The IRS has cautioned taxpayers to be on the lookout for
a scam using the rebate checks from the economic
stimulus package as bait. The goal of the scams is to
trick people into revealing personal and financial
information, such as Social Security, bank account or
credit card numbers, which the scammers can use to
commit identity theft.
Typically, identity thieves use a victim’s personal and
financial data to empty the victim’s financial accounts,
run up charges on the victim’s existing credit cards,
apply for new loans, credit cards, services or benefits
in the victim’s name, file fraudulent tax returns or
even commit crimes. Most of these fraudulent activities
can be committed electronically from a remote location,
including overseas. Committing these activities in
cyberspace allows scamsters to act quickly and cover
their tracks before the victim becomes aware of the
For more information and to learn how to protect
yourself, go to
Any information or complaints can be given to the Las
Vegas IRS-CI Fraud Line at (702) 868-5089.
IRS ABUSIVE TAX RETURN PREPARERS ALERT
Taxpayers should be very
careful when choosing a return preparer. You should be
as careful as you would in choosing a doctor or a
lawyer. While most preparers provide excellent service
to their clients, a few unscrupulous return preparers
file false and fraudulent tax returns and ultimately
defraud their clients. It is important to know that even
if someone else prepares your return, you are ultimately
responsible for all the information on the tax return.
Dishonest return preparers use a variety of methods to
formulate fraudulent and illegal deductions for reducing
taxable income. These include, but are not limited to,
Preparing fraudulent Schedule C, Profit or Loss from
Business, claiming deductions for expenses that have
not been paid by the taxpayer to offset Form 1099,
Miscellaneous Income, or income earned from outside
Including false and inflated itemized deductions on
Schedule A, Itemized Deductions, for:
charitable contributions medical and dental
Claiming false Schedule E, Supplemental Income
and Loss, losses
Claiming false dependents
IRS Criminal Investigation (CI) reminds you:
Taxpayers are responsible for the accuracy of all
entries made on their tax returns, which include
related schedules, forms and supporting
documentation. This remains true whether the return
is prepared by the taxpayer or by a return preparer.
careful in selecting the tax professional who will
prepare your return. Some basic tips and guidelines
to assist taxpayers in choosing a reputable tax
Avoid return preparers who claim they can obtain
larger refunds than other preparers.
Avoid preparers who base their fee on a
percentage of the amount of the refund.
a reputable tax professional that signs your tax
return and provides you with a copy for your
Consider whether the individual or firm will be
around to answer questions about the preparation
of your tax return, months, even years, after
the return has been filed.
Never sign a blank tax form.
questions. Do you know anyone who has used the
tax professional? Were they satisfied with the
service they received?
Evasion is a crime, a felony, punishable up to 5
years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
When in doubt, check it
out! Taxpayers hearing claims from preparers
offering larger refunds than other preparers are
encouraged to check it out with a trusted tax
professional or the IRS before getting involved. For
more information or to file a complaint, call the IRS-CI
Fraud line at (702) 868-5089.
IRS SPAM E-MAIL MESSAGE SCAM ALERT
The IRS never offers
refunds through e-mail or sends out unsolicited e-mails
to taxpayers. When the IRS needs to contact a taxpayer,
they send notice via U.S. Mail, and every such notice
includes a telephone number that the recipient can call
for confirmation. Should you need to visit the IRS
website for any reason, go there directly (by entering
the www.irs.gov URL
into your web browser) rather than following links in
Sample Fraudulent IRS SPAM
After the last annual
calculations of your fiscal activity we have
determined that you are eligible to receive a tax
refund of $63.80. Please submit the tax refund
request and allow us 6-9 days in order to process
A refund can be delayed
for a variety of reasons. For example submitting
invalid records or applying after the deadline.
To access the form for your tax refund, please click
Internal Revenue Service"
REVERSE MORTGAGE ALERT
Reverse Mortgages are
becoming popular in America. Reverse Mortgages are a
special type of home loan that lets a homeowner convert
the equity in his/her home into cash. They can give a
lot of older Americans greater financial security to
supplement social security, meet unexpected medical
expenses, make home improvements and more.
If you are interested in a reverse mortgage, beware
of scam artists that charge thousands of dollars for
information that is free from HUD!
Also, be cautious if anyone tries to sell you something
like an annuity, and suggests that a Reverse Mortgage
would be an easy way to pay for it. If you don’t
fully understand what they’re selling or you’re not sure
you need what they’re selling, be even more skeptical.
No matter why you decide to take a Reverse Mortgage,
you generally have at least three business days after
signing the loan document to cancel it for any reason
without penalty. Remember that you must cancel in
writing. The lender must return any money you have paid
so far for the financing.
For more information, please review
The Attorney General Warns Consumers to Get the Facts
Before Considering" A Reverse Mortgage" (pdf).
To report fraud or abuse in the Reverse Mortgage
program, contact the Division of Mortgage Lending at
AVOIDING MOVING SCAMS
Just because a mover’s ad
says they are licensed and insured does not mean that
they are licensed and regulated through the Nevada
Transportation Authority (NTA).
“Ask your mover if they have a Certificate of Public
Convenience and Necessity,” says NTA Chairman Andy
MacKay. “The CPCN shows that the moving company has
been granted the authority to operate as an intrastate
mover by the State of Nevada.”
Verify. Check the company’s registration and
background. Verify that they have the proper
certification, specifically a CPCN.
it in writing. Don’t release your belongings
without an in-person, written estimate. Verbal
estimates are not binding.
beyond price. Don’t hire a mover just because
they are the cheapest bid. A low bid is not an
indicator of reliability.
Insist on an in-person visit. If a mover refuses
to visit you in person to take a look at your
belongings, they can’t accurately assess your needs.
