LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – Thousands of Nevadans each year fall prey to fraudulent and deceptive business practices resulting in financial loss or lost time and energy seeking a resolution. In 2017, Nevada Consumer Affairs (NCA), a unit of the Department of Business and Industry’s Directors Office, received 1,968 informational inquiries and complaints and obtained more than $245,000 in refunds and restitution for these consumers.

“We know that only a small percentage of consumers that have been victimized by a scam or an unfair or fraudulent business contact our offices,” said Cris Carmona, NCA Chief Investigator. “This problem is widespread and anyone could find themselves in this position. Our goal is to give consumers information and resources before the become a victim. But in the event that it does happen, we are here to help,” Carmona added.

Education and awareness is the best line of defense against becoming a victim of fraud. NCA is hosting a free Consumer Fraud Prevention Fair in Carson City on March 7 at Reno Town Mall, 4001 S. Virginia Street and in Las Vegas on March 9 at the Las Vegas Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road.

The fairs will provide information and resources in the areas of consumer rights, how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud and one-on-one assistance for consumers that need help resolving complaints involving fraud or a deceptive business practice. Resource booths will be open throughout the day with exhibitors including AARP Nevada, Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Nevada Attorney General, Senior Medicare Patrol and more. Admission is FREE and open to all members of the public.

*Reno Town Mall, 4001 S. Virginia Street

–Wednesday, March 7, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

–11:00 a.m.–Fraud Prevention Panel featuring:

Cris Carmona, Chief Investigator, Nevada Consumer Affairs

Laura Tucker, Senior Deputy Attorney General, Office of Nevada Attorney General

Kerry O’Brien, Assistant Regional Director, Federal Trade Commission

Lori Powers, Outreach Coordinator, Senior Medicare Patrol

–12:30 p.m.–Lunch, sponsored by AARP

Las Vegas Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road

–Friday, March 9, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.

–11:30 a.m. -Fraud Prevention Panel #1 featuring:

Cris Carmona, Chief Investigator, Nevada Consumer Affairs

Sherri Ann Forbes, Senior Deputy AG, Nevada Attorney General’s Office

Lori Powers, Outreach Coordinator, Senior Medicare Patrol

–12:30 p.m.-Lunch, sponsored by AARP Nevada

–1:30 p.m.-Fraud Prevention Panel #2 featuring:

Christine Footit, Stakeholder Liason, IRS

Detective Michael Gomez, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department

Haley Box, Esq., Nevada Legal Services

For more information about the Consumer Fraud Prevention Fairs, or Nevada Consumer Affairs, visit http://consumeraffairs.nv.gov or call 844-594-7275.

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