Nevada Bankers Association warns consumers about holidays scams

With the holiday season in full swing, the Nevada Bankers Association is offering some timely tips to help Nevadans spot scams and protect themselves and their bank accounts.

NBA leaders are alerting shoppers to the following scams this holiday season:

1. Job offer scams

Many consumers are looking for ways to make some extra money during the holiday season. Unfortunately, fraudsters are taking advantage of those seeking extra work with “mystery shopper scams” where consumers are sent fraudulent cashier’s checks to make purchases for a “company.” Just because a transaction “clears’ your account does not mean it was not fraudulent. Also, be wary of unsolicited job offers. Always confirm employment through official channels.

2. Phishing scams

Fraudsters are sending out fake “letters” and “invoices” from companies like Amazon, Best Buy and Apple. If you receive an unexpected invoice or letter, directly verify the contents with the company, using contact information from a source you know. Never grant anyone access to your accounts, personal information or financial information.

3. Pet scams

Pets are popular gifts for the holidays. However, there are continuous reports of online thieves purporting to sell pets. Whether you’re looking to purchase a puppy, kitten or exotic pet, always see the animal in person before purchasing and check the breeder’s credentials, references and reviews.

4. Student loan scams

With student loan forgiveness potentially on the horizon, many consumers are eager to take advantage of the federal government’s proposed forgiveness program. Scammers are looking to take advantage of the situation by calling and asking for money or your personal information. Always utilize official channels to avoid any scams.

5. Health care scams

Many health insurance companies are going through their seasonal enrollment periods. Scammers are taking advantage of this by utilizing unsolicited phone calls to obtain your personal information. Always contact your employer or health care company directly to avoid being a victim of such scams.

6. Stolen passwords

Many fraudsters will purchase items through your online shopping account from prior breaches of retailer websites. Change your passwords often, use different and complex passwords with characters, numbers and symbols and utilize multifactor authentication when possible. Be wary if a company asks you to update your password or account information with them or somewhere other than the verified website.

7. Foreign transactions

Avoid sellers who act as authorized dealers or factory representatives of popular items in countries where there would be no such deals. Be wary of sellers who post an auction or advertisement as if they reside in the U.S., then respond to questions by stating they are out of the country on business, family emergency or similar reasons. Avoid buyers who request their purchase be shipped using a certain method to avoid customs or taxes inside another country.

8. Be aware

Whether they call, text or email, holiday scammers and every day scammers will pretend to be anyone to scare, coerce, trick or even charm you into sharing personal information and more. Remember, if an offer sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. The holidays are a time of giving, but only among family and friends.

According to complaints received by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, victims lost $6.9 billion to internet scams in 2021. That’s up from $4.2 billion in 2020. Consumers should remain vigilant, not just through the holiday season, but every day, keeping their information safe from fraud and cyber threats.

Phyllis Gurgevich is the president and CEO of Nevada Bankers Association president. NBA is the united voice of Nevada’s diverse banking and trust company industry. Members are dedicated to providing the best financial products, services and resources to drive and support economic growth, job creation and prosperity throughout Nevada. Visit

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