Watch for ‘red flags’. Unmarked trucks or common
rental trucks, documents with no logo or an
unprofessional-looking logo, unprofessional attire,
and companies with a different name than the company
you originally contacted are all indicators that the
mover may be unscrupulous.
For further information on hiring
a mover, visit
http://movingscam.com/. If you
have been the victim of an illegal household goods
mover, contact the Nevada Transportation Authority at
TIME-SHARE OWNER ALERT
As a time-share owner you
may be contacted by a person or company either wanting
to buy your time share or claiming to have a ready
buyer. The catch is that these people or companies want
you to pay money up front for this service.
Please be advised that in the normal real estate
transaction, the seller does not pay any money for
commissions, title search or anything else until the
actual close of escrow and then through a reputable
escrow company only. If you are approached with one of
these proposals, please make sure that you do not send
money or give out a credit card number in advance of the
closing with a reputable escrow company. If the proposal
is real, the contact should be more then happy to wait
for the close of escrow to get his money.
People with good credit are
being approached and asked if someone can “use” their
good credit to purchase a property. The person with the
good credit is offered from $5,000 to $10,000 for this
service. The person with good credit is promised that
the mortgage and taxes will be paid and that after a
period of time, typically one to two years, that the
other person will re-finance or sell the property and
of all, if you agree to this scheme you may be
committing LOAN FRAUD. This is very serious.
Secondly, the loan is in your name. The person
approaching you will generally have you sign many
papers, one of which gives that person the ability
to rent or even sell the property. What has happened
is that the person collects rents, option money and
any other income while not paying the mortgage or
up-keep of any type on the property. Eventually the
property mortgage, under your name, goes into
default and foreclosure. This will ruin your credit
and possibly subject you to civil and even criminal
If your property mortgage is delinquent and you are
facing foreclosure, you may be contacted by a person or
company willing to take the property off your hands to
save your credit. While some of these companies are
actually good and do help, others are not.
sign anything that you do not understand or that is
through a reputable escrow company to make sure that
your mortgage(s) is paid off to the satisfaction of
do not do this, you may find that the person or
company has title to or owns your property, yet the
mortgage is still in your name.
person or company pays nothing to the mortgage(s)
holder. The foreclosure happens. Your credit is
ruined while the company “saving” your credit has
made money from your property by renting it until
SHE (OR HE) FELL IN LOVE WITH YOU ON THE INTERNET AND
WANTS TO MARRY YOU SOON
It happens every day; you
met someone online via a dating service, or perhaps in a
chat room. Then, within just a short period of time,
that person takes a liking to you and would love to be
with you for the rest of their lives. One small problem!
They just so happen to be living over seas right now in
Africa or Nigeria and as soon as you can help them get
home with financial support, true bliss awaits.
What are the signs?
person you met says they live in your area but just
happens to be in another country.
person has an immediate financial hardship such as a
medical condition or the inability to pay their
hotel, or other financial crises and they need your
immediate financial assistance.
person either asks you to wire them money, or will
offer to send you a cashiers check or money order
from their “employer” at which time they will ask
you to cash the item at a check cashing store or
deposit it into your bank and immediately wire them
the funds back.
Don’t fall victim!
Generally, if you have never met a person, then you
shouldn’t be providing financial support to them. If a
person on a dating service indicates they live in your
area but just so happens to be out of the country and
needing cash now, don’t send cash or cash the check, as
it most cases it will be a fraud and you will be out the
YOU’RE RENTING AN APARTMENT OR HOME AND PLACED AN AD ON
A WEB SITE SUCH AS CRAIG’S LIST OR E BAY
person wants to rent your property immediately but
just happens to be moving from another state or
country and has not yet arrived in town to meet you.
person sends you a bank check or money order for 2-3
times the amount you are asking for in a deposit.
person then asks you to hold the rental but send
back the overage sent to you via wire transfer and
gives you no reasonable explanation why they
overpaid you on the deposit.
Don’t fall victim! If the person wants to rent your
property, ensure that they are legitimate. Call
references; verify with other parties that they are who
they say they are. Never accept more then your asking
for in a deposit and never send back a refund via wire
YOU WON THE ROYAL CANADIAN LOTTO
receive an e mail asking to confirm certain
information to collect your winnings from the Royal
Canadian Lotto or other country Lottery. The person
first approaches you via e mail and informs you that
you have won a large amount of money.
person gets your address and sends you an official
bank check or other type of check for a small
portion of your winnings to cover certain costs or
Person asks you to go to a check cashing store or
bank to cash or deposit the item. Once you do so,
they instruct you to wire a portion of the money
back to them at which time they will send you the
“grand prize check.”
Don’t fall victim! As the old saying goes, you can’t
win if you don’t play. Random out of country lotteries
are scams. No one will ever contact you and offer to
send you partial proceeds. Never wire money to pay for
taxes or other fees, as in all known cases, the check is
counterfeit and you will be responsible for its
repayment from the check casher or bank.
YOU SELL SOMETHING ON AN AUCTION OR OTHER WEB SITE
person who purchases your item is out of town or
lives out of the country
person just has to have the item “now.”
person is anxious to pay you but doesn’t have pay
pal or another known payment service.
person offers to send you a guaranteed “bank check”
or money order and asks that upon receipt you
immediately send them the merchandise.
Don’t fall victim! Scammers will send you a
counterfeit check and ask you to send them your
merchandise for sale. Once you deposit or cash the
check, it may be returned counterfeit. Never send an
item unless you’re sure the method of payment is valid.
If you do accept a check or money order, give it at
least 10 days to clear prior to shipping the item.
Source: Robert Frimet, RMF Consulting Group, LLC –
09/14/11 08:26:27 AM