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Nevada has a high rate of fraud, and veterans are often targeted

Associated Press

Scams, robocalls and fraud were the topic of discussion during a recent Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Science and Transportation meeting.

Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen began by focusing on a report from the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network which showed that Nevada had the third-highest rate of reported fraud and ranked fifth highest for identity theft. The report showed there were more than 44,000 reports of fraud and more than 12,500 reports of identity theft in Nevada in 2022.

Rosen discussed predatory robocalls and other scams, sharing a story about a Las Vegas veteran who was targeted by phone scammers.

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“He wrote to my office about a call he received from the Veterans Benefit Center. They asked him to refinance his mortgage," she said. "He said at one point he was receiving 10 to 15 calls a day from this Veterans Benefit Center. While thankfully Nathan recognized the scam, many veterans don’t. Veterans like him who serve our country should not be targeted with these kinds of calls.”

These imposter scams are the most common type of theft fraud, about which the Federal Trade Commission has warned veterans. Other fraud scams include online shopping, prizes, job opportunities and fake check scams.

During the hearing, Rosen questioned Margot Saunders, a senior attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. Saunders had this advice for consumers:

“Unless you are absolutely positive that you know the person that has called you, do not give access to your bank account or any other money to that caller,” said Saunders, who says being aware is the best defense as scams are getting very sophisticated.

Earlier this year, Rosen and other senators joined the bipartisan effort Governing Unaccredited Representatives Defrauding (GUARD) VA Benefits Act, aimed at protecting veterans and their benefits from predatory practices.

Yvette Fernandez is KNPR’s daily news reporter and announcer. She joined the station September 2021.